What are steroids?

Steroids, or to be more precise anabolic–androgenic steroids, are synthetic derivatives of the male hormone testosterone. They are classified as controlled substances under the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990. You should take note that steroids are not illegal substances, but are classified as ‘controlled’, this means that you only need prescription to evade fines and jail time.

What are the uses of steroids?

As mentioned above, you need prescription to be considered as legitimate user of steroid products. This means that these drugs do afford valid medicinal benefits to individuals suffering from myriad health conditions. These conditions include some forms of anemia, some breast cancers, osteoporosis, endometriosis, and hereditary angiodema, a swelling disorder.

Steroids, however, gain popularity (or notoriety, depending on whose point of view) because of their non-medical uses. The so-called recreational users opt for steroids to build muscle, enhance performance, and improve appearance and self-esteem.

Who are the typical users of steroids?

• Power/strength athletes like those in bodybuilding, weightlifting, and football
• Athletes engage in endurance sports like swimming, running, and cycling
• Celebrities (actors, models, singers) who like to improve their body image
• Teenagers who want a rapid onset of puberty and maturation and/or improve their physical appearance
• People who are into physically-demanding occupations such as law enforcement, firefighting, bouncers, and military personnel

Do steroids enhance work or athletic performance?

One of the most contentious issues of steroid use is if these compounds really enhance athletic or work performance.
Steroids do indeed increase muscle mass and strength as well as promote endurance in users; however, they do not affect other factors that are also requisites in a winning performance. These factors include agility, athletic skill or talent as well as cardiovascular capacity.

This only shows that, at the end of the day, it all boils down to the innate ability of the athlete.