Is Salmeterol Ergogenic?

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Abstract

Objective

To assess the effects of 50 μg of inhaled salmeterol on pulmonary function, selected physical capacities, and fine motor control in 16 nonasthmatic male cyclists and triathletes, mean age of 23.2 (SD = 3.5) years.

Design

Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial.

Setting

Human Physical Performance Laboratory, the University of Western Australia.

Subjects

Sixteen healthy male high-performance nonasthmatic athletes with a mean age of 23.2 years participated in the study.

Intervention

Subjects attended three experimental testing sessions at which salmeterol (50 μg), a placebo, or “no treatment” was administered in random order in a double-blind fashion, on separate occasions, prior to exercise.

Main outcome measures

During each testing, session lung function was measured before and 10 min after the treatment. Tests of reaction time and hand steadiness and then two anaerobic cycle tests followed. The first, a 10-s all-out sprint was followed, after a 3-min rest, by a 30-s all-out sprint performed on a front access bicycle ergometer. After 10 min recovery, leg flexion-extension peak torque was measured on a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer at speeds of 120 and 180° s−1.

Main results

Lung function variables, reaction time, movement time, alactic anaerobic power, lactacid anaerobic power, and leg-flexion and leg-extension muscular strength were similar among the three treatment groups.

Conclusions

The preexercise administration of 50 μg of inhaled salmeterol has no performance-enhancing effects in nonasthmatic athletes. We believe that athletes with asthma should be permitted to use salmeterol before competition.

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