This study looks at this with respect to an ergogenic drug.
believing one had taken the substance resulted in times almost as fast as those associated with consuming the drug itself. In contrast, taking the drug without knowledge yielded no significant performance increment.
That is quite an interesting finding. Think about all the drug testing. The drugs might not even work, except by making people think that they will work!
How can we tap into this mental power?
It makes me think about the Hulk - Banner knew that there was more strength in him than he could normally access. I also put up a post way back about psyching up. There is much in our attitude and belief that affects our performance!
"Because I know it will!": placebo effects of an ergogenic aid on athletic performance.
McClung M, Collins D.
In the perpetual quest for better performance, athletes are using an increasingly diverse range of ergogenic aids. Some are permitted; however, this "drug" use is often seen as an ethically questionable behavior. A variety of research suggests that much of the impact of such aids may be due to expectancy-the belief that the substance will aid performance. It would be useful to demonstrate this to athletes considering such usage, especially as a pillar of antidrug education. Accordingly, this investigation used sodium bicarbonate and placebo additives in a double disassociation design, with athletes completing a series of 1,000-m time trials. Results showed that believing one had taken the substance resulted in times almost as fast as those associated with consuming the drug itself. In contrast, taking the drug without knowledge yielded no significant performance increment. Results are discussed against the backdrop of applying expectancy effects in high-performance sport, including dissuading athletes from using illegal aids.