Monday, July 14, 2014

Can Viagra help athletes?

Athletes looking for a lift are turning to a little blue pill that has helped millions of men suffering from erectile dysfunction. The pill is Viagra and it can supposedly improve athletic performance.  Although none of this has been proven, a few studies support this notion.
While sports authorities have no idea how many are taking Viagra, it clearly has a following among athletes. Stashes of the drug have been found among some professional athletes. Even the World Anti-Doping Agency has gotten into the act. It is studying Viagra's effects on athletes.
Preliminary studies have shown that cyclists taking Viagra improved their performances by up to 40 percent. The drug brings more oxygen to the muscles which supposedly gives the user more energy and creates a better athlete, according to Dr. Andrew McCullough, a sexual health expert at New York University School of Medicine.
McCullough said those who will benefit from the drug include runners, cyclists or skiers. In these sports, endurance and speed are keys to winning. Bodybuilders, weightlifters and other athletes are also using Viagra since it helps dilate blood vessels and brings oxygen, nutrients and steroids to various muscles more efficiently.
However, other researchers aren’t convinced. They say that Viagra only works in sick people. For example, in people with lung problems who take Viagra, the drug widens their blood vessels so they can get more oxygen. But this effect is unlikely to happen in healthy athletes with normal-sized vessels.
"Viagra corrects problems in people who are in a challenged or diseased state," revealed Ian McGrath, a professor of physiology at the University of Glasgow. However, in normal people, McGrath said the body's own regulating system is not so easily affected by drugs and taking Viagra may be useless.