β2-Agonists Build Muscle: Low Dose Terbutaline Adds 1kg (DXA) in 4 Weeks - With and Without Resistance Training
|Who would have thought that? Asthma-sprays probably beat the crap out of good old clenbuterol tabs when it comes to building muscle - even if you don't train!|
A couple of days ago, a group of Danish researchers confirmed your suspicions. They'd investigated if inhaled beta2‐agonist, terbutaline, alters body composition and metabolic rate with and without concurrent exercise training in healthy young men.
In the corresponding 4-week RCT, sixty‐seven participants completed subjects received what was not even a "therapeutic" dosage (daily terbutaline, 8×0.5 mg) or placebo treatment without concurrent training (habitual; n=23), with resistance (n=23) or endurance (n=21) training three times weekly (Jessen 2018).
- Participants in the endurance training group performed a high-intensity training program three times weekly on indoor spinning bikes. All training sessions were supervised by an instructor and consisted of 10 min warm-up followed by three blocks of exercise at ~85% of maximum heart rate for 10 min with 30 s of all-out sprinting at the end of each 10-min block.
- Participants in the resistance training group performed a full-body programme three times weekly. All training sessions were supervised by an instructor and consisted of eight exercises until failure. Resistance was adjusted continually so failure occurred at ~10-12 repetitions.
The training program was progressive, as each exercise consisted of two sets in the first week, three sets in the second and third week, and four sets in the fourth week. The training program consisted of leg press, bench press, knee extensions, military press, lunges, lat pulldowns, laying leg curl, and low row. Each set was separated by two minutes recovery.
- Participants in the habitual group did not perform any specific training, but were habitually active in some cases, such as bicycle transportation to and from work, soccer matches, or light running. All participants were physically active less than 4 h weekly.
|Serum concentrations of terbutaline after oral administration of 10 mg and inhaled administration of 4 mg in 12 healthy trained men (Dyreborg 2016).|
Wrt both doping and side effects, it is also worth remembering that the study at hand proves that the dosage one needs to see (at least in the short term) significant results "was more than four times lower than the oral doses administered by Hostrup et al." (Jessen 2018)
|Figure 1: Changes in lean mass (kg, left) and body fat percentage (right) after 4 weeks on only "near‐therapeutic" dosages of the beta-2-agonist terbutaline (8×0.5 mg) | DXA data (Jessen. 2018).|
"[...] the dose administered in the present study is higher than that normally prescribed to asthmatics, the dose is within the limit of what many elite athletes may use in association with training sessions as prophylactic treatment" (Jessen 2018).Accordingly, the authors of the study at hand are right to point out that "present study should be a point of caution for clinicians who are treating elite athletes as terbutaline inhalation in doses of 4 mg, and presumably above, may potentiate training adaptations to resistance training" (Jessen 2018) - I guess none of the athletes would mind, though?!
- Dyreborg, Anders, et al. "Pharmacokinetics of oral and inhaled terbutaline after exercise in trained men." Frontiers in pharmacology 7 (2016): 150.
- Jessen, S. , Onslev, J. , Lemminger, A. , Backer, V. , Bangsbo, J. and Hostrup, M. (2018), "Hypertrophic effect of inhaled beta2‐agonist with and without concurrent exercise training: a randomized controlled trial." Scand J Med Sci Sports. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/sms.13221
- Hostrup, Morten, et al. "Chronic β2‐adrenoceptor agonist treatment alters muscle proteome and functional adaptations induced by high intensity training in young men." The Journal of physiology 596.2 (2018): 231-252.