Is Sildenafil A Performance Enhancing Drug

Athletes may consider using Sildenafil drugs to enhance their sports performance. This drug is responsible for causing vasodilation with its effects. It can increase the flow of blood to certain parts of the body, mainly in the penile and lungs. These drugs are primarily used for the treatment of sexual disorders like erectile dysfunction (ED). Healthcare professionals also prescribe these drugs for treating the symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).  

This drug has the ability to increase the blood circulation to certain body parts. Athletes perform intense aerobic activities, which require a constant and persistent circulation of blood in their bodies. The more the blood flow, the better will be the supply of oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. This is why, they might consider using Sildenafil drugs for having a good performance.

Effects of Sildenafil on athletes  

To perform optimally in sports activities, a person must have a healthy blood flow happening in their body. The effects of sildenafil can boost the blood circulation in the body. Sildenafil is classified under a group of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors chemicals, as per pharmaceutical classification.

PDE5 inhibitor chemicals like sildenafil suppress the action of an enzyme known as PDE5. This enzyme narrows the blood vessels, turns them hard, and restricts the flow of blood through them. This deprives the body parts of adequate oxygen and nutrients due to a lack of blood supply to the region.

Sildenafil, being a PDE5 inhibitor, triggers the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which is a potent vasodilator. Nitric oxide (NO) expands the blood vessels, relaxes, and dilates them to allow more blood supply inside. The supply of oxygen and nutrients happens due to the dilation of the blood vessels, which can be attributed to sildenafil.  

Moreover, athletes tend to need a consistent supply of oxygen in their bodies, the effects of sildenafil can boost their blood circulation, and, in this way, they get adequate oxygen. Also, some sports activities have to be performed at high altitudes, where the level of oxygen in the atmosphere is very low. This can give rise to some symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, and chest pain. Low oxygen can make it extremely difficult for them to perform any sport. That is when sildenafil drug can be beneficial.    

Is Sildenafil safe for athletes?

According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, Sildenafil can be helpful for athletes performing sports in high-altitude regions. Being physically active in such oxygen oxygen-deprived atmosphere can make it difficult to perform aerobic activities and sports for longer durations. Sildenafil can boost blood circulation and make it easier for them to continue playing the sport for a longer time.

Most importantly, it is necessary to become aware of the side effects of sildenafil. This drug can produce some mild effects such as headache, lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, fainting, blurred vision, diarrhea, flushing, upset stomach, etc. Besides, it can also lead to serious side effects in some people. Therefore, before using sildenafil to enhance your performance in high-altitude regions or high elevations, you need to consult your healthcare provider, otherwise, the side effects can affect your performance by adversely affecting your health.     

Final word

Sildenafil is a Vasodilator drug, which expands the blood vessels to accommodate more blood flow and circulate the blood throughout the body. Various studies have concluded that these drugs can be helpful in eliminating the difficulties of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) experienced by individuals who play sports extensively in high-elevation and high-altitude regions.  

Alongside, the effects of this drug can also increase their exercise capacity. Thus, sildenafil can offer aerobic advantage to sportsmen and boost their performance in sports activities. However, it is necessary to ask the healthcare provider before using these drugs, as the effects of them might not be the same in every individual, as some may experience performance enhancements while some might fail to perform their best due to the side effects of the drug.

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