The team describe previous studies which found (for example) that sub-elite runners who thought they were drinking ‘super oxygenated water’ ran 8.0% faster. Sub-elite weight lifters who believed they were getting doses of anabolic steroids managed 9.5% more weight than a control group. And untrained students performing leg-presses and who were under the impression that they were taking a special blend of ‘amino acids’ performed a stonking 9.6% more effectively.
Since the paper was published (2009), two subsequent studies have added to the literature :
(Study 1) Relates that 47% of athletes have experienced placebo effects in the past, and 67% wouldn’t mind a placebo-linked deception if it was effective, and :
(Study 2) Which described how 44% of professional coaches admitted to administering a placebo to their athletes.
Coming soon: How to ‘cheat’ at sport without really ‘cheating’ – part 3