Clenbuterol is a fat-burning drug that raises your metabolic rate. Even though it is not approved for use in the U.S., some athletes and bodybuilders use clenbuterol to help them reach their fitness goals.
Here’s what you need to know about this powerful and risky medication.
Clenbuterol is a drug that is not approved for human use in the U.S. In some countries, it is available by prescription only for people with asthma or other breathing problems. Since 1998, the FDA has allowed clenbuterol for treating horses with asthma. It is not allowed for animals that are used in food production.
Clenbuterol is a substance that has steroid-like effects and is classified as a beta2-adrenergic agonist. This means that it stimulates the beta2-adrenergic receptors in your throat. The medicine helps relax your muscles and lungs, making it easier to breathe if you have asthma or another respiratory condition. It can stay in your body for up to 39 hours after you take it.
However, clenbuterol — also called clen — is abused by athletes and bodybuilders for its ability to burn fat. The same receptors that are activated when taking clenbuterol for asthma also help to burn off fat and increase lean muscle mass. Athletes who use clenbuterol daily typically take 60 to 120 milligrams per day. Normally this is taken in combination with other performance-enhancing drugs or anabolic steroids.
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Clenbuterol increases your body temperature through a process called thermogenesis. Once your body temp is up, your metabolism is then primed to burn off more calories. Since fat is stored in the body as energy, your body can use the calories that you already have stored. This can decrease your body fat and lower your overall weight.
Because clenbuterol is a bronchodilator, it opens up your airways when you take it. This is helpful for those with asthma. For athletes, this allows them to increase their stamina by having more airflow moving around the body. More oxygen is available, so you can perform harder and better.
Even though it isn’t legal in the US, athletes and bodybuilders continue to abuse clen to help them cut weight and increase muscle mass. Many see it as an alternative to anabolic steroids — the drugs that typically come to mind when you think of performance-enhancing substances. It has the reputation of being a “non-steroidal steroid” due to its ability to mimic steroids. Since it isn’t technically a steroid, some athletes saw clenbuterol for bodybuilding as a more “natural” approach to building muscle.