Sports Enhancers | Beta Blockers in Sport

we are going to cover Sports Enhancers | Beta Blockers in Sport

Different Beta Blockers in Sport and Sports Enhancers | Sport Performance Enhancers

A class of drugs known as beta-blockers is primarily used to treat excessive blood pressure, migraines, angina, and specific cardiac arrhythmias. (Sports Enhancers and Beta Blockers in Sport) These can be used to reduce hand tremor, calm and stabilize the heart rate, and/or regulate anxiety. Beta blockers may be advantageous in certain activities, including shooting, motor sports, diving, modern pentathlon, bobsleighing, and archeryand.  

Side Effects of Beta Blockers in Sport

  • Low blood pressure (hypo tension)
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Cardiac failure
  • Impaired circulation
  • Loss of sleep (insomnia)
  • Impotence

Important Note: The use of beta – blockers is restricted in sports. Anti-doping organizations reserve the right to test in those sports judged acceptable due to the continuous misuse of beta-blockers in some sports and the vast variety of efficient alternative preparations.

Marijuana or Cannabis Drug use in Sports

Marijuana (or Hashish) comes from the complex Indian Hemp plant Cannabis Sativa. This plant has produced more than 400 isolated chemicals, 61 of which have been classified as cannabinoids. The psychoactive properties of these cannabinoids range from virtually nonexistent to hallucinogenic. The most powerful active cannabinoids are T.H.C. (delta – 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol) 0. The term “marijuana” refers to all unrefined forms of dried leaf preparations. cannabis plant’s seeds, stalks, and occasionally flowers. These preparations contain up to 8 % T.H.C. Hashish is the resin and flowering tops of the Cannabis plant containing up to 15 % T.C.H. Hash oil contains as much as 60 % T.H.C. Before a tournament, one could unwind with marijuana or hashish.

Side Effects

There is no question that cannabis usage has negative short- and long-term effects on athletic performance because of how it affects the heart, lungs, and central nervous system. In addition, marijuana may impact the reproductive system.


  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure


Inflammation of lung tissue and cancer (caused by smoking)

Central Nervous System

  • Impaired balance and coordination
  • Loss of (short term) memory
  • Loss of concentration
  • Hallucination (psychosis)
  • Abnormal body temperature

Reproductive System

  • Decreased sperm count and motility
  • Disturbances with ovulation

Important Note:

Marijuana is prohibited in some sports. Tests may be carried out at the request of an international / national sports governing body.

Different Banned Drugs in Sports

The International rule states clearly that any method used to enhance performance artificially is illegal. Using prohibited substances knowingly is against the law and will be penalized severely. The justification that I didn’t know it was prohibited will not be accepted. An athlete using any form of medication must confirm with his / her doctor whether it is legal. Almost all doctors and pharmacists have a list of drugs that contain illegal substances which can also be found on the web sites various International / National Sports Federations / Associations, IOC and WADA. The following drugs and methods are illegal sports:


1. Description

Stimulants are chemicals that directly stimulate the central nervous system by increasing the heart rate, the pace of metabolism, and the excitement of the brain and spinal cord. Amphetamine, ephedrine, cocaine, and caffeine are the four most well-known examples of stimulants that are utilized in sports. 

Stimulants may be used to attain the same effect as adrenalin, which is secreted naturally our body. They could result in improved wakefulness, alertness, and concentration. In addition, they may improve the faculty to exercise strenuously or produce a decreased sensitivity pain.

2. Side Effects

Stimulants have caused the death of several athletes. When an athlete needs to compete in extreme conditions, such as for extended periods of time or in the heat, the body warms up quickly and intensely. The body will struggle to cool off if stimulants are used. The heat and other key organs could malfunction, which could cause the athlete to pass away. Other potential harmful side effects include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of sleep (insomnia)
  • Reduction of fatigue resulting in exhaustion
  • Euphoria
  • Hallucinations (psychosis)
  • Trembling
  • Restlessness, agitation, tenseness
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Palpitation and heart rhythm disorders
  • Impaired coordination, self-criticism, and judgement
  • Addiction
  • Increased body temperature (hypothermia)

Important Note. In sports, stimulant use is prohibited. Stimulants are present in several treatments for colds and coughs. The amines are frequently present in cold and hay fever remedies in lower quantities. They can be purchased in pharmacies and sometimes other retail outlets without the need of a medical prescription. Therefore, no medication for treating colds, the flu, or hay fever obtained from a rival or given to him should be used without first confirming with a doctor or pharmacist that it does not contain a substance from the restricted class of stimulants.

