Performance Enhancing Drugs
The sports world is aghast — as it often seems to be — that athletes in disciplines as diverse as track & field, football, and baseball are ingesting “designer” steroids that allegedly make the competitors bigger, stronger, faster, and eminently more endorse-able. Since an organization like the NFL can’t possibly claim that it’s looking out for the health of its combatants, America’s top sports presenter invokes principles like fairness and “level playing field” to decry the use of pills that “make” the user better.
What these drugs actually do is quicken the recovery process after a strenuous workout, when muscle tissue is broken down and then re-grown. Merely swallowing the additives in question will not turn you into Barry Bonds. You must spend the requisite time in the weight room, putting in the hours of lifting and grunting, reveling in the burn of lactic acid. Many of these “growth hormones” allow the athlete to return to his workout more quickly and more refreshed, ready to break down and rebuild again.
Ironically, what these illegal supplements seem to do is allow athletes to work harder, to dedicate themselves to physical achievement with even more singular focus. The hormones don’t make them bigger, faster, stronger. The effort does.
“Performance enhancing” drugs might not be viewed with such opprobrium if we called them “work enhancing” drugs. It’s done wonders for coffee.