John Elliot, Lara Carder, Dave Gates, Whitney K. Buschmann, Tao Wetzel 

Science of Sport: Research Project

February 24, 2003

Androgenic Substances

Human Growth Hormone (Whitney)


Originally available only from cadavers and rhesus monkeys, human growth hormone (hGH) has traditionally been very expensive and only available in short supply.Due to recent advances in genetic engineering, however, the product is now created using recombinant DNA technology.

Human growth hormone has been used to treat pituitary dwarfism in children, before the bones have completely ossified.Growth hormone may also be valuable in the rehabilitation of injured muscle and has been used extensively as an anabolic agent in geriatric patients.In the past, the drug was administered to older individuals with the hope that it would slow aging.Muscle tone was shown to improve, however, side effects arose and the value of the treatment was not confirmed.

The product is also used as a supplement by some power lifters, body builders, and throwers with the intention of increasing muscle mass and strength.Media reports indicate that its use has filtered down to high school students and athletes as well.


Human growth hormone, also called somatotropin (STH), is a polypeptide hormone released from the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland in response to a variety of stimuli including exercise, sleep, stress, and the administration of various drugs and amino acids.

A potent anabolic agent, hGH acts by way of facilitating amino acid transport into cells and increases the rate of protein synthesis.Growth hormone is also involved in the formation of connective tissue in that it initiates the release of another anabolic agent, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which promotes the formation of cartilage.Growth hormone decreases the rate at which cells metabolize carbohydrates, and increases the rate at which they use fats, by stimulating glucose uptake in muscle and fat and mobilizing free fatty acids from adipose tissue.


Supplementation of hGH can run as high as $4000 per month.

What’s the Real Deal?

While exercise is known to increase hGH secretion, resulting in performance benefits, large-scale research has yet to be performed to evaluate the effects of hGH supplementation on athletic performance.Although animal studies suggest that growth hormone stimulates muscle hypertrophy, its effects on muscle strength are unclear.

In addition, the use of growth hormone can have severe consequences, including diabetes.Due to its anabolic effect, the substance can cause cardiomegally (enlarged heart), which can result in increased myocardial oxygen demand.This condition can be exacerbated, and the risk for heart disease increased, with the addition of anabolic steroids to the supplement cocktail, as they cause atherosclerosis.Growth hormone can also lead to irreversible skeletal changes caused by acromegaly, a condition characterized by enlarged bones in the head, face, and hands; myopathy; osteoporosis; arthritis; and heart disease.Growth hormone may promote cancer growth, though there has been no direct evidence.People with acromegaly have a higher risk of cancer, so the relationship is inferred.


Borer, K.T. “Neurohumoral mediation of exercise-induced growth.”Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports, 26 (6) (1994): 741-754.

Brooks, George A., et al., eds.Exercise Physiology: Human Bioenergetics and Its Applications.Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing, 2000.

Jacobsen, B.H. “Effect of amino acid on growth hormone release.”The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 18 (1990): 63-69.

Ronsen, O., Haug, E., Rasmussen, T., Pedersen, B., K., & Bahr, R. “Hormonal response to single vs. repeated bouts of intensive endurance exercise.”Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30 (5) (1998): 1551.

Rushall, B.S. and Grant, G. “HgH, EPO, anabolic steroids, and testosterone in swimming.”Australian Swimming and Fitness, May-June (1998): 42-44.

Shier, David, et al., eds.Hole’s Human Anatomy and Physiology, 8th Edition.USA: McGraw-Hill, 1999.

Prohomones – Androstenediol (4 & 5), Androstenedione (Lara Carder)

The prohormone 4-androstenediol was the first prohormone to reshape the supplement industry in 1997.Since then the creation of 6 types of prohormones have been created.With a new wave or prohormones called 19-Norandro prohormones.The dietary supplement is typically sold in health food stores, but can be purchased on line as well.The International Olympic Committee, the National Football League, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association have banned all androhormones.They can come in forms such as gums, gels, and transdermal patches as well.The suggested dose is between 20-500mg a day and it is suggested that the user begin a cycling regimine with the prohormones.Cycling is four weeks on the prohormone and one week off.The suggested time of dosage is between 1-2 hours before exercise.The general cost of the supplement is between $15-$40 for a 30-day supply.







