PE - 1.2.1 - Drugs in sport

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  • are substances that affect the normal physiological and psychological functioning of the body.
  • performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.
  • all have side effects - mental (being addicted) to physical insomnia and high blood pressure

Performance-enhancing drugs:

  • improve a person's performance in training/competition
  • some are socially acceptable (legal) or socially unacceptable (illegal)
  • people take it to recover from injury quickly/train harder/gain advantage etc.

Anabolic steroids:

  • drugs that mimc the male sex hormone testosterone and promote bone and muscle growth.

Beta blockers:

  • drugs that are used to control heart rate and that have a calming and relaxing effect


  • drugs that elevate the rate of bodily urine excretion

Narcotic analgesics:

  • drugs that can be used to reduce the feeling of pain


  • drugs that have an effect on the central nervous system, such as increased mental and/or physical alertness

Human growth hormone (HGH):

  • helps recover from injury quicker


  • a type of peptide hormone that increases the red blood cell count

Recreational drugs:

  • caffeine - tea and coffee
  • nicotine - cigarettes
  • ethanol - alcohol

Smoking and its effect on sports performance:

  • damages cardiovascular system (carbon monoxide)
  • high blood pressure
  • negative effect on aerobic fitness
  • nicotine is the effective drug

Alcohol and its effect on sports performance:

  • calming effect - can improve performance
  • safety risk in motor sports - slows down reactions and impairs judgements
  • dehydrating - more urine produced
  • causes long term liver damage

Different body types, optimum weight and weight related conditions


  • Endomorph (fatness) - sumo wrestlers, discus
  • Ectomorph (thin) - gymnasts
  • Mesomorph (muscularity) - swimmers
  • team sports require a different selection of somatotypes
  • can be changed by changing diet


  • power sports
  • e.g. rugby forwards…


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