I often wonder why Sports Broadcasters, Writers and TV Pundits don’t go out into the field and talk with experts in human physiology and function. If they are, it seems like they may need to find some new doctors who understand what peak hormone function is and what PED’s really do. If they did, their stance and opinions would be greatly different. It is thought that PED’s (performance enhancing drung’s) give people an advantage. This advantage is not in the term’s the media often portrays. The advantages are typically in forms of recovery, thus allowing the athlete to perform at a higher level each and every game day.
I will be the first person to tell you that PED’s, in all forms, do not make you a better athlete. They do not allow you to make contact with the 100 mph fastball. They do not allow you to shoot 3 pointers with more accuracy. They do nothing for the hand-eye skills needed for sports. What they do offer is the ability to train a bit harder and recover faster. Athletes, and anyone for that matter, can use PED’s to help them get stronger, feel better and recover faster. (What does almost every start athlete say when getting caught with PEDs? ‘I was trying to recover and get on the field faster.’)
Yes, this could be considered an edge or help create an uneven playing field. I always thought competence and skill were the most important aspects of sports competition and wouldn’t we want to have an absolute even playing field? Why aren’t we trying to eliminate soreness and take recovery time out of the equation? Is there a possible way to improve recovery and standardize it in a way while not offering a massive competitive advantage?
My proposition for all professional sports is to set a baseline of hormonal and nutritional health. Hormone levels via blood and body comp measurements could be used to tract players and make sure people aren’t out of top, peak physiological range of performance. If they are low, they should be allowed to use very low doses of certain supplements, hormones and analogs to boost health and function to help them obtain this peak level of hormone and recovery health.
Taking it one step further, there can even be guidelines set in place for certain levels. For example, 50% or more below the optimal level and they get to use Bio-Identical Hormones until a certain level, and then once that level is reached use only analogs or other metabolites to try and reach peak. These guidelines would also begin to identify what sports and even individual positions are more traumatic to the body.
One thing that is becoming more prevalent in today’s professional sports world is the number of injuries. Injuries go up when players are not recovering well enough. With the high level of intensity of training in professional sports, it takes more than food to recover. It also takes physiologic doses of supplementation to maintain. The use of bio-identical hormones and hormone analogs would offer a way to increase recovery, improve health and if implemented properly, allow for a better sports product and competitive level.
I pose the question: How is it fair to have hormone depleted, under-recovered men and woman competing, at seemingly the highest level, while not at their peak?
I think it isn’t fair and is highly dangerous. If people truly cared for athletes health and the integrity of the game, it is time to get out of the dark ages and come back to reality. We have the information and the know how to set up a peak health and optimal hormone set points. We also have the ability to track and make sure we even the playing field. More information is coming out everyday in support of optimal hormone function leading to better brain health and overall better aging. Why wouldn’t we want that?
This vision is something I think could truly better professional sports. I can admit it may be a bit controversial. Especially for baseball writers, who seem to take a more philosophical/integrity approach versus a physiology and evening out the playing field idea. If we are going to talk about integrity, why wouldn’t we want all players to have the ability to maximize their hormone levels to a standardized point, thus evening out the physiological differences as much as science allows?
My hope is that in my lifetime, professional sports can emerge out of the dark ages and begin to maximize their athletes, improve the entertainment product and allow for a more fair and even playing environment.