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carlstonecarlstone Posts: 602
Following on from the thread about statins, I was wondering about beta blockers.

I am 37 and quite unfit but do commute every day and do about 100 miles a week. I am currently trying to loose a bit of weight (15 stone @ 6ft) and I am on simvastatin and 100mg of Atenalol and small dose of asprin a day (family hsitory of hypertension, strokes and heart attacks on both parents sides). I don't seem to feel the effects of the statins as discussed in the other post, however I was wodering what effect the beta blockers may be having on me. I don't seem to be able to get my heart rate very high, even when it feels like my lungs are about to explode and my legs are like jelly (about 130bpm max).

Is this because I am so unfit, genetics, an effect of the Atenalol or soemthing else?

Cheers for your replies in advance.



  • Dr_DeathDr_Death Posts: 1,262
    Atenolol works by lowering your heart rate, thus lowering the amount of work your heart has to do. Hence you can't get it up (your heart rate that is). It can have an adverse effect on people who are training / exercising as it will prevent you reaching your maximum heart rate. There are other options for controlling blood pressure that would be more suitable for people who continue to exercise (discuss it with your GP).

    If you manage to loose some of the weight and reduce your cholesterol you should find that your BP is better controlled anyway....

    Trust me, I'm a doctor!
  • Fab FoodieFab Foodie Posts: 5,155
    Hi Carlstone
    Probably read my post on the Statins topic.

    I'm also on Atenolol, but 50mg, can get my heart-rate up to 160 but it takes real effort and I'm really not supposed to go above about 140 bpm. However this is good for around 20mph on the flat and as such is fast enough for my needs.
    I assume that a 100mg dose has a much greater damping effect on heart-rate and so more effort is needed to get your rate high.

    I agree with the Dr above, discuss with your GP whether other options are better. I did and for me Beta-blockers are the best solution (I already have low BP, anything that made it lower world mean I'd bnever get upright in the morning!).

    The other question is; why do you need to go fast/train so hard?
    I ride a bike for fun (and enjoy the odd TT and club-night), but at the end of the day I also want to stay alive a bit longer ans that means taking some care over my heart and CV system.
    I had to walk a 25% hill last year as my HR shot-up to just 165, A new experience a hill I could not cycle over, but hell, I'm still here.

    The pessimists of this world are rarely disappointed....
    Fab's TCR1
  • carlstonecarlstone Posts: 602
    Hi Dr Death & Fab Foodie

    Thanks for the replies. Answers my question, but begs another, how can you reduce your blood pressure without drugs, after you have done the obvious (healthy diet, exercise, correct weight, no smoking and moderate drinking) and you are still on beta blockers?

    Fab Foodie, its not that I want to train like a madman, its just that I bought a heart rate monitor to help me train in the 'fat burning' zone (which should be quite moderate exercise) and I found there was this problem I had with getting my heart rate up.

    I agree that the main thing is to enjoy your cycling and not get too hung up on the science. So I guess I will just put the heart rate monitor on ebay and stop worrying so much.

  • Fab FoodieFab Foodie Posts: 5,155
    Hi Carlstone

    Tricky question regarding keeping the BP is my area of expertise rather than medicine, however....keep hydrated, keep salt (Sodium) intake as low as possible, take cod-liver oil/Omega 3's to help keep the blood thin, de-stress your life, reduce caffiene intake, moderate blood sugar supply by removing refined carbs and going for a low GI approach.

    So, keep blood thin, reduce reasons for raising heart rate/activity.

    Regarding riding, 130 bpm is pretty low, you may just have to live with it...must admit that I have found that the fitter I have become, the faster I can go for a given HR. I also find that grinding more effective than spinning which makes me puffed-out for no performance benefit, grinding is more natural for me and I seem to make better speed/heart rate.

    Other than that I think we just have to accept our lot with good grace :roll:

    The pessimists of this world are rarely disappointed....
    Fab's TCR1
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