''Brain Doping'' Is Common In Amateur Sport

Jul 11, 2013
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http://www.evolutionary.org/brain-doping-is-common-in-amateur-sport/

Researchers in Germany have found that 15 percent of recreational triathletes admitted to brain doping in which they make use of prescription medicines that increase attention. It was revealed by the study that taking substances to enhance the brain is a concept more popular among amateur athletes than taking drugs to boost the body.

The research, published in the journal Plos One, suggested that brain doping is more popular as many of the substances are not banned. It also revealed that 13 percent of competitors reported using physical enhancers such as anabolic steroids or human growth hormone.

It is believed by the researchers that many so-called ?smart drugs? are widely being used for improving mental functions outside the patients groups they have been designed to help. The researchers also expressed concerns that competitors may be using these substances in a variety of sports to gain a distinctive edge.

In the study, participants were asked whether they had made use of physical or brain-enhancing substances in the past 12 months. It was disclosed that 13 percent overall remarked they had taken drugs like EPO, anabolic steroids, or growth hormones. On the other hand, 15.1 percent of those interviewed said they used products including amphetamines, or medicines like Modafinil or Methylphenidate. The research also suggested that more men than women admitted to both types of doping.

Two popular ?smart drugs? include Modafinil, a medicine that is used for treating the sleep disorder narcolepsy. It is used by some athletes to stay awake and improve alertness and the ability to concentrate. Methylphenidate, known as Ritalin and Concerta, is another drug used as a psychostimulant to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but prescriptions for these drugs have increased by 50 percent in the six years from 2007.

Up to 8 percent of major league players in baseball have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and prescribed medications. It is believed that this is due to brain doping in action as these substances have the potential of improving baseball players? concentration. Prof Perikles Simon, from the University of Mainz, one of the authors, remarked we were not too surprised at the extent of cognitive doping and added he thinks it is quite realistic and it goes hand-in-hand with the prevalence rates that have been found in the US at the college level. It is believed by scientists that there is a spectrum of substance use that can include legal enhancements such as nutritional supplements and they also believe that athletes who demonstrate a general propensity to enhance can end up taking illegal and dangerous materials.

Prof Simon added there is some searching for additional help, we found a strong connection between those taking legal cognitive enhancers and those taking illicit ones and there seems to be a certain proportion of our society that is willing to take a bit more of a risk to gain an advantage. The researchers warn that abusing brain doping substances regardless of the enhancement can have damaging impacts in the long run.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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It's becoming more common for anyone that can benefit from maintaining incredible focus and mental acuity, such as students studying, taking exams, anyone taking a mental aptitude test and people working on high pressure projects in consulting and finance.

I'm very tempted myself to try Adderall for such purposes. And it's not even cheating in most of those situations.
 
SeriousSam said:
It's becoming more common for anyone that can benefit from maintaining incredible focus and mental acuity, such as students studying, taking exams, anyone taking a mental aptitude test and people working on high pressure projects in consulting and finance.

I'm very tempted myself to try Adderall for such purposes. And it's not even cheating in most of those situations.
According to this http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/21/adderall-may-not-make-you-smarter-but-it-makes-you-think-you-are/ you may be the only one who thinks it improves your performance.

I hadn't heard of this form of drug-related manipulation for normal healthy people but I see this report dates from 2010 so I suppose it must be rife by now. It's not made any news in the UK, or I have just missed it until now.
 
Apr 14, 2010
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As someone who has legitimate ADD and doesn't take adderall because of the ridiculous side effects I'd warn anyone to seriously consider before taking it.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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wrinklyvet said:
According to this http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/21/adderall-may-not-make-you-smarter-but-it-makes-you-think-you-are/ you may be the only one who thinks it improves your performance.

I hadn't heard of this form of drug-related manipulation for normal healthy people but I see this report dates from 2010 so I suppose it must be rife by now. It's not made any news in the UK, or I have just missed it until now.
There's evidence it improves concentration and focus. If you at all struggle with maintaining intense concentration for long periods at a time, it improves performance. Of course it doesn't make you smarter. If the reason you can't reason solve a cognitive problem has nothing to do with lack of focus, you will remain incapable of solving it on any meds.
 
SeriousSam said:
There's evidence it improves concentration and focus. If you at all struggle with maintaining intense concentration for long periods at a time, it improves performance. Of course it doesn't make you smarter. If the reason you can't reason solve a cognitive problem has nothing to do with lack of focus, you will remain incapable of solving it on any meds.
I know it doesn't logically follow that if you have no such problem you shouldn't be taking it, but that's my view and I see it is supported by therhodeo's knowledgeable post.
 
Jun 3, 2011
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Mikaela Shiffren's appearance after winning the gold medal in slalom at the World Championships a couple of weeks ago made me wonder at the time if she were on Adderall or something.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDiN8gSgRRk

She's a 19yr old girl whose just won the BIGGEST event in her discipline on this season's World Cup. And that's it? :confused:
She should be shrieking, grinning from ear to ear, and doing cartwheels - Oh, wait that's Tina Maze.

Her past reactions to BIG wins have been far more dramatic.
The press quizzed her afterwards too and she had some mild evasion. Weird.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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therhodeo said:
As someone who has legitimate ADD and doesn't take adderall because of the ridiculous side effects I'd warn anyone to seriously consider before taking it.
I take adderall for ADD/post-concussion disorder, and am fortunate not to suffer side effects that are worse than the problem(s) addressed by the medicine. I would warn anyone considering taking it for sports performance enhancement that it is really stupid to start taking speed if it is being used to address a non-functionally relevant deficit. "I can't focus after 4 hours on the bike" is not ADD/ADHD.

One reason this expanded non-therapeutic use is stupid is because demand for brain doping drugs has driven up the price obscenely for people who are prescribed these drugs to help with basic functioning. In the past couple of years my daughter's Concerta has more than doubled to over $200/month.
 
Feb 24, 2015
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These are very common and come in two forms ampa-kine (without the hyphen but the word editor doesn't like it without) type drugs which are used to wake up brain function and aid concentration in certain areas - these were mainly designed for those who have insomnia but still need to function and have been abused by others including snooker and darts players for a number of years - these date back to the early 2000's
the other type are sleep removers or Eugeroics, which allow someone to behave as normal on 1 or 2 hours sleep in a day
these have been used by the military and by ultra endurance athletes as well for a long time

These have both been in the papers and the news over the years and if I remember correctly there was a panorama and a louis theroux programme on the eugeroics such as modafinil a few years ago.

This is nothing new in business either - I know of plenty of M&A types who have used these to get through the week or so of sleep deprivation as a big deal draws to a close. Dam sight safer than speedballing for 4 days or using cocaine to stay awake.
 
Nov 14, 2013
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King Boonen said:
I have to question the material in the original post. In order to brain dope triathletes would first require a brain.
Exactly, most tri athletes I meet are as smart as a box of rocks, if they are doping to get to this level then god help them
 
Apr 3, 2011
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What are the usual symptoms when overdosing your favourite focusing drug? Stem hypnotizing? Forgetting to change the gear and looking ridiculous doing 200rpm seated attack on Ventoux?
 
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