My focus will mainly be on the prohormone androstenedione.The prohormone 4-androstenedione is a precursor to testosterone.Androstenedione has a very short half-life and is produced by the adrenal glands and the gonads.The enzyme 17b-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase catalyzes the reaction of Androstenedione into testosterone in the liver.Androstenedione can also be converted to Dihydortestosterone (5a-Reductase) and Estradiol (Aromatase).

As the levels of testosterone increase on the blood, the process of building of muscle is increased as well.If I understand correctly the testosterone binds to the muscle through an androgen receptor and this induces muscle building.

Some prohormones are more androgenic than others.It is known that 5-androstenediol is most androgenic because it binds to the androgen receptor sites much longer.Following 5-androstenediol prohormone is 4-androstenediol and then 4-androstenedione in rank.

To this date there is not studies that have indicated that androstenedione has any ergogenic or anabolic effects in normal human subjects.Since it’s recent introduction into the market, and the fact that the AMA has done not many tests because it is not required for herbal supplements not many tests have been done on androstenedione type prohormones.

Results have found that the levels of plasma estrogen rise in humans.Some side effects are common with the raising of plasma estrogen:

Breast development in men

Breast cancer

Increased risk of cardiovascular disease

The elevated serum levels of androstenedione have been linked to pancreatic and prostate cancer.

Some other side effects associated with androgenic-anabolic steroids use for men are:

Kidney and liver damage


Premature baldness


Enlarged Prostate

Reduced Sperm Production

Heightened aggression

The elevated blood levels of testosterone may cause the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland to suppress the body’s natural production of testosterone leading to testicular atrophy.

Some other side effects associated with androgenic-anabolic steroids use for women are:

Disrupted menstrual cycle

Deepened voice

Facial hair growth

Enlarged clitoris



Kidney damage

Liver damage

Since the testesterone can be converted into Dihydortestosterone, excess levels have been associated with:

Increased facial and body hair

Enlarged prostate

Male-pattern baldness

Decreased serum HDL levels


The following references are from the web site:

Longcope C, Kato T, Horton R. Conversion of blood androgens to estrogens in normal adult men and women.J clin invest. 1969;12:2191-201.

Bartsch W, Klein H Schiemann U, Bauer HW, Voigt KD.Enzymes of androgen formation and degradation in the human prostate.Ann N Y Acada Sci 1990;595:53-66

Lewin ML. Gynecomastia: the hypertrophy of the male breast.J Clin Endrocrinol. 1941;1:511-514

Cauley JA, Lucas FL, Kuller LH, Stone K, Browner W, Cummings SR.Elevated serum estradiol and testosterone concentrations are associated with a high risk for breast cancer.Study of osteoporosis Fractures Research Group.AnnIinternal Medicine1999;130:270-7.

Fyssas I, Syrigos KN, Konstandoulakis MM, Papadopoulos S, Milingos N, Anaplitou M, Waxman J, Golematis BC.Sex hormone levels in the serum of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma.Horm Metab Res. 1997;3:115-8

Phillips GB, Pinkernell BH, Jing TY.The association of hyperstrogenemia with coronary thrombosis in men.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1996;16:1383-7

I used and article on Androstack from a health food store called Your Health in University place, WA. was a good source for some of the side effects, and a general idea of what the supplements are.It gave good references for researched articles about rohormones.

Creatine (John B. Elliott)

What is Creatine:

Creatine is a nitrogenous amino acid that occurs naturally.It is produced by the liver and stored in the brain, heart, sperm, and muscle tissue.It is also found in meat and fish.Creatine phospate is the most commonly occurring form of creatine in the human body.The process by which muscles are energized (ATP degrading to ADP) is enhanced by a ready supply of phosphates.Creatine phosphate “gives up” its phosphate quickly to refuel the ATP.This process appears to increase muscles’ capacity for short-term bursts of anaerobic activity.Typically, creatine is a white, odorless and tasteless powder dissolved in water or juice and consumed orally.Usually there is an initial “loading” phase of 10-20g/day for approximately 10 days, followed by a 2-3g/day maintenance dose.It is recommended that after a few months of use, one should take between a week and a month off.


In 1832 a French scientist identified it and named it after the Greek word for “flesh”.It was largely ignored until 1992, when an article in the medical journal Clinical Science described it as enhancing athletic performance.In the same year Olympic sprinter, Michael Johnson, became the first celebrity athlete to acknowledge using it.Since then John Elway and Brady Anderson, of the Baltimore Orioles, have sung its praises as well.It is estimated that more than half the players in the NFL now take creatine supplements.The Los Angeles Lakers are said to keep an open container of creatine in their locker room.


