In today’s society, athletes are revered as heroes. There is immense pressure to be the best. Athletes are willing to do whatever it takes to gain an edge, even if it means compromising their health. For almost three decades, athletes have been supplementing their strength program with anabolic steroids to enhance their performance. To be sure, anabolic steroids are effective supplements to strength training programs, but there is no doubt that the consequences can be deleterious.
What are Anabolic Steroids and how do they work?
Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of the male hormone testosterone. Most healthy males produce 2-10 milligrams per day of testosterone. Testosterone is responsible for muscle development, facial hair growth, and deepening of the voice. The hormone produces these results when it is absorbed from the bloodstream by certain types of cells. Molecules of testosterone fit into receptor sites located inside the cells, just as a key fits into a lock. When the receptor site is filled , the cell is activated. There are a certain number of receptor sites in each cell. If only a few them get filled, the cell will respond at a low level. If all of these sites are filled, the cell produces its maximum response (http://www.bigsport.com/steroids/steroids/roidblla.txt).
Anabolic steroids can be injected or consumed in tablet form. Injectable steroids can be divided into two categories, oils and waters. Unlike waters, oils are longer lasting anabolic steroids. They are usually injected directly into a muscle, usually the buttocks, and are released slowly over time. Nandrolone, an injectable steroid, is designed to last for 17 days (http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~hsr/hsr/winter97/steroid.html). Most abusers take them in cycles of weeks, stopping for a period and then starting again. Users often utilize a dangerous practice known as stacking, the combination several different types of steroids to maximize their effectiveness (http://www.nashville.net/~acarney/8html).
Anabolic steroids cause enzymes, such as RNA polymerase, to promote two important biochemical reactions, creatine phosphate synthesis and protein synthesis. Creatine phosphate is a molecule that can be metabolized in the absence of sufficient oxygen as a short term energy source. Increased creatine phosphate synthesis enables athletes to train harder and for longer periods of time. Protein synthesis is increased as the newly formed receptor-steroid complex migrates to the nucleus and initiates transcription. The production of RNA is elevated, causing an increased rate of protein synthesis (http://www.bigsport.com/steroids/steroids/roidb11a.txt).
Anabolic steroids increase the body’s ability to retain nitrogen. By allowing for better utilization of the nitrogen in ingested protein, anabolic steroids help athletes to build body mass...