How Performance Enhancing Drugs Work to Boost Athlete Performance

“Winning is not everything it is the only thing”

That famous quote by American football coach Vincent Limbardi explains why athlete use performance enhancing drugs.

Athletes may have two reasons for using performance-enhancing drugs. An athlete may want to:

  • Build mass and strength of muscles and/or bones
  • Increase delivery of oxygen to exercising tissues

Build Mass and Strength of muscles and/or bones

The drug that is commonly used to build muscle mass and strength is Anabolic Steroid. This is the drug that Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was caught using.

Athletes use anabolic steroids because they increase muscle strength by encouraging new muscle growth. They allow the athlete to train harder and longer at any given period.

Increase delivery of Oxygen to exercising tissue

EPO (Erythropoietin) is the drug choice here. Erythropoietin is a naturally occurring protein hormone that is secreted by the kidneys during low-oxygen conditions. When EPO is injected in the body it stimulates the bone marrow stem cells to make red blood cells, which increase the delivery of oxygen around the body. It is the drug of choice in endurace athletes in Marathons and cycling.

One thought on “How Performance Enhancing Drugs Work to Boost Athlete Performance

  1. Wayne

    Hi Constantine. It’s unfortunate what we’re seeing with performance enhancing drugs in the world of sports. From track and field to baseball and more. Lately, it’s been quiet in basketball, hockey and football but I’m sure the leagues are watching closely.

    While it’s unfortunate that I read it in the sports pages and the internet, I still try to find some positive performance in sports. That’s what I love about track and field and road racing. There’s something big that happens every time. It’s not necessarily a world record either.

    Please take care and have a good day.


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