T Nation

Diazepam and Cardio

I take one to two milligrams of diazepam (Valium) at night for insomnia. Does anyone know if this would negatively affect performance in cardiovascular exercise?

It seems like this would be an obvious yes, but I don’t feel tired during the day or fatigue particularly fast while doing resistance training, so I’m curious.

Diazepam has a stupid long half life, so I would expect there could be some potential lag while doing cardio. But if you’re not groggy from it the next day then consider yourself lucky and just keep going. I found that for sleep diazepam was a net negative since it disrupted such a large portion of the next day. Triazolam was a better fit within my particular needs.

1 Like

I’d also recommend taking a benzo with a significantly shorter half life, good options are (ranked from best to worst):

  • midazolam
  • triazolam
  • zopiclon (technically not a benzo, doesn’t matter)
  • oxazepam
  • alprazolam
  • lormetazepam, lorazepam, bromazepam
  • then all the other benzos with half lives greater than 15 hours, per example diazepam (Valium)

This will:

  1. Prevent the hangover and muscle weakness you get from Valium thereby decreasing injury risk (the case for the first 4)

  2. Hopefully prevent dependence, that would be the case for the first 3 as long as you don’t take it every night

Beware: if you took it longer than a week, you are likely physically dependent, don’t just stop Valium, you got to slowly decrease the dose otherwise you risk excitation and cramps or convulsions.

1 Like

Midazolam isn’t great for sleep induction, the duration of action is extremely short, the window of sedation may not be long enough for one to actually fall asleep… I’ve found Oxazepam to be the most efficacious for sleep induction.

Temazepam/diazepam was associated (for ME) a hangover/feeling groggy the next day. I don’t use benzodiazepines to elicit sleep anymore, but when I did use wasn’t continual. I’ve found (with a prescription) using 1-2x/week max can offset the development of dependence.

Etizolam also works as a short/intermediate acting sedative, it’s a thienodiazepine. Z-drugs like zopiclon have been associated with acute psychosis post intake. Benzodiazepines can also induce paradoxical reactions, however the psychosis/“ambien zombie” effects noted with Z-drugs are unique to imidazopryidines, pyrazolopyrmidines and cyclopyrrolones.

Cannabis can also work as a sedative, however the substance is illigal, is associated (for some) with feeling groggy the next day, adversely affects cognition following continual use and entails the act of smoking.

Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (Xyrem) depending on how it is used can act as a short acting sedative, but carries with it all of the problems associated with benzodiazepine use and has significant recreational appeal to boot.

Action starts 20 minutes post p.o. application and lasts for about 30 min to 1 hour (or longer) depending on individual half life. In my estimation that’s enough to fall asleep.

That’s about what I found. I had the feeling a tolerance was still build, did you find that too?

That’s right, it doesn’t happen often though. It’s also not the same in every population and age group. I go out on a limp and say it’s not very probable for OP.

Anecdotally it didn’t very well work for me. I’ve only tried it once though.

Eventually, though it took a while. This was why I stopped taking them altogether. It made me uneasy to think I could now take 2x the dose of a medication that initially floored me at 50% of said dose.

1 Like

I’ve been prescribed 1mg of Clonazepam for years due to anxiety. I haven’t experienced any negative effects on morning cardio, so I suppose it would be different for everybody.

Do you take this daily? A perceived net negative effect on cardio would be due to impaired coordination. Similar to how you probably wouldn’t want to run a 5k when shitfaced (aside from the excess cardiovascular strain associated with excess ethanol intake + intensive exercise)

Taken daily, yes.

Benzos have andinsanely fast tolerance and addiction potential which makes them a poor choice for long term sleep aids, and anything else long term. FWIW like another poster said I never had any problems doing any cardio when I was on them. Half life only matters if you’re taking a drug test.

Do you have experience with zolpidem?

When I took it, tolerance was build by taking it only once a week. Also it didn’t help well in low doses anyways.

Zopiclon was way better. That doesn’t surprise me though, mechanism of action is different.

I’ve never taken a “Z drug”

Took midazolam once, that’s fairly unique (I think)

Man, honestly this is a contentious topic. There are obvious issues like lethargy, but there are some pretty interesting positives too.

I can only speak from personal experience. I personally suffer from panic attacks so I’m prescribed both diazapam, and clonaxapam. I also take stilnox to help get better quality sleep at night. Once valium is in the your system you adapt to it fairly well and it does not impair functionality in sport, or in everyday life at all. Not at 5, 10, or 15mg per day, let alone 2mg at night. That dose is tiny and if it helps your quality of sleep improve that will outweigh the stigmatized assumptions ppl make.

Second valium is also a muscle relaxant so I believe it helps recovery and in some ways performance.

Clonaxapam is stronger and is an anticonvulsant so wouldn’t recommend before training though it lowers BP which works well with AAS. And Stilnox is great so long as your don’t drink.

I know it’s a provocative topic and my opinion will probably get trolled, but I enjoy incorporating all of these three into my lifestyle and training and believe they all have a valid place.

