Effect of Stimulants on Training

Hi all,

I’ve started being prescribed stimulant type of medications to take daily to help me deal with a recently diagnosed sleeping disorder. I believe that this Spring I will be taking Nuvigil (armodafinil), which is a wakefulness-enhancing agent, daily and Concerta (Methylphenidate), essentially long-acting Ritalin, which is a typical stimulant, similar to amphetamines, when I need it. I do not like the idea of being reliant on any drugs, but it is a path that I unfortunately need to go down.

My question is if any coach’s out there have had athlete’s who have to take daily stimulants (other than caffeine), such as kids with any sleeping disorders, ADD, etc. (since I know so many kids on these types of medication, at least one coach must have encountered someone on this stuff) or if any athlete’s themselves have any experience training while taking a stimulant? I assume that most of its effects will be beneficial to my training as I’ll be healthier and the fact that both drugs are NCAA banned since they can be performance enhancing (I will get a waiver), but I am worried about a couple things and am curious as to others have dealt with these problems:

-Any issue with increased heart rate and intense cardio training?
-Problems with managing the ‘crash’ that stimulants sometimes have?
-Problems dealing with increased metabolism, decreased appetite, or essentially anything that’ll stand in the way of my adding muscle mass (I need more weight and strength)?
-How to deal with competition nervousness/anxiety since stimulants are known to increase these feelings?

Any positive stories about how they’ve helped would be much appreciated too, but I’m more curious about dealing with the negative effects it may have on my training (especially because so many people lose weight on them, and I could probably use an additional 10-20 lbs of muscle since I am now primarily a jav thrower, and have a hard enough time gaining weight).

Any science on it too I’d love to read, I dont really care if the research was done on people with it medically prescribed or if it was used as performace enhancers purely.

Hey there,

I have ADD as does one of my athletes. I have noticed a variety of things- I’ll try to find some time tonight to write something up. Number 2 also addressed this some time back. ADD medication can make your athletes tight. I recently worked with someone extremely tight and stimulants were a huge reason for this.

It will be interesting to track your experience with this over the next little while- I hope you will keep us all posted.

I was on a high dose antibiotic at an international meet and for a few days before competing. I was not able to sleep and wondered why? I was sick and concerned about getting sicker and my doctor suggested a double dose antibiotic to try and kick the bug before I competed. My last speed training session before the competition was incredible. I was used to feeling good but this was different.
That night I ended up going to see the team doctor as I was worried about all the tossing and turning at 4am. She did not know why I could not sleep but told me to stop taking the antibiotic. ( thanks) ( Cipro ) I am not saying I could have won that race because that is impossible to say but I crashed so bad the day of the race. I felt like absolute crap. It’s the feeling you get when the muscles have no life at all. I ended up 4th and could have at least taken a medal as the person who was 3rd was someone I routinely beat all season.
After coming home ( this meet was the Francophone Games in Africa) I learned that high dose Cipro in a very minute population takes on the effect of an stimulant. ( who knew?)
I think you need to learn as much as you can about this medication and experiment with how it effects you.

knowing your experiences would be great if you have the time. and I will definitely be tracking my experience since I usually keep at least somewhat of a training journal. i’ll have to keep a watch for tightness

haha, oh i know that muscles with no life feeling alright. every once and i while i wont even have enough energy to run a warm-up lap, and making it through a race is a gargantuan effort

i will definitely track my use and its effects. i wonder if I’ll notice an increase in my training ability

Hey there,

My athlete with ADD does not take his medication at all- it makes him tight. Lately I’ve been trying to help out another athlete who had the tightest quads I have ever encountered. He actually accompanied us to our training camp and through observation over the 10 days we were down south, I realized how dependent he was on pre-workout supplements that were heavy on stimulants. I believe these were a great contributor to the overall tightness present in his quads. I will do a more comprehensive writeup on this particular athlete soon but wanted to throw that out there.

Okay, thanks for the info! I will definitely be watching out for tightness. Luckily, I’ve started off fairly flexible, though I could definitely some more shoulder ROM for javelin and olympic lifts. It has already greatly improved, so I’ll be curious to see if the flexibility progress slows or even reverses