Because creatine, unlike steroids, is defined as a food by the FDA, it is largely unregulated.It was estimated in 1995 that $30 million worth of creatine was sold.By 2000, that figure had increased to $200 million.Also in the year 2000, the Pfanstiehl Pharmaceutical Company, the dominant manufacturer of creatine in the US, caused the US Department of Commerce to place a 150% tax on Chinese imports of creatine, maintaining that China was dumping their product at below cost in the US market.


Creatine is said to increase body weight and muscle mass.These results are apparent in just a few days.It is further said to shorten recovery time between workouts, increase capacity during workouts, and ultimately to improve strength and endurance.

Side Effects:

There is almost no scientific research on the effects of long-term use of creatine supplements.At the dosages listed above, creatine has been associated with loose stools, nausea, and dizziness.Some athletes have been known to consume between 10-20 g/day over a long period of time.At these dosages, it appears that there may be renal complications.The medical community is actively discouraging the consumption of creatine in prepubescent children and pregnant women.


The performance-enhancing supplement industry is celebrating creatine as a natural and safe “steroid.”It is obvious to any user that there are immediate gains in muscle mass and weight.Naysayers attribute this to the increased amount of water retained in muscle tissue as more creatine phosphate is found there.They suggest that most of the gains are lost after one stops taking the supplement.They suggest also that the body will reduce the natural production of creatine to compensate for dietary supplement, and that there’s a 30 day lag between ceasing supplementation and the body’s return to original production levels.

One issue raised in my research was the question of supplement purity.It appears as if the Chinese product is not manufactured to the same standards as that of the US and European manufacturers.Consumers should ask their retailer for information on manufacture and consider avoiding the Chinese product as it is purported to contain some pretty scary impurities.

It appears that from high school to professional sports, more and more athletes seeking increased muscle mass will take creatine.At 2-3g/day, we are not currently aware of dangerous or long-term side effects.Coaches and doctors should warn of possible risks of higher dosages.Long-term studies are much-needed in drawing decisive conclusions about the appropriateness of this supplement.


Arapoff, Jason (1998).“The ‘Powerline’ View on Creatine.”Scholastic Coach and Athletic Director, 68(4), pp12-15

Holstein, Ed.“Creatine Monohydrate from China injures U.S. Industry, Says ITC”.

Juhn, Mark S., DO (1999) “Oral Creatine Supplementation – Separating Fact From Hype”. The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Vol 27 no. 5

Sahelian, Ray, MD (2003) “Creatine Guidelines”.

Nickels, Michael, M.D., Ph.D. “Creatine: Pro and Con.”

Norandro (Dave Gates)

“Nornadro” prohormones are a class of prohormones that are converted to nandrolone (nortestosterone) in the body.


Anabolic steroids could be called variants of testosterone or any substance that causes the increase of testosterone in the body.Testosterone is a type of corticosteroid (a type of steroid hormone).Cholesterol is the raw material for testosterone.Testosterone is produced mainly in the testes.Prohormones are considered anabolic steroids.

Testosterone causes bone growth, increase bone density, increase size and mass of skeletal muscles, boosts basal metabolic rate, causes spermatogenesis, causes hair, chest, and facial hair growth, causes the larynx to enlarge (voice change), and influences behavior (i.e., promotes aggressiveness).Testosterone is the basis of sex drive (libido) in both males and females, be they heterosexual or homosexual.

Research studies have reported increases in isometric strength and a rise in body weight with testosterone supplementation.Testosterone enhances erythropoietin production which is the direct stimulus for erythrocyte (red blood cell) formation.

The fact that prohormone administration increases serum testosterone levels suggests that it could have androgenic (masculinizing) or anabolic (building up) effects.High doses of testosterone increase muscle size and strength in healthy men and women.

“Norandro” prohormone supplements cause an increase in nandrolone (nortestosterone) and no increases in testosterone.


Testosterone and nandrolone are identical except for one methyl group.


Prohormones were first used and developed in 1981 by East Germany.Androstenedione was developed by East German scientists in order to beat the testosterone hormone testing that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was performing at that time.East Germany developed a nasal spray form of androstenedione that was used up to 15 minutes before an event and would give athletes an intense boost during his/her event but often caused wretching and vomitting afterwards.

The prohormone 4-androstenedione hit the shelves in the U.S. in the late ‘90s as a result of illegalization of horomone supplements.Deca-Durabolin and Laurabolin are brand names of nandrolone (nortestosterone) that were recently made illegal without a prescription.“Norandro” prohormones, very recently afterwards, entered the market as a result of nandrolone becoming unavailable as an over-the-counter drug.


