2Learning Objectives What drugs are and why people use them Socially acceptable drugs: the effects of tobacco and alcoholPerformance-enhancing drugs: the effects of stimulants, narcotic analgesics, diuretics, physical manipulation and anabolic agents.Blood doping and the laws and enforcers
5Socially acceptable drugs The two most important drugs that are considered to be socially acceptable are:Tobacco (nicotine)Nicotine is a legal drug, though it is slowly becoming less socially acceptable. Nicotine raises the heart rate and blood pressure.AlcoholAlcohol is socially acceptable in most sections of society. However it is banned in many sports for safety reasons – it acts as a sedative, slowing reactions and impairing judgement.
6Smoking – what’s in a cigarette? Nicotine is a mild poison. It makes your blood pressure and heart rate rise – this can make new smokers dizzy. It is highly addictive, which is why it is difficult to give up smoking.Tar is a mixture of chemicals (formaldehyde, arsenic and cyanide to name a few). When cigarette smoke is inhaled, tar is left behind in the lungs. It causes many serious diseases.healthy lungssmoker’s lungs
7Smoking – what’s in a cigarette? Carbon monoxide is an odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas.It bonds with red blood cells in the same way that oxygen does, except that the bond is permanent. Blood cells carrying carbon monoxide can no longer transport oxygen, therefore reducing the amount of oxygen the blood can carry.Up to 15% of a smoker's blood may be carrying carbon monoxide instead of oxygen. This means the heart has to work harder, putting strain on it and causing circulation problems.It also makes smokers tired and breathless, reducing cardiovascular endurance.Smokers tend to be at a disadvantage in sports that require an efficient and healthy cardio-respiratory system.
8AlcoholAll alcoholic drinks contain a chemical called ethanol. This is what makes people ‘drunk’.It doesn’t do much harm in small quantities, however larger quantities are dangerous.Alcohol puts strain on your body, making you unwell – that’s why heavy drinkers may be sick and later suffer from a ‘hangover’.However, alcohol also has more serious effects, both short- and long-term.
9Alcohol – immediate effects you relax and feel gooddizziness and poor balanceimpaired judgement – you do and say things you normally wouldn’ttrouble controlling how you move (poor coordination)slow reactionsblurred visionimpaired speechaggressive behaviourvomiting.How do you think drinking alcohol before sport affects performance?Think about a range of different activities.
10Alcohol – immediate effects As well as impairing physical and mental abilities, alcohol causes the blood vessels of the skin to dilate, so body heat is lost and blood is diverted from the muscles.Alcohol is a diuretic, so it causes dehydration. This is why people often get a headache. The extra urination also robs the body of essential minerals like magnesium and potassium. This can cause the heart to beat irregularly.Glucose is also excreted, lowering the levels of glycogen in the muscles. Drinking makes people feel tired and lethargic.After drinking, some performers may lose their drive to train and perform.
11Alcohol – long-term effects Drinking a lot of alcohol regularly over a period of time is likely to cause physical, emotional and social problems:skin problemsliver and brain damagedamage to reproductive organsmemory loss / confusionheart and blood disordersstomach problemsfrequent infectionsweight gaindepressionrelationship problemsproblems with money and work.
12Performance-enhancing drugs Drugs can be used to improve performance. This could give some performers an unfair advantage and undermine the integrity of sport.Sports governing bodies produce lists of banned substances, so that it is clear to both performers and coaches which substances they must avoid while training and competing.The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has identified five classes of banned substances:StimulantsPeptide, chemical & physical manipulationDiureticsNarcotics / analgesicsAnabolic agents
13StimulantsStimulants excite the central nervous system (CNS) and raise the heart rate.They improve the reactions of a performer. Users usually feel more alert and display increased confidence in their level of ability.Performers using stimulants can work for longer periods without feeling tired. This means that they can both train harder and perform better on the day.Here are some common stimulants:Caffeine (not prohibited)CocaineEphedrineMefenorexAmphetaminesNicotine
15Narcotic analgesics Analgesics are pain killers. Narcotics cause delirium and drowsiness.Narcotic analgesics do both. They are sometimes referred to as opioids because they often contain opium derivatives.These drugs are used by performers to suppress pain and enable them to carry on, even with an injury.The following are types of narcotic analgesics:MorphineHeroinCodeineMethadonePethidineFentanyl
18Diuretics – side effects Diuretics cause the body to rapidly lose water, so many of the side effects are the same as the symptoms of dehydration. They include:muscle weakness and crampsheart damagerashesloss of sodium and potassium saltsdizziness and nauseakidney problems.Diuretics often do not enhance performance – they just help performers to meet weight restrictions. In some sports, carrying less weight will improve performance, but this advantage must be balanced against the side effects listed above. It is better to lose weight through balancing training and diet rather than using diuretics.Can diuretics really be described as ‘performance-enhancing’?
