Ergogenics Edge: Pushing the limits of sports performance
Ved Parkash Sharma
Performance enhancing drugs consist of a variety of substances, including medications, procedures and even devices that are intended to improve athletic sports performance. Some of these substances are naturally occurring, easily available and completely legal while others are manufactured, illegal, or banned by many sporting organizations. Many athletes, coaches, politicians and fans feel the use of certain substances is unethical in sports. Determining which substances are regulated, however, is an area of constant debate. Many performance enhancing substances classified as supplements are widely marketed as "health aids" yet have limited research on their safety or effectiveness. Being classified as a supplement means the contents of the product and the claims on the label have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and may not have any scientific basis. Numerous ergogenic aids that claim to enhance sports performance are used by amateur and professional athletes. Approximately 50 percent of the general population have reported taking some form of dietary supplements, while 76 to 100 percent of athletes in some sports are reported to use them. Physicians can evaluate these products by examining four factors (method of action, available research, adverse effects, and legality) that will help them counsel patients. In general, performance enhancing drugs and substances (ergogenic aids) can be categorized into the following areas. These are.