Marijuana and Sports – Does Getting High Affect Performance?


Remember the case where the snowboarder almost lost his gold medal in the Olympics under the suspicion he had marijuana in his system? It was alleged that he had smoked a joint with some friends sometime within 48 hours to the time he competed. He allegedly explained that he was in the room but did not consume any. It is scientifically said that you can get it in your system through external exposure. There were also variations in the proven amount in his system. In the end, the snowboarder was allowed by the IOC to keep his gold medal due to insufficient findings.

The funny thing is that marijuana has been scientifically proven to HINDER performance in higher energy sports and slightly relax judgment for some. The same effects do not happen to everyone and marijuana has been shown to assist in health issues as well as concentration and relaxation. The chances that it helped him win his run are close to ZERO. If anything this would have made him less agile, slower to respond physically to the quick movement needed for orientation through the course. He would have a lag feeling and uncomfortable paranoia if anything. Most competitors will not use this as an enhancement and especially not before a chance like competing in the Olympics.

The thing is that training high or competing high will hinder your awareness plain and simple. What you do on your own quiet time is up to you and marijuana has been shown to help in recovery from exercise but used during exercise it is definitely not beneficial and with weight training can result in injury.

The bottom line is that there is no athletic enhancement in general by utilizing this drug prior to working out or toward the Olympics for that matter!! Of course there must be rules and regulations to Olympic sports. There must be a code of conduct regardless of your personal feelings toward political issues such as this. Being a competitor in a sport is not the time to debate the rights or wrongs of what a drug is or how it challenges activity. If you choose to compete in a certain sport then you are agreeing to play by the rules handed to you, even the political rules and even the unsaid. Part of being a good sport is showing your ability to follow rules regardless of your opinion and if your opinion is strong enough in conflict then you would choose not to compete.

You can be rest assured that lifting weights at full mental, conscious awareness is the smartest idea. If you are serious about wanting results then you will want to put your full mind into your workouts and forgo the use of drugs or alcohol prior to training. Alcohol is detrimental to your fitness results and has been proven so where as pot has not. Part of muscle building depends on your ability to bring mind into body; the best way to achieve this is ‘straight’.


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Linda Cusmano

Linda is a national level fitness and figure pro who dabbles in bodybuilding competitions, obstacle and strength challenges along with fitness model competitions. She is a triple certified elite personal trainer and the owner of Body Rush Personal Training. See my profile page for more information!

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