Effect of pseudoephedrine on 800-m run times of female collegiate track athletes

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International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance






Human Kinetics

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CONTEXT: Pseudoephedrine (PSE) is an over-the-counter decongestant that might have ergogenic effects. The World Anti-Doping Agency has prohibited large doses (>150 μg/mL) of PSE, while the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) does not include it on their banned-substance list. PURPOSE: This study examined the effect of body-weight dosing of PSE on 800-m-run times of NCAA female runners. METHODS: Fifteen NCAA female track athletes volunteered to participate in the randomized, double-blind, crossover design. Participants were given 2.5 mg/kg PSE or placebo in trials separated by a week. Ninety minutes postingestion, participants completed an 800-m individual time trial on an indoor track. Finishing time was recorded with an automated video timing device. Heart rate and anxiety state scores were recorded immediately after each trial. RESULTS: Fourteen runners completed both trials, and 1 was an outlier: N=13. Despite the dose being well above normal therapeutic levels (144±17 mg), there was no significant difference (P=.92) in 800-m times between PSE (2:39.447±9.584) and placebo (2:39.372±9.636) trials, in postexercise heart rate (P=.635; PSE=177.9±14.5 beats/min, placebo=178.4±18.5 beats/min), or in anxiety-state levels (P=.650; PSE=38.4±11.6, placebo=38.1±8.8). CONCLUSION: A 2.5-mg/kg dose of PSE had no effect on 800-m performance for female NCAA runners. More research is needed to determine if PSE should be a specified banned substance.

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