The Science of SteroidsAnabolic steroids are more popular than you might think, especially given the potential side effects. Estimates put the number of total users in the million category, many of whom are just your average do steroids increase performance rats hoping to pack on the ace tren trenbolone more easily. Testosterone is an anabolic steroid that your body produces naturally—yes, no matter what your biological sex is. Though the ovaries only produce a small amount relative to the aptly-named testes, these low levels of testosterone help build muscle just the same. Steroids are a big class do steroids increase performance chemicals that share a particular structure, which is a series of four rings. There are literally hundreds, and they perform a huge variety of biological processes.
Probing Question: Can steroids enhance athletic performance? | Penn State University
According to Charles Yesalis , Penn State professor of exercise and sports science, the short answer is yes. Anabolic steroids, explains Yesalis, are synthetic versions of the natural hormone testosterone, which drives the development of secondary male sex characteristics. When boys hit puberty, testosterone levels shoot up, causing hair to grow, sex organs to mature, muscles to enlarge and the voice to deepen. The process continues until testosterone levels begin to drop off at age forty.
As testosterone levels elevate, the user experiences increased strength and muscle mass. In a sport like baseball, that strength makes it easier to hit a home run, with stronger forearms to power through the ball and powerful hips to rotate your body quickly. Says Yesalis, "You can't make chicken soup out of chicken feathers. To boost their strength is not the sole reason athletes turn to steroids, Yesalis adds. With steroids, a marathon runner can run longer, a swimmer can do more laps and a cyclist can spend more time pedaling.
The problem is that competitive edge comes with serious side effects. In males, Yesalis says, steroid use can cause scarring acne, shrinkage of the testicles, and early baldness in those with a predisposition toward the affliction.
In women, the changes are more drastic. The influx of synthetic testosterone typically triggers a "masculinization" that includes the growth of facial hair, balding, and deepening of the voice. Yesalis himself has done studies linking steroid use to psychological dependence, use of other illicit drugs, and violent behavior. Steroid use can even be life-threatening.
When asked about possible long-term effects, Yesalis says, "This might surprise you—and it's a shame to say—but we have no idea. There have been long-term studies done on alcohol and a variety of drugs like marijuana and heroin, but never on steroids.
Neither do we know the specific affect steroids have on the growing bodies of children. Despite their potential for harm, according to a survey 3. Many more budding athletes use over-the-counter dietary supplements such as the amino acid Creatine for extra energy and to speed muscle growth.
The health effects of such products are not well known, Yesalis says. Is the steroid problem being overblown by the media? On the contrary, Yesalis says. Most drug testing in professional sports is easy to get around by using undetectable substances," he adds.
He has testified about steroids before the U. Congress, and been a consultant on the issue to the U. He can be reached at cey2 psu. Skip to main content. Can steroids enhance athletic performance?