Performance-Enhancing drugs

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samseva
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by samseva »

Dweller wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:48 am [...]
The Buddha advised to not even use food to improve one's physical appearance, let alone drugs. Also, the Buddha didn't have "huge arms" (I don't know where you got that).

A lot of performance-enhancing drugs:
- Have negative health effects—usually that outweigh the benefits.
- If used in a context where there is competition (sports, for example), it's unethical breach of sportsmanship.
- Steroids, for example, develop muscle mass, but not that much strength—and the reason for taking them is usually not for strength, but for physical appearances.
- Some are illegal.

Also, it's important to take into account that the results of such drugs are:
1. Chemically-induced.
2. You develop a dependence, to maintain that chemically-induced increase in performance.

Considering the above, there is likely a significant amount of craving to fuel similar actions.
Dweller
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by Dweller »

samseva wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:10 pmThe Buddha advised to not even use food to improve one's physical appearance, let alone drugs.
Give sutta so we can see context and the mindset described. I remember there is such a sutta, but not that it means getting stronger is bad per se.
Also, the Buddha didn't have "huge arms" (I don't know where you got that).
From Agamas:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_ ... cteristics
A lot of performance-enhancing drugs:
- Have negative health effects—usually that outweigh the benefits.
When you have low testosterone, doctor could still prescribe you testosterone replacement therapy.
- If used in a context where there is competition (sports, for example), it's unethical breach of sportsmanship.
In some sports it's not out of competition, it depends on the rules of the sport.

Not all of enhancing drugs are anabolic steroids if you had this in mind, some substances which are technically steroids are allowed even during competition. Some of these drugs are not even technically steroids.
- Steroids, for example, develop muscle mass, but not that much strength—and the reason for taking them is usually not for strength, but for physical appearances.
First of all, they enhance recovery. Nothing will grow if you don't exercise.
Also, it's important to take into account that the results of such drugs are:
1. Chemically-induced.
2. You develop a dependence, to maintain that chemically-induced increase in performance.
Or you take them just in one period of life to make faster gains, then stop, or you use them just when doctor prescribes them.
Considering the above, there is likely a significant amount of craving to fuel similar actions.
Maybe yes, maybe no.

You can just be a sportsman taking them like others in your sport.

Or a scrawny kid who started to pump the iron, then realized he also have low testosterone, so doctor prescribed him TRT.
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StrivingforMonkhood
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by StrivingforMonkhood »

Why improve something like appearance, which is empty of inherent existence?

I could see plastic surgery, though, for a child or adult who is made fun of because of a physical deformity (to some degree). The surgery could alleviate some suffering while interacting with the world. Likewise, it is good to lose weight and feel healthy, as it reduces suffering in everyday life (you should honor your body, but not cling to it). We must not cling to anything, including good health, I suppose.

:anjali:
May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness

We are already Buddha
Dweller
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by Dweller »

Why not?

Even though, for me it could be more like additional perk than motive for exercise.
Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika approached the Blessed One…. The Blessed One then said to him:

“Householder, a noble disciple who gives food gives the recipients four things. What four? He gives life, beauty, happiness, and strength. (1) Having given life, he partakes of life, whether celestial or human. (2) Having given beauty, he partakes of beauty, whether celestial or human. (3) Having given happiness, he partakes of happiness, whether celestial or human. (4) Having given strength, he partakes of strength, whether celestial or human. Householder, a noble disciple who gives food gives the recipients these four things.”

https://suttacentral.net/an4.58/en/bodhi
Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him:

“Householder, these five things that are likable, desirable, and agreeable are hard to get in the world. What five? Long life, beauty, happiness, fame, and heaven. These are the five things that are likable, desirable, and agreeable, but hard to get in the world.

And I say that these five things are not got by praying or wishing for them. If they were, who would lack them?

A noble disciple who wants to live long ought not pray for it, or hope for it, or pine for it. Instead, they should practice the way that leads to long life. For by practicing that way they gain long life as a god or a human being.

A noble disciple who wants to be beautiful ought not pray for it, or hope for it, or pine for it. Instead, they should practice the way that leads to beauty. For by practicing that way they gain beauty as a god or a human being.
...

For one who desires a continuous flow
of exceptional delights—
long life, beauty, fame and reputation,
heaven, and birth in an eminent family—

the astute praise diligence
in making merit.
Being diligent, an astute person
secures both benefits:

the benefit in this life,
and in lives to come.
A wise one, comprehending the meaning,
is called ‘astute’.”

https://suttacentral.net/an5.43/en/suja ... ript=latin
“Mendicants, these ten likable, desirable, and agreeable things are rare in the world. What ten? Wealth, beauty, health, ethical conduct, the spiritual life, friends, learning, wisdom, good qualities, and heaven are likable, desirable, and agreeable things that are rare in the world.

