Human beings are competitive in nature and sometimes they go to great lengths to succeed. Just like corporate employees are always searching and developing new strategies to improve their performance and thus climb or stay at the top of the corporate ladder, bodybuilders and athletes are also always in search of ways to improve their athletic performance.
One of the best-known substances used by bodybuilders to make their training process more efficient and achieve better results is sildenafil. Originally, sildenafil was developed in the 1990s as a medication to deal with pulmonary hypertension.
However, during clinical trials almost all male participants reported one particular side effect: the drug induced firmer erections. This side effect has actually changed the future of sildenafil and nowadays the substance is perhaps the most common ingredient used in drugs treating erectile dysfunction. For example, Viagra is the most famous sildenafil-based drug that has become a lifesaver (at least when it comes to sex life) for so many men. In fact, sildenafil is the main active ingredient of many so-called ED drugs such as Suhagra and Silagra that are commonly referred to as generic Viagra.
With time, professional athletes and bodybuilders started to use sildenafil for the purposes that have nothing to do with erectile dysfunction.
How it works
Sildenafil is a PDE5 inhibitor. It inhibits a particular enzyme in the body that prompts tightening of the blood vessels and stiffness of the smooth muscles. By inhibiting this enzyme, sildenafil relaxes the blood vessels, which increases blood flow.
So being a vasodilator, sildenafil dilates the blood vessels and considerably improves blood circulation. Additionally, it reduces an athlete’s blood pressure and decreases strain on the heart during intense workouts.
Increased blood flow to the muscles being trained means that more oxygen and nutrients will be transported to the muscles thus enhancing their growth.
Another benefit of increased blood flow to the muscles is the elimination of lactate, which reduces the likelihood of prolonged muscle fatigue and discomfort during and after exercises. Less lactic acid in the muscle fiber means their faster recovery thus enabling the bodybuilder to sustain a more intense training regime.
Also, sildenafil is believed to increase testosterone levels in the body. This conviction has probably to do with the effect of the drug on erections. However, the ability of sildenafil to affect testosterone levels hasn’t been backed up by science yet.
Hardly any medication comes with no side effects at all. Sildenafil is not an exception in that sense as the drug has its own contraindications and possible side effects. Some of the most common of them may include headaches, stomach upset and spontaneous erections. The latter can be considered a side effect only in regard to athletes as getting an erection in the gym during your workout would be embarrassing, wouldn’t it? However, the drug doesn’t usually induce an erection without sexual stimuli. So just stop staring at those young, fit girls in tight sporty outfits in your gym and you’ll be fine.