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Piper
May 22nd, 2008, 01:52 PM
Hello,

I am a freelance writer as well as a swimmer. I am doing a piece on recreational athletes' misuse of over the counter medicines / products (sudafed, benadryl, Red Bull, advil, etc) and off label use of prescription drugs (inhalers, ritalin, etc) for performance enhancing purposes. The article will explore the prevalence of this behavior and the health consequences, if any. Being an athlete who has taken the occasional sudafed before a race, I'm not looking to flay anyone,

The question is not whether that makes you/me a drug cheat, but whether in our desire for PRs or records, we are willing to go down a similar path as steroid and EPO users, just not as far.

I would not use anyone's name in the article. If you would prefer to e-mail me privately, my e-mail is laurarob2@comcast.net. I am also interested in anecdotal evidence and your opinions on whether or not such behavior is widespread and/or okay.

Thanks.

3strokes
May 22nd, 2008, 02:50 PM
Hello,

I am a freelance writer as well as a swimmer. I am doing a piece on recreational athletes' misuse of over the counter medicines / products (sudafed, benadryl, Red Bull, advil, etc) and off label use of prescription drugs (inhalers, ritalin, etc) for performance enhancing purposes. The article will explore the prevalence of this behavior and the health consequences, if any. Being an athlete who has taken the occasional sudafed before a race, I'm not looking to flay anyone,

The question is not whether that makes you/me a drug cheat, but whether in our desire for PRs or records, we are willing to go down a similar path as steroid and EPO users, just not as far.

I would not use anyone's name in the article. If you would prefer to e-mail me privately, my e-mail is laurarob2@comcast.net. I am also interested in anecdotal evidence and your opinions on whether or not such behavior is widespread and/or okay.

Thanks.

I had read somewhere (on the web) sometime back that chewing some 40 or 50 TUMS before an event would reduce or delay the lactic acid onset. Since I only sprint 50 frees, I once tried five Tums. Didn't notice any difference (and didn't want to risk 40 or 50).

ande
May 22nd, 2008, 03:35 PM
years ago we used to drink bromo at swim meets to buffer lactic acid
I never noticed much difference

I know several swimmers who drank a lot of coffee before races

With all the anti aging centers popping up across the country combined with the affluence of some masters swimmers and the desire to swim fast. There has to be some USMS swimmers taking steriods and or HGH and other potions to slow down their aging process, get stronger and recover faster from training.

I'm sure at some point in the future GENE doping might become an issue for USMS, when gene therapy might trick cells to stop counting as they divide.
I vaguely remeber a 60 minutes or discovery channell type show that talked about how cells have counters on the ends of DNA or mitochondrial chains and as they divide, they have counters that keep track of how many divisions they make over a life time. So if a DNA therapy were developed to slow down cell division, stop these counters or trick the counters, humans might be able to live longer and feel younger

to get stronger I cut out aerobic training

Ande


I had read somewhere (on the web) sometime back that chewing some 40 or 50 TUMS before an event would reduce or delay the lactic acid onset. Since I only sprint 50 frees, I once tried five Tums. Didn't notice any difference (and didn't want to risk 40 or 50).

aquageek
May 22nd, 2008, 03:38 PM
One sudaphed, two excedrin extra strength, a red bull and a cup of coffee - someone told me that was the way to go.

gull
May 22nd, 2008, 03:50 PM
I would classify Advil as performance enabling rather than performance enhancing.

jim clemmons
May 22nd, 2008, 04:07 PM
One ibuprofen, one red bull and wash 'em down with a cup of coffee about 30 minutes before high intensity demand. Ready to go...

mctrusty
May 22nd, 2008, 04:17 PM
I'm sure at some point in the future GENE doping might become an issue for USMS, when gene therapy might trick cells to stop counting as they divide.
I vaguely remeber a 60 minutes or discovery channell type show that talked about how cells have counters on the ends of DNA or mitochondrial chains and as they divide, they have counters that keep track of how many divisions they make over a life time. So if a DNA therapy were developed to slow down cell division, stop these counters or trick the counters, humans might be able to live longer and feel younger


Those counters are there for pretty good biological reasons, and tricking them is dangerous turf. One of the steps of certain forms of cancer is to disable that counter, so that cells keep on multiplying.

