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Stimulants in Sports

We live in a world where competition and speed are strongly emphasized.  Whether in work, play, relationships, or recreation, our fast-moving society demands speed.  Stimulants play a large, and legal, part of our every day lives.  We drink our coffee and soft drinks along with our “fast food.”  Unfortunately, the availability of stimulants and the stress on athletes to exceed their bodies’ capabilities encourages the use of stimulants as performance enhancing substances.  This stimulants in sports research paper will explore the use of stimulants by athletes.  Stimulants in SportsFirst, the origin and history of stimulants will be explored.  Second, the attraction to athletes and the detrimental affects of the drug will be explained.  The impact of stimulants on the Olympic games will be covered, as an example of how the drug has affected sports in general.  Finally, this paper will describe future solutions to the misuse of stimulants by athletes.

The layman term “stimulant” refers to a class of drugs that affect psychophysical arousal.  They wake us up and we feel more alert and energetic.  They also enhance our performance; thus the attraction for athletes.  Stimulants include a range of drugs, from the illicit to the mundane, including cocaine, codeine, Sudafed, and caffeine.  For athletes, stimulants are more dangerous than steroids.

Stimulants can be overused to the point of overdose and death.  Death from over-use of stimulants is documented in the case of cyclist Tommy Simpson.  He died because the stimulants assisted him in his effort to work himself to death.  His heart essentially gave out from being pushed too hard.  According to one stimulants in sports term paper “Sudafed can increase alertness and reaction time, but can also cause side effects like aggressive behavior, increased heart rate and palpitations, tremors, anxiety and nausea.”  Clearly, the drug is intended for colds, not for sports performance.

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