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β2-Agonists Improve Nonaerobic Athletic Performance

TUESDAY, Aug. 4, 2020 -- Sprint and strength performance are improved in nonasthmatic athletes by using β2-agonists, according to a review published online Aug. 3 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Amund Riiser, Ph.D., from the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in Vestlandet, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to examine the effect of β2-agonists on anaerobic performance (maximal physical performance lasting one minute or less) in healthy nonasthmatic individuals.

Based on 34 identified studies, the researchers found that β2-agonists improved anaerobic performance by 5 percent, but the effect was related to dose and administration route. The standardized difference in mean (SDM) was 0.14 for approved β2-agonists and 0.46 for prohibited β2-agonists. For inhaled administration, SDM was 0.16 versus 0.51 for oral administration. Additionally, SDM was 0.20 for acute treatment and 0.50 for treatment for multiple weeks. Strength and sprint performance were specifically improved by β2-agonists.

"Our results support that the use of β2-agonists should be controlled and restricted to athletes with documented asthma," the authors write.

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