Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ergogenic Aids, What Are They?

An ergogenic aid is any substance, food, chemical, equipment, or training methodology that helps the body work harder, including restorative methods, or perform better.

There are 5 ways to go about improving performance:
1. Pharmacological
        such as anabolic steroids, HGH, amphetamines
2. Mechanical
        such as improving materials for safety improvement like lighter equipment, competition suits, and gloves for ball games; also physical techniques that improve performance such as dunking in basketball and shot put techniques
3. Psychological
       such as visualization and motivational speeches that can help performance
4. Physiological
      such as attitude running, achieving a low percentage of body fat
      increased muscle mass which leads to increased force, which can allow a person to work harder
5. Nutritional
      such as dietary aids, not including eating disorders

These are ways that people can improve their own performance, in either direct or indirect ways. Yet these ways are also very controversial and there are many arguments against using such aids in sports. Some of these arguments include:
~these changes being unnatural, since it changes the athlete itself
~these changes being an unfair advantage meaning it threatens equality or concept of fair play, this objection is more towards the way in which the athlete gained the advantage, making it a form of cheating
~these changes can also threaten the safety and threaten to harm the athlete, especially if something goes wrong
~there are also ideas concerning paternalism, which is viewed by many as a restriction on human liberty, it's more of a worry that people had been coerced into something they didn't want to do
~there are also the thought of violation of ideals and norms and the ethics of competition as well as a possible violation of human rights, meaning again that possible people didn't have the right to change how they were born
~advantage over sports, meaning the notion of sport as a measure of human performance is violated, sort of like creating your own luck

The difficulty is drawing the line of where things become controversial verses being alright and acceptable.

I should say that this post is actually part of my notes for a class I'm taking, called Sport Ethics in Society. I have my final in that class tomorrow afternoon, and for me it's easier to understand things if I go over it out loud or explain it to someone, so that's kinda what I'm doing right now. Thanks for reading! Don't take offense if there is any way for you too with this post, I do apologize if so!

Sara :)

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