May 18, 2024

Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are substances that are designed to improve athletic performance. They work by increasing muscle mass, improving endurance, and reducing fatigue. While these drugs can help athletes achieve their goals, they also come with a range of potential side effects. In this article, we will explore the most common side effects of PEDs and how they can affect an athlete’s health. We will also discuss the long-term consequences of using these drugs and the importance of making informed decisions when it comes to athletic performance. Whether you are an athlete or a coach, understanding the potential side effects of PEDs is crucial for making safe and effective choices in the pursuit of success.

Quick Answer:
Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are substances that are used to improve athletic performance. The potential side effects of PEDs can vary depending on the specific drug being used, but some common side effects include cardiovascular problems, liver damage, and increased risk of infection. Additionally, some PEDs can cause hormonal imbalances, which can lead to a variety of other health problems. Some PEDs can also be addictive, and long-term use can lead to physical and psychological dependence. It is important to note that PEDs are illegal in many countries and can have serious legal consequences for those who use them. It is also important to note that the use of PEDs can lead to disqualification from sports competitions and can harm an athlete’s reputation.

Understanding Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Types of Performance-Enhancing Drugs

There are various types of performance-enhancing drugs that are commonly used by athletes and individuals looking to improve their physical performance. These drugs can be classified into different categories based on their chemical structure and mechanism of action. Here are some of the most common types of performance-enhancing drugs:

Steroids

Steroids are a type of drug that is derived from the male hormone testosterone. They are often used by athletes to increase muscle mass, strength, and endurance. There are several different types of steroids, including oral and injectable forms.

Stimulants

Stimulants are drugs that increase alertness, energy, and concentration. They are often used by athletes to improve their mental focus and physical performance. Examples of stimulants include amphetamines, cocaine, and ephedrine.

Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate various bodily functions. Some hormones, such as human growth hormone (HGH), are naturally produced by the body. However, they can also be synthesized and taken as a drug to enhance physical performance.

Peptide hormones

Peptide hormones are made up of amino acids and are naturally produced by the body. They play a role in various bodily functions, including growth and development. Some peptide hormones, such as insulin and growth hormone, can be taken as a drug to enhance physical performance.

Beta-agonists

Beta-agonists are drugs that stimulate the production of hormones that help to regulate metabolism and muscle growth. They are often used by athletes to improve muscle mass and endurance. Examples of beta-agonists include clenbuterol and ephedrine.

How Performance-Enhancing Drugs Work

Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are substances that are designed to improve athletic performance. They work by targeting specific physiological processes in the body, such as muscle growth, endurance, and recovery. In this section, we will discuss how PEDs work and the mechanisms behind their effects.

Enhancing muscle mass

One of the primary ways that PEDs work is by promoting muscle growth. This is achieved by increasing the production of testosterone, a hormone that is responsible for muscle growth and repair. Testosterone is produced naturally in the body, but PEDs can increase its production to a much higher level, leading to significant gains in muscle mass and strength.

Increasing strength and endurance

PEDs can also increase strength and endurance by enhancing the body’s ability to produce energy. This is achieved by increasing the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. By increasing the amount of oxygen available to the muscles, PEDs can improve endurance and enable athletes to perform at a higher level for longer periods of time.

Promoting fat loss

In addition to building muscle mass and improving endurance, PEDs can also promote fat loss. This is achieved by increasing the body’s metabolism, which leads to a higher rate of calorie burning. PEDs can also reduce the amount of fat stored in the body, leading to a leaner, more toned physique.

Improving mental focus

Finally, PEDs can improve mental focus and concentration, which can be a significant advantage for athletes. This is achieved by increasing the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for reward and pleasure. By improving mental focus and concentration, PEDs can help athletes stay focused and motivated during training and competition.

Overall, the effects of PEDs are significant and far-reaching. By targeting specific physiological processes in the body, PEDs can enhance athletic performance in a variety of ways, from building muscle mass to improving mental focus. However, it is important to note that the use of PEDs can also have serious health consequences, and their use is often illegal and banned in many sports.