1. Amphetamines: Therapeutic use of Amphetamines has included treatment for obesity, narcolepsy, minimal brain dysfunction and depression. In some of these conditions the use has been decreased or ceased and has been replaced by other medications with less potential for abuse. The most well-known reputation for causing issues in athletics belongs to amphetamines and similar substances. Some deaths of sportsmen have resulted, even when normal doses have been used under conditions of maximal physical activity.

2. Cocaine: Cocaine occurs naturally in the leaf of the coca plant, which grows in a wide area of central and south America. Cocaine was initially used to treat dyspepsia and lessen weariness in workers and soldiers. Later on it was used as an anti- depressant and as a local anaesthetic. The biggest problem of Cocaine is the addiction that most users get. In sports Cocaine – use has led to several deaths because of heart problems. The most dramatic and life – threatening effect is coronary occlusion.

3. Ephedrine, Phenylpropanolamine and Look – alikes: Ephedrine is similar in mechanism to the amphetamines. The non-emergency treatment of allergic responses, hypotension while spinal anaesthesia, asthma, atrioventricular block, and nasal congestion have all been treated with it in clinical settings. A nasal decongestant is the main application today. In sports several cases are known of athletes who have been disqualified because they used Ephedrine, not realising it was against the law, or taking medication without realising it contained ephedrine or a lookalike, particularly in cold and cough remedies.

4. Caffeine: Caffeine is a drug that occurs naturally in cocoa, coffee beans and tea leaves. The amount of caffeine obtained from every source depends on the particle size of the extracts. Caffeine is added to soft drinks such as the many types of colas and is also presented in a number of over the counter medicines. Because of the presence of Caffeine in every day products, the WADA considers Caffeine as doping if the concentration in urine exceeds 12 micrograms / ml. The build – up of Caffeine in your body is largely unpredictable due to the individual difference in the rate of metabolism. One should therefore be careful when using products containing Caffeine. The use of Caffeine can be habit forming.

Most Addictive Narcotics

  1. Description

These addictive narcotic analgesics, which are banned in sports, are represented by morphine and its chemical and pharmacological analogues. They are derived from opium, which in turn is derived from the poppy plant (papawer somniferous). They act on the central nervous system and reduce feelings of pain. Narcotic treatment analgesics may be used to mask the sensation of pain. Besides reducing pain, narcotic analgesics are used to surppress coughs.

Side Effects of Performance Enhancing Drugs

Use of narcotic may cause a health problem A false sense of security may cause an athlete / sportsperson to ignore a potentially serious injury, risking further damage. Other potentially dangerous side effects are:

  • Addiction
  • Loss of balance and coordination  
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of sleep and depression
  • Breathing becomes slower
  • Decreased heart rare
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Constipation

Important Note: The use of narcotic analgesics in sports is forbidden. Codeine is an example of a narcotic analgesic that has been banned for several years. It is used in many cough medicines and mixtures.

Anabolic Agents

  1. Description

Androgenic anabolic agents steroids are derivatives of the natural male hormone testosterone. ‘Anabolic’ means ‘ tissue building ‘ and ‘ androgenic ‘means masculinizing’. They can be taken orally or by injection. After administering particularly the formation of protein in the genital organs, the skin, the skeleton and the skeleton muscles is promoted In medicine androgenic anabolic steroids are sometimes used for the treatment of anaemia, osteoporosis, gynaecological disorders and growth problems.

