Hostrup, M., & Elers, J. (2011). High-dose inhaled salbutamol has no acute effects on aerobic capacity or oxygen kinetics in healthy trained men. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5). Supplement abstract 1835.

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"The prevalence of asthma is higher among elite athletes than in the general population. This has resulted in frequent use of anti-asthmatic medication such as beta2-agonist among asthmatic athletes. However, beta2-agonists are on the prohibited list of WADA. Use of the beta2-agonist salbutamol is only permitted in therapeutic inhaled doses. Most studies have reported lack of ergogenic effects of therapeutic doses of inhaled beta2-agonists measured in maximal oxygen uptake." This study examined possible effects of high-dose inhaled salbutamol on oxygen kinetics. Healthy well-trained men (N = 9) were randomized to experience inhalation of 40 puffs of 0.2 mg salbutamol or two placebo tablets. Ss performed an incremental test to exhaustion and three sub-maximal tests at 75% of peak power to determine oxygen kinetics.

During the incremental test there was no effects of inhaled salbutamol on VO2max in absolute or relative terms, and no effect on peak power or lactate threshold. During the submaximal test, there were no effects on time constant, time delay, mean response time, or oxygen deficit related to oxygen kinetics.

Implication. The are no ergogenic effects of high doses of salbutamol on aerobic capacity or oxygen kinetics.

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