River Plate used Viagra to combat the altitude of a Copa Libertadores game in Bolivia

River Plate medics had an idea how to make sure their players got up for the match against Bolivian club San Jose de Oruro, which was at an altitude of nearly 12,500 feet. They prescribed a cocktail of Viagra, coffee, and aspirin.

This is like taking the hippie out of a hippie speedball.

Look, no one wants to end up looking like Anderson, huffing into an oxygen mask after coming out in the first half. River Plate brought oxygen masks for each player, too, but to avoid that, the players took this fun, flirty cocktail before the game in Bolivia. They also arrived at the Estadio Jesus Bermudez two hours before kickoff for Thursday’s Copa Libertadores game.

“Viagra will stimulate the circulation of oxygen in the blood and helps the players breathe better,” someone on River Plate’s medical staff told Clarin, an Argentine newspaper.

Weirdly, this holds up.

“Simply put, Viagra is a vasodilator, meaning it helps relax blood vessels to allow for increased blood flow,” ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell wrote. “In the presence of sexual stimulation, this increased blood flow is the means of counterattack against erectile dysfunction. Such increased blood flow is not as helpful during competitive sports. Scientific studies have shown, however, that the vasodilation effects of Viagra also can improve blood flow to the lungs.”

She goes on to specifically cite its benefits at “improving exercise capacity” in high altitude.

Anyway, it didn’t work. River Plate lost 2-0.

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