The Overstimulated Girl -
Everyone else is taking performance-enhancing
drugs why not you?
by Susan Casey | Mar 01 '04 | Esquire.com
. . . But unlike, say, the Oakland Raiders' defensive
line, you'll do it right. None of that testicle-shrinking,
forehead-enlarging smack. What you'll want to
try are the ingenious new mixes of vitamins, minerals,
antioxidants, amino acids, and herbs that go by
such Jetson -esque names as smart drugs, nootropics,
nutraceuticals, and ergogenics, but which I will
refer to as Things That Make You Feel Better and
Don't be frightened. I'm going to take all this
I'll ingest it regularly for at least thirty days,
and then I'll file my report. Of course, a drug
that makes me feel like the spawn of Stephen Jay
Gould and Marion Jones might make you break out
in hives. If that happens, duh , stop. You know
your body better than anyone. Sure, this is territory
uncharted by the FDA. But then again, so is your
SUPPLEMENT OF THE MONTH: Proendorphin
What it is: A fine-tuned smart cocktail featuring
B vitamins, the amino acid taurine, laboratory-enhanced
ginseng, and a mix of neuroamino acids described
as "brain polishers."
Provenance: Developed to help athletes train harder
and recover faster. Stimulates the release of
endorphins, the neurotransmitter responsible for
"runner's high." Also lowers cortisol, a tissue-damaging
hormone the body pumps out under stress.
What it claims to do: Increase mental awareness,
energy, strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity
while decreasing lactic-acid buildup in muscles.
But does it deliver? Sweet Jesus, yes. Within
minutes of mixing the Tang-colored powder with
water and drinking it, I have the desire to complete
every task I've been avoiding for the past several
months and do sets of push-ups in between. It's
a nicely amped feeling, with none of the jittery
highs and jolting lows of less-refined stimulants
like caffeine or guarana. Later, I kick ass in
a two-hour swim practice.
Side effects: First-time users might get a niacin
flush, a hot, prickly sensation on the skin. Suffer
through; this one-time reaction simply means that
your body really needs those B vitamins. The second
side effect is longer-lived: a total, almost infantilizing
dependency on the two-dollar-per-pack powder.
Off-label use: Best hangover cure ever.
Susan Casey is an overworked executive and former
internationally ranked athlete who continues to
compete against college-age punks.