|Part of a series on|
|Doping in sport|
Performance-enhancing drugs (also known as PEDs) are substances used to improve performance. Although the phrase performance-enhancing drugs is popularly used in reference to anabolic steroids or their precursors (hence the colloquial term "steroids"), anti-doping organizations apply the term broadly.
Performance-enhancing drugs are used by athletes and bodybuilders. Use of cognitive performance enhancers by students is sometimes referred to as academic doping. They are also used by military personnel to enhance combat performance.
The phrase has been used to refer to several distinct classes of drugs:
- Lean mass builders, which drive or amplify the growth of muscle and lean body mass, are also used to reduce body fat. They can also reduce the time it takes to recover from an injury. This class of drugs includes anabolic steroids, xenoandrogens, beta-2 agonists, selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs), and various human hormones, most notably human growth hormone, as well as some of their prodrugs. Performance-enhancing drugs are also found in animals like chicken as synthetic growth hormone.
- Stimulants can enhance cognitive and athletic performance by increasing focus, energy, metabolic rate, and aggression, and by decreasing perceived exertion. Some examples are caffeine, ephedrine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine.
- Nootropics can increase cognition including memory short term and long term.
- Painkillers allow performance beyond the usual pain threshold. Some painkillers raise blood pressure, increasing oxygen supply to muscle cells. Painkillers used by athletes range from common over-the-counter medicines such as NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen) to powerful prescription narcotics.
- Sedatives and anxiolytics are sometimes used in sports like archery which require steady hands and accurate aim, and also to overcome excessive nervousness or discomfort. Diazepam and propranolol are common examples; ethanol and cannabis are also used occasionally.
- Blood boosters (blood doping) increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood beyond the individual's natural capacity. They are used in endurance sports like long-distance running, cycling, and Nordic skiing. EPO is one of the most widely known drugs in this class.
The classifications of substances as performance-enhancing drugs are not entirely clear-cut and objective. As in other types of categorization, certain prototype performance enhancers are universally classified as such (like anabolic steroids), whereas other substances (like vitamins and protein supplements) are virtually never classified as performance enhancers despite their effects on performance. As is usual with categorization, there are borderline cases; caffeine, for example, is considered a performance enhancer by some but not others.
- Ergogenic aid
- Ergogenic use of anabolic steroids
- List of doping cases in sport
- Steroid use in American football
- "Performance-Enhancing Drug Resources". Drug Free Sport. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- Anon. Better Fighting Through Chemistry? The Role of FDA Regulation in Crafting the Warrior of the Future. Food and Drug Law: Final Paper. March 8, 2004.
- McKelvey Martin, Valerie. "Drugs in Sport". Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- "Stimulants". Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- "Caffeine and Sports Performance". Vanderbilt.edu. Retrieved 2012-03-04.