Table 2

Characteristics of included studies

StudyDesignSubject descriptionPSE dosageMain InterventionsOutcome results
Gillies et al18Double-blind RCT cross-over, single doseVolunteer sample of 10 healthy male cyclists with no history of renal or other diseases120 mg 90 min prior to testingGroup A (n=10)
120 mg PSE or placebo with exercise, 1-week washout period (2 trials)
120 PSE or placebo with no exercise (1 trial)
Exercise: isometric muscle test (peak value) followed by 40 km cycling trial (time to completion)
No significant improvement in any parameters (isometric muscle function)
Swain et al19Double-blind RCT, multiple-doseConvenience sample of 20 male cyclists (18–35), cycling 50+ miles a week; 10 relevant to PSE1 mg/kg, 2 mg/kg 60 min prior to testingGroup A (n=10)
1 mg/kg, 2 mg/kg or placebo with exercise, 1-week washout period (3 trials)
Exercise: bicycle ergometer tests (time to exhaustion,VO2max, peak pulse, and RPE)
No significant improvement in any parameters (VO2max, time to exhaustion, peak BP and pulse) for either dose
Gill et al20RCT cross-over,
single dose
Volunteer sample of 22 healthy male athletes from university student population with no reported injuries prior to study180 mg 45 min prior to testingGroup A (n=22)
180 mg PSE with exercise, 1-week washout period (1 trial)
Placebo with exercise (1 trial)
Exercise: Wingate test, isometric leg extension, bench press (peak value, heart rate)
Improved maximum torque, improved peak power of maximal cycling, improved respiratory function
Chester et al21RCT cross-over, multiple doseRecruited sample of 8 male endurance runners60 mg, 6 doses over 36 h, 4 h prior to testingGroup A (n=8): 60 mg PSE or placebo with exercise, 1-week washout period (4 trials)
Exercise: steady state exercise, 5000 m time trial (VO2max, heart rate, BP, peak time)
Statistical data not reported
No significant improvement in any parameters (VO2max, heart rate, and respiratory exchange ratio)
Chu et al22Double-blind RCT cross-over, single doseVolunteer sample of 10 male, 9 female healthy university students (1 dropout)120 mg, 2 h prior to testingGroup A (n=19)
120 mg PSE or placebo with exercise, 1-week washout period (2 trials)
Exercise: Wingate test, MVC grip test, dorsiflexion test (peak power output)
No significant improvement in any parameters (force production, fatigue, power output)
Hodges et al23Double-blind RCT cross-over, single dose11 healthy male athletes60 mg, 90 min prior to testingGroup A: (n=11)
60 mg PSE or placebo with exercise, 1-week washout period (3 trials)
Exercise: 40% submaximal cycling, 60% submaximal cycling, Wingate test (VO2peak, peak power output, gross efficiency)
No significant improvement in any parameters (peak power, total work, fatigue, heart rate)
Hodges et al24Double-blind
RCT cross-over, single dose
Volunteer sample of 7 male athletes from a university's athletic club (1 dropout)2.5 mg/kg, 90 min prior to testingGroup A (n=7): 2.5 mg/kg PSE or placebo with exercise, 2–5-day washout period (2 trials)
Exercise: 1500 m time trial (time to completion, blood parameters)
Significantly decreased time to completion trial by 2.1% with no reported side effects
Pritchard-Peschek et al25Double-blind
RCT cross-over, single dose
Volunteer sample of 6 trained male cyclists and triathletes180 mg, 60 min prior to testingGroup A (n=6)
180 mg PSE or placebo with exercise, 2-week washout period (2 trials)
Exercise: 70 kJ/kg standardised work time trial (time to completion)
Significantly decreased time to completion by 5.1%
Berry 26Double-blind
RCT, cross-over, single dose
Recruited sample of 13 female student athletes from Utah Track and Field (2 dropouts)2.5 mg/kg, 90 min prior to testingGroup A (n=13)
2.5 mg/kg PSE or placebo with exercise, 1-week washout period (2 trials)
Exercise: 800 m run time trial (time to completion, heart rate, anxiety state)
No significant improvement in any parameters (time to completion, heart rate, level of anxiety)
Pritchard-Peschek et al27Double-blind RCT, double-blind, cross-over, multiple doseVolunteer sample of 10 trained male endurance cyclists from local cycling/triathlon clubs2.3 mg/kg or 2.8 mg/kg, 60 min prior to testingGroup A (n=10) 2.3 mg/kg, 2.8 mg/kg, or placebo with exercise (3 trials)
Exercise: 7 kJ kg−1BM work time trial (time to completion)
No significant improvement in any parameters (time to completion) for either dose
  • BP, blood pressure; MVC, maximal voluntary contraction; PSE, pseudoephedrine; RCT, randomised control trial; RPE, rate of perceived exertion; VO2max, maximum oxygen uptake.