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Chemical Name: Albuterol Sulfate
Drug Class: Beta-Agonist
Albuterol is very closely related to Clenbuterol
(often simply called “Clen”), which has been a drug athletes have been using for literally decades to lose fat. Although it’s typically thought of as only a shorter acting version of Clenbuterol, that’s not 100% correct, and Albuterol actually has some benefits that Clen doesn’tJust like Clen, Albuterol binds to the beta 2 adrenergic receptors. Beta 2 receptor stimulation is a very potent mechanism for initiating fat loss. Stimulating the beta-2 receptors found in fat cells activates hormone sensitive lipase, to break up stored fat into free fatty acids which are then used as fuel by the body (1). Once those fatty acids are broken up, Albuterol then has the added effect of elevating your metabolism, which helps you use the free fatty acids that it has broken up. It’s a very potent fat burner, as a result of both being able to break up stored fat and make it available as energy, as well as increasing the rate at which this energy is used.
Interestingly, while Clenbuterol increases both muscle size and strength in animal studies (2), the same thing isn’t necessarily true in humans, and if it is, actual studies proving so are nearly impossible to find. It’s suspected to possibly do this, but there’s really no hard evidence of it. And since it’s not approved by the FDA for use in humans, non-anecdotal data proving that Clen actually builds muscle or increases performance is scarce. Since it’s approved by the FDA for use in asthmatics, studies on humans and Albuterol, regarding exercise performance are more plentiful. In multiple studies, it has been suggested strongly that it increases strength as well as endurance in humans (3,4). Clen, on the other hand, has anecdotally been reported to reduce endurance in athletes who use it.
In addition, Albuterol may even help the lipid profile (cholesterol)(5), which is definitely something that steroid using athletes may want to consider, when deciding whether or not to include Albuterol in a cutting cycle. In fact, a small dose of it might be useful on nearly any cycle, because of this characteristic.
The main difference between Albuterol and Clen is that Albuterol has a significantly shorter half life of Albuterol. If Clenbuterol happens to give you insomnia, then Albuterol is a much better alternative, because it’s not going to build up in your system to the same degree that Clen can.
I’m typically much more confident recommending Albuterol to athletes instead of Clen, because stimulant induced anxiety and insomnia seem to be much less likely. Also, due to the shorter half life, there’s probably a much lower level of beta-2 receptor downgrade, but the trade off is more frequent dosing. Two to four milligrams, three to four times a day is usually sufficient for an anabolic as well as fat burning effect.
1. Effect of beta1- and beta2-adrenergic stimulation on energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, and UCP3 expression in humans.
2. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Oct;285(4):E775-82. Epub 2003 Jun 24.
3. J Appl Physiol. 2001 Nov;91(5):2064-70
4. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Jul;32(7):1300-6. Effect of salbutamol on muscle strength and endurance performance in nonasthmatic men. van Baak MA, Mayer LH, Kempinski RE, Hartgens F.
5. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2004 Jun;75(6):505-11 Albuterol helps resistance exercise attenuate unloading-induced knee extensor losses. Caruso JF, Hamill JL, Yamauchi M, Mercado DR, Cook TD, Keller CP, Montgomery AG, Elias J.
6. Metabolism. 1996 Jun;45(6):712-7 Effects of oral albuterol on serum lipids and carbohydrate metabolism in healthy men. Maki KC, Skorodin MS, Jessen JH, Laghi F.