Ten things hinder the ten likable, desirable, and agreeable things that are rare in the world. Sloth and lack of initiative hinder wealth. Lack of adornment and decoration hinder beauty. Unsuitable activity hinders health.
...
Ten things nourish the ten likable, desirable, and agreeable things that are rare in the world. Application and initiative nourish wealth. Adornment and decoration nourish beauty. Suitable activity nourishes health.

https://suttacentral.net/an10.73/en/suj ... ript=latin
Not compatible only with monk life or practice of advanced laypersons.

Meaning, suitable for over 90% of people, who are capable of trying to observe dana and sila with the hope of getting better rebirth, if even that.
greentea
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by greentea »

Trenbaloney sandwiches :woohoo:
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samseva
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by samseva »

Dweller wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:50 pm I remember there is such a sutta, but not that it means getting stronger is bad per se.
If you remember there is such a Sutta, why are you asking me to provide it?
Have you ever seen an elephant trunk in a picture? It's far from "Buddha had huge arms," that you're trying to convey—and use as an excuse for using an illegal or chemical substance.
Dweller wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:50 pm When you have low testosterone, doctor could still prescribe you testosterone replacement therapy.
No one is talking about the medical condition of having low-testosterone. Completely unrelated to the discussion.
Dweller wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:50 pm Or a scrawny kid who started to pump the iron, then realized he also have low testosterone, so doctor prescribed him TRT.
Again, no one is talking about the medical condition of having low testosterone.
Dweller wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:50 pm I remember there is such a sutta, but not that it means getting stronger is bad per se.
If you need strength for your livelihood, that's fine. If you're taking drugs to make you look stronger, that's an entirely different situation.
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samseva
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by samseva »

If you want to take performance-enhancing drugs, fine, but don't try to rationalize it by using Suttas. The Suttas you quoted say nothing at all about beauty or strength obtained from using drugs.

How something is acquired is important. Intention in Buddhist teachings is almost everything. If a Sutta says being wealthy is beneficial, that's true—however, it doesn't mean robbing a bank or selling/taking drugs to do so is wholesome.
Dweller
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by Dweller »

samseva wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:41 pm If you want to take performance-enhancing drugs, fine, but don't try to rationalize it by using Suttas. The Suttas you quoted say nothing at all about beauty or strength obtained from using drugs.
I don't. It was a response to this:

Why improve something like appearance, which is empty of inherent existence?

I said, why not, and provided some of suttas about it.
How something is acquired is important. Intention in Buddhist teachings is almost everything. If a Sutta says being wealthy is beneficial, that's true—however, it doesn't mean robbing a bank or selling/taking drugs to do so is wholesome.
Exactly, like I said about possible intentions for getting bigger and stronger:

It can be completely utilitarian without too much craving and clinging.

Getting bigger and stronger to do every kind of manual labour better, being in better shape to protect yourself and your family, it can also make you feel better mentally and overall create better conditions for practice.

If you remember there is such a Sutta, why are you asking me to provide it?
Don't remember where it is.
Have you ever seen an elephant trunk in a picture? It's far from "Buddha had huge arms," that you're trying to convey—and use as an excuse for using an illegal or chemical substance.
Not really far when combined with lion-shaped body, arms reaching knees, strength of thousands of men and other descriptions of his body.

And first post was a joking response to the claim that those using these drugs have strayed from the path.

Also, to remind you, doctor can prescribe such things. You should check what all can be included under this term and for what purposes.
No one is talking about the medical condition of having low-testosterone. Completely unrelated to the discussion.
Well, this is what some people take for muscle gains or some other reason, sportsmen getting busted for elevated levels of testosterone, but can also be prescribed by the doctor.

Case in point why blanket statements about such drugs are meaningless.

And you are making it sound like steroid users are injecting heroin. While in reality, people who have a history of using even the worst kinds of steroids are not the group which stands out as the one with unhealthy lifestyle. More often than not, it's quite the opposite.

