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Diuretics Used in Sport

Alan Green W10013152 Methods of enquiry in sport and exercise science Structured essay Diuretics used in sport Diuretics are chemicals which are often used in sport to aid performance. The function of diuretics is to change the natural balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body. Some athletes use diuretics to control weight; this is especially important in sports such as boxing where participants need to meet weight categories.

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Not only can diuretics help athletes to perform in lighter weight categories, they can also be used as a masking agent for other drugs.

Diuretics dilute urine which can often help pass drugs tests. It is important that drugs such as diuretics are identified and managed in sports performance. This is especially true at elite levels as athletes have an unfair advantage when taking drugs to improve success. The use of research questions can help the understanding of drugs such as diuretics being used in sport. For research questions to be beneficial they have to be all of the following: Specific, measurable, achievable and realistic. Below are 4 specific research questions based around diuretics being used at elite levels in sport.

By identifying research questions, understanding of the problem is increased: 1. To what extent can diuretics be used to improve an athlete’s performance? The use of this research question will allow the understanding of the physiological effect diuretics have on the body of an athlete. Article: Drugs in sport: Diuretics and masking agents. Mottram. 2. What is the relationship between diuretic consumption and the masking of performance enhancing drugs? Answering this research question will allow the understanding on how diuretics can be used as a masking agent for other performance enhancing drugs.

Article: Exercise and sports nutrition: Principles, Promises, science and recommendations. Krieder et al. 3. What would be the overall effects on sport if the ban on diuretics and the drugs they mask was lifted? By answering this research question, the ethics behind sport and fair play can be understood. Article: Anti-doping policies: New directions, Waddington and Smith. 4. What effects does the long term use of diuretics have on dehydration? Answering this research question will help the understanding of the effects of changing the natural balance of fluids in the body and how they can affect the liver causing dehydration.

Article: Performance enhancing drugs in sport and exercise, Bahrke and Yesalis 5. What effect doe duretics have on cell structure The question being used for the remainder of this essay is: What would be the overall effects on sport if the ban on diuretics and the drugs they mask was lifted? This question can be used to understand the issues around the use of diuretics in sport. By using this research question…… Academic disciplines which provide theorectical underpinning to the research This question can help the understanding of the psychological effects on using diuretics.

Allowing the use of diuretics in sport would affect athletes psychologically by making them feel superior and confident about their performance. However if performance enhancing drugs were legalised in sport, athletes would have unfair advantages. Diuretics are commonly used in sports which have weight categories such as boxing and body building In order to collect data from the research question, it has to be operationalised. Design Sample Instrumental Data analysis One problem with validity, one with reliability and one with ethics Validity

To answer this I looked at what validity is in research terms. Basically validity is whether the research is really measuring what it claims to be measuring and as objectively as it says it is. Is the researcher really looking to prove a point or disprove a point and in doing so have they used a) Valid research questions to measure the required information and b) Is the research really measuring what is says it is measuring It is not difficult to see that if the answer to the above questions are both “no” then the research must be said to be invalid Reliability

Reliability looks at whether the research can be reliable in as much as can it be applied to a wider group with confidence that the same or similar results will follow thus making the research reliable. It is clear that reliability has a direct link then to sample sizes and sample validity and the spectrum of the sample, for example if a piece of company research only sampled 50 of its customers from 20,000 customers all of whom had completed a satisfaction survey and returned it with positive result in the past, could this be said to be a reliable as it has clearly taken a relatively small sample and unethically used past known positives?

It can be seen that the data capture process or research methods have a big impact on reliability. Ethics Again I sought to answer this question by looking at what ethics was in both normal everyday situations and in research terms. In both cases it appears to be about morals and right and wrong. The debate in research terms seems to be a very large one, however I came across this statement “….. our assumption is that academic freedom does not confer a “right to do research” Anthropology Matters Journal 2010, Vol 12 (1) http://eprints. oas. ac. uk/10352/1/The_problem_of_ethics_in_contemporary_anthropological_research. pdf From this and further reading I think the single biggest problem with research ethics is different people have different ethical value bases and believe different things are right and wrong. It is clear however that if the ethical basis of the research can be easily attacked then it validity and reliability must both come into question.

It is also clear that different sectors of society may take different views from different perspectives i. e. a financial institutuion may take a different view than a church. References: ALPHABETICAL ORDER Waddingoton, I. Smith, A. (2009) Addicted to winning? An introduction to drugs in sport. Richard B. Kreider, Brian C. Leutholtz, Frank I. Katch, Victor L. Katch 2009 Michael S. Bahrke, Charles Yesalis – 2002 – David. R Mottram 2011 5th editition