Short-Term Side Effects of Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Key takeaway: Performance-enhancing drugs can have various short-term and long-term side effects, ranging from mild to severe. Some of the common side effects include acne, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack, heart damage, hormonal imbalances, cardiovascular disease, liver damage, gynecomastia, memory problems, and kidney damage. Women may experience specific side effects such as breast development in males, menstrual irregularities, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, and uterine bleeding. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before using performance-enhancing drugs to understand the potential risks and benefits.

Steroids

Steroids are a type of performance-enhancing drug that are synthetic versions of the hormone testosterone. They are often used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase muscle mass and strength. However, the use of steroids can also lead to a variety of short-term side effects.

Acne

One of the most common side effects of steroid use is acne. Steroids can cause the sebaceous glands in the skin to produce excess oil, which can lead to the development of acne. This can be particularly noticeable on the face, back, and chest.

High blood pressure

Steroids can also cause an increase in blood pressure. This is because they can lead to the constriction of blood vessels, which can make it harder for blood to flow through the body. This can be particularly dangerous for individuals who already have high blood pressure or other cardiovascular problems.

High cholesterol

Steroids can also cause an increase in cholesterol levels. This is because they can lead to the production of more low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. This can increase the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.

Gynecomastia (breast development in males)

Another potential side effect of steroid use is gynecomastia, which is the development of breast tissue in males. This can be caused by an imbalance of hormones in the body, which can be exacerbated by the use of steroids.

Liver damage

Steroids can also cause liver damage. This is because the liver is responsible for breaking down and removing drugs from the body, and steroids can put a strain on the liver that can lead to damage over time. This can be particularly dangerous for individuals who already have liver problems or who drink alcohol heavily.

Stimulants

Stimulants are a class of performance-enhancing drugs that are commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase energy, alertness, and endurance. However, they can also have significant short-term side effects. Some of the most common side effects of stimulants include:

  • Heart palpitations: Stimulants can cause the heart to beat faster and harder than normal, which can lead to palpitations and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • High blood pressure: Stimulants can increase blood pressure, which can put extra strain on the heart and blood vessels.
  • Anxiety: Stimulants can cause feelings of anxiety, agitation, and nervousness, which can interfere with sleep and concentration.
  • Insomnia: Stimulants can keep people awake for long periods of time, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
  • Increased heart rate: Stimulants can cause the heart to beat faster, which can lead to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Hormones

Performance-enhancing drugs can have significant effects on hormone levels in the body. These drugs work by mimicking or enhancing the effects of naturally occurring hormones in the body. Here are some of the short-term side effects of performance-enhancing drugs on hormones:

  • Gynecomastia: Gynecomastia is the development of breast tissue in males. It is a common side effect of performance-enhancing drugs that work by increasing estrogen levels in the body. Gynecomastia can cause breast tenderness, swelling, and pain. It can also lead to psychological effects such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
  • Increased risk of heart attack: Performance-enhancing drugs that work by increasing testosterone levels can also increase the risk of heart attack. This is because these drugs can increase the production of red blood cells, which can thicken the blood and increase the risk of clotting. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
  • High blood pressure: Some performance-enhancing drugs can cause high blood pressure. This is because these drugs can cause the blood vessels to constrict, which can increase blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage.
  • Testicular atrophy: Testicular atrophy is the shrinking of the testicles. It is a common side effect of performance-enhancing drugs that work by reducing testosterone levels in the body. Testicular atrophy can cause decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and infertility.
  • Prostate enlargement: Prostate enlargement is a common side effect of performance-enhancing drugs that work by increasing testosterone levels in the body. This is because testosterone can stimulate the growth of prostate tissue, which can lead to an enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate can cause urinary problems, sexual dysfunction, and other health problems.

