Hubbard1Dondrei HubbardMs. TilleryEnglish Literature28 October 2011 Getting the Edge Baseball, as a major sport thrives off of competition and being superior at it. To ensuresuperiority,players are willing to go to drastic measures such as using steroids. Steroids inbaseball started in the 1980’s and have become a problem over time Some baseball players havecome to the conclusion that it will boost their performance level and give them an edge over thecompetition. Athletes use the steroids’ anabolic effect to help the body retain dietary protein,which aids in the development of muscles, and increase muscle mass (anabolic steroids).Although, it may give a competitive edge over time, the side effects of overuse and misuse arelong lasting. . Anabolic steroids are synthetic drugs that mimic the naturally occurring hormonesin the human body, such as, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Testosterone’s anabolic effecthelps the body retain dietary protein, which aids in the development of muscles (anabolicsteroids).These hormones play a key role in human growth and development. The syntheticversion of these hormones (steroids) were discovered in the 1930’s and have been used to treatgrowth issues in children, chronic wasting conditions (i.e. Cancer, AIDS), and improper use ofthe synthetic steroid, increases the amount of steroids in the body, unnaturally doubling thehormone. With the body already producing anabolic testosterone, the Anabolic steroids that aretaken in by baseball players are unnaturally doubling the hormone. This may lead to unhealthyeffects on the athlete’s body. As Dr. Wadler says, “Some are visible to the naked eye and someare internal, others are psychical. With unsupervised steroid use, the effects can be irreversible or
Hubbard2undetected until it is too late” (Anabolic Steroids). Anabolic steroids can be taken in two ways. Itcan be taken orally or be injected. The injections are broken down into different categories, thosethat are very long-lasting and those that do not last as long. Recent studies show that use hasshifted to the shorter-lasting, water-soluble injections (Anabolic Steroids). The effects of steroid use can be irreversible or undetected until it is too late. The risksplayers’ are taking by choosing to use steroids can cause serious health issues and can adverselyaffect the athlete in a way not intended.Physical side effects include; reduced sperm count, thedevelopment of breast, shrinking of the testicles, and difficulty or pain while urinating (AnabolicSteroids). Long-time steroid users show the classic characteristics of addiction. The users cometo crave these steroids, which leads to steroid abuse. The behavioral effects of long-term steroidusers show the classic characteristics of addiction. Recent evidence suggests that long-timesteroid users and steroid abusers show the classic characteristics of addiction (anabolic steroids).The users come to crave these steroids, which leads to abusing the product. Also, Behavioraleffects are shown to be severe moods swings (Anabolic Steroids). The users come to crave thesesteroids, which leads to steroid abuse. They can experience severe moods swings, depression,high irritability (also known as “roid” rage) followed by feelings of being invincible to theirsurroundings. These mood swings are can be dangerous for the users of steroids as well asindividuals the individuals that are around them when the mood swings occur. Athletes continueto seek out these performance enhancing drugs, even though they are illegal and have manynegative effects, athletes continue to use steroids as a means to achieve the edge over thecompetition. Anabolic steroids are an easy but dangerous fix to issues that can be fixed in a morehealthy way, and may even lead to long term benefits. There is a substance called
Hubbard3Creatine.Creatine is a safer substance used by athletes to gain a competitive edge.Creatinesupplements are popular with body builders and competitive athletes like Baseball players(Creatine). It is thought to help muscle build in a more healthy way rather than using steroids.Therefore, it is not 100 percent proven that creatine helps in user’s performance but, studies hasshown that if it does work, that it usually helps people under the age of 20 with short exerciseslike weight lifting. Studies show that exercises that involve endurance, creatine does not seem tohelp performance levels yet, again, it is not 100 percent (creatine). Creatine is an amino acid thatis usually found in food such as meat or fish. It is also a naturally occurring substance, made inthe liver, kidneys and pancreas, whichhelp supply energy to cells, primarily muscles. They areamino acids that have the ability to increase muscles stores, and potentially give muscles theability to re-synthesize these amino acids to meet increased energy demands. Although, thissubstancehas not been shown to improve performance, it has similar results to anabolic steroids.In clinical studies of people with heart failure or heart disease that took creatine with additionalmedical care, were able to increase the amount of exercise they could do before using creatine.With the addition of medications, creatine helps to increasebody weight and muscle strength.Muscular Dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease patients have been positively affected with theavailability of creatine. Many player’shave chosencreatine as a better option thansteroids.Creatine used together with a high protein diet can produce the same results, without theharmful side effects of steroids. Creatine does come with effects but, not all are bad. It has shownto help people with disease. In clinical studies of people with heart failure or Heart Disease thattook Creatine with the additional medical care, were able to increase the amount of exercise theycould do before coming in with heart issues (Creatine). With the addition of usual medications,the creatine helps the increasing of body weight and muscle strength. To add, people who have
