Enhancement of exercise performance with inhaled albuterol

Can J Sport Sci. 1988 Jun;13(2):144-8.


The use of bronchodilators in athletic competition has allowed asthmatics to participate successfully in competitive events. Little information exists regarding possible bronchodilator use by non-asthmatic competitive athletes. Fifteen non-asthmatic cyclists participated in a double-blind, randomized, cross-over protocol involving a simulated race, i.e., one-hour heavy continuous exercise (minute ventilation (VE) 81 L/min BTPS) followed by maximal effort workload to exhaustion, with/without prior inhalation of albuterol to see if their exercise performance would be acutely altered. Each study day metabolic parameters were obtained four times. Pulmonary function tests were performed prior to and after the inhalant (albuterol/placebo) and following exercise. There was a significant increase in forced expiratory flow parameters following albuterol. Although not significant, oxygen uptake (VO2) and VE were smaller during the one-hour submaximal test following albuterol and VO2max and VEmax were higher. There was an increased ride time (196 vs. 159 s; p less than 0.05). Albuterol may provide a competitive advantage for non-asthmatic athletes who might use it.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Albuterol / pharmacology*
  • Bicycling*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Placebos
  • Random Allocation
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sports*


  • Placebos
  • Albuterol