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  1. #1
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    Any riders here on Beta Blockers

    Good chance I am going to need to go on a beta blocker for BP. Am really resistant to this as it will limit my HR to about 125 to 130 whereas now it is about 160ish (220- age). Don't get me wrong, I would rather ride a bit slower for the next 20 years than try to ride from 6' under.

    While I can still get a workout, I certainly am not going to get enough blood get O2 in and lactic acid out to either ride as far or keep the same pace on a BB as without one.

    Appreciate any input if anyone is riding and taking a beta blocker and how it has affected their riding. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Just started taking them in February, so mostly trainer rides so far. Feel slower and weaker, but it's early season so we'll see how it goes.

  3. #3
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    Have you discussed other classes of drugs with your MD? Calcium channel blockers or and ACE inhibitor may be a better choice.

  4. #4
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    Have you tried other ways to get your BP under your control such as weight loss, reduced salt intake and......aaaarrrrgggghhh......reduced caffeine intake?
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    ďStatistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.Ē -- Aaron Levenstein



  5. #5
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    Unfortunately, yes. Already on ACE/calcium channel blocker. Maybe need to lose 10lbs. Never add salt. Only drink one regular cup a day.

    Was riding about 80-120 mi a week for 7 months a year, on off days I spend 30 minutes on elliptical or swim 1200 yds.

    Bad genes as well. I think the only reason my heart is in this good shape is because of the above exercise and want to keep doing the same amount. Beta blocker is going to limit this, and worried about weight gain and other side effects.

  6. #6
    BikerFox Wannabe
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    At 22 I was put on Tenormin(sp?) to control paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. At 26 switched to Sotolol which Iíve been on ever since. Over 25 years of being on one or the other and I ride 150-225 Miles per week.
    Yes, it will put a governor on your engine. I canít get my heart rate over 160 (should be able to hit 172-5).
    Iíd estimate it takes 10-20% off my max effort ability. Sucks, but Iíve lived with it seemingly forever.
    I still hammer hard rides occasionally (hard as I can go). No problems with weight control or weakness or lethargy, etc.
    I donít think it will be as bad as you may fear.
    Good luck!

  7. #7
    BikerFox Wannabe
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    Also, if you havenít tried it yet, and if there is a place near you, you may want to try floating. A regular practice of floatation therapy can help lower blood pressure. Plus itís fantastic for muscle recovery, general psychological well being, etc. (Also, I recommend high quality CBD oil. Research that as well. May be other alternatives available to you that your doctor hasnít mentioned. A combo of CBD oil and float therapy my yield positive results.)
    Last edited by zero85ZEN; 04-14-2018 at 07:58 AM.

  8. #8
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    Zero, Many thanks for this! At 60, I can ride a few hours averaging about 130 bpm. Up hills or sprints I get to about low 160s, but can only keep it for no more than a minute or 2. 150 for 3 to 5 min. 140's for about 10-20 min intervals

    After starting metroprolol, maxed at 135, just 20 min on the exercise bike at 120 felt like a killer ride. Took myself off this, but need more meds. I will discuss other BBs with my cardio, who happens to be a rider himself.

  9. #9
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    I had no idea this slowing is side effect of BP meds. never looked into it. I need to be at 150bpm to make it up the steep hills here. My BP was nicely staying good just doing a lot of riding. But this past year there has been a widening separation of my SYS/DIAS which alarms me a bit. The DIAS getting lower into high 60s low 70s, the SYS getting higher into 140s-150. I take a miniscule CCB BP med now, smallest dose made and doesn't seem to do anything. Cardiologists only instructions were 'no racing'. I don't do caffeine, but I do like my salt
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
    After starting metroprolol, maxed at 135, just 20 min on the exercise bike at 120 felt like a killer ride.
    This is where I am right now. Need to figure this out.

  11. #11
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    I'm on metoprolol 25mg/day and still hit 190bpm on hard rides. I think it must affect some people more/less than others.

  12. #12
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    Any reason why you can't add a thiazide diuretic? It is one of the recommended primary agents for hypertension.

    Obviously, we don't know your other health conditions, so any recommendations here are purely speculation.

  13. #13
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    I see a couple of issues here: (1) beta blockers and cycling and (2) beta blockers vs other medications for blood pressure. Let me mostly address (1).

    About number 1: I have taken a beta blocker (carveidlol) for a number of years post heat attack. At first I took a maximum dose and it had significant effects on my cycling, especially on climbing: I could not pump enough blood. Over time I seemed to adapting did better mostly at climbing. After a few years during a routine EKG, the cardiologist was concerned that my rest heart rate was about 35bpm. The dose was lowered to 12.5mg x 2 and I could tell a difference while cycling. I could get my heart rate higher and climbing performance improved. I seemed to adapt to this dose as time passed. As I became more aware of the relationship between cycling performance and beta blockers AND my cardiologist began cycling, we agreed to lower the dose to 6.25mg x2. On occasion, my heart rate will reach the high 160's to low 170's, but just for peaks. When I am at 120 or so, I am comfortable, at 140 I am working (I am 74). The longer I have taken the drug the more I SEEM to adapt. Finding the right dose of a beta blocker as well as the type of beta blocker is an important issue for those of us who cycle regularly and take this class of drug. Talking with my cardiologist as well as my primary care doc about the right drug and the right dose that is compatible with cycling was necessary, including raising the topic over and over.

