Pro Cycling’s Secret to Staying Lean? | Ozempic / Semaglutide Not Banned by WADA for Athletes

Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelsys, and other forms of Semaglutide drugs (including Tirzepatide) are insanely popular and effective at helping people lose weight.

Studies show Semaglutide causes an average of 15% body weight loss, and that could be massively beneficial for a cyclist.

But what about the risks? It’s still a relatively new drug, so the long term risks remain unknown, but the known risks of gastric distress, including slowed gastric emptying, the negative impact on hunger signals could be disastrous for cyclists and push them into an energy deficiency.

Additionally, there is conflicting evidence in the literature concerning whether Semaglutide causes an inordinate amount of lean mass loss compared to situations where the same amount of weight is lost without the use of Semaglutide. However, if it does cause excessive lean mass loss, again, this drug seems highly risky to take for a cyclist.

But all of that said, power-to-weight ratios are the largest determinant of performance in cycling, and this drug could be hugely beneficial in making cyclists faster.

And for some reason, nobody is talking about how athletes could be using this very expensive drug to improve their performance, and most shocking, is that as of recording this video, it is an approved substance by WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency.

At $1,000-2,000 per month, it is only available to those with substantial resources, so does a drug like this violate the “spirit of sport”?

Is this how the peloton got so shockingly lean and seemed to be able to maintain that low body fat percentage since 2012?

@mcneese.chad Wasn’t sure where this should go so move it if it makes sense? :man_shrugging:

1 Like

my 2¢ is the price puts it out of reach for those without bottomless pockets. Also it suppresses appetite, and eating is a key part of endurance sports. So while I’d love to drop 20-30 pounds, it almost seems like it would be more work to maintain fitness/muscle as it is to lose fat (because the body is weird like that.)


This makes sense for category to me, well done. :smiley:

And thanks for sharing this, because I meant to and lost it in distraction yesterday. TR seems to be slacking a bit in creating forum topics for this and other podcasts lately, so I appreciate members stepping up to make it happen. :+1:


Opened this post, then went to Reddit and was served an Ozempic ad for the first time I can recall. No escaping the hype.


I saw a local FB group post recently about someone saying all the local pharmacies were out of their diabetes medicine and it was something about people abusing it for weightloss. Assuming this is the stuff?

1 Like

We are the hardest of the hard core, but the podcast/video needs broader promotion. We’re gonna find it, the average YouTube viewer? maybe? I just would have thought there’ are podcast tools that would mass post to the major platforms and maybe a follow on script to post here.

1 Like

Perfect comment here:

All things being serious that’s not much money if it really makes a difference to a pro.


One of them anyway. With the money rolling in, you can bet other drug makers are pushing to get theirs on the market as soon as the FDA will allow them to.


Yup. This hits the “…but why can’t I just take a pill?” quick hit solution that plenty of people seem to want.


I hit thumbs up here, but the real reaction is :cry:

1 Like

Yeah, I almost didn’t include the comment since it is more negative than I typically like to make… but it gives context to the reason these meds came to short supply once this “side effect” was discovered.

20 year old me would never consider it, now I’m the wrong side of 40 I could talk myself into it/trt since I don’t race sanctioned events and I’m mostly racing just myself (and father time), but I
a) don’t like the unknown risks
b) don’t have that kinda cash just to ride a bit faster

Unless you really need it, I can’t see the long term benefits.

What did they do before 2012?

Sorry man, I just cut & pasted from the blurb TR posted on YouTube. I can say it probably wasn’t worm blood.

1 Like

I’m sure this has been used by pro’s already to get an edge in their cycling performance. For average Janes and Joes, I can only see this useful for overall health…if you are actually many pounds overweight and struggle to lose it and keep it off. As for someone like me, I managed to drop some weight recently in a healthy way, and even though I could still lose maybe 10, 5 pounds for sure, the question is would it really be worth it? For myself the answer is no. If I were a body builder, getting ready to compete on stage, then maybe. While I’m not totally shredded, I’m stable in weight and body composition and that in itself is a worthy place to be.
As endurance athletes we are not primarily after chiseled bodies to look good, but to perform. And from what I’ve read and heard is that this such a strong appetite suppressant, that while it can help get you to a very lean body comp, if you don’t have an appetite you can suffer from REDS and generally poor performance. Another thing is that I don’t know what impact it will have on your overall NEAT and how once would feel a couple of weeks into a substantial training block.
Maybe in the offseason when training intensity remains low it might work but leading up to an A race…I doubt it.
Should it be legal to use or not by athletes - I don’t really know. My opinion right now is that it’s a personal decision to pursue its use, but I definitely think it’s a double-edged sword.

I don’t think it’s mentioned in the podcast, but it has been pointed out in other articles that just like any other weight loss, there’s rebound gain when people go off the drug. It’s so new, we don’t really know what the rea long term effects beyond rebound are. Muscle loss, brain fog, all the wonderful GI issues that are published side effects. joy. real joy right there.

I thought that Wada did ban all hormone manipulation drugs? Did they recently change their mind on this one?

It cracks me up when some people get their panties in bunch over this non-performance enhancing drug. If you are only beating your competition because they are 40 pounds over weight, then you need to train better. :slight_smile:

A friend who has type 2 diabetes and who has never been able to get below 240-260, started taking it. His blood sugar numbers have improved greatly and he’s lost 25 pounds so far.

It’s all great till your digestive tract is completely paralyzed. It happening.

Where have you heard that? I’ll be completely honest, I listened to a podcast by Dr. Mike Israetel and the host on RP Podcast - it’s aimed at physique athletes, and they went into it to some detail, but I haven’t done any reading of research papers. A paralyzed digestive tract is something I haven’t heard of yet.

Edit: found it here: FDA Adds Warning of Intestinal Blockages to Ozempic Label (

I see your edit. I’ve seen it mostly on tv news stories with personal testimony. Sounds scary. Not sure of the likelihood.