By: Anthony Roberts
Author of Beyond Steroids

One of the first articles I ever wrote which was widely circulated was about Clenbuterol. I wrote it partially to clear up some misconceptions about the drug, and partially because I got tired of answering the same questions over and over. Several years later, that article has been circulated on almost every anabolic steroid discussion board on the internet, and those boards who haven't actually reposted the article still regularly discuss one of the concepts pioneered in the article…namely the use of Benadryl with Clenbuterol.

Now, its several years later, and I've mostly abandoned Clen for my own personal use, and actually recommend Albuterol (Salbutamol) as a much better alternative. Albuterol is a (relatively) selective beta-2 adrenoreceptor agonist, just like Clenbuterol. Honestly, I had pretty much given up on Clen a couple of years ago because for my own personal reasons (I had experienced much better results with Ephedrine and Caffeine). Then, a couple of weeks ago, I tried my first bottle of Albuterol, mostly out of curiosity…and wow! I like it much more than Clenbuterol. I mentioned this fact to my research assistant, and she told me that a lot of figure competitors also prefer Albuterol over Clenbuterol. I had no idea about that, but based on the effects I had with Albuterol I can see why. Clen is simply too harsh on most people; they get too jittery, too shaky, and too anxious. It's a lot to go through to burn some fat.

But in my own personal experience, Albuterol produces a much "cleaner" type of stimulant effect than Clenbuterol. I don't know how to really describe this other than to say that the "Clen-shakes" just aren't as bad with Albuterol…in addition, I'm able to focus better on my work when I use Albuterol, while with Clen I'm stimulated but not really focused.


But even though Albuterol produces a much cleaner stimulant-type feeling in most people, the main question is "How well does it burn fat"? As far as fat-burning stimulants go, how does it stack up to Clenbuterol? Lets face it, most people are really only concerned with the end results, right? Well, at least in me and the people I've worked with, Albuterol seems to produce significantly better results than Clen in terms of fat burning effects…and it produces them just a bit more quickly too. This makes sense, if you think about it. Albuterol is often thought of as a "shorter acting" version of Clen…and, to draw an analogy, when we look at the steroids which are shorter acting versions (think about comparing something like Testosterone Propionate vs./ Cypionate, or NPP vs./ Deca)- they typically produce more dramatic results a bit quicker than their long acting cousins. I'm finding the same thing to be true with Albuterol. When we take a look at a medical study examining Clenbuterol vs. a beta-2 agonist which has an even longer half life ("Salmeterol"), we see that Clen out performs it in terms of anabolic effects (1). So I think it would only be logical to assume that something that was a shorter acting beta-2 agonist than Clen would likely outperform it, right?

Let me just restate that, to make sure we're all on the same page, ok? Clenbuterol outperforms longer acting beta-2 agonists, in terms of anabolic effects. Albuterol is a beta-2 agonist with a shorter acting effect than Clenbuterol. Therefore, it's only logical that Albuterol is going to be more anabolic than Clen, right? Ok, let's move on…

To understand how Albuterol works, first we need to take a look at the Beta adrenergic system. This system is comprised of something called adrenoreceptors, and the most well known (to bodybuilders anyway) of the adrenoreceptors are the beta receptors. Beta receptors are embedded in the cell's outer phospholipid membrane, and are stimulated by all the really popular stimulants…ephedrine, Clenbuterol, etc... These receptors can further be divided into three subtypes: 1, 2, & 3, (of which we are primarily concerned with type-2, because the type-3 variety seems to primarily be less relevant in humans than in other animals, and because Albuterol doesn't stimulate the type-1 receptor). There also exists a type of receptor known as an alpha receptor, which isn't relevant here, but warrants a brief explanation.


Alpha receptors differ from beta receptors in that they are activated at significantly lower catecholamine levels than are the beta receptors. A catecholamine is simply an organic compound that affects the sympathetic nervous system. For example, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine are all catecholamines.

We are, as I said previously, mostly concerned with Beta-2 receptors, because those are what we see stimulated with Albuterol. It should come as no surprise to anyone who has used Clenbuterol as well as Albuterol is that when you stimulate your beta receptors, it causes something called vasodilatation (increased blood flow). Stimulation of these receptors also stimulates the break down of fatty acids into the blood stream for use as fuel, which causes a reduction in stored fat. Of course, this increased blood flow also comes with an increased heart rate.

This explains how Beta-2 adrenergic stimulation can also increase your body temperature a bit…however this isn't something that's too noticeable on a thermometer…most people will feel a bit hotter, and some will even break a sweat (I fall into the latter category). Beta-agonists work to do this by increasing heat production in the cell's powerhouse, the mitochondria, which will also increase your basal metabolic rate, and decrease your appetite. Not too many people feel hungry after a whopping dose of stimulants.

There is also some evidence that Beta-Agonists are anabolic (more properly, however, this would actually be anti-catabolic). This is because Beta-agonists also act to initiate a hormonal cascade that involves the activation of a compound called cAMP (basically: cyclic-Adenosine Monophosphate). After this, cAMP activates calpistatin that is the inhibitor of calpain. Calpain works to degrade protein in skeletal muscle (among other functions). Therefore, we already saw that how stimulation of beta 2 receptors have the ability to increase energy expenditure and free up body fat to be used as fuel, and now we have some understanding of how that stimulation can also have the potential to be anti-catabolic as well .

Now that we're all on the same page regarding the beta-adregenic system, and what sorts of effects we can expect when we stimulate it with beta-2 agonists…lets take a more specific look at Albuterol, and why I think it's such a great compound.

