The recent research shows that the use of some performance-enhancing drugs is on the rise, especially in the field of sports. There have several cases of athletes being withdrawn or completely being cancelled from international competitions because of the use of the banned substances. One of the drugs that has been recently listed as a performance-enhancing substance by The World Anti-Doping Agency and The International Olympics Committee is clenbuterol. This drug has been initially developed for the treatment of asthma and other pulmonary related diseases. However, it is argued to be an effective substance for burning fats and building muscles. This is the main reason why it is used by many athletes and body builders. In this regard, this paper focuses on the clenbuterol, its use in sports, and other uses of this substance, i.e. in the veterinary. In addition, the paper also discusses it effects, both positive and negative, and the reasons why it is banned in the US, the UK, and many other European countries.
The use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports has been a broadly debated issue worldwide for some decades. There have been various cases where athletes have been disqualified after tested as positive for the drugs listed as the performance enhancing by the World Anti-Doping Agency and The International Olympics Committee. Many of the drugs banned in athletics and other sport competitions are argued to have majorly negative impacts on the human health. However, many athletes continue using them because many of these drugs have been proven to enhance their performance. One of such drugs is Clenbuterol (Eisenson, 2009). The research shows that this drug is not a steroid, but it has been involved in the performance-enhancing list by the World Ant-Doping Agency, mainly because it has been found to improve the sport performance.
What is Clenbuterol?
According to Eisenson (2009), Clenbuterol is a steroid-like substance based on how it works in the human body, but scientifically, it is not a steroid. This drug is very similar in many ways to stimulant drugs, and it is categorized under the group of such drugs known as beta-2-agonists. Initially, this drug has been developed for the treatment and management of asthma. The drug has been developed as a bronchodilator, and it is mainly prescribed for such various obstructive pulmonary diseases, as asthma as it is has been proved to relax pulmonary smooth muscles. The recent studies have found that clenbuterol causes some positive impacts on the human body apart from treating pulmonary diseases and asthma. These include: burning fats and calories and building muscles. This is the main reason why this drug is used by many athletes and body builders.
Clenbuterol’s Use in Sports
According to Quinn (2010),Clenbuterol use as a performance-enhancing drug in sports and athletics is on its rise. The World Anti-Doping Agency and International Olympics Committee have already banned this drug because it is the performance-enhancing drug. However, despite being prohibited from using it, many athletes continue using clenbuterol to burn fat and build muscles to perform well in sports. The drug aids in the fat loss as it increases metabolism. In relation to building muscles, clenbuterol is associated with the skeletal expansion, as it enhances the protein synthesis in muscles. Researchers argue that muscle tissues in the body do not only take up clenbuterol. Other muscles such as those of the heart also take up the drug. Many athletes because of its themogenic and anti-catabolic effects also mainly use the drug. Upon consumption, the drug causes an increase in the body temperature, which results in the increase in the calorie expenditure. A recent study on the effects that this drug has on the human body indicates that the increase in body temperature for about 1 degree Celsius results in about 5% calorie burnout.
Clenbuterol is also argued to increase the blood capacity in carrying oxygen. The increase in oxygen enables more glucose broken in blood, which increases the total energy in the body. This is another reason why athletes use clenbuterol as the increased energy enables them to perform better. The energy increase also provides stamina for an athlete, as he or she can perform longer without experiencing the muscle fatigue. However, researchers argue that athletes using clenbuterol to perform well in athletics and sports need to take it repetitively because its positive effects are short lived.
According to Zimmer (1976), clenbuterol is usually dosed in micrograms. It mainly occurs in a tablet form, but can also intake other forms such as liquids, nasal sprays, and injectable ones. However, although the dosages are in micrograms, many manufacturers list the active ingredients of clenbuterol in milligrams. As Zimmer (1976) explains, clenbuterol is used in dosages ranging anywhere between 20-60 micrograms a day. However, a medical research point out that the dose of about 20 micrograms should never be exceeded for women, and men should not use the dose of more than 40 micrograms within a day.
However, it is argued that many athletes and body builders using this drug exceed these dosages to perform better. These people are argued to increase their dosage slowly as they continue consuming the drug, and the optimal benefits are achieved after a period of about four weeks. The drug is a powerful stimulator, and it is believed to bring about a rapid down-stimulation of beta-2 receptors. For this reason, it is advised that the continued use of this drug without a break does not bring any additional benefits. The drug is effective if its use is accompanied with some break-offs. The studies done on the clenbuterol dosage indicate that a break of about 2 days allows enough up-regulations for the drug receptors. It has also been medically proved that the body does not adapt to the effects of clenbuterol, and this explains the reason why people keep on cycling its use.
Medical Use of Clenbuterol
According to Eisenson (2009), clenbuterol has been initially developed for treating some breathing and other pulmonary related diseases for humans. The patients with severe breathing problems such as asthma mostly use it. However, the use of clenbuterol is not approved for a human use in the US. Despite that the drug is prohibited for the human use in the United States, the research shows that it is identical in its properties to albuterol, which is mainly used for treating asthma. Clenbuterol is argued to be an effective smooth muscle relaxer, which aids in breathing for the people experiencing breathing problems.