Peptide hormones

Peptide hormones, such as human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin, are often used by athletes and bodybuilders to enhance their performance. However, these drugs can have a range of short-term side effects, including:

  • Acne: The use of HGH can cause acne by increasing the production of sebum in the skin.
  • High blood pressure: HGH can also cause an increase in blood pressure, which can be dangerous for individuals with pre-existing heart conditions.
  • High cholesterol: HGH can lead to an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Gynecomastia (breast development in males): The use of HGH can cause breast tissue to grow in males, a condition known as gynecomastia.
  • Liver damage: The use of HGH can cause damage to the liver, which can lead to liver failure in severe cases.

It is important to note that these side effects are not limited to HGH and can also occur with other peptide hormones. It is important for athletes and bodybuilders to be aware of these potential side effects and to use these drugs responsibly.

Beta-agonists

Beta-agonists are a class of performance-enhancing drugs that are commonly used by athletes to improve their endurance and strength. These drugs work by stimulating the production of certain hormones in the body, which can lead to increased muscle growth and improved cardiovascular function. However, they can also have a number of negative side effects, some of which can be serious.

  • Increased risk of heart attack: One of the most serious side effects of beta-agonists is an increased risk of heart attack. This is because these drugs can cause the heart to work harder and faster than normal, which can put additional strain on the heart muscle. This increased strain can lead to a higher risk of heart attack, particularly in individuals who already have a history of heart problems.
  • High blood pressure: Another potential side effect of beta-agonists is an increase in blood pressure. This is because these drugs can cause the blood vessels to constrict, which can lead to a rise in blood pressure. This can be particularly dangerous for individuals who already have high blood pressure, as it can exacerbate the condition and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Insomnia: Beta-agonists can also cause insomnia, which is a condition characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. This can be caused by the stimulant effects of these drugs, which can keep the body alert and awake even when it should be resting. This can lead to a number of negative consequences, including fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Headaches: Another potential side effect of beta-agonists is headaches. This is because these drugs can cause the blood vessels in the brain to constrict, which can lead to a headache. This can be a mild headache, or it can be more severe, depending on the individual and the dosage of the drug being taken.
  • Nausea: Finally, beta-agonists can also cause nausea. This is because these drugs can upset the digestive system, leading to stomach pain, cramping, and diarrhea. This can be particularly problematic for athletes who are trying to maintain a strict diet or training regimen, as it can disrupt their normal routine and lead to dehydration or other complications.

Long-Term Side Effects of Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Steroids are a type of performance-enhancing drug that are synthetic versions of the hormone testosterone. They are often used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase muscle mass and strength. However, long-term use of steroids can lead to a variety of side effects, including:

  • Liver damage: Steroids can cause damage to the liver, leading to a condition called hepatitis. This can lead to inflammation of the liver, which can cause scarring and damage to the organ over time.
  • Heart disease: Steroids can also cause damage to the heart, leading to a condition called cardiomyopathy. This can cause the heart to become thick and hard, making it difficult for blood to flow through the body.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Steroids can disrupt the body’s hormone balance, leading to a variety of side effects. This can include changes in mood, such as depression or anxiety, as well as changes in the body’s metabolism.
  • Infertility: Long-term use of steroids can cause damage to the reproductive system, leading to infertility in both men and women. This is because steroids can interfere with the production of sperm and eggs, leading to a decrease in fertility.
  • Muscle wasting: Steroids can also cause muscle wasting, also known as muscle atrophy. This is because steroids can interfere with the body’s ability to maintain muscle mass, leading to a decrease in muscle size and strength over time.

