Sports and psychedelics do not traditionally go hand in hand. In fact, the thought of someone tripping whilst trying to dribble a ball or lift weights is actually rather amusing. The idea being, that when tripping on psychedelics your interior world is so engaged, that your exterior world, (which may include a ball flying at your head) falls by the wayside, so to speak. However, with the trend for microdosing psychedelics continuing to dominate the ‘Wellness’ market, (not to mention all the current therapeutic research) it was only a matter of time before the athletic industry fancied a slice of the psychedelic pie.
An Increase in Cognitive Rather Than Physical Ability
Of course, the sports world is constantly rocked by ‘doping’ scandals. This happens when athletes are discovered to have unfairly improved their skills through performance enhancing drugs. From Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace, to Russia’s 2020 Olympic ban, there is something uniquely ‘dishonourable’ associated with the practice.
Psychedelics are not currently included on the list of banned substances according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). This is because they do not bequeath physical advantages on the player that traditional ‘doping’ drugs like steroids do. Rather, in microdose amounts (1/10- 1/20 of a tripping dose) they increase cognitive ability. This has been reported to improve creativity and productivity— the biohackers of Silicon Valley swear by it. But how can this benefit athletes— from the professional basketball player to the weekend footballer, to the morning jogger?
Tales of Psychedelic Enhancement
At present, there have been no official studies or research into whether microdosing psychedelics, such as psilocybin, can benefit athletic performance. However, there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence.
One of these tales of psychedelic enhancement comes from baseball pitcher Doc Ellis. A major league baseball player, on June 12th 1970 he was called in to play a match. Unfortunately, he had been under the impression it was his day off, and had taken LSD with friends. Ellis played the game under the influence and proceeded to throw a no-hitter. The only one of his career. In fact, in over 175,000 professional baseball games played, only 269 no-hitters have been thrown in history. Ellis recounted
“…I was psyched... a feeling of euphoria. I was zeroed in on the [catcher’s] glove.”
Getting Into the ‘Zone’
Many athletes self-report that their stamina and ability are improved at micro or ‘psycholytic’ doses (much less than Doc Ellis had taken!) They are able to focus more upon the task at hand, and find it easier to ‘get into the zone’. The ‘flow states’ that those who microdose for creativity or productivity report, apply here too. All concentration can be put into your sport when the mind is quietened and anxieties reduced. Additionally, this focus has been reported to improve endurance, as you are more likely to continue for longer, thus building your stamina.
‘The Point of Perfection’
James Oroc, an extreme sports athlete, recently wrote an article for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in which he gushed about the power of the microdose.
“ According to the combined reports of 40 years of use by the extreme sports underground, LSD can increase your reflex time to lightning speed, improve your balance to the point of perfection, increase your concentration until you experience “tunnel vision,” and make you impervious to weakness or pain.”
Release Your Inner Athlete
With such bold claims as these, seemingly backed up by anecdotal evidence, it is likely only a matter of time until scientific institutions start research into the subject. In the meantime, whether you’re a professional sportsperson or simply someone who wants to feel more ‘at one’ with the water while doing lengths at the local swimming pool, maybe microdosing is for you! It could be just the thing to release your inner athlete! Check out our microdosing guide here.