MLB Suspensions: Steroid Abuse vs. Testosterone Treatment
Every summer, baseball fans across the country anticipate the MLB All-Star break when the season’s hottest hitters take part in the Homerun Derby. This year, however, some notable names in the game are facing season suspensions, or worse, because of the performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) they are taking, one of which is testosterone.
On the heels of Ryan Braun’s 2013 season suspension, testosterone use has been swirling in the news – how do we know what levels are safe? How does testosterone affect athletic performance? How long does it take for hormones to leave the body? Let’s take a look at the difference between steroid abuse and testosterone treatment:
What Are Safe Levels Of Testosterone?
A young man is at his peak in terms of his body’s testosterone, with normal levels between 800 and 1,000. Ryan Braun, who was 27 at the time when hormone abuse reports were released in 2011, had testosterone at twice the level of the highest test ever taken by the MLB. Braun’s levels in his mid-20s were at least 2,000, which is not only shocking but downright scary.
Decreasing testosterone levels are considered a medical condition. Men should get screened for Low-T if they experience symptoms such as fatigue, decreased muscle mass, increased body fat, low endurance and low stamina.
How Does Testosterone Affect Athletic Performance?
Testosterone increases muscle mass and bone density, and decreases body fat, which definitely enhances performance. For men who may be out of shape or overweight, testosterone replacement therapy can help increase energy levels, which can be a motivating factor in one’s fitness routine. Athletes who abuse testosterone as a performance enhancing drug will experience side effects such as steroid rage, decreased sperm function and a higher incidence of tendon ruptures.
Anybody, regardless of occupation, can receive testosterone replacement therapy if he experiences symptoms of Low-T. MLB recognizes that Low-T is a medical condition that must be treated. If a professional athlete were to seek supplements for Low-T, it’s completely legal. Men who are looking to receive TRT should consult with Board Certified doctors who can prescribe individualized treatment plans.
How Long Does It Take For Hormones To Leave The Body?
Some supplements can leave body fairly quickly – it all depends on how a person’s body receives treatment. Men’s Medical Institute recommends patients who are receiving injections to come in for their shots every two weeks; however, some patients come in every week while others every few weeks. The most convenient treatment application for Low-T is in the form of cream, which can be applied every day. Men who receive this form of treatment will see a natural increase in their testosterone levels.