It’s no secret that steroids generally have a bad reputation. This medication is well known for producing significant muscular development. Learning more about what steroids are and the benefits they offer will help you avoid their risks.
If you consider using a nutritional supplement, there are crucial questions you should address:
- Is it legal and safe?
- Does it work?
- Is it suitable for you?
- How much do you know about its appropriate use?
Some resources about steroids are indeed awkward, but most are merely out of proportion. Anabolic steroids usage can be a vast subject to discuss in one sitting. Nevertheless, with its growing popularity also comes more awareness.
Some are starting to become more well-informed about the drug. Unfortunately, there are still a few others out there who claim to be experts when the reality is they only heard about it from someone else.
This article will try to cover an in-depth overview of this controversial subject of steroid use. However, please know that no one is better at providing appropriate guidance on any medication than your doctor. So before you start with new treatment plans, you should first think about discussing this with your physician.
Anabolic Steroids: How Much Do We Know About It?
Steroids are synthetic compounds similar to naturally occurring sex hormones such as testosterone. Both male testicles and female ovaries produce testosterone. However, this sex hormone is far more abundant in males than it is in females.
The term steroids is a shortened version of anabolic-androgenic steroids or AAS. Its synthetic variant has the identical structural make-up as the natural hormones and with similar reactions.
Since the 1930s, steroids have already been in existence. Healthcare providers use them to treat cancer or AIDS patients, helping them gain weight and appetite. Steroid treatment is also well known for helping men with pituitary disorders. Such problems keep these men from having adequate testosterone production the natural way.
A physician may prescribe a different sort of steroid, called corticosteroids, to cure edema or use it to treat a severe form of anemia.
The Key Function Of Anabolic Steroids
Most athletes and bodybuilders find anabolic steroids handy for causing muscle tissues to produce more protein. On the other hand, Androgens allow them to have more energy during workouts, leading to more efficient results.
The two main effects of testosterone are the following:
Changes in androgen levels (androgenic) include the development of male secondary sexual characteristics. There will be noticeable changes in facial hair, voice, and genitals. Besides, androgens are essential for inducing puberty and metabolism. This hormone likewise controls the reproductive tract, bones, kidneys, liver, and muscular system.
Skeletal organs, such as muscles and bone tissues, are forming during anabolic changes. As a result, many people refer to it as a performance and image-enhancing substance. Nevertheless, anabolic effects do a lot more than merely boost performance. Medical experts also utilize this effect for therapeutic purposes.
Many steroids nowadays have a unique design that focuses on the anabolic aspect rather than the androgenic. It allows building up muscle tissues while reducing the side effects.
People refer to artificial compounds having anabolic and androgenic effects as anabolic-androgenic steroids. However, the majority of them refer to the drug as anabolic steroids.
How The Body Processes Steroids?
Steroid intake would cause the muscle cells’ androgen receptors to absorb the drug within the blood circulation. It encourages protein production leading to cell growth and muscle mass increase. Some of its other components, like creatine, can enhance stamina and performance.
Moreover, steroids can trigger the body’s catabolic function to decrease. It will then break down muscles and convert them into energy.
Once you combine it with proper diet and exercise, your body will start generating low cortisol levels. It will help you maintain significant muscle mass and keep them well-toned while you lose weight.
Steroids are available in oral, capsule, and injectable forms. Some would administer them by rubbing them onto the skin as a cream or gel.
Anabolic Steroid Benefits
Aside from the previously mentioned use of steroids in the medical community, here are several more of its therapeutic benefits:
- Regulating metastatic breast cancer.
- Treatment for hereditary angioedema; a rare disorder where fluid accumulates outside the blood vessels.
- Testosterone replacement for those who have had their testes removed due to testicular cancer.
- Treatment for menopausal symptoms in women.
- Promoting protein increase for post-surgical patients, who had long-term confinement, suffered malnutrition, or severe illnesses.
- Plasmin production for preventing blood clots.
- Aiding patients suffering from muscle atrophy.
- Aiding puberty onset to individuals who are unable to do it naturally.
Body Fat Reduction And Bone Density Enhancement
Besides their medical advantages, steroid usage would make the body less prone to forming fats and more likely to burn them away.
It will break down fats, reducing stored fats in the body and converting them into energy. This fact is well known as lipid oxidation or oxidizing fat due to an increase in metabolism.
More than that, the steroids will also enhance bone density and muscle growth, which would help you prevent fractures.
Increased Body Size And Strength
Anabolic steroids are well-known for their ability to enhance testosterone levels. Even the synthetic version of testosterone allows a rise in the amount of this hormone in the body. Testosterone is a hormone that promotes muscle growth.
Some claim that using anabolic steroids while remaining completely inactive will cause continuous development in the muscles. Eventually, that will also mean a noticeable increase in body size and stamina. Even so, it will never be as much as what your body would gain with a well-designed weight training regimen.
Increased Libido In Women
In addition, there’s a significant boost in sexual desire. Although a libido increase is regardless of age, bodily changes are more prevalent in adolescent women. It is less likely to occur for premenopausal and postmenopausal women. In any case, this approach is not yet well-established in current medical practice.