21Peptide, chemical & physical manipulation These types of drugs are used to produce similar effects as steroidsto increase muscle growthassist in recovery from injury and heavy training sessionsincrease the number of Red Blood Cells to carry extra O2Human Growth Hormone (hGH)Fewer side effects than steroidsNo urine test, unreliable blood test
22Erythropoietin (EPO)It increases the production of Red Blood CellsTherefore increasing the amount of haemoglobin available to take up O2 increasing aerobic capacityIt thickens the blood, making it difficult for blood to pass through small capillariesThus, there is the risk ofheart attack and stroke
23Blood Doping Is a banned process not a drug Athletes train at high altitude increasing the O2 carrying capacity of their bloodThey withdraw blood and freeze itJust before a competition they undergo a blood transfusionThis is thought to increase their performance by up to 20%
24The Laws and the enforcers The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have strict rules on prohibited substances – 4000!The IOC take random tests of athletes both in season and out of seasonIndividual sporting associations also do thisA urine sample is taken in front of a witnessThe sample is split into two and a test is conducted on the first sampleIf any drugs are shown, then the second sample is checked with the athlete present
26Performance-enhancing drugs For further information on all types of performance enhancing drugs visit:WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCYuk sportThe 100% ME programme encourages athletes to believe that they don't need to use prohibited substances or methods to succeed in sport. For further information visit:Click on the hyperlinks to go to the WADA. The site contains the most up-to-date list of prohibited substances produced by WADA.Click on the hyperlink to go to UK Sport’s website. There is various information on this subject on this site along with information for students.100% ME
27Exam-style questionsRichard plays doubles at his tennis club. He has noticed that his partner is often short of breath during long rallies despite being fit.Richard thinks this is to do with his partner’s regular smoking. Why might smoking affect performance in this way.Richard sometimes drinks alcohol before playing if the game is not important. Describe how the alcohol may affect his performance.a) Smoking would affect his partner’s breathing in the following ways: reduces the efficiency of the lungs, reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, lowers resistance to illness, including respiratory infections. b) Alcohol may affect performance in the following way: lowers glycogen levels in the muscles so a performer can’t work as hard or for as long; reduces a performer’s coordination, balance and agility; can impair judgement, so tactics may suffer; can make a person aggressive; can cause dehydration; can damage the immune system; can cause heat loss as blood vessels dilate – a disadvantage in cold weather.
28Exam-style questionsElite performers in a variety of sports are tempted into taking performance enhancing drugs.Anabolic steroids are a type of banned performance enhancing drug.Narcotic analgesics are also banned.What physical advantages would a performer gain from taking anabolic steroids?What types of sport would this kind of drug give the greatest advantage in?a) The physical advantages of using anabolic steroids are growth in muscle mass and strength. b) Anabolic steroids are most advantageous in power sports. Example may include: short distance events e.g. 100m running, sprint cycling, swimming sprints, bobsleigh; throwing events (shot, javelin, hammer and discus; weightlifting). c) An athlete may use a narcotic analgesic in order to help them continue to perform if suffering from the pain of an injury. It can also relieve muscle pain due to fatigue, enabling a performer to work for longer. d) They are potentially harmful as a performer may make the initial injury worse whilst using them and not realise. They are also addictive and cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Narcotic analgesics can also cause constipation and low blood pressure. Users may become apathetic.Why might an athlete take this type of drug?Why are narcotic analgesics thought to be potentially harmful to athletes?