Every kickboxer knows that this modern combat sport requires high levels of fitness. Whether you are an elite-level kickboxer or an amateur, you need to develop a high proportion of mesomorphy. A kickboxer’s body needs to have a low body fat percentage and developed muscles. High power and high anaerobic resistance are also crucial requirements of this sport.
Kickboxing places huge demands on the body and mind of the athlete. Sometimes, kickboxers buckle under the pressure and resort to performance-enhancing drugs. As a kickboxer, it is important to understand the impact of substances on performance, overall health, and life.
Performance-Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) in Kickboxing
WADA (World Anti-Doping Authority) has banned nearly 192 performance-enhancing substances. New substances and methods of testing are always being developed. The most common performance-enhancing substances in kickboxing belong to the category of stimulants and anabolic steroids. Kickboxers might also use beta-2 agonists, hormone and metabolic modulators, diuretics, and blood doping.
Kickboxers try anabolic steroids to build muscles and boost strength. Due to anabolic steroids, kickboxers can undergo more intense training, and bounce back quickly. Anabolic-androgenic steroids mimic the work of the hormone testosterone.
Stimulants also help kickboxers train for longer periods. Users can avoid fatigue and hunger with stimulants. Kickboxers may also use stimulants to increase their alertness and aggressiveness.
Performance-enhancing drugs do have short-term positive effects on performance and physical attributes. Mainly kickboxers may use PEDs to increase strength, endurance, and speed.
The Real Cost of Enhanced Performance
Although performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) might live up to their name and bring in accolades in the short term, users might suffer several negative consequences in the long run.
Health consequences and potential risks:
Health consequences of performance-enhancing drugs differ based on the drugs taken and the frequency of usage. However, possible short-term and long-term effects of the most commonly used drugs are listed below:
- Inability to concentrate
- Low appetite
- Extreme aggression, violence, and injuries due to conflicts
- Organ damage
- Heart attacks
- Psychiatric problems
Certain substances can lead to irreversible damage to the mind and body. Use of some substances without caution can cause sudden cardiac death.
Risks to Career
Enhancing performance with substances is akin to cheating. Kickboxers that use PEDs expose themselves to the risk of penalties and other consequences. Doping violations can lead to disqualification of the kickboxer, loss of medals and accreditation, target testing, suspensions, and bans. The career harm might push a kickboxer to substance dependency. It could also potentially lead to financial issues. Because of the damage to the career and reputation, the family and social life of the user may also suffer. Kickboxers with a substance abuse disorder might benefit from the services of a drug abuse rehab facility.
Anti-doping regulatory measures and policies were put in place to ensure fair competition. Artificially enhancing performance with substances is a violation of the spirit of sport. Sports are meant to test the natural limits and effects of the honest hard work of athletes. Successful athletes, including kickboxers, serve as role models to the youth. When doping scandals come to the fore, youngsters may either be disappointed in their role models or venture onto a similar path themselves.
Training and nutrition are better alternatives to PEDs. For performance improvement, Kickboxers should opt for natural methods. With proper training, appropriate nutritional strategies, and adequate rest and recovery periods, kickboxers can achieve their goals, scale greater heights and bask in the feeling of unaided accomplishment. Kickboxing itself is such an enjoyable and dynamic workout, that proper practice can serve as an aid to recovery from substance addiction. Kickboxers must also carefully check their medications and health supplements for banned substances.
Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) might have short-term benefits, but there is a greater long-term cost involved. Doping can damage the health, reputation, career, and social life of an athlete. Kickboxing is a celebration of the strength of the body and mind. As a kickboxer, it is important to focus on fair play and maintain the integrity of the sport.