Speeding Up Recovery Time From Injuries
Anabolic steroids also speed up the recovery process from an injury. Steroid users claim to have their recuperation time cut short significantly. Earlier in this article, we mentioned how low cortisol levels could cause damage to muscle tissues.
Having too much of it will slow down the time it takes for the body to recover from injuries and muscular trauma. Hence, these steroids can regulate cortisol production, especially when the body is under stress. Besides these benefits, it also allows endurance improvement when working out.
Boosting Red Blood Cell Production
The body uses red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, to carry oxygen from the lungs and to other body parts. Therefore, enough red blood cells are necessary for transporting oxygen to these body parts. Anabolic steroids can stimulate red blood cell production and are even responsible for its rapid production.
Higher counts of red blood cells cause the muscles to receive more oxygen, allowing them to work harder for more extended periods. As a result of which, numerous endurance athletes utilize anabolic steroids with these capabilities. Further, oxygenated blood in your muscles will aid recovery from intense bodily activity, like strenuous workouts.
The Disadvantages Of Anabolic Steroid Use
Taking anabolic steroids is against the law, which is one of its most apparent drawbacks. You will face severe penalties or imprisonment for using, buying, or selling steroids without a prescription. Such drug offenses will have penalties according to State and Federal Law.
Buying steroids is a high-risk activity. Obtaining them from less reliable sources will put you at risk. In such cases, do you ever wonder to whom you would complain if your dealer cheats on you? Sadly, this is among the most disregarded drawbacks of misusing steroids.
The effects that anabolic steroids have on physiological and behavioral aspects are only to name a few. The drug may cause impaired sperm production and impact serum hormone levels. The effects include musculoskeletal configuration, hair distribution, testicular atrophy, mood swings, skin problems, and male pattern baldness.
Another concern among individuals using anabolic steroids is the high production of aromatase. This enzyme contributes to estrogen production through testosterone conversion. The said activity will eventually lead to an increase in body fat.
Your body’s capability to naturally produce testosterone will come to a halt and could lead to gynecomastia. Estrogen build-up that results in men’s abnormal breast enlargement is due to this condition called gynecomastia. It can either be one breast or sometimes both. These enlarged breasts can have a gland, a fat, or it could be both too.
It’s a good thing that several ways are available so you can prevent a relative amount of these adverse effects. You can avert these unfavorable effects with increased awareness and the appropriate use of anabolic steroids.
This guide doesn’t aim to motivate anyone into steroid use. The goal is only to provide relevant information if you decide to use anabolic steroids. The more knowledge you gain about the subject, the greater your chances are of reducing potential risks.
Keeping Yourself Safe While Using Anabolic Steroids
We discussed the definition, functions, advantages, and drawbacks of steroid use in the first few parts of this article. So now we’re going into more detail about how you can avoid the undesirable effects of steroid use.
Let’s take an extensive overview of the six crucial factors worth considering before starting on steroids:
1. Knowing More About The Legal Concerns
Depending on your location, the first consideration you need to know more about is the legal use of anabolic steroids in your country or state. Specific laws on steroid use can vary per location, so it would only be practical to know further about these details.
Let’s take Mexico, for instance. This country does not prohibit the purchase of anabolic steroids, even if you do so without a prescription. By contrast, even the mere possession of anabolic steroids in other countries may result in jail time or be penalized with a fine.
So, at this point, regardless of whether the law has already legalized steroid use in your country or not, it’s best to play it safe. It’s one or the other: You must educate yourself about explicit hazards to be more aware of them, or you may consider relocating to Mexico!
2. In-Depth Awareness Of Anabolic Steroids
There are various ways that you can purchase steroids nowadays. You either get the oral pill or its injectable form.
Thinking about a needle injection may indeed be very distressing for some. Thus, as a result, pills often appear to be a safer option, which is a popular misconception.
Oral steroids can be helpful in some instances, and they may even be appropriate at times. But it does not negate the usefulness of taking injectables in other situations either. Henceforth, here are some quick facts about oral steroids and their injectable form:
Oral Intake Of Steroids
While it can be true, many individuals fear that oral intake of steroids can do more damage to your liver. Although nowadays, some would say that there are pills that are pretty easy on the liver.
But the truth is since an oral intake of the drug also means going through your stomach, your liver will eventually absorb and process it. Consequently, the likelihood of liver damage is relatively high, especially for long-term consumption.
Besides, most oral steroids are short-lived once inside the body, which means you have to take them more often. Frequent steroid intake comes with perks and pitfalls. For one, an increased quantity of steroids would undoubtedly lead to muscle enhancement. But it would also cause stomach discomforts, bloatedness, and even dizziness.
A recurrent intake of steroids can have a considerable effect on serum lipids and lipoproteins. It can result in an extremely low HDL, the “good cholesterol,” and an alarming increase in LDL, the “bad cholesterol.” It’s best to take oral steroids before transitioning to the injectable form at the start of a cycle.
This steroid type would require the use of needles and syringes for its administration. No matter how simple you think this method is, it doesn’t come without extra precautions.
