For strength athletes, bodybuilders and others who are seeking to improve performance or their physical appearance, albuterol offers numerous benefits. For the most part, it is most often considered a “fat burner” in the bodybuilding community. This is due to the ability of the drug to stimulate fat cells, increase lypolysis, decrease appetite, increase body temperature, as well as increasing basal metabolic rate, among other things (1). All of these factors, when combined with proper diet and training, would obviously help to increase the rate of fat loss in users. However the use of albuterol is not limited to simply fat loss. There is evidence that it can help to dramatically improve athletic performance as well as helping to contribute to anabolism.
There’s pretty compelling evidence that shows albuterol is just about as effective as clenbuterol at increasing anabolism, with one exception: Albuterol is effective at “clinically safe” doses (in man), and clenbuterol is not. In other words, in order to achieve an anabolic effect from clenbuterol, you need to exceed its safety limits (which is not necessarily dangerous or undesirable for us healthy bodybuilder types).
On the other hand, albuterol, at clinically safe doses, increases whole-body protein content in rats by 20% in just three weeks! So it really does increase protein synthesis. Furthermore, there are several studies that show albuterol is effective at significantly increasing power output and muscular endurance in man. Additionally, albuterol is heart healthy, prevents muscle catabolism, and is a pretty darn good asthma medicine to boot. By all indications, albuterol should be effective for at least three to four weeks at increasing muscle mass before you need a week off from use. And from a personal experience, this bears out as well. I’ve had reasonably good success with albuterol, and I suggest anyone who has access to the drug to give it a try. I recommend starting with 2mg a day then up to 16 mg a day, taken in either two doses spaced 8-10 hours apart, or four doses spaced about four hours apart. Go on cycles of 3-4 weeks on, one week off. Be careful about stacking other adrenergic agonists, like ephedra, with albuterol. If you can tolerate the combination, go for it, but test it out first. The half-life of albuterol is about five hours, so if the doses are too frequent, there’s a cumulative effect that could get the better of you, sending your heart into an arrhythmia that rivals the tempo of a hummingbird’s wings. Just be aware that there are enormous tolerance differences between people. So start out slowly with minimal doses until you get a handle on how your body reacts to these compounds. And regarding aspirin, bag the idea of using it for anything other than pain control. Stacking it with stimulants is out of date and actually counterproductive.
So now that it has been established that albuterol has significantly less potential damaging side effects then clenbuterol, the differences in their efficiency in terms of lypolysis and performance enhancement can be explored. Since the primary difference between the two compounds is their half lives, it is obvious that if single doses of the separate drugs were given, clenbuterol would have a much longer lasting effect on the user and the effects of the drug would be active for a longer period of time. However this benefit of clenbuterol is circumvented simply by spacing the dosages administered of albuterol to much shorter periods of time. This requires much more frequent dosing, but this inconvenience may be well worth the fact that the effects of the drug cease much more quickly once administration of it is stopped.
Like all beta agonists, albuterol has major stimulant effects on users. This can lead to side effects such as an increase in blood pressure, increased heart rate an/or palpitations, insomnia, tremors, and increased sweating due to the thermogenic effects of the drug, among others (4). Of course the onset and severity of these side effects will vary from one user to another. It is recommended, as is the case with most drugs, that users begin administering relatively small doses of the compound to determine their tolerance level for it. The user then can slowly increase his or her dosages until they find one which provides them with the desired effects, while not producing side effects that the user would find intolerable.
Another aspect of albuterol use is its apparent effect of decreasing the levels of the amino acid taurine in the serum and the heart of users (6), as mentioned previously. This is a similar trait of other beta agonists. Many users will supplement with taurine to counteract this effect. It is believed that when the body is depleted of taurine, muscle cramps are more likely to occur, although there is no real scientific research that supports this assertion.
It should also be noted that there are some studies which have indicated that beta agonists, of which albuterol is one, can impair cardiovascular endurance and/or performance. However they have also been shown to help increase performance. Obviously like all situations where contradictory research exists, users will have to experiment with the drug themselves and see exactly how they react to the compound.
Heart damage, as indicated earlier, is often a worry among users because of animal studies indicating that it occurs in animals given clenbuterol. Due to the similarity of the compounds, there may be some concern among users that these negative effects that have been associated with clenbuterol use and its impact on the heart may also occur with the administration of albuterol. However there is little evidence that this is an issue. For the most part the scientific research has found no link between albuterol use and detrimental changes in the heart. This may be true for a number of reasons. First, the studies that indicated that clenbuterol caused cardiac hypertrophy and necrosis were conducted with animals. This is important because animals have a larger number of beta 2 receptors then humans.
The lack of heart damage attributable to albuterol use may also be due to the shorter half life of the drug relative to clenbuterol. This possible explanation is theoretical in nature, as no research has been conducted on the subject, but could be a contributing factor. However, the main point to be made is that there is no evidence that albuterol could be directly linked to potential heart damage in a user. For the most part, when used in a cautious manner, albuterol is a very safe drug to utilize.
Strength training and albuterol in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.
BACKGROUND: In animals and healthy volunteers beta2-adrenergic agonists increase muscle strength and mass, in particular when combined with strength training. In patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) albuterol may exert anabolic effects. The authors evaluated the effect of strength training and albuterol on muscle strength and volume in FSHD. METHODS: Sixty-five patients were randomized to strength training of elbow flexors and ankle dorsiflexors or non-training. After 26 weeks albuterol (sustained-release, 8 mg BID) was added in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design. Primary outcome was maximum voluntary isometric strength (MVIC) at 52 weeks. Secondary outcomes comprised dynamic strength and muscle volume. RESULTS: Training and albuterol were well tolerated. Training of elbow flexors did not result in a significant effect on MVIC, but dynamic strength improved significantly. Elbow flexor MVIC strength increased significantly in albuterol vs placebo treated patients. Ankle dorsiflexor strength decreased in all groups. Eleven out of twelve non-trained muscles in the albuterol group showed a positive effect on MVIC compared to the placebo group (p < 0.05 in seven muscle groups). Muscle volume decreased in the placebo-treated, and increased in the albuterol-treated patients. No synergistic or antagonistic effects were observed between training and albuterol. CONCLUSIONS: In FSHD strength training and albuterol appear safe interventions with limited positive effect on muscle strength and volume. Consequences of prolonged use are presently unclear, which precludes routine prescription.