There are basically two types of “norandro,” 19-norandrostene-dione and 19-norandrostene-diol.

The "norandro" products are precursors of a compound called nandrolone.Nandrolone is a sex hormone found in certain animals including horses, but is not naturally produced by the human body.When inside the human body it binds to the same receptor site on cells that testosterone binds to, but it remains at this site 3 times longer than testosterone.

Unlike testosterone, nandrolone lacks the number 19 methyl group.This structural difference translates into better binding affinities for skeletal muscle rather than prostate and sex tissues.Use of “norandro” prohormones results in less androgenic side effects (i.e., hair and skin problems).

Prohormones, used along with exercise and a high-protein diet, will increase muscle mass.

According to some sources, most companies list the recommended doses as much less than is required to be effective out of fear that they’ll be sued for side effects (of these sources, those that were for prohormone use, recommend that athletes use much higher quantities than are recommended on the bottle).

The Claims for “Norandro”:

Increases Nandrolone (Nortestosterone) levels
* No conversion to Estrogen or DHT
* Rapid recovery from intense workouts
* Increase muscle mass
* Muscle repair, rebuild and growth
* Stamina
* Increase energy
* Decrease body fat
* Strength
* Virility

Side Effects of Prohormones:

Specifically For Women:  
Prohormones are precursors of male sex hormones and women should at least give the matter careful and informed thought before using them.  Using doses anywhere near what is appropriate for males is likely to lead to some masculinization:  facial and chest hair growth, deepening of the voice, change in skin texture, and breast reduction.  Prohormones can cause menstrual irregularities, impotence, and enlargement of the clitoris. 
                    It is thought that “norandro” type prohormones are safer for women because they convert to nortestosterone rather than testosterone.  Nortestosterone is much less likely than testosterone to have androgenic effects (masculinizing effects). 

Specifically For Men:

Prohormones can cause prostatic hypertrophy, shrinking of the testicles, temporarily reduced sperm count, temporary impotence, baldness, development of breasts, and an enlarged prostate. “Norandro” specifically can produce partial or complete impotence (which is reversed on cessation of use).“Norandro” is less able than “andro” prohormones to be converted to estrogen, so it may be less likely than androstene to lead to gynecomastia (enlargement of the breasts and nipples).19-norandrostene-dione, though, has been reported by some users to interfere with erectile function, and norandrostene-diol may also have this problem.

Especially if a male athlete does not cycle on and off of a prohormone (some sources recommend 6 weeks on with a minimum of 6 weeks off), their body’s natural testosterone production my shut down.Especially with long term, heavy use, prohormones will decrease natural testosterone production.If blood levels of testosterone are kept artificially high by supplements, natural testosterone production will be reduced to compensate.

Teenage boys who use prohormones risk premature bone end closure.

Side Effects that effect Everyone:

1/3 of users of anabolic steroids have serious mental problems:’roid rage, depression, and delusion are common.“’Roid rages" are uncontrollable periods of aggression.Long-term effects of high dosages include liver and kidney malfunction, liver cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and premature cardiovascular disease(prohormones cause changes in blood cholesterol levels).Acne, head aches, and hypertension (high blood pressure) are common side effects of prohormones.

Another problem with steroids is that the muscles may be unnaturally enhanced, but the tendons and ligaments do not receive any of this super-human benefit. These normal ligament and tendons remain too weak to support the newly developed muscles. This can cause injuries that are more severe and take more time to heal.

Some sources indicate that side effects are worse with 19-norandrostene-dione than 19-norandrostene-diol.

Prohormones Are Banned by:

1)most powerlifting organizations

2)the International Olympic Committee (IOC)

3)and many other sports organizations

Why People Choose to use Prohormones:

Prohormones, used along with exercise and a high-protein diet, will increase muscle mass.Athletes that feel a lot of pressure to perform will often do anything they can to get an edge.Further, men with insecurities about their size often choose to do anything they can to get bigger.

Even some sources that are for prohormone use recommend use only to those people who have exhausted all types of safer ways to build muscle mass (i.e., diet and training). 

Sports organizations often ban the use of any types of anabolic steroids (prohormones included) and test athletes for use.But these tests are expensive, there are drugs that people can take in order to mask steroid use, and oral steroids are water based allowing them to be out of an athlete’s system in 10-14 days.So two weeks before a major competition, the athlete can temporarily discontinue the use to avoid detection. 