Hubbard4Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and took Creatine have increased in musclemass, muscle strength, and endurance (Creatine). Users improved their overall health status byusing this. Also, Muscular Dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease have been positively affected withthe availability of Creatine. Individuals who have Muscular Dystrophy may lack Creatine in theirmuscle cells. This results in muscle weakness but, with creatine it shows a small improvement inthe person’s muscle strength (Creatine). In Parkinson’s Disease Creatine has shown to help withexercise ability and endurance. Although, the precautions of Creatine are weight gain, musclecramps, dizziness, liver dysfunction and kidney damage. An even healthier way to enhance performance is using the Glycemic Index (GI) alongwith their training schedule. The glycemic index is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates onblood sugar levels and how high and how fast the blood glucose level rises and how quickly thebody responds by returning the blood glucose level to normal. Foods that break down quicklyduring digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI. Conversely,foods that breakdown more slowly, releasing glucose gradually have a low GI. Using theglycemic index is an effective tool to use as you train because it aids in the collection of acidsand sugar in muscles so the athlete has more playing time with less pain, more endurance, whichultimately leads to better performance.There are a few simple rules to using the glycemic index.First, research suggests consuming low glycemic (i.e. Yogurt, Most Fruits, and Beans) foodsbefore training. Scientists and coaches believe that eating low Glycemic meals before a highendurance game helps fill your muscles with sugar (Glycemic index). The slow release ofglucose into the blood stream, allows blood glucose levels to remain stable and it gives the bodytime to collect the sugar in the muscles for when it is time to play or train. During training,consuming foods and liquids with a medium glycemic index (Gatorade, Sweet Potato, and
Hubbard5Whole Grain Bread) will promote carbohydrate usage and therefore help the athlete maintainblood glucose levels and maintain their energy during games and training. After training, foodsand drinks with a high glycemic index (Cereal, Rice, and Pasta) should be consumed in order topromote rapid glycogen repletion and rapid recovery.By utilizing the glycemic index, as amethod to enhance performance, athletes can safely and effectively increase endurance to givethemselves the edge they need. “It is lifestyle change, and the athlete must be conscious of thefoods they are consuming and when they consume them.This option is not as easy as the othertwo, but could have long term healthy effects for most individuals. Using glycemic index overmany years has shown to significantly lower the risk to develop type 2 diabetes, coronary heartdisease, and macular degeneration (vision loss). It is also used to help individuals with diabetesregulate insulin levels, and many weight loss programs. As the competitiveness of sports rises, itis most important to ensure that coaches and others make sure to find ways for athletes to gainexperience and performance with ways that keep the player’s health in line. The GI is effective,as well as healthier than other options athletes and players may use to try and boost theirperformance levels. It might not have the drastic effect like other products, like steroids, but overall, it does work. In conclusion, there are many options players have to boost up their performance,strength and endurance, but all come with different effects and outcomes that may negativelyaffect health. Anabolic steroids are very unhealthy for the user’s body and have overwhelmingside effects that take place from them. They are dangerous and risky, but athletes become willingto do anything for that certain boost for the game even though it is not smart option. creatinehelps give the boost players look for in a healthier form rather than taking anabolic steroids. It isalso good for some types of diseases. Creatine, with the addition of normal medication for the
Hubbard6disease, helps with health and muscle strength the body might lose during these certain illnessesand over time help the person get cured increasingly well. Unfortunately, creatine does have afew precautions to its abilities that should not be overlooked. Overall, using theglycemic indexthehealthiest option. The goal of the GI is to get natural sugars to go in the muscles over thecourse of a few meals and give that certain boost that most players strive for. It also, helpsplayers be able to play longer without having the pain that would usually occur with the timeplayed. Glycemic Index is the most natural way to. Overall, each option has its pro and cons.Every athlete should take responsibility and research what option would be best fit the goal thatis to be accomplished. Going with the quick fix, may have a devastating impact on your future.