"There are several swim stamina tests used for laboratory rats - in fact most of the testing done for adaptogens is done on rats - they are cheap and don't have any rights." 


The media have been having a great time lately with various football codes and the utter stupidity of officials' roles in the administration of supposedly performance enhancing molecules, and latterly also of cycling's equivalent thereto. The utter stupidity is amplified by the fact that there is plenty of science to show that legal performance enhancement is at hand through adaptogenic herbal medicines; refer to Research/News 27/6/13, (and I can supply copies to newbies upon request).

performance enhancement herbal


However, before we get into that, consider the following. We must first ask ourselves just how serious are footballers, et al, about their sport? If we look to athletes such as Sally Pearson and others, particularly the elite athletes from the AIS who train on the coast and regularly present to my clinic, what we see in taking down their patient histories are athletes who are in bed early, up early, eat well and drink very little or no alcohol at all. They lead intelligent, well balanced lives in keeping with the pride they have in their approach to their profession.  


Professional footballers, in contrast, just do not behave as professionals. 


If you are serious about performance enhancement, you drink very little or no alcohol at all for starters. Alcohol has no beneficial effects at all whether you are well, unwell, recovering, or want peak performance. None! It flattens your adrenal glands, causes connective tissue failure - hence more injuries - predisposes to infection, and so forth. It has very little or no place at all in the life of any professional athlete.


Allied to that has to be good nutrition, and most athletes, aside from footballers, are pretty good except that they drink sport drinks, and sometimes energy drinks, all of which are absolute rubbish, and many of them are doing a great disservice to themselves in consuming and endorsing these stupid drinks! 

todd carney pissing in mouth

Beyond all of this, they are all missing out by not taking medicines, and this is largely because WADA are completely ignorant in telling them not to do so. It is quite true that herbal medicines have been laced with contaminants, but this is very easy to spot - Mediherb do it all the time. They were not practitioner medicines the athletes were using. I will repeat it until you all hate me - don't take retail medicines or supplements. When the medicine is analysed, the contaminant is apparent - retail ones aren't analysed. So, yet again, it is a problem associated with taking commercial and internet medicines. Choice magazine has found instances of protein powders laced with synthetic steroids not to be uncommon! 


I remember on one occasion a practitioner giving me a medicine she had imported from China and thought was suspicious, to be analysed in the Mediherb lab; sure enough it was laced with a potent drug.  


Incidentally, one of the favourite tricks of retail medicine suppliers is to launch a new medicine in a high quality format, and as soon as their sales have peaked, lower the quality of the constituent medicines or change the formula without notifying the buyer. This practice is universal.


Now... I had two patients running in a Marathon this year, and they were both very happy with their results. Both were on adaptogens and reported better recovery times in training and after the race, and both did very much better than their goal times. 


There are various tests used in determining the worth of  adaptogens, and so I'll briefly go into these. There are several swim stamina tests used for laboratory rats - in fact most of the testing done for adaptogens is done on rats - they are cheap and don't have any rights. One involves placing rats on a mote surrounded island, and slowly lowering the island into the water. The rats then have to swim to the edge, and the number of times they can repeat this before tiring is monitored, as is usual, in both the test and control groups. Another is what's called a brightness discrimination test, wherein rats eyesight is monitored to determine changes in light intensity as an index to improved reflex times. Still another is how quickly rats can learn to navigate a maze, and of course all of these tests are done with both test and control groups.


The athletes who come to us and are taking adaptogens are all happy with their progress, and largely keep to themselves the fact that they are taking these medicines. Their coaches are neanderthalic and utterly ignorant and unreceptive of the information of the benefits to be derived - much wiser to spend dollars from an infinite supply, employ a physiologist and simply 'shoot em up' with precursory molecules! The fact that Essendon did this in concert with the use of is utterly ridiculous - anyone who knows anything about the physiology of Tribulus would find if laughable. Indeed, I laughed out loud when I heard it on the news. 


Seriously, until all of this type of athlete, and coach and club, demonstrates to their supporters that they are indeed professional and serious about their approach to sport, why should we be supporting them?  Furthermore, why should all the serious and honest ones have to secretly consult us and hide from their coaches and colleagues what they are doing?


It's all a bit silly really, especially with all the science available to them concerning the use of adaptogens.