Newcomers to bodybuilding and athletic performance enhancement may be surprised to discover that Clenbuterol is not an anabolic androgenic steroid.
How is it used by bodybuilders and athletes? What benefits can it provide?
How does Clenbuterol work in regard to implementing it into a bodybuilding or athletic training regimen or cycle?
Table of Contents
Clenbuterol is not an anabolic steroid but a sympathomimetic amine that does, in some ways act like a steroid.
Clenbuterol is a decongestant agent and bronchodilator that is commonly used by people diagnosed with asthma or chronic lung conditions and disorders such as COPD.
It’s a prescription-only drug, though not classified as a controlled substance. So what does it do?
Clenbuterol is deemed an adrenergic compound that can in some ways mimic some of the behaviors of the sympathetic nervous system.
Bodybuilders and athletes often use it because it has fat burning (thermogenic) potential due to its stimulative effects on the sympathetic nervous system.
As a bronchodilator and decongestant agent, Clenbuterol’s main function or mechanism of action serves to dilate/relax smooth muscle tissues such as those found in the bronchi and bronchial tubes.
It can behave on other body processes such as the conversion of lipids (fats) into glucose inside the liver.
Glucose (sugar) is the body’s main form of energy and part of the metabolic process.
Because Clenbuterol can have an impact on the sympathetic nervous system, it can also have an impact on metabolism and cardiovascular behaviors.
Clenbuterol also has some thermogenic properties, which increase metabolism and aid in fat-burning, so it can be effective in weight loss – under certain circumstances.
Before heading to the pharmacy to purchase Clenbuterol, be aware that the weight loss associated with it is not significant.
In fact, bodybuilders are the first to admit that Clenbuterol is only effective in helping them to lose a few pounds prior to competition, in combination with an adequate diet and continued exercise routines.
It is not recommended as a weight-loss drug for those who are overweight, obese, or who don’t exercise regularly but are looking for an easy fix.
Its mechanism of action in relaxing and opening airways is also effective for athletes because the lungs oxygenate blood.
The more oxygen in the blood, the more oxygen reaches muscle cells, improving muscle building processes, strengthening, endurance, and stamina.
Does Clenbuterol work? For some things, such as its efficacy as a bronchodilator, yes. For drastic weight-loss, no.
As with many prescription-only drugs, Clenbuterol is recommended in specific oral or inhaled doses to achieve the greatest benefit with a minimum of side effects.
Used for non-medical reasons, any drug, including Clenbuterol, can contribute to a number of unexpected and sometimes alarming side effects.
Because of its ability to stimulate components of the nervous system, users may experience a number of central nervous system/sympathetic nervous system effects that include:
In medical scenarios, Clenbuterol in tablet form may average 20 mcg a day. A bodybuilder athlete often takes as much as 160 mcg a day.
The higher the dosage, the higher the potential for side effects.
Higher than recommended doses of Clenbuterol can contribute to heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia.
It can also contribute to a condition known as rhabdomyolysis, or the damage and breakdown of muscle tissue fibers that are then excreted in urinary flow, which can turn dark in color.
Obviously, the breakdown of muscle tissue is not what athletes and bodybuilders are looking for.
Clenbuterol has a relatively brief half-life, which often prompts users to take more on a daily basis and throughout the day to maintain the thermogenic or fat-burning effects.
However, even in medically supervised scenarios, use of Clenbuterol is not generally recommended long-term, depending on situation and ultimate treatment goals.
Bodybuilding websites and forum discussion groups recommend that bodybuilders not take Clenbuterol for more than four to six weeks, and then give the body a rest for two to three weeks before starting use again.
In most cases, side effects of Clenbuterol will ease as the use is discontinued.
So, does Clenbuterol work and is it safe? When used as it is intended, yes, Clenbuterol does work, and it is safe, when supervised by medical professionals.
However, when used irresponsibly, or for non-medical reasons, it can trigger a number of functions in the body that may negatively affect blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolism.