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Benefits of Cortisone while Time Trialing ???

Nov 22, 2021
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I was listening to the 60 Minutes interview, and heard them say that Lance had recommended cortisone during time trials.

What kind of benefits would that give you for such an event??? I was under the impression that cortisone was a 'recovery' aid.

How would that benefit you in an ITT???
The thing I’ve heard most pros say in interviews is that it reduces pain and fatigue and gives feelings of euphoria. I believe I heard Lance say that in one of this podcasts but don’t quote me.

It also reduces inflammation which also means it likely opens up the airways. I imagine a similar effect to ephedrine but the pros are already probably taking all those kinds of things.

Here’s an article about how cortisol and similar substances are used in inhalers and to open the airways. https://www.ecarf.org/en/cortisone-inhalers-for-asthma-and-their-side-effects/
There’s a reason it’s banned and I can now fully vouch for why that is. This summer I had the misfortunate to have the sudden onset of a late (in life) onset of an inflammatory rheumatoid disease. Once The rheumatologist started me on a common oral corticosteroid, not only did it take care of my inflammatory symptoms, but It also completely eliminated my knee pain from my torn meniscus (a minor issue right now) and the cervical neck pain I’ve had for decades. More to the point as a PED, even though the disease-related anemia I developed had dropped my hematocrit to 28 and HGB to 9.5, when I could return to doing hilly walks and trying to ride a bit I felt much better (not getting out of breath as quickly) than I had even before the disease symptoms started—it clearly opened up my respiratory system.

Although I’m still anemic, Since starting the corticosteroid (and without other meds) my hematocrit went up to 33 (ok, I’m not exactly Mr. 60%) and HGB from 9.5 to 11.5. Though I’m not sure if healthy athletes would also get this boost (but hey, they’ve got other stuff for that ;) ).

It’s like a wonder drug—except that it isn’t because it’s bad sh&t to take long-term, which unfortunately is what I’m stuck with. But for short term use I think the pros can get huge recovery and performance benefits from it.