By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
If you've ever considered taking androstenedione (andro) or other performance-enhancing supplements to increase pitching velocity or gain lean muscle mass, this article is for you. It's my hope that after reading it, you'll consider some safer, more effective alternatives for enhancing performance such as working harder, developing better baseball pitching mechanics and following a year-round pitching workout program.
Androstenedione (4-androstenedione) is a 19-carbon steroid hormone that is a precurser to testosterone. It can be purchased over the counter at most supplement stores and is generally administered by athletes looking to recover quicker from workouts and training, and thus get bigger and stronger because they don't need to take off days between workouts. Pitchers who take the supplement, particularly relievers and closers, generally do so to recover quicker from games.
But a 2003 study performed by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association found that androstenedione administered at the recommended levels on nutritional supplement labels did not, in fact, increase testosterone levels at all. Only when the levels of andro were raised to amounts far exceeding the recommended levels was there even a negligible rise in overall testosterone levels in the body.
Yet herein lies the problem. Large amounts of andro can trigger a positive steroid test. Stated differently, you WILL test positive for steroids if you take andro. In my opinion, it's just not worth risking it.
There is no magic bullet or special powder that canEspecially when the alternatives safer, more effective alternatives for enhancing performance such as working harder, developing better baseball pitching mechanics and following a year-round pitching workout program.
For more information about andro, please visit:
Source: STEROIDS AND NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS, Major League Baseball Players Association in Conjunction with Major League Baseball. June 2001. Pages 1-11.
Related Pitching Materials
Want to learn more about baseball nutrition and supplements? Arm yourself with the most innovative and up-to-date baseball pitching training available. These related pitching materials from former Chicago Cubs pitching pro Steven Ellis are guaranteed to help you or the players you coach pitch better and reach the next level faster!