Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pseudo-Ephedrine Improves Cycling Performance in Trained Athletes

As Wikipedia knows, other than its banned brother "real" ephedrine, "pseudoephedrine sulfate are found in many over-the-counter preparations either as a single ingredient or, more commonly, in combination with antihistamines, guaifenesin, dextromethorphan, paracetamol (acetaminophen), and/or NSAIDs." With these medications being readily available from the average Athlete's poison cabinet, it might be of particular interest, that Pritchard-Peschek et al. (Pritchard-Peschek. 2010) found that ingestion of 180 mg of pseudoephedrine (PSE) had immediate positive effects on cycling time-trial (TT) performance in six well-trained male cyclists and triathletes (age 33 ± 2 yr, mass 81 ± 8 kg, height 182.0 ± 6.7 cm, VO2max 56.8 ± 6.8 ml · kg–1 · min–1; M ± SD):
PSE improved cycling TT performance by 5.1% (95% CI 0–10%) compared with PLA (28:58.9 ± 4:26.5 and 30:31.7 ± 4:36.7 min, respectively). There was a significant Treatment × Time interaction (p = .04) for NE, with NE increasing during the PSE trial only. Similarly, blood glucose also showed a trend (p = .06) for increased levels postexercise in the PSE trial.
Apart from its positive effect on exercise performance, the increase in norepinephrine will also effect substrate metabolism by freeing fatty acids for the use as substrate for muscle activity. In that sense, pseudoephedrine appears to work similar to its brother ephedrine. Whether it would be a good weight loss tool, would yet still have to be investigated.