Does Psychedelics Affect Performance in Endurance Sports?

Psychedelics And Sports

With its popularity in the creative world and high technology industry, psychedelics are fast gaining ground in many sectors and industries around the world. Therefore, it is no surprise that there are many names for it these days; from the “new drug habit that your boss will love” to the “hot new business trip”. Now, there are claims that endurance sports athletes can also benefit from the goodness of psychedelics. This article seeks to confirm if psychedelics can affect the performance and endurance of athletes.

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To start with, no verified research provides a link between psychedelics and the performance or endurance of athletes. However, people who have used psychedelics seem to have experiences and stories that allude to the fact that psychedelics improve the performance and endurance of sportspeople. One such example is the comment gotten from a Reddit user who is micro-dosing LSD. This user claims that using LSD keeps him focused and makes him more aware of his body. He also mentioned that he can go for longer periods while the only drawback he experienced was a slight increase in his body temperature.

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Another user who was also an athlete on the same Reddit thread mentioned that they were able to complete a Spartan race on a microdose of LSD. In their words, while physical obstacles were a bit challenging, they were able to zone in mentally.

If you check these two comments, there is a common theme, and that is the fact that the improved performance was a result of a powerful mind. It thus means that a change of mind can affect the performance of an athlete.

The Power of the Mind

Reports have shown that psychedelics improve the performance of humans generally by stimulating dopamine receptors. What dopamine does is ensure that the human body remains focused even in a stressful situation. With the focus being locked on, the effect is more than that of added stamina.

This means that the effects of psychedelics in improving the performance and endurance of athletes are more psychological than physical. There is a lot of evidence that confirms the mind’s ability to affect physical performance. Many professional athletes have mentioned how having the right mindset can help one achieve victory or greatness on the world stage.

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A sports medicine research carried out in 2006 also helps to put things in perspective. The study showed that an increase in the ratio of serotonin and dopamine can make fatigue set in faster than it should. This fact is also corroborated by another study that investigated the role of dopamine in the use of amphetamine.

Does This Portend Any Danger?

There are certain side effects associated with the use of psychedelics that could make its use during or before an endurance sport dangerous. While no deaths have been linked to these side effects, this doesn’t take anything away from the dangers that these side effects portend especially with activities that require intense physical exertion such as cycling, swimming, or running.

The same way a normal person using psychedelics feels on top of the world, endurance athletes using psychedelics might feel invincible and tend to push themselves beyond safe limits. Therefore, the safest place to enjoy a psychedelic trip is within the comfort of your home on a sitter, and not on the tracks or by the edge of the mountain.

While microdosing is what most athletes that have tried it do and microdosing is not the same as tripping, the setting around the combination of psychedelics and endurance sports should be safe and supervised. It is important to mention that there is no definitive description of what microdosing is. Most people summarily assume that a microdose is any amount that is low enough to bar any feeling of hallucination.  


While psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD can be regarded as safe, they should be used with caution. It is also advisable to microdose under the supervision of a health provider, especially if you are using psychedelics with a controlled substance during an endurance exercise.

It is important to note that the psychedelic community is still in its infantry, thus, users must remain responsible and thoughtful in their pursuit of a psychedelic trip. You should keep an open mind but ensure that you are armed with good information and also make smart decisions.

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