It is also difficult to test for “norandro” prohormones because eating certain types of meat can cause high levels of chemicals in the urine that are used to identify its use.

Portuguese scientists Jorge Barbosa and Alexandre Jose Galo have proved earlier suspicions raised by investigators at Nantes University, namely that eating pork from non-castrated animals can lead to unacceptably high levels of Nandrolone in the body, leading athletes to fail a doping test.

It is very easy for people to obtain anabolic steroids on the internet.People can obtain prescription anabolic steroids via on-line pharmacies.There are advertisements for the legal prohormone anabolic steroids all over the internet.And it is even easy to obtain illegal steroids through the black market.

Delivery Methods and Cost:

There are many different brands of prohormones.Some companies sell “norandro” by itself but many sell combinations of “andro,” “norandro,” vitamins, amino acids, etc.In two locations I’ve listed a price of a type of “norandro.”

1) Oral (by the mouth)

Brand Name:Norandrodiol tablets ($59.95 for 60 100 mg tablets) or bulk powder

One ingests a capsule or bulk powder and it must first pass through the liver where in excess of 95% of it is broken down.What you are left with is less than 5% of the original prohormone for conversion to nortestosterone. The liver destroys the rest and this can be destructive to the organ. This method will only raise testosterone levels for 2-3 hours and athletes desire elevated testosterone levels 24 hours per day.For many, this route requires extremely large doses.

2) Sublingual (under the tongue)

Brand Name:Norcyclodiol tablets (typically 25 mg) or bulk powder.

The sublingual method is much more effective then the oral. One places a tablet or bulk powder under the tongue and allows it to slowly dissolve through the mucous membranes in the mouth.Some of it will be absorbed directly into the bloodstream thereby eliminating the first liver pass that destroys most of the oral form.Since the mucous membranes are limited, much of it will not absorb and will be swallowed and broken down by the liver anyway but the end result is that more prohormone gets through for conversion to nortestosterone.Again, this route only raises nortestosterone levels for 2-3 hours.

3) Nasal Spray

The FDA has ruled this method of delivery unsafe, and it is therefore not for sale in the U.S.However, it is easy for athletes to make their own “norandro” prohormone nasal spray.The internet contains step by step instructions on how to do this.More than half of a “norandro” prohormone will be absorbed into the blood stream through the mucous membranes.This method yields approximately twice the absorption of the sublingual version.Many users spray 14-21 mg into each nostril every 2-3 hours.

Brand names that can be converted to a nasal spray:Norcyclodiol bulk powder (made by Ergo phram)

4) Transdermal (through the skin—topical body sprays)

Brand Names:made by Ergopharm ($39.95 for 120 cc) and Biotest

This is the newest delivery method.The spray is a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and a 19-norandrostene-diol.It absorbs through the skin and sustains a steady release of prohormone for up to 12 hours. 

Who Should Use Them?

Nandrolone is approved by the FDA for the treatment of anemia due to renal insufficiency, but many doctors use it off label for AIDS patients.It is also used for male birth control patients (in Australia and elsewhere right now).

Drugs that will increase testosterone are used for testicular cancer patients, sometimes transgender patients, male birth control patients, male or female patients who complain of a low libido, and anyone who might legitimately need testosterone replacement therapy.

How much Money do prohormones make each year in the U.S.?

The black market for steroids in the U.S. is estimated to bring in 100 to 400 million dollars annually.I could not find out how much prohormones net annually, but they have tapped into a 100 – 400 million dollar market and made it larger by appealing to people who aren’t as skeptical about something that is legal and often labeled “natural.”

Bibliography:, Hard Bodies Discount Supplements, “All About Prohormones” by Ed Sturm., “Prohormones of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids” by Bill Robers., “Steroids: The Gamble Of A Lifetime” by Dan Delorenzo.

Marieb, Elaine N.Human Anatomy and Physiology,Fifth Edition.Benjamin Cummings, 1999., “Drugs in Sports:Peptide Hormones and Analogues” by The National Center for Drug Free Sport, Inc., “The Most Powerful ‘Deca Durabolin’ Alternative Available!” by the Anabolics Mall.

