Although often used by bodybuilders and athletes, Clenbuterol is not an anabolic steroid but a type of drug known as a sympathomimetic, specifically a beta-2 receptor agonist.
Sympathomimetics are all types of stimulants and a wide variety of drugs fall under this heading including cocaine, amphetamines, ephedrine and caffeine, as well as Clenbuterol, to name but a few.
Clenbuterol interacts with the adrenoreceptors in the body, binding to them and causing a different effect depending on the type of tissue involved in the process.
The drug was originally intended to be used as a medication for asthma patients, and indeed, in many countries, it is still prescribed for that purpose. By interacting with the receptors which line the bronchial tubes in the body, Clenbuterol acts as a bronchodilator, expanding the airways not just in the lungs, but also the nose and throat.
Most sympathomimetics have a bronchodilative effect but Clenbuterol and its sister drug, Albuterol, are particularly potent in this area. This is the reason why both are frequently prescribed for the primary treatment of asthma in the form of an inhaler.
Although it has a prescribed medical use, it’s also popular within the bodybuilding and sporting communities for use as a fat burner.
This works as a fat burner by affecting the beta-2 receptors within the body, simultaneously reducing hunger pangs at the same time as raising the base metabolic rate. The fat burning effect is enhanced by boosting the circulation and cardiovascular output, improving the delivery of oxygen and the opening up of airways.
In addition, Clenbuterol has an anti-catabolic effect which allows muscle mass to be preserved while fat is being burned. This is the ideal combination for bodybuilders looking to sculpt a lean and hard muscular physique.
If the only goal is to strip away fat and enhance the thermogenic effect within the body, a Clenbuterol only cycle can produce very satisfactory results.
Although a Clenbuterol stack is a common choice, the drug can also be taken alone, providing it’s combined with a clean diet and sufficient exercise.
Normally the maximum period that this drug can be taken for is two weeks before a break is needed. However, if Ketotifen is used as a supplement, Clenbuterol can be taken without a break for up to 8-12 weeks.
If cramping occurs – a common side effect of Clenbuterol – hydration should be increased with fluids and electrolytes and supplements of taurine and potassium added to the diet. This is usually sufficient to eliminate any unwanted cramping effects.
Clenbuterol Stack info (with steroids or other supplements)
A Clen only cycle can be used due to the potency of the drug, but it’s often used in a stack with anabolic steroids to maximize the results.
Whatever else is included in the stack, a good multivitamin, potassium and taurine are often recommended to minimize any side effects. Good hydration is also essential to help flush through the system and eliminate waste products efficiently.
A Clenbuterol and Anavar stack is very popular and due to the low androgenic effects, can potentially be used by women as well as men. This combination will produce excellent cutting results while simultaneously protecting muscle mass.
For men, a Clenbuterol and Winstrol stack can lead to excellent results with visible venous formation and dense, hard musculature. This type of Clenbuterol cycle isn’t suitable for female athletes.
Dianabol and Deca Durabolin are two of the most potent anabolic steroids on the market and both can be used alongside Clenbuterol in a stack. However, this type of stack is not suitable for beginners and should only be used by experienced bodybuilders who are certain they are able to tolerate the harsher effects.
How is it administered
Clenbuterol is administered orally and is available in both liquid and pill form, the latter being the more popular.
The liquid form can sometimes be purchased more cheaply but in the majority of cases, this will come from a research facility where the intention is not for human use. There may therefore be question marks over the purity.
The other factor to bear in mind is that Clenbuterol is a very potent stimulant and it’s important to be certain of the dosage being taken. This can be much more difficult to achieve with a liquid and even more so when the purity of the substance is uncertain.
For these reasons, pills are usually preferred within the bodybuilding community.
Clenbuterol Dosage info
For medical purposes, Clenbuterol is typically administered at the rate of 20-40mcg daily but this dosage is not sufficient for fat burning.
As a stimulant, this must be titrated gradually, with men looking to achieve an optimum dosage in the range of 120-160mcg per day (80-100mcg for women – see below for more information).
Starting at too high a dose could even be fatal in some cases so it’s essential to always introduce Clenbuterol at a lower level and titrate to the therapeutic dose. 40mcg is the usual starting dose which is sustained for 3 days before being increased by 20mcg.