Sam Perry
May 22nd, 2008, 07:47 PM
Viagra seems to work well for me for performance enhancing, but it is not OTC. So I guess I need some of those "herbal enhancements". :weightlifter:

3strokes
May 22nd, 2008, 08:22 PM
Viagra seems to work well for me for performance enhancing, but it is not OTC. So I guess I need some of those "herbal enhancements". :weightlifter:

So, what's your record or PB?

aquageek
May 22nd, 2008, 08:50 PM
Viagra seems to work well for me for performance enhancing, but it is not OTC. So I guess I need some of those "herbal enhancements". :weightlifter:

Comedy gold, and free for all.

Sam Perry
May 22nd, 2008, 10:21 PM
So, what's your record or PB?

I never kiss and tell.......

ViveBene
May 22nd, 2008, 10:23 PM
I have spent too many minutes pondering the wording of the article assignment. How will you define misuse? Or performance enhancing? (Many postings on these forums show a rather large range of interpretations.) Off-label use of prescription drugs works for a lot of problems, as doctors know.

Let's take a fairly simple and common example, leg cramps. I take an OTC anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen) as a precaution before long OW swims so I don't drown. I also take something before I climb high mountains so I don't seize up. Insofar as this OTC drug allows me to complete the task, it enables if not exactly enhances performance. (How would Advil be considered "misuse"?) But quinine was traditionally used for this purpose, and it may have had a historical label that it no longer has.

The slippery slope thing I believe is a psychological issue and possibly a matter of interpretation. Where is your bright line? If I take an Advil tablet orally I'm OK but if I inject Advil I'm on the slippery slope?

Watch out with the inhalers, 'cuz there is a layer of gas you don't particularly want to spend your life in immediately above the water surface in indoor pools. Some ppl react very strongly, and some research shows a higher likelihood of asthma developing in swimmers who spend hours per day for years training in indoor pools.

I would recommend looking up some articles on PubMed and seeing if actual studies have been done on any of the things you are interested in.

Good luck, but I think it is a hopeless task. Will true miscreants 'fess up?

(Final note: the premise, namely, that athletes should be pure and not put anything in themselves [including food? How about Kool-Aid?], is probably an artificial construct that has been attached to "sport" in the service of something else whose meaning we are a little unsure of, "fair play." The original Olympians got high as a kite. Whatever it took.)

</rant>



Hello,

I am a freelance writer as well as a swimmer. I am doing a piece on recreational athletes' misuse of over the counter medicines / products (sudafed, benadryl, Red Bull, advil, etc) and off label use of prescription drugs (inhalers, ritalin, etc) for performance enhancing purposes. The article will explore the prevalence of this behavior and the health consequences, if any. ...

The question is ... whether ... we are willing to go down a similar path as steroid and EPO users, just not as far.



Thanks.

LindsayNB
May 23rd, 2008, 09:42 AM
It seems to me that the basic underlying principle is based on a trade-off between health and performance - the purpose of the rules is to allow people to be competitive without having to compromise their health. The problems crop up when the potential negative health effects are not that clear, or when small doses don't have a significant negative effect but larger doses do, and you have no way to determine whether the athlete is, for example, taking a cold medicine a couple times a year when they have a cold or all the time for the stimulants. Clearly eating regular food does not compromise your health so it isn't problematic. At the top levels one could argue that in some cases we've got to the point where the training itself has gone beyond the health promoting level, but that's a whole other can of worms that largely went down with the idea of the amateur athlete (which has been resurrected in the recent discussion of the "real masters swimmer" discussion).

