Clenbuterol

Clenbuterol has gained some recent hype as a weight loss aid. Sold by prescription abroad, Clenburerol (“clen”) is not FDA approved for any human use in the US.  Clenbuterol is listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee as a performance enhancing drug and therefore athletes are barred from its use.

Medicinally, Clenbuterol is typically used as an asthma cure that opens breathing pathways by increasing bronchodilation.  In terms of action, this drug is best likened to the now also illegal ephedrine and its legal replacement, ma huang. Clenbuterol works the same way as ephedrine.  However, unlike ephedrine, which is out of the body in a few hours, Clenbuterol lasts in your system for days.

Bodybuilders use Clenbuterol for two primary purposes:

1)    To increase metabolic speed. Clenbuterol is shown to directly stimulate fat cells and accelerate the breakdown of triglycerides to form free fatty acids.

2)    To increase strength and endurance of muscles by allowing more efficient transportation of oxygen into cells. Aside from its fat burning properties, Clen is often used as an anti-catabolic to maintain muscular gains following a steroid cycle.

Nothing comes without some sort of a cost. Like any other central nervous system stimulant drug like ephedrine, there can be side effects such as the shakes, palpitations, insomnia, sweating, increased blood pressure and nausea, when taking Clenbuterol.  Cramping while using Clenbuterol is also a fairly common side effect. This is most probably due to depletion of the amino acid taurine in the liver together with deficits in the electrolytes sodium and potassium, as well as inadequate hydration. Taurine helps stabilize cell membranes and prevent nerves from becoming over-excited. Symptoms of cramping may be alleviated by: Eating fruit particularly bananas, ensuring adequate hydration, Taurine supplementation, and Potassium supplementation.

Clenbuterol should only be used for a relatively short period of time (4 to 6 weeks), because the body will adjust and get used to it (making the effect of Clenbuterol negligible largely due to beta-receptor down regulation).

Clenbuterol is dosed in micrograms (mcg/µg), most commonly in tablet form. Note: Although dosages are in microgram amounts, many manufacturers will list the active ingredient as milligrams (mg), so a tablet of 20mcg will be labeled as 0.02mg. And 40mcg as 0.04mg.  Some believe that a two-day-on, two-day-off dosing schedule will allow adequate potential for receptor up-regulation. However, I doubt this to be the case due to the relatively long half life of Clenbuterol, resulting in continued stimulation even throughout the ‘off’ days. A much better regime would be a 5-day-on, 3-day-off cycle. Maximum plasma levels are reached around 2-3 hours after oral administration and terminal half-life at 34 hours.


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