Mass- and Strength-enhancing drugs include:

Anabolic Steroids
A steroid is a chemical derived from cholesterol. Humans have several major steroid hormones, such as cortisol and testosterone in the male, and estrogen and progesterone in the female. Simplistically, anabolic steroids build up tissues, and catabolic steroids break down tissues.  Anabolic steroids build muscle and bone mass mainly by stimulating the muscle and bone cells to generate protein.

Anabolic steroids increase muscle strength by stimulating new muscle growth. Anabolic steroids are similar in structure to the male sex hormone, testosterone, so anabolic steroids enhance male reproductive and secondary sex characteristics, and permit harder and longer training at any given period.

Anabolic steroids are mostly testosterone, the male sex hormone, and its natural and artificial derivatives. Anabolic steroids include:

These substances can be administered intravenously by injection, or consumed orally as pills.

Beta-2 Adrenergic Agonists
When inhaled, beta-2 agonists stimulates the opening of the airway by imitating the actions of epinephrine and norepinephrine, substances that are secreted by sympathetic nerves. When injected into the bloodstream, these drugs can anabolically build muscle mass and catabolically reduce body fat . The anabolic effect appears to directly affect building proteins in the muscles. Beta-2 agonists include
tertbutaline and salbutamol.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
HCG is an endogenous protein hormone produced by the developing fetus. HCG stimulates the development of natural male and female sex steroids (testosterone, estrogen and progesterone). The increase in testosterone levels in males by the use of HCG would stimulate muscle development as with anabolic steroids. HCG would not lead to muscle development in females and might be present in high levels during pregnancy.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
LH is a peptide hormone secreted by the pituitary gland of the brain. LH helps maintain normal levels of testosterone in the male and estrogen in the female. In women, a surge of LH during mid-menstrual cycle signals ovulation. In men, excess LH or artificial LH derivatives increase testosterone levels and have anabolic effects    .

Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
HGH is an endogenous protein hormone produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for normal human growth and development, especially in the young. Dwarfism results from low HGH levels in children and teenagers. Excessive HGH levels increase muscle mass by stimulating protein synthesis, strengthen bones by stimulating bone growth, and reduce body fat by stimulating the breakdown of fat cells. The use of HGH by athletes is difficult for regulators to detect.

Insulin is an endogenous protein hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin is important for metabolism of sugars. Insulin combined with anabolic steroids or HGH could increase muscle mass by stimulating protein synthesis.

Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1)
IGF-1, also known as somatomedin-C, is an endogenous protein that assists the action of HGH. It also stimulates protein synthesis and reduces fat. Excessive IGF-1 would increase muscle and bone mass as HGH does.


Drugs and practices that increase the amount of oxygen in tissues include protein hormones and artificial oxygen carriers. Tissues include muscles and organs, such as the brain and the heart.

Protein Hormones
EPO, otherwise known as erythropoietin, is an endogenous proteinaceous hormone produced by the kidneys during low oxygen conditions. Erythropoietin stimulates the bone marrow stem cells to generate red blood cells, which increase the delivery of oxygen to the kidney. Erythropoietin can increase oxygen supply by as much as ten percent for endurance performances. The use of erythropeitin by athletes is difficult to detect by regulators.

Artificial Oxygen Carriers
Artificial oxygen carriers are man-made substances that do the work of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein. Artificial oxygen carriers include perfluorocarbons, synthetic-hemoglobins, modified-hemoglobins, and liposome-encased hemoglobins.


To mask injury pain, drugs - narcotics, protein hormones, cortisone and local anesthetics - may be injected, orally taken, or topically applied.

Narcotics are used to treat pain and include substances such as morphine, methadone and heroin. Narcotics are highly addictive.

Protein Hormones
ACTH, also known as adrenocorticotrophic Hormone, is an endogenous protein hormone that is secreted by the pituitary gland. ACTH  stimulates the production of hormones such as cortisone, corticosteriods, and glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex. These adrenal cortex hormones reduce injury inflammation and allergic response.

Cortisone is one of the adrenal cortex hormones mentioned above. Clinically, it is prescribed to reduce injury inflammation and allergic response.


Local anesthetics, such as novocaine, procaine, amethocaine, and lignocaine mask pain in the short-term without impairing mental abilities. 


To cope with stress, general fatigue and weight, stimulating, relaxing and weight controlling drugs can be used.


Stimulants have been used to stay alert, reduce fatigue and maintain aggressiveness. They act on the body to make the heart beat faster, the lungs breathe faster and the brain work faster. Stimulants include caffeine, amphetamines, ephedrine, phenylephrine, phenylproanolamine, strychnine, cocaine, and nicotine.

Stumulant users may feel a temporary boost in self-confidence and power. Stimulants are psychologically addictive. Users become dependent on the drug to avoid the "down" feeling they often experience when the drug's effect wears off. 

Nicotine enters the brain about 7 seconds after an introduction, producing euphoria and slight muscle relaxation. Studies have shown nicotine to be more addictive than heroin, alcohol, or cocaine.


Relaxants come in various forms, including alcohol, prescriptions such as beta-blockers, and cannabinoids such as marijuana.


Diuretics act on the kidney to increase the flow of urine. Diuretics include furosemide, acetazolamide, bumetanide and ethacrynic acid.