P.S - if you haven’t noticed many AAS supply websites also stock benzos and sleep agents as cycle support.

I know you tried to only state an opinion as you said but I would need some evidence especially for these parts as I vehemently disagree:

Why should they work well with AAS in regards to blood pressure?

Then there’s things I think are not good info:

Stilnox is a z drug, it works similar to benzos but on a slightly different population of receptors. Drinking is contraindicated with benzo or Z-drug use. Not only stilnox.

That’s very contentious in and of itself. Benzos are thought of impairing sleep patterns. Z-drugs less so.

Disagreeing is not trolling. Not many people trolling on here. If you state something you should be able to provide some evidence except for personal experience. Your post states things that are not personal experience, these you should be able to defend without referring to critics as trolls.

Yeah fair enough as I said contentious topic, but as I also said I WAS speaking from experience. Re: alcohol, firstly I don’t drink at all, secondly stilnox is widely known to be more aggressively contraindicated with alcohol than benzos. Of course alcohol is a bad mix with all of them, I just assumed that was common knowledge, but the warning labels and advice from licensed practicioners and pharmacists when prescribing and dispensing stilnox speaks for itself in my very humble opinion. I’m not going to paraphrase some Oxford study to back this. It’s just basic knowledge. It’s like saying “all benzos can be fatal” . Yes, they can, but some far more than others regardless of sharing the same pharma type, and not just on a mg per mg basis either.

The topic was about how extremely low dose diazapam affected exercise and I simply was trying to say that it doesnt necessarily have to.

Sorry if I came across the wrong way.

As for BP… Some AAS raise BP, and clonazapam lowers it. I’m not a doctor nor am I prerendingbut some people take ED pills every day for the same reason yeah?

I appreciate everyone’s responses. Here’s a little more background to my situation:

I am recovering from Lyme Disease. I got it in 2016 and started treatment in 2019. One of the major side effects this whole time has been insomnia and my doctor said sleep is extremely important in finishing my recovery and getting rid of the infection. I resisted for a long time but finally gave in and started diazepam back in September and I’ve been on it pretty much ever since. I’m hoping to be done with treatment in another few months and then start working off of it. I’ve kept my dose around 1.25 to 2mg this whole time and don’t seem to be showing any tolerance yet (even went up to 5mg for a while and then came back down). I recently started lifting weights again and hope to start cardio relatively soon.

I just wanted to give some additional context to my question and see if anyone had any additional thoughts or commentary. Also, if anyone has any tips for getting off this stuff, I’d appreciate it.

Thanks again for all the comments.

At that dosage don’t stress about coming off… Whenever you want to stop, just stop.

If you were on 30-40mgs per day as some are, particularly those suffering chronic anxiety conditions etc, then reduction plans will usually be put in place under supervision by a phychiatrist or gp depending on what country you’re in.

At the dosage you mentioned a typical reduction plan would just be to take it every other day then every third day before stopping altogether. This works well with diazapam because of the long half life. At your dose I can see no chance of you have withdrawal s or anything like that. High dose klonipin and Xanax can be very tricky to come off though and in fact diazapam will often be used as a stepping stone to getting off.

Although benzos are addictive and can be extremely destructive, from what I’ve seen its generally only the case when people either self medicate or take too many. They’re far easier to stop using than a lot of the pain meds out there that people are forced to take and also easier to come off than a lot of the far more widely prescribed SSRI’s on the market that every gp seems so trigger happy to prescribe

Probably due to the association/direct correlation with AAS use and (compound dependent) anxiety/insomnia.

This doesn’t mean anything either. Some of the Aussie suppliers deal with amphetamines, benodiazepines and z drugs. A recent bust went down in Aus with one major supplier affected, they had ties to the distribution of harder drugs such as crystallised methamphetamine and softer drugs (i.e mdma); they were also found to be in possession of multiple illigal weapons, the most sinister of which were explosive devices. AAS at the distribution level more/less equates to probable ties regarding the trafficking of other illicit substances

Probably due to the association/direct correlation with AAS use and (compound dependent) anxiety/insomnia.

Which is what I was referring to re: sleep, recovery…

Your username is in reference to Martin Scorcese’s Mean Streets right?

Good movie

Chronic use of low dose benzodiazepine can be effective for a select few outliers and/of those afflicted by certain conditions (e.g orthostatic tremor). For the majority, prolonged use will lead to tolerance, dependence… more harm than good.

I agree there is great stigma surrounding these medications as a result of widespread misuse, the same can be said about opiate/opioid painkillers. As a result those who legitimately require these meds may have a hard time procuring them.

A small minority unfortunately incurs indirect punishment due to the misbehaviour of a statistically greater proportion of patients/people misusing these meds.

You would not believe how often I’ve seen a new doctor for X reason only for them to glance over at the medications I’m prescribed or the health problems I have and tell me “you’re too young to have this condition” or “you aren’t old enough to be taking this”. Thank you for informing me of how relatively uncommon my unfortunate circumstances are!

1 Like