Performance-enhancing drugs, specifically stimulants, can have severe long-term side effects. Some of these side effects include:

  • Addiction: Stimulants can lead to a high potential for addiction, as they activate the brain’s reward system and release dopamine. This can result in compulsive drug-seeking behavior, leading to a vicious cycle of addiction.
  • Anxiety: Prolonged use of stimulants can cause anxiety, which may persist even after discontinuing the drug. This can be due to changes in brain chemistry and the development of tolerance.
  • Insomnia: Stimulants are known to interfere with sleep patterns, causing insomnia. This can result in daytime fatigue, irritability, and a decrease in overall quality of life.
  • Paranoia: Stimulant use can lead to feelings of paranoia and mistrust, as the drug can cause individuals to perceive threats that are not actually present. This can be particularly dangerous if it leads to aggressive or violent behavior.
  • Memory problems: Long-term use of stimulants can cause memory problems, as the drug can damage the brain’s neural connections. This can result in difficulty retaining new information and problems with cognitive function.

Performance-enhancing drugs can have a significant impact on the hormones in the body, leading to a range of side effects. These hormonal changes can occur as a result of the drug’s direct effect on the endocrine system or indirectly through its effects on the body’s physiology. Some of the most notable hormonal side effects of performance-enhancing drugs include:

  • Prostate cancer: The use of anabolic steroids has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Studies have shown that long-term use of these drugs can lead to the growth of existing prostate tumors and the development of new ones.
  • Testicular cancer: Some research suggests that the use of performance-enhancing drugs may increase the risk of testicular cancer. This is because these drugs can disrupt the normal functioning of the testicles, leading to the development of abnormal cells.
  • Cardiovascular disease: The use of certain performance-enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroids, can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is because these drugs can cause changes in the structure and function of the heart, leading to increased blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Liver damage: Some performance-enhancing drugs can cause liver damage, particularly if they are taken in high doses or for extended periods. This is because these drugs can put a strain on the liver, leading to inflammation and scarring.
  • Gynecomastia (breast development in males): The use of certain performance-enhancing drugs can cause gynecomastia, a condition in which breast tissue develops in males. This can be caused by the drug’s effect on hormone levels, leading to an imbalance between estrogen and testosterone.

Peptide hormones are a class of performance-enhancing drugs that include substances such as growth hormone, insulin, and thyroid hormones. These hormones are naturally produced by the body, but they can also be synthesized and taken as supplements to enhance athletic performance. However, there are a number of potential side effects associated with the use of peptide hormones, particularly when they are used for extended periods of time.

  • Heart damage: Some peptide hormones, such as growth hormone, can cause damage to the heart over time. This damage can manifest as thickening of the heart muscle, a condition known as cardiac hypertrophy, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
  • High blood pressure: The use of certain peptide hormones, such as growth hormone and insulin, can cause an increase in blood pressure. This increase in blood pressure can be especially problematic for individuals who already have high blood pressure, as it can exacerbate the condition and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • High cholesterol: Peptide hormones can also cause an increase in cholesterol levels, particularly LDL (bad) cholesterol. This increase in cholesterol can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as other health problems such as stroke and heart attack.
  • Increased risk of stroke: The use of certain peptide hormones, such as growth hormone, can increase the risk of stroke. This is particularly true for individuals who already have a pre-existing medical condition that increases their risk of stroke, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Kidney damage: The use of certain peptide hormones, such as erythropoietin (EPO), can cause damage to the kidneys over time. This damage can manifest as a condition known as nephropathy, which can lead to kidney failure and other serious health problems.

Beta-agonists are a class of performance-enhancing drugs that are commonly used by athletes to improve their endurance and strength. These drugs work by stimulating the production of certain hormones in the body, which can increase muscle mass and reduce fatigue. However, there are several potential side effects associated with the use of beta-agonists, including:

  • Heart damage: Long-term use of beta-agonists can cause damage to the heart, including thickening of the heart muscle and irregular heartbeats. This can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • High blood pressure: Beta-agonists can also cause high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Stroke: The use of beta-agonists can increase the risk of stroke, particularly in people with pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Increased risk of heart attack: The stimulatory effect of beta-agonists on the heart can increase the risk of heart attack, particularly in people with pre-existing heart disease.
  • Kidney damage: Long-term use of beta-agonists can cause damage to the kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure and other serious health problems.

