The Use of Diuretics in Sport

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The use of Diuretics in sport.


Diuretics are substances that increase the production of urine and excretion of sodium. As a result this alters both the volume and content of body fluids(Jackson, 2006). This highly desirable quality means that the use of diuretics are abused by athletes for the benefit of both rapid water loss (to meet weight categories) and in order to mask the presence of banned substances. The competitive nature of humans means that since sporting events and competitions began, the desire to gain a competitive advantage has always been a huge factor. Nowadays in this ’commercial’ sporting world, with massive lucrative lifestyles, and the related lust for sporting success, sports men and women have resulted in countless methods to achieve a competitive edge. With an ever-growing development in medicines and chemistry, such attempts include the use of performance-enhancing drugs. This is unfortunately has become the scourge of modern sport, and their use to gain advantages in competition is on the increase. (Barroso et al., 2008).

Although abuse of diuretics occurs in sport, diuretics were initially developed to treat many conditions in medicine. Traditionally their medicinal purposes include the treatment of many disorders and illnesses, for example hypertension (high blood pressure), heart failure, and renal failure. Diuretics can also be used for the general reduction of the adverse effects that come with salt or water retention (Jackson, 2006). There are numerous categories of diuretics, each with a different function. These include Thiazides, used to treat hypertention and edema (e.g. benzthiazide), Loop Diuretics, which act on the loop of henle in the kidney and are associated with heat...

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...he abuse of diuretics as performance-enhancing drugs and masking agents in sport doping: pharmacology, toxicology and analysis. British Journal of Pharmacology. 161 (1), 1-16.

Dr Kare, Birkerland, I Hammersbach, P. . (July 1999). The future of doping control in athletes . Sports medicine . 28 (1), 25-33.




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