Stims make bodybuilders and powerlifters with a traumatic past feel miserable
Most bodybuilders and powerlifters feel fine when they use stimulants to train more intensively or lose fat, but there is a group that doesn't respond well to stims. Researchers from the University of New Mexico reported this in Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly. Athletes who have experienced traumatic events, or who have been diagnosed with anxiety and mood disorders, do not respond well to these drugs.
The researchers asked 300 bodybuilders and powerlifters if they were currently using anabolics or TEDs. TEDs are thermogenic ergogenic drugs, which are supposed to intensify training and accelerate fat loss. Examples of thermogenic ergogenic drugs are clenbuterol, ephedra & ephedrine, synephrine, thyroid hormone, yohimbine and caffeine.
In addition, the researchers asked the study participants how they felt. They used standardized questionnaires such as the Profile of Mood States [POMS] and the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire [ATQ].
Anabolics had no impact on the state of mind of the bodybuilders and powerlifters, neither did stimulants - at first sight. But when the researchers took into account the background of the participants, the stimulants did have an effect.
The bodybuilders and powerlifters with a traumatic past, and participants that been diagnosed with anxiety and mood disorders, felt more confused and more tense and anxious when they used stimulants. Moreover, they had more trouble with their inner critic - you know, the mean introject that whispers that you don't not represent anything, and that you are doing everything wrong [lower score on Positive Automatic Thoughts].
"Our results suggest that thermogenic ergogenic drug use combined with prior emotion regulation difficulties may underlie the mood impairments associated with heavy polypharmacy", the researchers summarize.
"Body image is likely intertwined with these factors, and longitudinal research with this population will help disentangle the directions of these associations as well as identify long-term clinical implications."
"Appearance and performance enhancing drug users with a history of mood, trauma, or anxiety disorders who are using thermogenic ergogenic drugs as part of their body-altering regimen appear to be at particular risk for negative outcomes and may especially benefit from clinical interventions."
Alcohol Treat Q. 2015;33(4):444-57.
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