Clenbuterol Veterinary Use
Clenbuterol is used in many countries for the veterinary use. However, the United States and many of European countries prohibit the use of this drug in any food-producing animals. This is because it is used to increase the muscle-to-fat body ratio to make an anima meat leaner. In the United States, the drug is only approved under a veterinarian prescription for the treatment of respiratory diseases in horses. For the veterinary uses, it is mainly sold under the trade name as ventipulmin. It can be administered to horses orally or injected directly into their veins. During the time of parturition, the drug is also used for relaxing the uterus of a cow. It is also used to stimulate metabolism for many animals. The drug is mainly used in increasing the lean mass and livestock production. For this reason, many athletes testing positive with this drug claim to have obtained it from the contaminated meat. The animal studies indicate that clenbuterol use may lead to a death of cells or a condition known as apoptosis in muscles. This condition can also affect the heart.
Positive Effects of Clenbuterol
According to Kearns and Mc Keever (2002), one of the reasons, why clenbuterol is popular among athletes and bodybuilders, is because it results in the increased body mass and muscles build up. The drug also enhances the oxygen use in the body. As an anabolic drug, clenbuterol is associated with some immediate positive effects in human body. One of the short-term effects of clenbuterol is that it makes a user anxious and gives him or her the over-heated healing. When used for a short-term, it leads to the weight loss in athletes and celebrities because of a calorie burnout.
The drug is argued to move the heart and the whole body system faster, which leads to the increased sport performance. However, for clenbuterol to produce the desired positive effects, it is advisable that in the initial stages, other less powerful stimulants such as caffeine and aspirin are being used. Clenbuterol is best of all used in the final stages. As Quinn (2010) explains,many people with the problems of the low blood pressure use it to increase their blood pressure and ease the oxygen transportation in the body. It is also argued that after having taken clenbuterol, one can do more cardiovascular exercises for a longer period even after consuming less food. This is because clenbuterol is associated with the energy release through the glucose breakdown in the body. However, it is advised that with the intake of clenbuterol, one should increase the intake of proteins and energy giving foods, as they are burning faster in the body.
Medically, the drug is used for various curative purposes, especially for some pulmonary diseases and specifically for asthma. The drug has been proven to be an effective muscle builder and an effective fat burner. It is argued that clenbuterol effectively burns fats resulting to only a slight increase in the body temperature. The drug is also extensively used for its bronchodilator characteristics. However, its misuse by many athletes and muscle builders makes the drug to be puzzled with a kind of steroid. It is argued that many athletes who can balance the catabolic phase of clenbuterol after being treated with the asteroid rip benefits to a maximum strength. Out of all the substances used for burning fats, it is argued that clenbuterol is among the best substances for burning fats in a more effective and faster way.
Negative Effects of Clenbuterol
According to PartyBoy (2012), despite that clenbuterol can be used for some medical purposes and in to produce various positive effects, it is associated with severe negative effects. One of the main negative effects of this drug in the human body is that it causes an enlargement of heart ventricles resulting to the condition commonly referred to as the cardiac hypertrophy. A recent research on the effects of this drug on the human body indicates that people who even consume the contaminated animal liver face the problems with their lungs and hearts. These effects have been described as being mild, but the Food and Drug Administration argue that such effects are unacceptable. The continued use of this drug can also cause some liver disturbances. The medical research also points out that the long-term use of this drug can result into a heart failure or the permanent heart damage. These are some of the reasons why the use of this drug has been considered illegal in the United States and many European countries.
Apart from lung and heart problems, clenbuterol has other several negative effects. It is associated with the increased blood pressure that can result into overworking of the heart. Because the calorie burn-up is accompanied with the energy release, clenbuterol leads to the increased perspiration. The use of clenbuterol for a muscle expansion also leads to some negative effects. These include such as muscle cramps and muscle tremors. Clenbuterol overdosage also results into headaches, vomiting, and nausea. One of the major drawbacks of clenbuterol is that after few weeks or a month the drug seems not to be working. This is due to the fact that it is argued to cause a downregulation of cardiac and central nervous systems, and the pulmonaryone. Therefore, in some time, the drug stops burning fats for many people. In order to counteract this effect, some medications continue with such drug as Benadryl.
Is Clenbuterol a Banned Substance?
Clenbuterol is banned for both the human and veterinary consumption in the United States, the United Kingdom, and many of the European countries. However, in the United States, it is approved only for treating breathing problems in horses under a veterinarian prescription. In the countries where it has not been prohibited, it is mainly used for treating asthma and other pulmonary related diseases. The World Ant-Doping Agency has listed Clenbuterol as a performance-enhancing drug, and athletes are prohibited from using it. After the recent studies have revealed that the contaminated animal meat with this drug can lead to some lung, liver, and heart problems, the drug has also become prohibited for any food-producing animal in many European countries. The already listed negative effects of clenbuterol on the human body makes it prohibited in many countries. However, despite the fact that this drug has been banned, many athletes and body builders continue using for the better performance in sports. However, medical researchers argue that the negative effects of clenbuterol are worsely compared to the short-term benefits of this drug, and, hence, people who use it should wisely weigh these two sides.
From the discussion above, it is clear that clenbuterol is a drug initially developed for the medical purposes, such as treating pulmonary related diseases and asthma. However, athletes and body builders use this drug to enhance their performance and burn fats extensively. Apart from treating asthma, the disease is associated with various other positive effects such as the increased oxygen transportation and increased cardiovascular exercises. However, the drug has many negative effects such as heart, lung, and liver problems, which, might eventually lead to the heart failure and death. This is the main reason why it is banned in the United States, the United Kingdom, and many other European countries.