Inhaled beta2-agonist, formoterol, enhances intense exercise performance, and sprint ability in elite cyclists

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


  • Fulltext

    Forlagets udgivne version, 981 KB, PDF-dokument

Purpose: Many athletes use long-acting beta2-agonist formoterol in treatment of asthma. However, studies in non-athlete cohorts demonstrate that inhaled formoterol can enhance sprint performance calling into question whether its use in competitive sports should be restricted. We investigated whether formoterol at upper recommended inhaled doses (54 μg) would enhance sprint ability and intense exercise performance in elite cyclists. Methods: Twenty-one male cyclists (V̇O2max: 70.4 ± 4.3 mL × min−1 × kg−1, mean ± SD) completed two 6-s all-out sprints followed by 4-min all-out cycling after inhaling either 54 μg formoterol or placebo. We also assessed cyclists' leg muscle mass by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and muscle fiber type distribution of vastus lateralis biopsies. Results: Peak and mean power output during the 6-s sprint was 32 W (95% CI, 19–44 W, p < 0.001) and 36 W (95% CI, 24–48 W, p < 0.001) higher with formoterol than placebo, corresponding to an enhancing effect of around 3%. Power output during 4-min all-out cycling was 9 W (95% CI, 2–16 W, p = 0.01) greater with formoterol than placebo, corresponding to an enhancing effect of 2.3%. Performance changes in response to formoterol were unrelated to cyclists' VO2max and leg lean mass, whereas muscle fiber Type I distribution correlated with change in sprinting peak power in response to formoterol (r2 = 0.314, p = 0.012). Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that an inhaled one-off dose of 54 μg formoterol has a performance-enhancing potential on sprint ability and short intense performance in elite male cyclists, which is irrespective of training status but partly related to muscle fiber type distribution for sprint ability.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2024

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by a grant from the World Anti‐Doping Agency (20C20MH, PI: Morten Hostrup).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science In Sports published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Antal downloads er baseret på statistik fra Google Scholar og

Ingen data tilgængelig

ID: 375720724