Injecting a Placebo to Run Faster!

Not exactly one from within my area of expertise, but worthy of posting:

The Effects of an Injected Placebo on Endurance Running Performance.
Ross, Ramzy; Gray, Cindy M.; Gill, Jason M. R.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: November 19, 2014
PURPOSE: To quantify the placebo effect magnitude on endurance running performance, in ‘real-world’ field-based head-to-head competition settings, of an injected placebo (‘OxyRBX’) purporting to have similar effects to recombinant human erythropoietin (r-HuEPO).
METHODS: 15 endurance-trained club-level men (age: 27.5+/-6.8 years, BMI: 22.9+/-2.0 kg[middle dot]m-2), with personal best 10 km times of 39.3+/-4.4 min (mean+/-SD), completed the randomised cross-over study design of 3 km races before and after 7-day ‘control’ and ‘placebo’ phases. During the placebo phase participants self-administered subcutaneous saline injections daily, believing it to be OxyRBX, with no intervention during the control phase. At the start and end of each 7-day phase 3 km running performance was assessed. Qualitative assessments of participants’ perceptions and experiences were recorded throughout and in semi-structured interviews on completion.
RESULTS: Race time improved significantly more in response to the placebo intervention (9.73+/-1.96 s faster, P=0.0005), than in response to control (1.82+/-1.94 s faster, P=0.41) (P interaction = 0.02). In response to the placebo, participants reported reductions in physical effort, increased potential motivation and improved recovery. Beliefs and congruence between positive expectations of the effects of the placebo and perceptions of physical change during training also appeared to impact on competitive performance.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared to control, the injected placebo improved 3 km race time by 1.2%. This change is of clear sporting relevance, but is smaller than the performance improvement elicited by r-HuEPO administration. The qualitative data suggest that placebo may have improved performance by both reducing perception of effort and increasing potential motivation, in accord with the psychobiological model for exercise performance, and that cognitive and non-cognitive processes appear to have influenced placebo response

Its speaks for itself!

Should placebos now be added to the banned “substance” list as they are performance enhancing?

Here is my n=1 of just how powerful placebos are. This is a video of my daughters when they were 4 yrs old:

When they are old enough to understand, that video will come back and haunt me.

As always, I go where the evidence takes me until convinced otherwise…and I gotta get me some of those placebos.

Ross R, Gray CM, & Gill JM (2014). The Effects of an Injected Placebo on Endurance Running Performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise PMID: 25412293

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