Androgenic anabolic steroids are sometimes taken (in very large doses) by athletes / sportspersons who are involved in weight lifting throwing and many other sports involving strength. They seem to increase muscle size and in strength training, is performing specific strenuous strength training concurrently and is well nourished. Side effects associated with androgenic anabolic steroids are extremely serious. They can be divided into general, male specific and female specific.

2. Side Effects

1. General Side Effects of Anabolic Agents

  • Greasy skin and acne
  • Damage to the reproductive system resulting in infertility
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Liver and kidney abnormalities.
  • Violent and aggressive behaviour towards other people
  • Promotion of growths of tumours

2. Male Specific Side Effects of Anabolic Agents

  • Breast development Infertility
  • Testicular atrophy
  • Diminished male hormone production Impotence
  • Hair loss
  • Prostate cancer

3. Side Effects Performance Enhancing Drugs for Women

  • Male pattern hair growth and boldness.  
  • Menstruation disturbances
  • Decreased size of breasts
  • Deeper voice (hoarseness)

Steroids in Sports

Important Note: The use of androgenic anabolic steroids in sports is forbidden. The use of these substances is very dangerous and may cause the death or severe health problems.

  • Other Anabolic Agents

Other anabolic agents are substances which are pharmacologically not related to the androgenic anabolic steroids, but which might have a similar anabolic effect. This doping class has been established because of the abuse the B2 – agonist clenbuterol. In vaterinary medicine clenbuterol is used to treat calves for clods and coughs. B2 – agonists or B2 adrenoreceptor agonists actually belong to the class of stimulants and have been developed emphysema and asthma. People discovered that for the treatment of chronic bronchitis when clenbuterol was used in large quantities with calves the percentage of fat reduced and the muscular tissue increased It is assumed athletes’ sportspersons also started to use clenbuterol on the basis of these findings Scientifically the alleged anabolic effect humans is dubious

Side Effects of Other Anabolic Agents

  • Trembling
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
  • Muscle cramps

Important Note: Not only Clenbuterol has been banned, but also all other substances that belong to the class of B2 – agonists. abnormalities


Diuretics may Primarily be used for two reasons:

1. To try to achieve rapid weight loss sports where weight categories are involved. Boxing, judo, weightlifting and rowing are examples of these sports. In bodybuilding diuretics may be used to ‘dry up’ so muscles show better.

2. To try to reduce the concentration drugs in the urine through rapid diuresis so the chance of detecting the drug a doping control is decreased, thus using as masking agents

2. Side Effects

Entresto Diuretic is not a beta blocker and not a diuretic. Diuretics are drugs that increase the rate of urine formation and excretion. In general, the diuretics act directly on the kidney tubules to produce the desired effects. Clinically, diuretics are used to control hypertension, to reduceedema and as an adjunct in treating congestive heart failure.

  • Dehydration
  • Decreased circulation
  • Muscle cramps
  • Renal disorders
  • Dizziness when standing up (orthostatic hypotension)
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities (arrhythmias)

Important Note: The use of diuretics in sports is forbidden. Non – medical use of diuretics can be very dangerous. Because of dehydration athlete / sportsperson will not be able to perform at his / her best. Losing too much water along with sodium may cause heart and kidney failure which has led to the death of several athletes’ sportspersons.

Peptide Hormones, Mimetics and Analogues


Peptide and glycoprotein hormones are natural substances that act as ‘messengers within the body and cause the production of other endogenous hormones like testosterone and (cortico) steroids. The effect is that growth increases and / or pain are reduced.

