Should endurance medications be used when running?

The drug increases endurance when running can bring training effect to runners. However, in order for this drug to truly become a support tool for trainees, more longitudinal studies are needed to have sufficient grounds to prove this.

1. Research on drugs that increase endurance in laboratory animals

The scientists of the Salk Institute, based on previous research identifying the sequence of genes activated by running, and the discovery of this complete activation in sedentally mice with a chemical compound, mimic the beneficial effects of exercise, including increased burning of fat in the body as well as the endurance of the body. The study appeared in the journal Cell Metabolism on May 2, 2017, which not only helps us to better understand gas-loving endurance, but also provides people with heart disease, lung disease, type 2 diabetes … hope to achieve its benefits pharmacologically.

Senior author Ronald Evans, investigator at the Howard Hughes Institute of Medicine and who holds the position of President of salk's March of Dimes in Molecular Biology and Development said: "Everyone knows that people can improve their endurance through exercise. But how does endurance work? And if we really understand science, can we replace training with a drug? ”

Endurance development can maintain aerobic activity for longer periods of time. As people become healthier, their muscles switch from burning carbohydrates (glucose) to burning fat. So researchers assume that endurance as a function of the body's ability to burn fat is increasing, although the details of this process remain obscure. Evans' previous research on a delta PPAR gene (PPARD) gave fascinating clues: mice genetically modified to permanently activate PPARD became long-distance runners who were resistant to weight gain and reacted highly to insulin – all physically related qualities. The team found that a chemical compound called GW1516 (GW) activated PPARD analogy, regenerated weight control and reacted with insulin in normal mice that had been seen in the designed children. However, GW does not affect endurance (how long mice can run) unless combined with daily exercise, which beats the purpose of using it as an exercise substitute.

increased endurance when running on drugs

Drugs that increase endurance when running can bring training efficiency to users

In the current study, Salk's team gave normal mice higher doses of GW, for longer periods (8 weeks instead of 4). Both the mice received this compound and the mice were not regularly seded with sedation, but all were tested on t-machines to see how long they could run until exhaustion.

Mice in the testified group can run for about 160 minutes before exhaustion. However, mice taking the drug could run for about 270 minutes – about 70% longer. For both groups, burnout occurs when blood sugar (glucose) drops to about 70 mg/dl, showing that low glucose levels (hypoglycemia) are the cause of fatigue.

To understand what was happening at the molecular level, the team compared gene expression in a primary muscle of mice. They found 975 genes that showed altered expression in response to the drug, which became inhibited or increased. Genes with increased expression are those that regulate fat decomposition and combustion. Surprisingly, inhibited genes are involved in the decomposition of carbohydrates to generate energy. This means that the PPARD path that blocks sugar becomes a source of energy for muscles during exercise, which may be to preserve sugar for the brain. Activating fat burning takes longer than burning sugar, which is why the body often uses glucose unless there is a compelling reason not to – like maintaining brain function during energy-consuming times. While muscles can burn sugar or fat, the brain prefers sugar, which explains why endurance runners will feel physically and mentally tired when they use up their sugar supply.

Michael Downes, Salk senior scientist and co-author of the paper, said: "This study shows that fat burning is no more a driving force for endurance than a compensatory mechanism for preserving glucose. PPARD is blocking all points associated with sugar metabolism in the muscles so that glucose can be diverted to the brain, thus preserving brain function.

Interestingly, the muscles of mice taking exercise pills did not manifest the types of physical changes that are often accompanied by aerobic exercise: mitochondrial supplements, more blood vessels, and a shift toward the type of muscle fibers that burn fat instead of sugar. This suggests that these changes are not exclusive to enhancing endurance; it can also be done by activating genetic chain chemistry. In addition to increasing stamina, the mice who were given the drug were also more resistant to weight gain and reacted faster to insulin than mice who did not take the drug.

Exercise activates PPARD, but we show that you can do the same without mechanical training. That means you can improve endurance to the same level as someone who is exercising without physical effort.

endurance improvement drugs

There are many methods of staying endurance when running without medication

Although laboratory studies have been carried out on mice, pharmaceutical companies are still interested in using this study to develop clinical trials for humans. The team can envision several therapeutic applications for a GW-based prescription drug, from increasing fat burning in people with obesity or type 2 diabetes to improving a patient's fitness before and after surgery.

From these results, it is shown that the use of endurance drugs when running requires a lot of vertical research with a long period of research to have specific evidence for this information.

2. Some ways to stay endurance when running

In order for the running practice to be effective while maintaining endurance throughout the training process, you should apply the following contents:

  • Perform the right running technique: First before performing the run you are required to perform a warm-up, then start with the exercise at a slow running speed and then gradually increase the speed. You note that during practice do not hold anything.
  • Breathing properly while running will help the body's tolerance as well as maintaining or speeding up the run.
  • Proper rest mode: Along with proper rest during the run, then you should replenish minerals with drinking water after running.

Please regularly follow vinmec website( to update useful health care information and leave information when you need a doctor's advice!

For direct advice, please click hotline number or register online HERE. In addition, you can register for remote consultation HERE



  • Can type 2 diabetes be cured?
  • Is Extra Virgin olive oil better?
  • 23 studies on low-fat and low-fat diets

About: Minh Quynh

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&d=identicon&r=gI am the author of I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


Leave a Comment