Want to be an athlete but think it is too much work?

Psychoactive drugs may be the answer.

Let's face it, exercise is a lot of work. Our ancestors worked all of the time and they lived to be 35 so we have clearly evolved to be lazy. Effort is the largest barrier to why people do not exercise so Professor Samuele Marcora at University of Kent suggests that reducing perception of effort during exercise using caffeine or other psychoactive drugs (e.g. methylphenidate and modafinil) could help many people stick to their fitness plans. By fooling them into thinking it is less effort than it is.

A reduction in perception of effort would be very helpful to the many people who find exercise difficult because they are overweight and/or exercise after work in a state of mental fatigue.

PMarcora also states that whilst there is no strong ethical opposition to the use of psychoactive drugs to help quit smoking (nicotine) or treat obesity (appetite suppressants), the negative perception of doping in sport may prevent the use of stimulants and other psychoactive drugs to treat physical inactivity.

Given that physical inactivity is responsible for twice as many deaths as obesity, he hopes that psychopharmacological treatment for physical inactivity will be considered fairly and seriously rather than immediately rejected on the basis of unrelated ethical considerations about doping in sport.

Published in the journal Sports Medicine.