The same pattern continues until the right dose level is reached. Some individuals may find they are able to tolerate a more rapid rate of titration while in some cases, a slower approach may be required, so a degree of experimentation is needed to find the right approach.
The half-life is approximately 37 hours, so the drug should be taken daily, ideally in the morning. Splitting the dose over the course of a day is not necessary and in fact, could end up amplifying undesirable effects such as insomnia.
The benefits of this drug are manifold and clear to see, with fat burning and weight loss being right at the top of the list. This drug is difficult to rival for its fat burning qualities and although it’s not an anabolic steroid, it also helps to modestly increase the amount of lean muscle too.
Visceral and abdominal fat are particularly affected by Clenbuterol, areas which are notoriously difficult to target. For anyone carrying surplus fat in that area, Clenbuterol can be a significant aid to getting that overall lean appearance.
But it’s not just its thermogenic effects which are so useful, Clenbuterol also helps to increase endurance levels and reduces the amount of pain experienced after a big workout. This means it’s possible to exercise longer and harder when taking this drug, which in turn will also produce superior results.
Aerobic capacity is boosted too by Clenbuterol, with more oxygen circulating around the body. This produces a plethora of benefits to the muscles and the cells, during both workout and recovery.
Potential Clenbuterol side effects
Although this is often used in a stack, it doesn’t carry the same risk of side effects as anabolic steroids. This doesn’t mean that it’s entirely problem-free; like any stimulant, Clenbuterol can cause its own unwanted effects as a result of use.
• Muscular pain
• Mood swings
• Loss of concentration
• Gastro-intestinal upset
• Bone fragility
Many of these symptoms are only experienced when the drug is taken for a prolonged period, at a high dose or by those who are sensitive to it.
The one exception is cramping which can be an uncomfortable and annoying side effect of taking Clen. It’s typically caused by the depletion of an important amino acid within the body, taurine, which in turn causes irregularities in the nerve signals to the muscles. This leads to involuntary contractions which can be very painful and cause full-blown cramping to occur. This side effect can be mitigated somewhat by taking a taurine supplement while on a Clenbuterol cycle.
On its own, there’s no suggestion that it could cause any toxicity within the liver and in some cases it may even provide a degree of protection, helping to lower bilirubin plus liver enzymes AST and ALT.
However, the reputation for Clenbuterol affecting the functionality of the liver often arises from the stack used. Its often stacked with anabolic steroids which carry a high degree of hepatotoxicity and it’s from this partner drug that the potential liver damage can arise.
Clenbuterol is notoriously harsh on the cardiovascular system and is a factor which should be considered by every user.
In particular, cardiac hypertrophy, enlargement of ventricles and death of heart muscle tissue can be caused by use of the drug.
Other cardiovascular issues include the construction of arteries, a condition which can lead to an insufficient blood supply to the heart and ultimately myocardial ischemia.
All of the potential cardiovascular side effects have the potential to be very severe, and potentially fatal in the worst case scenario, so extreme caution should be exercised before commencing a course of Clenbuterol. Any individuals with a history of cardiovascular problems should not take this drug under any circumstances.
In addition to any individual with a history of cardiovascular problems, Clenbuterol should never be taken by anyone who has suffered from any of the following without first seeking medical advice:
• High blood pressure
• Prostatic hypertrophy
• Urinary retention
Clenbuterol has not been passed as safe to use for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Is Clenbuterol best suited to cutting bulking or both
Clenbuterol is an extremely powerful aid to both weight loss and fat burning so it’s ideal for a cutting cycle.
Often stacked with anabolic steroids, Clenbuterol can provide a huge boost for those looking to get a more ripped appearance, stripping away the fat and shedding excess weight. However, Clenbuterol will only really produce results for those who are already in fairly good shape. It’s not a miracle cure for obesity and won’t melt away unwanted pounds unless the right diet and exercise regime is already being followed.
The thermogenic effects help to enhance the effects of any pre-existing fat burning regime and provide a real boost to diet and exercise. Taken on its own without any accompanying fat burning plan, Clenbuterol will not produce the desired effect. This is because it doesn’t actually burn fat itself, but simply increases the rate at which calories are being burned off. So exercise will be more effective and diet will produce far quicker results, but without either of these, the impact of Clenbuterol alone will be negligible.
For this reason, it is often used as the finishing touch to any longer fat loss plan, being used in the final 8-10 weeks leading up to competitions. For those who aren’t entering competitions, Clenbuterol is still used to help provide optimal leanness once diet and exercise have produced a good basic overall result.
It is possible to use this for bulking, in order to minimize the fat that’s piled on when excess calories are being consumed. However, the use of Clenbuterol during a bulking cycle is generally considered to be uneconomic and wasteful, without having a very significant effect on the end result.
Is it safe for women to use?
Unlike anabolic steroids, it won’t produce any androgenic effects in women and therefore the most undesirable side effects such as excess body hair and deepening of the voice aren’t an issue.
In fact, there are some suggestions that it is even better suited to women more than men because of the higher degree of body fat that the female body naturally carries. This can be an area which is problematic for female bodybuilders and Clenbuterol can offer a solution.
Women respond to Clen in the same way as men, so the only difference in dosage is to do with bodyweight and overall mass. For most women, an optimal dosage is between 80-100mcg although some may be able to tolerate up to 120mcg.
As with any stimulant, when introducing to women for the first time, the dosage should be slowly increased to ascertain the optimal level with minimal side effects.
Clenbuterol is widely available to buy online because of its use overseas in respiratory treatments but cheaper, underground sources can also be found. These should be viewed with caution as there’s no guarantee that the drug being provided is suitable for human use, or of the stated strength.
Out of all the fat burners and diet pills, buying Clenbuterol is one of the most expensive, but that’s because it is so effective. The production of this very powerful stimulant is complex and by comparison to drugs such as ephedrine, the cost is high. Nevertheless, for those that use it, the effects are by far superior to other fat burners so many feel that the expense of ordering Clenbuterol is justified.
For a 20mcg pill expect to pay $1-2, moving up to $1.50-2.50 for a 40mcg Clenbuterol pill. The dosage for sale is often stepped in 20mcg increments so the lower sized pill may be the most convenient.
Use in sports
Although it’s not a controlled substance, nor an anabolic steroid, Clenbuterol is on the list of drugs banned by the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency. Considered to be a performance-enhancing substance, there have been many cases of athletes being caught using it.
In cycling, Alberto Contador, the athlete who won the Tour de France on three occasions was found guilty of taking Clenbuterol. Contador claimed that he had accidentally imbibed the drug while eating meat which had been fed the stimulant prior to slaughter.
Another Tour de France cyclist also made the same claims after producing a Clenbuterol positive drugs test, as well as the Mexican football team. All said that they had not knowingly taken the drug and must have accidentally ingested it via meat.
The use of Clenbuterol in meat is banned in many countries around the world but there are cases where contaminated meat has entered the food chain. For this reason, some countries such as China have chosen to make their athletes follow a vegetarian diet prior to competing.
Clenbuterol is also used widely in bodybuilding during the cutting cycle, to get a shredded appearance and to eliminate stubborn fat.
Legality of purchase and its usage in the US
Clenbuterol is prescribed for use in treating asthma in many countries around the world and is considered to have legitimate therapeutic use. However, somewhat unusually, this is not the case in the US, where it has never received approval from the FDA for use in humans.
Instead, the sister drug Albuterol is preferred for its similar actions in the treatment of asthma, and this has been granted approval by the FDA.
In the US, Clenbuterol is only legal for use in horse medication to ease respiratory distress and cannot appear in any form of treatments intended for humans. It was previously used in animals to bulk up their meat but was banned for this purpose because it was deemed unfit for human consumption.
Despite the ban by the US for use in humans, Europe and Latin American countries widely prescribe the drug for asthma as a bronchodilator and it is considered safe and uncontroversial.
Although it’s not a drug which is permitted in the US for prescribed use in humans, it is not a controlled substance in any of the states. It is not illegal to possess Clenbuterol and there are no federal penalties attached to those who choose to use it.