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Anyone on a Beta-blocker drug?(4 posts)

Anyone on a Beta-blocker drug?Bacco
Jul 21, 2002 1:29 PM
Because of a heart problem (atrial fibrillation), I just started taking a beta-blocker (Toprol)which slows down how fast the heart beats. My max heart rate now seems to be about 30 bpm less. I assume this means my biking performance will be diminished.

If anyone else is taking a beta-blocker, what can you tell me about how it has affected your biking. Also, if you have atrial fibrillation also, do you ride while you are actually having them?
re: Anyone on a Beta-blocker drug?mja
Jul 21, 2002 3:08 PM
So heart beats slower, but does it perhaps contract with greater force to compensate? Ask your doctor.
not more forceoff roadie
Jul 22, 2002 8:28 AM
That would result in an increase in blood pressure, which is exactly what Beta Blockers are often used to counter. Beta blockers block the cariac (and some other neurological) effects of adrenaline.

I think there's some compensating that goes on, but its mostly by using up anerobic reserves and other energy sources that a trained athelete wo was NOT on beta blockers would equally be using. Since the athelete who isn't on blockers has the same reserves, PLUS a higher max rate, they are going to have longer lasting or higher maximum power output.

I think its mostly longer lasting max output that suffers, but that's just my semi-educated personal judgement and expereince talking.
Yeah, I'm on them, no big deal for meoff roadie
Jul 22, 2002 8:02 AM
I'm on the same drug, actually (Toporol), but for a different reason.

I didn't do much serious biking before I went on the stuff, so don't know what my max heart rate was. I haven't tested to find out what it is now- my condition makes intenionally and frequently maxing my HR a pretty bad idea.

My guess is I could maybe climb long hills without loosing as much speed near the top if my HR could go higher. Same would go for sustaining fast sprints. I don't think it has muc affect at all on long distnace, moderate paced riding- if you wanna do an 7 hour century, Toporol isn't gonna stop you.

Nor do I think it affects my mountian biking on techinal trails with rollers but no huge climbs, because most of that requires short burts of anerobioc strenght and then medium length periods of even recovery. In fact, I think I may ride better, because I'm more relaxed- my limits may be slightly lower, but when I do reach those limits, it takes less time to recover completely (rolling recovery) and push them again.

I don't doubt the Beat Blockers would hurt (or kill) my chances if I was a racer, but I'm never gonna race (duh, I'm a cardiac patient). For the riding I do, its not any more of a handicap than a fat gut or a smoking habit would be, and plenty of succeful (on thioer own terms, and objectively) riders have one or both. Since I'm thin, eat well, and don't samoke, I figure I can afford the small ding from the drugs. Better to be on them and riding happy than be dead and not riding at all.