When we take a look at Albuterol's ability to burn fat, it's clear that it has the ability to aid fat loss in both normal as well as obese men (2). That's not very different from Clenbuterol, in any way. However, in my personal experience with it, I think that Albuterol really outperforms Clen in areas of strength gains as well as for athletic purposes….lets take a look at my claim and see how Albuterol performs in humans…

In one study, subjects were given Albuterol and performed 9 weeks of isokinetic knee extensions (there was also a group who performed the same exercise routine but were not given Albuterol). The Albuterol group, predictably, had better strength gains than the non-Albuterol group (only a therapeutic dose was given) (3). In my own experience, strength gains with Albuterol are much better and seen more quickly than I see them with Clen. In fact, while I don't particularly experience much of a performance enhancing effect from Clen in the gym; on the other hand I see strength gains and muscular improvements within the first couple weeks of using Albuterol. Of course, this is likely a pure anabolic effect and probably not easily explained as a simple "enhanced" anti-catabolic effect, and likely can't be explained away with the Calpain idea you read about earlier. I still think that I can take a pretty good shot at explaining why Albuterol is anabolic, though. strong body of evidence exists to suggest that Albuterol influences the release of cAMP. As you may know, cAMP also plays an important role in mediating certain catecholamines secreted by the adrenal medulla have an inhibitory effect on muscle dependent protein degradation, but in addition, norepinephrine released from adrenergic terminals may actually increase the rate of protein synthesis(not just decrease the rate of their degradation) in oxidative muscles, thereby leading to increased protein accretion (representing a true anabolic effect). That's most likely the way that we receive part of the anabolic effect from Beta-stimulation. Another way is perhaps through the beta-adrenergic stimulated lowering of "Interleukin-6" from fat cells (long story…).

Anecdotally, Clenbuterol and ephedrine have both shown themselves capable of temporarily increasing strength, and I would bet most beta-agonists have this effect, but I don't think has been shown as conclusively in the medical literature as it has been with Albuterol. Albuterol has been shown to increase muscle size (3-6) as well as strength and endurance (3) (*while people have anecdotally reported that Clen seems to lower their aerobic capacity. Clenbuterol has a disadvantage when compared with Albuterol in the area of strength gains, probably due to the act that it use-dependently inhibits action potential firing in skeletal muscle fibers, which is not directly caused by inherent Beta-2 stimulant activities (7) . I think that's the best quasi-scientific explanation I Again, my own personal experience and that of my research assistant(s) would also seem to strongly support this claim…all of us have gotten leaner, bigger and stronger with the use of Albuterol, while with Clen, we got more ripped but not really stronger (and certainly not much bigger). Anecdotally, we've seen Clenbuterol fall a bit flat when people use it for anabolic effects, although in animals it would appear to be highly anabolic, though human studies are a bit shaky (ha!) in this area.

One of the things I really like about Albuterol is that it has the potential to actually be used on my cycle to make it safer by improving my lipid profile (cholesterol)…or during PCT to help get my cholesterol levels back in check. This is because Albuterol shows significant benefits to cholesterol as it works to lower total cholesterol, specifically LDL (the bad stuff) while at the same time elevating HDL (the good stuff).(8)

In my own particular case, cholesterol never seems to be an issue, but now that I'm working with Oasis for HRT, it's certainly in my best interests to show up every three months with nice looking blood work.

So now is the part you've been waiting for (*or the part you skipped to, ignoring the rest of the article…whatever…). How much of this should you take, and how often? Well, I can tell you that I have found the best results by working my way up from 4mgs taken once a day, up to 4-8mgs taken 3x a day. I know that some people will think that 24ms a day of this stuff is going to be too much (it is, after all, a stimulant). But I can tell you that I have a pretty good tolerance for stimulants (I've taken up to 200mcg/day of Clenbuterol, and some other pretty hefty stimulants that I probably shouldn't mention in polite company). Most people are going to find their sweet spot at about 4mgs of Albuterol 3x a day or so…women will probably take about half that dose, and be fine with it.

I think that Albuterol is about to become very popular, very soon…and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing less of my old Clen article around the 'net, and more of this one.



1. Anabolic effects of the beta 2-adrenoceptor agonist salmeterol are dependent on route of administration
N. G. Moore, G. G. Pegg, and M. N. Sillence
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, Sep 1994; 267: E475 - E484.
2.Schiffelers SL, Saris WH, Boomsma F, and van Baak MA. beta(1)- and beta(2)-Adrenoceptor-mediated thermogenesis and lipid utilization in obese and lean men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 86: 2191-2199, 2001
3. Effect of salbutamol on muscle strength and endurance performance in nonasthmatic men. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Jul;32(7):1300-6.
4. J Strength Cond Res. 2005 Feb;19(1):102-7. Oral Albuterol dosing during the latter stages of a resistance exercise program
5. The effects of Albuterol and isokinetic exercise on the quadriceps muscle group.Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995 Nov;27(11):1471-6
6. Salbutamol, a beta 2-adrenoceptor agonist, increases skeletal muscle strength in young men.Martineau L, Horan MA, Rothwell NJ, Little RA
7. Different Ability of Clenbuterol and Salbutamol to Block Sodium Channels Predicts Their Therapeutic Use in Muscle Excitability Disorders
Jean-François Desaphy, Sabata Pierno, Annamaria De Luca, Paola Didonna, and Diana Conte Camerino
Mol. Pharmacol., Mar 2003; 63: 659
8. 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