Is the placebo effect a bad thing?

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

What a ridiculous question, right? We don’t want the placebo effect, we want the real thing. The placebo effect is all in your head. You’re not really benefitting from it. Or are you?

Suppose a study (as some do) says runners perform better when they believe they are getting a certain supplement or treatment, even if they are getting the placebo. Is the treatment a benefit? Is the placebo? If you’re running better or remaining healthier, does it matter?

Is the placebo effect really a bad thing? If it leads to you running faster or it leads you to being healthier, isn’t that a good thing?

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