OBJECTIVE: To assess possible ergogenic properties of corticosteroid administration. DESIGN: A balanced, double blind, placebo-controlled design was used. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-eight well-trained cyclists and rowers. INTERVENTION: Four weeks daily inhalation of 800 microg budesonide or placebo. Main outcome measurements: The subjects performed three incremental cycle ergometer tests until exhaustion, before and after two and four weeks of placebo or budesonide administration, to measure maximal power output (Wmax). Once a week they filled in a profile of mood state (POMS) questionnaire. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in Wmax between the placebo (376+/-25 watt) and the corticosteroid group (375+/-36 watt) during the pre-intervention test, and there were no significant changes in either group after two and four weeks of intervention. No effect of the intervention on mood state was found. CONCLUSION: Four weeks of corticosteroid or placebo inhalation in healthy, well-trained athletes did not affect maximal power output or mood state. Hence no ergogenic properties of four weeks corticosteroid administration could be demonstrated, which corroborates previous studies with short-term corticosteroid administration.
Kuipers, H., van 't Hullenaar, G. A., Pluim, B. M., Overbeek, S. E., De Hon, O., van Breda, E., & van Loon, L. J. (2008). Four weeks' corticosteroid inhalation does not augment maximal power output in endurance athletes. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 42(11), 568-571. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2007.042572