Meldonium, banned Jan 1st 2016 has received much attention since it was thrust into the spotlight by Sharapova's high profile case, but up until then, this substance or nootropic was sparsely discussed within cognitive enhancing circles.
Meldonium, alternatively known as Quaterine, MET-88, THP, Mildronate or Mildronat, and as described on wiki suggests that it may raise your game in the following departments:
Physical work capacity
Reason being is that it’s medicinally used to expand the arteries, allowing for an increase in blood flow and oxygen throughout the body, helping to treat coronary artery disease and heart problems like ischemia.
It essentially increases the size of blood vessels and ultimately improves your blood flow, so the appeal for athletes is understandable.
Of the 15 of the 21 sports in the Baku European games, Meldonium was detected and 13 of the medalist's including competition winners were taking it.
Meldonium has been flying under the radar for some time, with only 23 of the 662 tested competing athletes at that tournament declaring it for personal use [prior to its ban], while 66 of those tested – 8.7%, during pre-competition claimed positive urine samples.
In March 2016 an additional 27 Russian athletes [of some 127 worldwide cases] were banned for taking Meldonium, according to the countries sports minister Vitaly Mutko.
Sharapova continued its use after the ban and was subsequently caught out while not being savvy enough and staying in-line with the latest anti-doping rules.
Claiming that she has been taking it since 2006 for health issues without the knowledge that it is used as a performance enhancing drug is probably a tad rich but her appeal will soon be answered [beginning of October 2016].
Meldonium is produced by the Latvian company Grindeks (who for your interest state it takes several months to leave your system), and as far as its availability online as of 30/09/16, you can buy Meldonium as Mildronate at the following web stores – (always do your homework before purchasing online, however the 3 stores below get fairly decent rep on reddit here).
1. https://cosmicnootropic.com/products/mildronate-meldonium?variant=16538977092 – 40 pills, 250mg $19.99
2. http://rupharma.com/mildronate/ - 40 pills, 250mg £21.00 (doesn’t ship to Canada)
3. https://www.awakebrain.com/mildronate.html - 60 pills 500 mg $69.99 (5 pill sample $9.99)
Enhances the huge supply of oxygen to the cells in muscles and brain
Drops the lactate level and urea-in blood
May improve physical working ability & endurance levels
May boosts recovery-rate after workout
Improves the glycogen level in the cells, advancing heart function
May activate functioning of the CNS and protects-against stress
When taken in prescribed manner there are little if zero side effects to note.
Online reviews are anecdotal so take with pinch of salt
Do not take with Acute Coronary Syndrome
In December 2015 Drug Testing and Analysis contended that in short, Meldonium:
i: Shows an increase in endurance performance of athletes
ii: Improves rehabilitation after exercise
iii: Protects against stress
iv: Enhances activations of central nervous system (CNS) functions
Rather than behaving like an anabolic steroid, which can promote side effects like irritability and an emotionally unstable state, Drug Testing and Analysis argue it [Meldonium] can keep an elevated state of mind and better activate neurons in the CNS, helping improve the messaging system throughout the body which may lower (improve) an athlete’s reaction time.
Grindeks beg to differ. They add that Meldonium simply reduces damage to cells caused by particular byproducts of carnitine. Meldonium steps in to prevent the death of ischemic cells (halting tissue damage form ischemia - a lack of blood flow to a certain area of the body) and does “not increase the performance of normal cells”.
Not approved in the U.S by the FDA, Meldonium is readily available as a prescription in Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan.
Here is the official video by Grindesk – the Latvian manufacturer on how Meldonium works in greater detail: