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Ever since the ’50s, it has been a known fact that steroids are popular among athletes, especially bodybuilders. There have been numerous debates regarding the positive and negative effects it has on the body, but what are steroids actually? What do they do in the human body? How are they different from other drugs? Is there any way to use them properly, or are these substances harmful either way? Read on to find out!
Steroids are actually specific types of hormones that can be either naturally produced by the human body or artificially formulated and introduced into the system. They are called steroids because they contain a chemical structure that directly derives from cholesterol, which is found in both plants and animals.
Steroids were first introduced in the early 1950s. Two scientists, John Ziegler and C.J. Koch experimented with testosterone to determine its effects on athletic performance. They ended up introducing an altered form of the compound since it did not have any negative reactions in the human body during tests on patients suffering from osteoporosis. The modified substance was sold under the name of “Deca-Durabolin,” but is now known as nandrolone.
It was in the late ’60s when a doctor in the United States, Francis Ziegler experimented with a steroid called testosterone propionate from sheep testicles and successfully developed a new medication that was later sold under the brand name “Depo-Testosterone.” This was the first time that medication was directly derived from an anabolic steroid.
These days, steroids are usually taken orally in the form of pills or as a liquid suspension. Most people prefer taking them in pill forms since they are easy to swallow and convenient to carry around during workouts. Anabolic steroids that are designed for injection purposes require medical supervision just like any other medication that is injected into the body, but it can be done at home without the direct supervision of a medical practitioner.
For decades, athletes have been using steroids for improving their athletic performance and enhancing their muscle mass. Bodybuilders and other athletes who utilize sports supplements to improve their physical performance often take anabolic steroids with non-steroid supplements such as proteins and, stimulants because they help in improving muscle mass.
Athletes who use steroids often take them for the following reasons:
- To increase lean body mass and reduce body fat percentage: Since anabolic steroid is a man-made compound that has the same properties as natural testosterone, it easily binds to cells found in skeletal muscles. This allows them to retain more nitrogen, which is the building block of proteins. The amount of nitrogen in the body directly determines how fast muscles repair themselves after strenuous workouts. During workouts, the muscles are damaged and break down. Proteins that are rich in nitrogen help speed up this process by strengthening muscle fibers, thereby increasing lean body mass and reducing fat percentage.
- To increase the frequency of weight lifting: There are also anabolic steroids that make it easier for athletes to recover from muscle damage during workouts. By not having muscle pain after strenuous workouts, they are able to work out more often which allows them to experience massive gains in muscle mass.
- To speed up body metabolism: This is the main reason why professional athletes such as bodybuilders and football players take steroids. The metabolic rate determines how fast the human body burns fat. If the rate is faster, then it is easier for an athlete to lose weight since he or she will be able to burn more calories in a shorter period of time.
It should be noted, however, that anabolic steroids also have negative effects on the body. Their usage should never be considered without consulting with your physician first to ensure safe practices, especially if you are taking them for non-medical purposes. That aside, there are many online forums where people share information about steroid usage.
Apart from the three reasons listed above, there are a lot more reasons why steroids are utilized all over the world, but those are the most notable and scientific.
The way steroids work inside the human body can vary depending on which steroids are being taken, what purpose the steroid serves, and the physiological status of the person taking it. However, the most common way steroids work is by binding themselves to androgen receptors found in the cells of skeletal muscles. This would stimulate protein synthesis inside those cells, which eventually results in greater muscle mass.
The effects of this steroid on the body can be observed as early as a couple of weeks since it directly reaches target tissues where a lot of changes occur. A person will be able to see the benefits of taking steroids after only a few weeks or months.
Steroids are usually taken orally, injected into muscles, or applied on the skin in gel form, depending on how it is designed for use. When taken orally, anabolic steroids require 7 to 8 hours before they can reach their peak concentration inside the blood. Injectable steroids, on the other hand, can be detected in high concentrations in a couple of minutes after they are injected because they directly enter the bloodstream.
Just as the way steroids work, their effects can also vary depending on a lot of factors such as the person taking it, the dosage, frequency of use, and of course the steroid being taken. However, the positive effects tend to be quite similar in some among users because steroids affect everyone in just about the same categorical way.
Some of these positive effects are:
Increase in lean body mass: One of the main purposes of anabolic steroids is to help athletes and bodybuilders gain more muscle mass. This is because one of the main functions of steroids is to bind with androgen receptors found in cells where proteins are synthesized. This allows more protein synthesis processes to occur, which results in rapid restoration of damaged muscles during workouts. In turn, this means a greater potential for bigger and bulkier muscles.
- Increase in strength: After the rapid restoration of damaged muscles, athletes and bodybuilders experience a greater increase in overall strength because their bodies are once again able to handle strenuous workouts, which results to even more muscle mass gain.
- Decrease in fat storage: Another great benefit that steroid users get is that they can last longer and harder in bed. This is because testosterone greatly contributes to higher libido levels, which ultimately lead to an increase in intimate appetite for both men and women. Of course, this also means that the person taking steroids will be able to maintain his or her firm physique even if he or she does not engage in vigorous workouts quite often.
- Increased bone strength: Osteoporosis is a condition wherein bones will become weak and brittle. This usually affects people who are aged 50 years old and above, as well as those who have been taking certain medications for quite some time now. Steroids have been shown to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis because it increases bone density gradually, thanks to the aforementioned functions of steroids.
- Hastened recovery time: Another great benefit of taking steroids is that it can reduce recovery time after surgery, injury, or severe trauma. This is because anabolic hormones stimulate the production of cells where proteins are synthesized, which in turn speeds up cellular regeneration and tissue repair.
- Higher energy levels: Steroids can also give a person more energy for daily activities. This is because anabolic hormones directly affect the metabolism to become faster by producing more energy, which can be used in performing strenuous tasks such as long hours of labor, running from one place to another, and other forms of physical exercise.
- Better sleep: Sometimes people experience bouts of sleeplessness because they are too stressed or even too excited about something. However, since steroids can relieve stress and help a person relax, along with producing more energy that can be used for other activities, this helps them sleep better at night.
- Improved cardiovascular system: According to research studies, anabolic steroids have shown improvement in people’s cardiovascular system, which is the main reason why people taking them are less susceptible to major heart ailments. This means that they can live longer lives because their cardiovascular systems are more efficient at pumping blood throughout the body, including all its cells.
- Decreased liver toxicity: Liver toxicity usually occurs when a person takes too many oral anabolic steroids. However, this condition can be avoided by using injectable or transdermal forms of testosterone instead. In addition, the use of liver detox supplements such as Milk Thistle can also help keep one’s liver healthy and functioning optimally, which means that a person will experience better health with lesser instances of sickness.
- Higher testosterone levels: Lastly, one of the most important benefits that can be attained from taking steroids is its ability to increase testosterone levels in the body. This means that muscles will become larger and firmer with lesser instances of fatigue and quicker recovery after workouts, which results in a better sex life as well.
There are many other benefits that people who take anabolic steroids can get, which is the reason why more and more athletes and bodybuilders prefer this type of performance-enhancing drug. However, always bear in mind that there are possible side effects to using anabolic steroids as well, so make sure you consult a medical professional if you have any questions or concerns about them.
Using anabolic steroids can give people a lot of positive physiological effects. However, it is important to remember that abusing steroids can cause certain negative effects as well. Here are some of the negative effects that have been associated with steroid abuse over time:
- Disturbed sleep patterns: Some people who use anabolic steroids experience insomnia, which means having a hard time sleeping at night despite being tired enough physically and mentally. This is because steroids can cause one’s cortisol levels to increase, which is a hormone responsible for stress and anxiety. This can lead to restlessness and consequent sleeplessness.
- Increased aggression: Steroids may also cause undue aggression in some people, which can be dangerous if this occurs during work or in public places. According to research studies, the use of anabolic steroids has been linked to aggressive behavior and psychotic episodes in some people.
- Risk of cancer: Although there are no scientific studies to back up the claim, some bodybuilders and athletes have voiced their belief that steroids can cause cancer. However, this is not without merit because it has been proven by medical experts that anabolic steroid abuse does increase estrogen levels in men while decreasing testosterone levels. This hormonal imbalance may lead to the development of gynecomastia or male breast growth, which can further progress into cancer if untreated.
- Liver damage: Another negative effect that is associated with steroid use is liver damage because it interferes with the metabolism of estrogen, which is a harmful substance. That is why it is essential to take detox supplements such as Milk Thistle if one takes anabolic steroids for a long time period.
Minimize the negative effects of steroid abuse by keeping track of your dosage and taking liver detox supplements like Milk Thistle. Being responsible for anabolic steroid use can help you enjoy the benefits that it can give you while minimizing your chances of having negative effects.
The legal status of anabolic steroids can vary from one country to another. For instance, in the United States, anabolic steroids are classified as Schedule III controlled substances and can be considered illegal if someone takes them without a prescription. However, there exist certain loopholes that allow people to use them for bodybuilding and performance enhancement purposes.
According to the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990, anabolic steroids are defined as any drug or hormonal substance chemically and pharmacologically related to testosterone (other than estrogens, progestins, corticosteroids, and dehydroepiandrosterone). They also fall under the Schedule III category of controlled substances if they are proven to have properties that can be used for human or animal consumption.
In other words, there are a lot of countries around the world where steroids are illegal to use except if they are taken for approved medical purposes.
Here are some steroids followed by a description of what they are and what they are used for:
- Dianabol: This is an oral steroid that is also known by its brand name of Anabol. This steroid contains 10mg of the hormone methandrostenolone. It can be used for muscle-building purposes, but this means that it should only be taken orally because of its hepatotoxic effects when injected into the body.
- Trenbolone: This is an injectable steroid that has a double bond at the third and fourth carbon. This means that it is non-aromatizable, unlike other steroids such as testosterone. However, this also means that trenbolone can damage the liver because of how it reacts to hepatic metabolism.
- Testosterone cypionate: This is an injectable steroid whose active life is around eight days. It is often used for such purposes as treating delayed puberty in young boys and aiding weight gain after a long hospital stay or physical trauma.
- Anadrol: This was developed in the 1960s and is known by its brand name of Oxymetholone. It can be taken orally and is mainly used to build up the red blood cell count of anemic patients.
- Deca-Durabolin: This steroid has been on the market since 1962 and was developed by Organon International. It can be injected into a muscle, but if taken orally, it remains active for only a short time. Its main use is to treat the symptoms of bone pain and osteoporosis.
Using steroids can be tricky, especially for beginners who are just starting in the world of fitness and bodybuilding. The best advice is to start with lighter steroids like Testosterone cypionate and Trenbolone, which are considered mild anabolic steroids. Beginners should also use them for no more than eight weeks in order to know how their body responds.
After that, it would be wise to keep track of the dosage that they take because some people might be sensitive to their effects. Furthermore, they should also take liver detox supplements such as Milk Thistle because steroids can damage the liver when taken for a long period of time. Finally, it is best practice to consult with your doctor before you decide on using anabolic steroids.
There are also some specific ways to use some other steroids. Some steroids out there, for example, are testosterone suspension and Trenbolone acetate. These ones are inhaled rather than injected into the body. There is also Parabolan, which is injectable but can also be taken orally.
Steroid dosages can also vary depending on what they are being used for. For example, Anadrol is prescribed to be taken orally with a dosage range of 50mg to 100mg daily. This can be increased up to 150mg per day depending on how much physical activity the patient has done in the past week. On the other hand, Oxymetholone is also prescribed to be taken orally, but its dosage range is from 50mg per day.
- Matt Garg (January 30, 2021): I have been using Dianabol for a little over a month now and I have already seen an increase in my strength. Plus, I also gained 10 lbs of muscle mass even if I haven’t been working out as much as before.
- Robert Johnson (February 23, 2021): Trenbolone is one of the best steroids that I’ve used and definitely the strongest and most effective. I’m still on my first bottle right now and I plan to use it for another six months before I go back to using Testosterone cypionate.
- Tommy Garcia (March 9, 2021): Although Parabolan is one of the most potent anabolic steroids out there, I was able to maintain all of the gains that I had made on previous cycles. Plus, I have noticed that I am experiencing better pumps and size gains with Parabolan than what I had with Testosterone cypionate.
- Thomas Paladin (March 28, 2021): I’m on my third week of using Masteron and I am starting to see a lot of gains in terms of getting leaner, harder muscles. However, it has also affected my libido because I have been too tired for the past few days.
- Ned Mason (April 13, 2021): While Trenbolone is one of the best steroids out there, it is too harsh on the body. I got a lot of side effects from using Trenbolone for four months that my doctor said that I might not be able to take testosterone ever again.
- George Washes (April 25, 2021): After taking Anadrol for a couple of weeks, I did not really notice any significant gains. In fact, I think that I have been losing weight even though my caloric intake has been high because of the anabolic steroid.
- Marco Flint (May 7, 2021): After using Parabolan for two months, I had pretty good gains and I only started to see them even more after three more weeks. However, it is not a steroid that you would want to use for longer than six weeks because the side effects might start showing up afterward. Using steroids properly can never hurt. I still love it tho!
- Darryn Hunt (May 15, 2021): Masteron was a great steroid for me because of its mid-range dosage. I’ve used it for three weeks and I’ve already noticed that my arms have gotten bigger while my legs got a little smaller, which is a good thing because they were on the bulky side.
- Robert Woodward (June 3, 2021): After only four days of taking Masteron, I have already seen some great gains in terms of size and strength. However, I am seeing a lot of water retention at the moment.
- Hector Ramirez (June 6, 2021): Trenbolone is a great steroid for those who want to bulk up and gain more lean muscles. Although, I think that it is almost always better to use Testosterone on an alternative cycle because the gains might not be as significant if compared to testosterone.
Are steroids safe for beginners?
The answer depends on a number of factors, but mainly on whether you have health issues or not. If you have been doing different exercises and taking protein supplements for a while now, then it should be okay to start using steroids along with your workout regimen. In case you are still new to the world of working out and building muscles, the best way is always to take steroids after you have been doing various exercises and taking protein supplements for a while.
How long should I take steroids?
It is advised to take steroid medications in cycles rather than in a continuous manner because it can lead to several side effects; one of them being the suppression of your body’s natural testosterone production, which in turn means that you are going to have a much harder time in building muscles after you have discontinued the use of steroids.
Can I take steroids if I have high blood pressure?
If you are currently suffering from high blood pressure, then the best thing for you would be to consult your doctor first before taking any medication. However, it is still advisable that even if you do not have high blood pressure but you constantly feel tired, it is best to seek a doctor’s advice first before taking any type of steroids.
[Closing Paragraph] In conclusion, anabolic steroids can work well for building muscles and getting leaner and harder muscles, but they should only be taken if you have been doing other exercises and taking protein supplements. The best thing to do is take anabolic steroids after having a cycle of rest first before going back to exercising or continuing your workout regimen with the help of protein supplements. If you notice that you have been gaining a lot of weight and you feel uncomfortable, it is always advised to see a doctor right away.