How Do Performance-Enhancing Drugs Work?

Performance-enhancing drugs are substances that improve an athlete’s physical or mental abilities without being classified as illegal drugs.

Several performance-enhancing drugs, including erythropoietin (EPO), steroids, stimulants, hormones, diuretics, and blood boosters. Some methods athletes use to enhance their performance do not fall under “drugs” because they are natural elements. For example, training at high altitudes allows the body to absorb more oxygen to build endurance faster – this is known as altitude training. Drinking excessive coffee can also give people a boost when it comes time for races.

Both legal and illegal substances have become popular with athletes over the years to win, including caffeine, cocaine, and nitroglycerin. Other athletes use erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone produced in the kidneys that stimulate the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells deliver oxygen to muscles, meaning more red blood cells can increase endurance and performance.

Although many people consider doping a problem in sports, most experts agree that the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs far outweigh their benefits for otherwise healthy individuals. Furthermore, many modern athletes do not believe using such substances gives them an unfair advantage over non-doping athletes and argue improvements in testing procedures will eventually catch all cheaters.