Side Effect

Analogues are man – made synthetic drugs, which have similar effects to peptide hormones. The following hormones belong to this class: 1. Human Chronic Gondotrophin HCG) : The hormone increases production of end ogenous steroids and the effect is similar to using testosterone . HCG is used by athletes / sportspersons, because it seems to increase muscle size and strength It enables them to do strenuous strength training. The side effects are:

  • Breast development (in males) (gynaecomastia).
  • Menstrual disorders (in women)
  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH):

This hormone increases linear growth linear growth until puberty (when the epiphyses of bones fuse thus permitted no further growth). HGH is used by athletes / sportspersons to try and build muscles. Adult athletes risk enormous health problems by using HGH and the side effects are:

Abnormal growth of hands, feet and face (acromegaly)

• Abnormal growth of internal organs, e.g. liver

• Joint disorders (arthropathies)

• Diabetes mellitus

• Cardiovascular diseases, e.g. high blood pressure (hypertension)

3. Adreno Cortico Trophin Hormone (ACTH): This hormone increases the level of endogenous corticosteroids. ACTH is used by athletes to repair damaged tissues and muscles. If used for long periods of time it would cause muscle wasting. Other side effects are:

  • Sleeping problems (insomnia)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Poor healing of wounds
  • Loss of bone mass (osteoporosis)
  • Erythropolietin (EPO): This hormone increases the number of red blood cells (erythrocytes) in the blood. EPO are used by athletes / sportspersons to perform better in endurance events. Because of EPO the viscosity of blood increases which heightens the risk of blood clotting and may lead to a stroke. Other side effects are:
  • Increased viscosity, ‘ thickness ‘, of the blood
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Cerebral infarction
  • Blood clots in the lungs ( pulmonary embolism )
  • Convulsions

Important Note: The use of peptides and glycoprotein hormones and analogues in sports is forbidden.

Agents with Anti-oestrogenic Activity

Aromatase inhibitors, clomiphene, cyclofenil, tamoxifen is prohibited only in males.

Masking Agents

1. Masking agents are prohibited. They are products that have the potential to impair the excretion of prohibited substances or to conceal their presence in urine or other samples used in doping control.

2. The presence of a urinary concentration of epitestosterone greater than 200 mg / ml constitutes an anti – doping violation unless there is evidence that it is due to a physiological condition. Isotopic ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) may be used to draw definitive conclusions. If the results of the IRMS are inconclusive, the relevant medical authority shall conduct an investigation before the sample is declared positive.

Long-Term Side Effects of Beta Blockers

Beta blockers are a class of medications that are commonly used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, and other cardiovascular conditions. While beta blockers are generally considered safe and effective for long-term use, there are some potential side effects that can occur over time. Here are some possible long-term side effects of beta blockers:

  1. Fatigue and lethargy: Beta blockers can cause fatigue, lethargy, and a general feeling of sluggishness. This can be particularly noticeable in older adults, who may already have lower energy levels.
  2. Depression and mood changes: Beta blockers can affect the levels of certain hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain, which can lead to mood changes, including depression, anxiety, and irritability.
  3. Sexual dysfunction: Beta blockers can cause sexual dysfunction in both men and women. This can include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and difficulty achieving orgasm.
  4. Respiratory issues: Beta blockers can cause bronchospasm, which is a narrowing of the airways that can make it difficult to breathe. This can be particularly problematic for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.
  5. Weight gain: Beta blockers can cause weight gain in some people, which can be a concern for those who are already overweight or obese.
  6. Insomnia and sleep disturbances: Beta blockers can interfere with sleep by causing insomnia and other sleep disturbances.
  7. Masking of hypoglycemia: Beta blockers can mask the symptoms of hypoglycemia, which is a condition characterized by low blood sugar levels. This can be a concern for people with diabetes, who may not be able to detect when their blood sugar levels are too low.

It’s important to note that not everyone who takes beta blockers will experience these side effects, and some people may experience different or no side effects at all. If you are taking beta blockers and are concerned about potential long-term side effects, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to discuss your options.

How long can you stay on beta blockers?

The length of time that a person can stay on beta blockers depends on their individual health condition and the reason they are taking the medication. In many cases, beta blockers are prescribed for long-term use to help manage conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and heart failure. However, the duration of treatment can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the response to the medication.

For example, people with high blood pressure may need to take beta blockers for many years or even for the rest of their lives to help control their blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other complications. People with heart disease or heart failure may also need to take beta blockers for long periods of time to help improve heart function and prevent further damage to the heart.

In some cases, beta blockers may be prescribed for short-term use to help manage symptoms of anxiety or to prevent migraines. In these cases, the duration of treatment may be shorter, typically ranging from a few weeks to several months.