Even if I don't support doing anything illegal, these things can be illegal in the sense that everybody knows they are being sold and taken in some gym, and nobody cares or ever does anything about it. And people knowing that still think it's great to go there.
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samseva
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by samseva »

Dweller wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:14 pm Getting bigger and stronger to do every kind of manual labour better, being in better shape to protect yourself and your family, it can also make you feel better mentally and overall create better conditions for practice.
People don't take steroids to improve their capacity at manual labour, or to "better protect their family." And being buff doesn't help one's conditions for practice.
Dweller wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:14 pm Even if I don't support doing anything illegal, these things can be illegal in the sense that everybody knows they are being sold and taken in some gym, and nobody cares or ever does anything about it. And people knowing that still think it's great to go there.
What? People knowing that others use steroids, and that they still think that the gym is a "great place to be" says nothing about steroids.
Dweller wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:14 pmAnd you are making it sound like steroid users are injecting heroin. While in reality, people who have a history of using even the worst kinds of steroids are not the group which stands out as the one with unhealthy lifestyle. More often than not, it's quite the opposite.
So not only are you rationalizing the use of illegal drugs, you now even say that it's not only not unhealthy, but healthy? Even you know that's false, right? Someone who works out without steroids is much healthier than someone who works out using similar drugs.
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samseva
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by samseva »

Anyway, if you want to shoot up to have large muscles, that's your choice. It doesn't help one's practice, and anyone can get similar muscles without drugs, although with a larger amount of time and more effort. Craving such muscles, or enhanced performance, leads to searching for chemical or illegal ways to increase the speed of getting such things (in other words, craving).
Dweller
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by Dweller »

samseva wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:28 pmPeople don't take steroids to improve their capacity at manual labour, or to "better protect their family." And being buff doesn't help one's conditions for practice.
How do you know they don't?

I think that some might do it for these reasons. Most probably don't.

Anyway, it was about possible reasons for getting stronger and bigger, not about taking steroids.

[What? People knowing that others use steroids, and that they still think that the gym is a "great place to be" says nothing about steroids.
Nor I said it does. Just described the environment in which these things are being used and how are people looking at it.

Point was, nobody says, kids, stay out of the gym.

Instead, most going there are changing their lives for the better.
So not only are you rationalizing the use of illegal drugs, you now even say that it's not only not unhealthy, but healthy? Even you know that's false, right?
I am just providing context in which all of this happens.

Just to remind that these people are not the scorn of society.

Nowhere did I say using steroids is healthy, but that people with the history of using them are more often than not leading healthy lifestyles, at least when compared to majority of population.

Now, you can find out in what sports are they being used and judge for yourself was I wrong with this claim.
Someone who works out without steroids is much healthier than someone who works out using similar drugs.
True.
Dweller
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by Dweller »

samseva wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:29 pm Anyway, if you want to shoot up to have large muscles, that's your choice. It doesn't help one's practice, and anyone can get similar muscles without drugs, although with a larger amount of time and more effort. Craving such muscles, or enhanced performance, leads to searching for chemical or illegal ways to increase the speed of getting such things (in other words, craving).
Too much judgment here.

I am already bulky and strong enough for my taste. More than most of those who are regular in gym and using stuff, and unlike most of them I also take care of cardio. Main motive to get to this point was when I realized that in order to be healthy, people need some physical activity, which includes cardio and resistance exercises.

Then I implemented it and it helped me very much.

Average person is sedentary and sleep deprived. Had they do at least minimum of physical activity needed to be healthy, together with getting enough sleep, relaxation, and also to build their activity to satisfy the criteria of being at least moderately active and not sedentary, then they would be like reborn on heaven on earth, compared to their previous lifestyles.

So, of course that exercise helps in practice, even if you get some bulk in process, not necessarily out of craving.
bpallister
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by bpallister »

i don't compete, fwiw. I am just an aesthetic bodybuilder for recreation.
bpallister
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by bpallister »

tbh, at my age i do it more to motivate myself to get and stay in the gym. i generally do low doses and just aim for the lean but muscular look. I know it's not consistent with the dhamma and something that i will need to set aside at some point.
bpallister
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Re: Performance-Enhancing drugs

Post by bpallister »

anagaarika wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:43 am From rich personal experience, I would simply say that with solid formal practice and overall mindfulness throughout the day you stop needing them. I found nootropics useful when still engaged in the sphere of sensual (although extremely refined) pleasures. They made my mind very productive, malleable, plastic, extremely funny to be around, witty, eloquent... But I wanted to go deeper and after that I completely lost interest in them. Enhanced cognitive functions are a natural by-product of good meditation and if you spend a few hours on the cushion on most days you don´t really need nootropics - some of the most potent ones would only bring unnecessary agitation. Of course it depends on what nootropics exactly do you take etc. - I was always going for the top tier (Noopept, Adrafinil, Piracetam in high doses etc.), but there also many nootropics bordering on placebo that don´t really do much (but what´s the point in taking them anyway?).

The only "nootropic" I still consume is Japanese green tea and that´s allowed even for monastics as far as I know ;)
Meditation is the best nootropic imo
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