Using sterile and brand new needles is essential; keep alcohol and some bandages handy too. Once you administer the injectable form, it will create a deposit in the muscle tissue then break down as it enters the bloodstream.
Some injectables are more capable of breaking down faster than others. But regardless, injections stay in your bloodstream longer than oral versions.
Here are several of the oral steroids available nowadays:
Clenbuterol is a good anabolic steroid to add to the list, despite not being technically anabolic. It has comparable results, and you may even ingest it orally.
The following are examples of injectable steroids:
- Deca Durabolin,
- Winstrol Depot
- Trenbolone, on the contrary, has an injectable form and an oral variant.)
3. Consider The Cycling Pattern
To ensure safety and avoid health hazards, no one should take steroids daily for an entire year. Aside from being an ineffective way of utilizing them, doing so will cause damage to your liver. Thus, it would always serve your best interest to seek medical intervention before starting with a regimen.
It is pretty standard for athletes and health buffs to use steroids in cycles. The cycling pattern is an on and off strategy of steroid administration. Beginners would typically take steroids, like testosterone, for an extended length of a 12-week cycle. Once you complete the 12 weeks, you would stop taking any steroids for about 3-4 weeks.
This specific pattern will allow steroid users to wean off the side effects while entirely flushing the substance from the body. Post-cycle, one should take Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator or SERMs to avoid sudden estrogen level increase. SERM is a medication with nonsteroidal properties working as agonists for estrogen receptors.
After a while, you may consider taking things to the next level and start with the stacking pattern. This pattern includes taking more than one steroid type simultaneously. It would not merely be combining any kind of steroids. You should only combine different steroids that efficiently work together to help you achieve your goal.
Let’s take Dianabol, for instance, testosterone in oral form, that most individuals use after their 12-week cycle. It could do wonders for those who aim to bulk up. Some would say that it’s a no-nonsense approach to getting bigger, stronger muscles in a short time. Although this practice would result in estrogen surge and it’s only practical to take it with an aromatase inhibitor.
4. Opt For A Highly-Recognized Seller
If you have already reached this part of the article, you’re probably wondering where to purchase anabolic steroids. Maybe you’re thinking about doing a Google search now. For some countries, you can merely walk into a pharmacy to get one. In most cases, you’ll either have to buy them online or find someone who sells them.
The problem with searching online is there’s no way to tell if you’ll get authentic AASs. Sometimes, what others get are nothing but placebo frauds or precursor chemicals. An online steroid purchase comes with a risk but, you can resort to that if you wish not to deal with those guys from the gym.
Such a transaction could be a daunting possibility. Of course, you can’t simply approach some random big guy at the gym and offer him your cash.
For starters, locating a well-known gym should be your first step. It’s unlikely you’ll find many steroid dealers in an exercise class for legs, bums, and tums. However, it is possible to access one in the weights section at a commercial or bodybuilding gym.
Then your next step should include associating yourself with the most well-known steroid users out there. They should be comfortable around you before you try asking for help from any of them. You can try skipping this part if you have no time to spare, but that may not get you anywhere at all.
But whatever way you wish to purchase it, ensure doing comprehensive research on your product of choice first. Try joining some online forums with relevant topics or search for a well-known brand that many people trust.
5. A Vast Understanding Of Human Vs. Veterinary Steroids
When buying steroids, you might encounter one for humans and another kind for veterinary practices. Veterinarians also make use of anabolic steroids as a treatment for debilitated animals.
It is pretty uncommon for humans to take medicines for animal consumption, and some would say that you should avoid doing so. Nonetheless, veterinary steroids and the ones for humans are identical in every way. It’s the very same thing, having the same effects. So, worry not about this because whichever way you put it, testosterone is testosterone, whether you use it for humans or animals.
6. Adverse Effect Prevention
Steroids aid with protein absorption, but each individual can have a varying reaction to their side effects. But it would be best not to worry since reducing or avoiding some of the unfavorable reactions that come with anabolic steroid use is feasible.
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators can manage estrogen levels in the body. You may likewise prevent gynecomastia and other conditions with the help of aromatase inhibitors. But what poses a danger is if you’re unaware of the proper usage of steroids or any drugs for that matter.
Try searching for articles about the supplement of your choice, then ask friends who have taken them for their experience. You can also ask around from the guys at your gym and conduct further research.
Even checking out various online forums can be a brilliant idea. Lastly, check every manufacturer’s site and look for excellent ratings. Do as much as you can to learn about the drug in question before jumping into a purchase blindly.
If you genuinely desire giving anabolic steroids a try, then I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t. I hope that whatever’s stopping you from doing so is based on facts and not merely myths or heresy. It is the very reason why we came up with this informative article.
Remember that you only need to be extra cautious. Before purchasing, check the ingredients on the label and find out the best way to take it.
Aside from seeking professional advice on the matter, it would be best to be careful not to take more than you should. Using high amounts of these steroids is what will put more at risk of the side effects. Moderation and more knowledge are the keys to a worry-free use of these anabolic steroids.