It is important to note that the potential side effects of beta-agonists can vary depending on the specific drug being used and the individual’s overall health status. It is essential for athletes to consult with a medical professional before using any performance-enhancing drugs to ensure that they are aware of the potential risks and benefits.

Side Effects Specific to Women

Anabolic steroids are synthetic hormones that mimic the effects of testosterone in the body. When women use anabolic steroids, they can experience a range of side effects. Some of the side effects of anabolic steroids in women include:

  • Deepening of the voice: Anabolic steroids can cause an increase in the production of androgens, which can lead to a deepening of the voice. This is a result of the development of a more masculine-like appearance.
  • Excessive hair growth: The increased production of androgens can also cause excessive hair growth, which can be difficult to remove. This is a result of the development of a more masculine-like appearance.
  • Irregular menstrual cycles: Anabolic steroids can cause changes in the menstrual cycle, leading to irregular periods. This is a result of the disruption of the normal hormonal balance in the body.
  • Male-pattern baldness: Anabolic steroids can cause the hair follicles to shrink, leading to male-pattern baldness. This is a result of the disruption of the normal hormonal balance in the body.
  • Breast atrophy: Anabolic steroids can cause a decrease in breast size, which is a result of the disruption of the normal hormonal balance in the body. This is a result of the decrease in the production of estrogen.

  • Increased risk of heart attack: The use of stimulants, such as cocaine or amphetamines, can lead to an increased risk of heart attack due to the increased heart rate and blood pressure.

  • High blood pressure: Stimulants can cause an increase in blood pressure, which can be dangerous for women who already have high blood pressure or other cardiovascular conditions.
  • Anxiety: Women who use stimulants may experience anxiety, which can be caused by the drug’s effects on the brain and the user’s body.
  • Insomnia: Stimulants can disrupt sleep patterns and cause insomnia, which can lead to other health problems.
  • Increased heart rate: Stimulants can cause an increase in heart rate, which can lead to other cardiovascular problems, such as an irregular heartbeat or heart failure.

It is important to note that these side effects can vary depending on the specific stimulant being used, the dose, and the individual’s overall health. Women who are considering using performance-enhancing drugs should talk to their healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits before making a decision.

Performance-enhancing drugs can have a significant impact on hormone levels in women, leading to a range of potential side effects. These effects can be caused by an imbalance of hormones or an increase in hormone levels beyond what is considered normal. Some of the most common hormonal side effects associated with the use of performance-enhancing drugs in women include:

  • Increased risk of breast cancer: The use of certain performance-enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroids, has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in women. This is thought to be due to the fact that these drugs can cause changes in the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body, which can lead to the growth and development of cancerous cells in the breast tissue.
  • Gynecomastia (breast development in males): Gynecomastia is a condition in which males develop breast tissue, and it can be caused by an imbalance of hormones in the body. The use of performance-enhancing drugs that contain estrogen or that increase estrogen levels can cause gynecomastia in men, which can lead to breast development and other related side effects.
  • Menstrual irregularities: The use of performance-enhancing drugs can cause menstrual irregularities in women, including missed periods, changes in the frequency of periods, and changes in the duration of periods. This can be caused by an imbalance of hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, which are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle.
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a condition that can occur in women who are taking certain performance-enhancing drugs, such as those that contain hormones that stimulate the ovaries. OHSS can cause swelling and pain in the ovaries, as well as other related symptoms.
  • Uterine bleeding: The use of performance-enhancing drugs can cause uterine bleeding in women, which can be caused by an imbalance of hormones or an increase in hormone levels beyond what is considered normal. This can lead to heavy bleeding, irregular periods, and other related side effects.

