THE FUTURE OF STEROID AND PERFORMANCE SUPPORTING SUBSTANCES

As Ben Pakulski thinks about the future of steroids in bodybuilding, he remembers the 2011 Bradley Cooper film Limitless. In the movie, Cooper's character, a struggling writer, takes a pill that expands his mental abilities. It's certainly not as simple as Hollywood made it out to be, but for Pakulski, the film's central premise provides at least a loose pattern for what the future might look like. Imagine a performance-enhancing drug that could heal wounds or soothe sore muscles almost immediately, or imagine a pill that could directly trigger muscle growth and fat loss. That's what some athletes and bodybuilders are looking for in steroids.

Point towards more specialized drugs, which can be tailored to suit the specific needs of the body. Right now, next-generation performance-enhancing drugs include SARMs (Sterling Knight UK-Sarms, Magnus-Sarms), which are essentially anabolic compounds that promise fewer steroid-related side effects; steroid design, specially formulated by chemists in the laboratory; peptides (Sterling Knight-Peptide, Multipharm Healthcare - Peptide), which are molecules that activate hormone pathways in the body; and also testosterone replacement therapy, a nootropic compound designed to maximize brain function, and even, ultimately, the idea of gene editing to maximize performance.

How do we keep all of this safe? That's something we can't really say for sure at this point, partly because science is still in its early stages, and partly because it's difficult to study them so closely because they are still considered as taboo - especially in competitive sports. And the potential for abuse, especially among amateurs who may not have the right knowledge or expert guidance, remains a serious concern.

In an effort to understand what the future might look like, we talked to some experts about what they see on the horizon and how best to understand the benefits and risks. "Some new things have created a lower barrier to abuse." , he is one of the famously powerful coaches in body building, who prefers anonymity.