It’s important to note that while beta blockers are generally considered safe and effective for long-term use, there may be some risks and potential side effects associated with long-term use. It’s important to work closely with a healthcare provider to monitor the effectiveness of the medication and to manage any potential side effects that may arise. If you are concerned about the length of time that you are taking beta blockers, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to discuss your options.

How to discontinue beta blockers?

If you have been taking beta blockers for a long period of time and want to discontinue them, it’s important to do so under the guidance of your doctor or healthcare provider. Stopping beta blockers suddenly can lead to a rebound effect, which can cause a sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure, as well as other potential withdrawal symptoms. Here are some steps that your doctor may recommend to safely discontinue beta blockers:

  1. Gradual tapering: Your doctor may recommend gradually tapering off your beta blockers over a period of several weeks or months, depending on how long you have been taking the medication and the dose you are taking.
  2. Monitoring: Your doctor will likely want to monitor your blood pressure and heart rate closely during the tapering process to ensure that your body is adapting to the changes without any adverse effects.
  3. Switching medications: Depending on your health condition, your doctor may recommend switching to a different medication that can help manage your symptoms without the need for beta blockers.
  4. Lifestyle changes: Your doctor may recommend making lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms, such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and reducing stress.

It’s important to work closely with your doctor or healthcare provider when discontinuing beta blockers to ensure a safe and effective transition. If you experience any symptoms or side effects during the tapering process, be sure to contact your doctor right away.

Why take beta blockers at night?

Taking beta blockers at night may be recommended for some people for a few reasons:

  1. Blood pressure control: Blood pressure tends to be lower during the night when we are asleep. By taking beta blockers at night, when the body is naturally more relaxed, the medication can help control blood pressure levels during this time.
  2. Improved sleep: Beta blockers can cause fatigue and drowsiness as a side effect, which can be beneficial for people who have trouble sleeping. By taking beta blockers at night, some people may find that they sleep better and feel more rested in the morning.
  3. Reduced side effects: Beta blockers can cause certain side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. By taking beta blockers at night, these side effects may be less noticeable since the person is asleep and not engaged in activities that require alertness or energy.

However, it’s important to note that not everyone may benefit from taking beta blockers at night, and the timing of the medication may depend on individual factors such as the specific type of beta blocker, the dosage, and the reason for taking the medication. It’s important to follow the specific instructions provided by your doctor or healthcare provider regarding the timing of your beta blocker medication.

FAQs on Beta Blockers

  1. Q: What are beta blockers?

    A: Beta blockers are a class of medications that are commonly used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and certain heart conditions. They work by blocking the effects of adrenaline on the heart and blood vessels, which can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the workload on the heart.

  2. Q: What are the side effects of beta blockers?

    A: Common side effects of beta blockers include fatigue, dizziness, slowed heart rate, decreased exercise tolerance, and cold hands and feet. Some people may also experience depression, sexual dysfunction, or difficulty sleeping. In rare cases, beta blockers can cause serious side effects such as wheezing, chest pain, or a slow or irregular heartbeat.

  3. Q: Can beta blockers be used for anxiety?

    A: Yes, beta blockers can be used to help manage symptoms of anxiety, particularly in social or performance situations. They work by blocking the physical symptoms of anxiety such as a racing heart or shaking hands. However, beta blockers are not effective for all types of anxiety and should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

  4. Q: How long can someone take beta blockers?

    A: The length of time someone can take beta blockers depends on their individual health condition and response to the medication. Some people may need to take beta blockers for a short period of time, such as a few weeks or months, while others may need to take them long-term to manage a chronic health condition. It’s important to follow the specific instructions provided by your doctor or healthcare provider regarding the duration of beta blocker treatment.

  5. Q: Can beta blockers interact with other medications?

    A: Yes, beta blockers can interact with other medications, including certain blood pressure medications, heart medications, and medications used to treat diabetes. It’s important to inform your doctor or healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you are taking to avoid potential interactions.

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