Supplements for Specific Purposes

The second group of medicines for sport pharmacosanation includes substances that can be used by healthy individuals for specific purposes. These include substances that improve the body's overall nonspecific resistance, which enables it to respond more steadily to stress (Selye, 1976). Examples include adaptogens (Eleutherococcus, Rhodiola, Schizandra, Glycyrrhiza, Stemmacantha Carthamoides, Aralia Mandushurica), natural tranquilizers (Rauwolfia, serpentina), and also bio-stimulants (extracts from the horns of European reindeers).

Natural pharmacologic techniques in conjunction with rational nutrition effectively improve recovery from heavy training, the ability to withstand hard work, and muscle growth. But again, practiced by the Soviet pharmacologists, it was not simply a matter of selecting one pill over another. Rather, the process involved a complex nutritional and pharmacological program individually formulated with regard to its systemic physiological effects, combined with proper training exercises and planning. It is no easy task, and demands constant attention to details by sophisticated athletes and coaches, sport physicians, and a team of scientific supervisors.

The requirements of all sport supplements is to supply the body with substances which will improve metabolic function, reduce the energy expense of exercises, and increase the restorative potential, without causing any negative side effects or damage. Over the past twenty years, a great amount of investigative work on this topic has been conducted within the USSR. The results of these laboratory experiments, as well as practical research on top athletes has resulted in further elaboration of the system of sport pharmacology through medicinal and adaptogenic means. This system of pharmacosanation means — rational diets, nutritional supplements, and biologically important pharmacological complexes(adaptogen formulations) introduced at specific times of the training cycle that leads to significant improvements either in performance or recovery ability, or both of them.

The Soviet system of sport pharmacology is the most complete in the world. Until the early nineties much of the research had been kept a secret from coaches outside the East Bloc. Soviet sports pharmacology is highly effective and functions as an excellent compliment to the most demanding training and competitive programs.

Further we will present the Soviet system of sport pharmacology and adaptogen use (compared to the American use of ergogenic aids).