    About topic (2). I also have blood pressure issues that have plagued my since adolescence. However, I only took BP meds after my first heart attack. I was prescribed lisinopril 20mgx2 after the first MI and it worked fine for awhile. Over time my BP has gradually increased and I have tried using some non-traditional methods (meditation and beet juice and its nitric oxide equivalents) to lower it. My primary care doc suggested the diuretic medication noted above, but I cycle a lot during warmer temperatures and I expressed concern about dehydration and she agreed it might not be a good fit with my cycling. ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, and beta blockers are all prescribed for BP. Again, talk with your doc or find a sports doc and talk with them about the best fit of meds and your cycling.

    Good luck. If the best fit is a beta blocker, educate yourself about the different types of beta blockers and which of those is the best fit with your cycling.

  14. #14
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    Just to clarify, the diuretic effect of thiazides isn't that dramatic. The main mechanism of action by which it reduces blood pressure is thought to be vasodilation, not necessarily a large diuretic effect.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jspharmd View Post
    Just to clarify, the diuretic effect of thiazides isn't that dramatic. The main mechanism of action by which it reduces blood pressure is thought to be vasodilation, not necessarily a large diuretic effect.
    I would think that would have the opposite effect of letting your body hold on to more water. Of course, when the med wears off, all that water has to go somewhere.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    ďStatistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.Ē -- Aaron Levenstein



  16. #16
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    About various medications: I found this article at the Athlete's Heart Blog by the physician Larry Creswell informative about the various options for treating hypertension in athletes.

  17. #17
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    I have never tried beta blockers actually. But I dealt with pain thanks to cannabis.
    Let me share with you G13 which helped me to go through terrible pains when I broke my arm.

  18. #18
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    hmm I've been measuring 145+/75 for the last few months. then I did a bikepacking trip and had a BP check at the doc's a day after ... 126/60

    I guess I'll just 'ride lots' as Eddy said to do
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
    Unfortunately, yes. Already on ACE/calcium channel blocker. Maybe need to lose 10lbs. Never add salt. Only drink one regular cup a day.

    Was riding about 80-120 mi a week for 7 months a year, on off days I spend 30 minutes on elliptical or swim 1200 yds.

    Bad genes as well. I think the only reason my heart is in this good shape is because of the above exercise and want to keep doing the same amount. Beta blocker is going to limit this, and worried about weight gain and other side effects.
    Even though you never ADD salt, pretty much all prepared foods (at least in the U.S.) have a metric f-ton of salt in them. A ture low salt diet is less than 1.7 - 2 grams per day which is almost impossible to acheive unless you prepare most of your own food and/or shop VERY carefully looking at sodium on the packaging. And pretty much forget about eating out.

    Also, like with lipid profile, you need to look at the research VERY carefully and trade off against side effects. AHA and maybe AMA recently reduced BP recommendations even further, but many reviewers feel this is not justified by the evidence. Plus, quality of life is important too. Yeah you might live another 5 years, but if you can't do what you love in the interim....????
    Well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man. - The Dude

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewsnWeed View Post
    I have never tried beta blockers actually. But I dealt with pain thanks to cannabis.
    cannabis gives you pain?

  21. #21
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    I've had A-Fib for over 3 years. It doesn't affect me in any way. But my HR is high so my cardiologist just 2 days ago put me on Lisinopril 10 Mg once a day and Carvediloi 6.2 Mg twice a day. Tomorrow will be my first ride since taking them. I hope to do my usual 58 mile ride with 5 big hills, the longest, steepest one after 3 and 1/2 hours riding. I don't have any idea how it will go. I can't use my HR monitor because the A-Fib throws it way off. Ill have my phone with me so I can be rescued if I can't make it home.

  22. #22
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    Well I finished my first ride since starting Lisinopril and Carvediloi It really hit me hard. I rode 48 miles but it took 30 minutes longer than my usual times.

  23. #23
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    To answer the OP's question, I am on both, Alpha and Beta blockers, my HR tops off at about 150-160 normally.... yes I feel the loss in power out put, and lack of ability to sprint super hard.... But, I have to weigh in that a couple of years ago, I literally died in the ER, and had to get Emergency Open Heart surgery to have an Aortic Dissection- So I now have a metallic valve where my Aortic valve once was... The moral of the story is that I'd rather be alive and able to pedal, than 6 feet under.

  24. #24
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    I also have had an aortic valve replacement. I have been on metoprolol and am now on carvedilol. Both of them seem to establish limits on my maximum heart rate which I find frustrating. Running is absolutely impossible for me because I quickly hit my max and start gasping for air. For me, cycling is perfect because I can (depending on the terrain) back off and coast intermittently and I am fine. I notice absolutely no difference in terms of stamina on longer rides. Of course if I were pushing myself to the limit constantly I would notice a drop in my top speeds. But in recreational riding I just cruise along and can honestly say the medicine does not affect me a great deal.

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