The ergogenic effect of amphetamine

Dmitry V. Zaretsky, Mary Beth Brown, Maria V. Zaretskaia, Pamela J. Durant, Daniel E. Rusyniak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Amphetamine (Amp) increases exercise duration. It is thought to do so by masking fatigue, but there have been very few studies looking at the effect of amphetamine on maximal oxygen consumption (VO2MAX) and running economy. Furthermore, it is unknown if amphetamine's effect on exercise duration occurs in a warm environment. We conducted separate experiments in male Sprague-Dawley rats testing the effect of amphetamine on VO2MAX (n = 12), running economy (n = 12), and exercise duration (n = 24) in a warm environment. For VO2MAX and running economy, rats were randomized to either amphetamine at 1 mg/kg (Amp-1) or 2 mg/kg (Amp-2). Animals served as their own controls in a crossover design with the administration order counter-balanced. To study the effect of amphetamine on exercise duration, we conducted run-to-exhaustion treadmill testing on rats in a 32˚C environment following administration of Amp-1, Amp-2, or Saline. Compared to control, Amp-2 increased VO2MAX (by 861 ± 184 ml/kg/hr, p = 0.005) and the time to VO2MAX (by 2.5 ± 0.8 min, p = 0.03). Amp-1 had no effect on VO2MAX but increased the time to VO2MAX (by 1.7 ± 0.5 min, p = 0.03). Neither dose improved running economy. In the warm, only rats in the Amp-1 group (+9.4 min, p = 0.02) had an increased time to exhaustion. Compared to control (41.6 ± 0.3°C), both amphetamine doses had higher temperatures at exhaustion: Amp-1 (42.0 ± 0.2°C) and Amp-2 (42.1 ± 0.2°C). Our results suggest that ergogenic effect of amphetamine occurs by masking fatigue but this effect may be offset in the warm with higher doses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-247
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 31 2014


  • VO
  • amphetamine
  • exertional heat stroke
  • exhaustion
  • running economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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