While professional athletes sometimes rely on a sophisticated cocktail of drugs to boost their performance, stimulants _ known in Thai as ya dope, a rather catch-all term coined from English _ are more readily available and are commonly used by people in many fields of endeavour outside sports, with varying effects _ both positive and negative.
According to Dr Thidakarn Rujipattanakul, a local anti-ageing specialist, "stimulant" can be defined as a broad class of drugs or chemical substances which stimulate the function of two particular organ systems: the brain and the central nervous system as well as the heart and circulatory system.
"Stimulants are not necessarily bad for health," Dr Thidakarn added. "Take coffee, for example. Coffee is actually a natural stimulant because the caffeine it contains has the ability to stimulate the heart function. Several types of commercial caffeinated beverages, such as green-tea drinks, can also be regarded as stimulants."
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