Peptide hormones, such as human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), are commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders to enhance muscle growth and recovery. However, these hormones can have significant side effects for women, including:

  • Increased risk of breast cancer: Studies have shown that the use of HGH and IGF-1 can increase the risk of breast cancer in women. This is thought to be due to the hormones’ effects on the growth and development of breast tissue.
  • Gynecomastia (breast development in males): The use of HGH and IGF-1 can also cause breast development in males, a condition known as gynecomastia. This can be a serious side effect for male athletes who use these hormones, but it can also affect women who use them.
  • Menstrual irregularities: The use of HGH and IGF-1 can also cause menstrual irregularities in women, including missed periods or abnormal bleeding. This can be a sign of a more serious condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can cause infertility and other health problems.
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: Women who use HGH and IGF-1 may be at an increased risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a condition in which the ovaries become enlarged and painful. This can be a serious condition that requires medical attention.
  • Uterine bleeding: The use of HGH and IGF-1 can also cause uterine bleeding in women, which can be a sign of a more serious condition such as endometrial cancer. Women who use these hormones should be closely monitored by their healthcare provider for any signs of uterine bleeding or other side effects.

Beta-agonists are a class of performance-enhancing drugs that are commonly used by athletes to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance. However, these drugs can have significant side effects, particularly for women.

Increased risk of breast cancer

Studies have shown that beta-agonists can increase the risk of breast cancer in women. This is because these drugs can stimulate the growth of breast tissue, which can lead to the development of tumors.

Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is a medical condition in which male breast tissue develops. Beta-agonists can cause gynecomastia by stimulating the growth of breast tissue in males. This can lead to the development of breast tissue in males, which can be cosmetically unappealing and can cause psychological distress.

Menstrual irregularities

Beta-agonists can also cause menstrual irregularities in women. This can include changes in the frequency of menstruation, as well as changes in the amount of bleeding. Some women may also experience missed periods, which can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a rare but serious condition that can occur in women who use beta-agonists. This condition is caused by the overstimulation of the ovaries, which can lead to the production of excessive amounts of eggs. This can cause pain, swelling, and fluid buildup in the ovaries.

Uterine bleeding

Beta-agonists can also cause uterine bleeding in women. This can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as endometrial cancer. It is important for women who use these drugs to report any unusual bleeding to their healthcare provider.

In summary, beta-agonists can have significant side effects for women, including an increased risk of breast cancer, gynecomastia, menstrual irregularities, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, and uterine bleeding. Women who use these drugs should be aware of these potential side effects and should report any unusual symptoms to their healthcare provider.

FAQs

1. What are performance-enhancing drugs?

Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are substances that are used to improve athletic performance. They can be taken orally or through injection, and they work by increasing muscle mass, reducing fatigue, and improving endurance. Some examples of PEDs include anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, and erythropoietin.

2. What are the common side effects of performance-enhancing drugs?

The side effects of PEDs can vary depending on the type of drug being used and the individual using it. Some common side effects of PEDs include acne, increased aggression, high blood pressure, and liver damage. Some PEDs can also cause hormonal imbalances, which can lead to mood swings and other psychological symptoms.

3. Can performance-enhancing drugs be addictive?

Yes, some PEDs can be addictive. For example, anabolic steroids can cause a sense of euphoria and increased energy, which can lead to addiction. Some athletes may become addicted to the feeling of increased strength and power that PEDs can provide, leading them to continue using the drugs even after their performance has improved.

4. What are the long-term effects of using performance-enhancing drugs?

The long-term effects of using PEDs can be serious and may include heart attack, stroke, and liver damage. Some PEDs can also cause infertility and sexual dysfunction. In addition, the use of PEDs can lead to a dependence on the drugs, making it difficult for the athlete to stop using them even after their performance has improved.

5. Are there any safe performance-enhancing drugs?

There are no completely safe PEDs. All PEDs have the potential to cause harmful side effects, and some can be fatal. Even if a PED appears to be safe at first, it can still cause long-term health problems. It is important for athletes to weigh the potential benefits of using PEDs against the potential risks.

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