Ephedrine (Tao Wetzel)

Ephedrine is an alkaloid that is found today in many dietary supplements used for athletic performance enhancements and weight loss. Ephedrine alkaloids are derived from the ephedra plant that has the scientific name Ephedra sinica. These alkaloids are naturally occurring stimulants that include ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, norpseudoephedrine, norephedrine, methylephedrine, and methylpseudoephedrine1. The ephedra plant grows in desert areas in all parts of the world. One of the first uses of the leafless ephedra bush was in China, when 1,000 of years ago the stems were brewed into tea and was used as a stimulant to treat hay fever and breathing difficulties[1]. A relative species of ephedra was later found in southwest America by pioneers and by 1924 American and Chinese-American scientists conducted clinical tests at Peking Union Medical College on the active ingredient in ephedra. This ingredient was an alkaloid earlier named ephedrine and it was found to increases the heart rate and increases oxygen flow. In response to these findings it was introduced into the medical world as a treatment for asthma and as a heart stimulant in heart stoppage. It is also used in many nasal decongestants because it increases oxygen flow and eases breathing by alleviating bronchial muscle spasms[2].

Numerous products now use ephedrine though as a cardiovascular stimulant to enhance athletic performance or promote weight loss. Dietary supplements using ephedrine alkaloids have turned into a billion-dollar industry with increasing use throughout the United States. Some of the brand name products that contain ephedrine are Easy Trim, Advocare, Metabolite, Metab-Rx Ultar, Epitonin, Chinese Ephedra, Metabolife 356, and Ripped Fuel[3]. There has been much concern for commercial usage of supplements that contain ephedrine alkaloids though because of its side effects and possibility of death.These include rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, severe headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, loss of consciousness, sleeplessness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea3. Adverse cardiovascular events, such as hypertension, stroke, myocardial infraction, and lethal arrhythmia may also result if taken in large doses or if heart conditions are not know prior to the supplements use1. In response to this, ephedrine has been banned from the National Collegiate Athletic Association, International Olympic Committee, and the National Football League.

The Food and Drug Administration has been studying the issues surrounding the use of ephedrine but their power to enforce regulations on the drug is almost non existent. In 1994 the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act made the manufacturer responsible for making a safe dietary supplement before it is marketed. This act insisted that the manufacturers label the product information accurately but did not need to get FDA approval before making it available to the public1. In response to this the FDA put together a special group to evaluate the potential hazard of ephedrine usage. The group gave the FDA their suggestions and in June of 2000 the FDA proposed to1:

1)Limit the dose of ephedrine to 8 mg per 6-hour period or a total of 24 mg in one day.

2)State in the labels that the product should not be used for more than 7 days.

3)Prohibit the combining of ephedrine with ingredients such as caffeine or other known stimulants.

4)Prohibit inaccurate labeling and require a warning label.

The General Accounting Office questioned the FDA’s legitimacy and as a result of the criticism the only provision the FDA instilled was the use of other ingredients with stimulants in combination with ephedrine.

Physicians have been slow to publicize adverse events associated with ephedrine because of the lack of certain knowledge of the side effects and the fear of litigation from the manufacturer1. The industry has fallen into a position of not having stringent regulations and when questioned about the safety of their products scientific proof is argued. This is very similar to the way tobacco companies argued their cases and we all know how devastating smoking has become.

My recommendation is that this product should not be consumed to enhance athletic performance and as a weight loss supplement until more is know regarding dose limits and side effects. It seems that there are safer alternatives to increase energy and to loose weight. Both can be achieved by consistent exercise and balancing diets so that proper portions of vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, and proteins increase energy and maintain body fat at acceptable levels. The use of a stimulant like ephedrine is a quick fix to a problem that takes hard work and detection to achieve naturally. Our society has developed a growing trend of body image and not having to do the hard work to achieve goals instead opting for the easy solutions or in this case a “miracle drug” to attain quick results. Ephedrine may also lead to the usage of illicit drugs such as anabolic steroids opening up other dangers and dependency issues5. In conclusion, I recommend not using ephedrine because it is a dangerous synthetic quick fix to an issue that can and should be dealt with naturally with detection to diet and exercise.

Weil, A., & Rosen, W. (1983). From Chocolate to Morphine. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

[2] Kidd, J. S., & Kidd, R. A. (1998). Mother Nature’s Pharmacy. New York: Facts On File, Inc.
[3] January 28, 2003. Ephedrine Legal Advice Website.
5 Kanayama, G.; Gruber, A.; Pope, H.; Borowiecki, J.; Hudson, J. (2001, May-June). Over-the-counter drug use in gymnasiums: An underrecognized substance abuse problem? Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, pp. 137-207.