An ergogenic aid can be broadly defined as a technique or substance used for the purpose of enhancing performance. Ergogenic aids have been classified as nutritional, pharmacologic, physiologic, or psychologic and range from use of accepted techniques such as carbohydrate loading to illegal and unsafe approaches such as anabolic-androgenic steroid use. The efficacy of many of these techniques is controversial, whereas the deleterious side effects are clear.
Nutritional ergogenic aids are dietary supplements that supposedly enhance performance above levels anticipated under normal conditions. The term ergogenic means “work producing.” Athletes hope that ergogenic aids will give them a competitive edge and they fear losing. Since sporting competitions are sometimes won by a difference of 1/100th of a second, it is not surprising that athletes want to try the newest ergogenic aid.
Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other botanicals that are taken by mouth and don’t also contain controlled substances can be labeled a “supplement.”
Many of these supplements are marketed to boost athletic performance, but scientific proof of their effectiveness is sometimes lacking or contradictory.
ERGOGENIC AIDS MAY:
- directly influence the physiological capacity of a particular body system thereby improving performance
- remove psychological constraints which impact performance
- increase the speed of recovery from training and competition
People use ergogenic aids to improve their performance during high-intensity physical exercise. An ergogenic aid is anything that gives you a mental or physical edge while exercising or competing. Examples include caffeine or sports drinks filled with carbohydrates and electrolytes to replace salt expelled during sweating. They also include a wide range of performance enhancers, some of which are banned or illegal, and many more that aren’t.
- Pharmacological Aids
- Anabolic Steroid
- Beta Blocker
- Creatine Monohydrate
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
- Gamma hydroxybutyric acid – GHB
- Hydroxymethylbutyrate – HMB
- Protein Supplements
- Sodium Bicarbonate
- Vanadyl Sulphate
- Physiological Aids
- Altitude Training
- Blood Doping
- Herbal Medicines
- Human growth hormone
- Sports Massage
- Ultra-violet rays
- Nutritional Aids
- Beetroot Juice (Nitrate)
- Bicarbonate of Soda
- Carbohydrate Loading
- Sports Drinks
Banned Ergogenic Aids
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has drawn up a list of banned substances and doping methods that most sports governing bodies have accepted. The use of drugs to enhance performance is considered unfair and it puts the health of the athlete at risk.