TheGoodSmith
May 23rd, 2008, 10:31 AM
We have discussed this to a small degree on another thread. I myself use an asthma inhaler prior to workouts and races quite regularly. I feel the stimulant effect of the albuterol is noticeable. Several others on the forum who take it don't notice it. Is it an advantage..... possibly..... but this is not an OTC medication.

When I cleared 40, Motrin became my best friend after a 3 day masters meet.

1/2 a double shot of Starbucks and I can make time slow down around me.

Your real story is not in the OTC meds but the testosterone precursors and other more significant muscle building agents. Who really cares if someone takes nose spray before an event.


John Smith

Piper
May 23rd, 2008, 11:43 AM
Thanks to everyone who has responded to far. To clarify, I have no "premise" for this article. I am investigating what is going on in the world of recreational athletes relating to drug use, a world of which I am a part, and a world in which I have friends who are in every sector of the spectrum on this issue. I judge not at all. I do not think there is only one way to do things. I would be a pretty bad reporter if I did. There are no rules on drug use in the events most of us do, so where each individual draws the line is interesting. That is the story.
So thanks again, and please send any other thoughts you may have.

gull
May 23rd, 2008, 12:02 PM
I agree with John--write about the use of anabolic steroids, growth hormone, epo, etc. among Masters athletes. That's the real story. Individuals in their 40s, 50s, 60s who are using PEDs but have nothing to gain in terms of money or celebrity (relatively speaking).

Piper
May 23rd, 2008, 12:08 PM
Fine - tell me who uses what? What is the prevalence of steroid and EPO use? Do you know people who do it? Are you willing to go on record? You can e-mail me privately.

craig68
May 23rd, 2008, 12:18 PM
I normally chug down coffee and Red Bull (after trying to de-fizz as much as possible) about 20 minutes before my sprint events.

I have recently (mostly) switched from coffee to green tea for the health benefits, and have reduced my caffeine consumption as a result. I have to admit that I'm hoping for a more noticeable boost in my next meet, since I shouldn't be so jaded to the effects of caffeine these days.

A couple of you have mentioned Sudaphed. My wife is asleep 10 minutes after taking that for her allergies. How could it be a performance enhancer?

gull
May 23rd, 2008, 12:19 PM
Fine - tell me who uses what? What is the prevalence of steroid and EPO use? Do you know people who do it? Are you willing to go on record? You can e-mail me privately.


If I knew the answers then I would write the article myself.

aztimm
May 23rd, 2008, 01:28 PM
We have discussed this to a small degree on another thread. I myself use an asthma inhaler prior to workouts and races quite regularly. I feel the stimulant effect of the albuterol is noticeable. Several others on the forum who take it don't notice it. Is it an advantage..... possibly..... but this is not an OTC medication.

When I cleared 40, Motrin became my best friend after a 3 day masters meet.

1/2 a double shot of Starbucks and I can make time slow down around me.

Your real story is not in the OTC meds but the testosterone precursors and other more significant muscle building agents. Who really cares if someone takes nose spray before an event.


John Smith


I also have albuterol inhalers and have used them just prior to swimming some events, even when I didn't necessarily need to, and noticed the difference. Until about 5 ago, I also had cromolyn inhalers, and I noticed an even bigger boost from using those. My doctor since switched me to something else (I think asmanix or something like that).

I've never competed while on it, but I do notice a huge boost when I run while on or shortly after finishing a doseage of prednosine. I had a bad case of bronchitis last fall, and the urgent care doctor gave me that with an antibiotic, and the next day I felt like superman. If someone close to a masters record did this, I think that could definitely give an edge.

My times really aren't anywhere near competitive, so no matter what I do, it doesn't really matter. I'd need to attach a motor to my feet to really help.

3strokes
May 23rd, 2008, 03:20 PM
My times really aren't anywhere near competitive, so no matter what I do, it doesn't really matter. I'd need to attach a motor to my feet to really help.

And then the controversy would switch to, "Yeah! But what octane (fuel) ?"