HGH (human growth hormone) and steroids are the most popular doping medications amongst bodybuilders and participants of other power sports. Often athletes stack these medicines to really achieve a powerful synergistic effect. In the quest for eternal youth, some pundits have been taking a long hard look at HGH. It’s not rocket science! If HGH naturally vaporises as we age, surely a reintroduction will arrest that ageing process? Sadly, there is no concrete evidence to substantiate this theory but some, desperate to halt the ravages of time, are gullible enough to believe it. Yet, some geriatrics are prescribed HGH to compensate for natural deficiencies but this is generally in conjunction with age-related disorders creating problems like muscle wastage. However, the question of which to choose is always rumbling around discussion groups and forums online as well as being a hot topic of conversation in the locker room. To truly answer this, you need to understand the nature and crucial differences that separates these two medicines. Read on to learn more.
Key Features of Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic steroids are synthetic analogues of steroid hormones featuring both anabolic and androgenic activity. Anabolic means they influence muscle growth and metabolism. Androgenic means the impact of anabolics on the formation of masculine traits, such as hair, rugged features like the jaw line, and characteristics like voice coarsening and deepening. Therefore, it follows that the most valuable are those steroids that offer extremely high anabolic activity and pretty low androgenic activity as a combi.
You don’t have to be super brainy to see just why anabolic steroids are prevalent in sports – they increase muscle mass so you can lift more, run faster, hit harder and shoot further. Regular use allows competitors to knock the ball right out of the park, literally, when it comes to improving their performance record. The train for longer and achieve speedy and pronounced results. But, steroids are classified as doping drugs by most sporting bodies and regulatory authorities – they are on the banned list since 1928. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is tasked with keeping sport clean, an umbrella organisation for national bodies. Steroids are barred because they are deemed unethical and unfair, creating an unnatural competitive advantage. But this is also about protectionism and keeping people safe, a counter to the innate desire to win whatever the cost. Take a read of these positive effects from the use of synthetic anabolic hormones, see why they are irresistible to any red-blooded sportsman, these include:
- Stimulation of muscle growth and development;
- Improved muscle definition;
- Increased stamina and strength indicators;
- Acceleration of recovery after intensive sessions and injury;
- Strengthening of bone tissue;
- Reduction of body fat mass (fat-burning effect).
Types of Anabolic Steroids
In the steroids market, you will find two basic forms of these medicines:
Steroid pills. These medications are very popular among athletes, primarily due to the convenient form of use (tablets). This form of the drug is especially good for beginners or newbies as this format is sometimes softer and safer for the body. However, this just means the dangers may be more hidden or disregard. They can still prove harmful to the liver.
Steroid injections. This is a direct and invasive form with a very strong impact hence why injectable steroids are so popular amongst experienced athletes who are engaged in power sports. It is injectable steroids that help athletes achieve unprecedented results, especially in bodybuilding.
What is HGH (Human Growth Hormone)?
Growth hormone (the names Somatropin and Somatotropin usually stand for synthetic variations of this hormone) is a peptide hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland. This is a pea-sized structure attached to the base of the brain by a stalk and is a major player in the entire endocrine orchestra. In children, adolescents and those with non-closed growth zone (epiphyseal plate), this hormone causes active linear growth, i.е. development in height. This occurs as a result of the growth of the tubular bones of the limbs.
For therapeutic purposes, somatotropin is used to treat developmental and growth retardation in children, for example, dwarfism. In people with pituitary gland disorders, the use of this hormone leads to an improvement in cognitive functions and memory. Because the absence of HGH in the body leads to excess body weight in adults, it is also used as a fat-burning drug.
The secretion of growth hormone in the human body decreases with age with minimal production of HGH in the elderly, whilst the hormone peaks at its maximum level in childhood. Release windows vary over the 24-hour period. During the day, hormone input occurs periodically with several spikes of the HGH level about every three to five hours. Usually, the greatest secretion is during the dark hours, about an hour after falling asleep.
Growth hormone is used in sports for the formation of muscle quality with a number of pharmacological properties:
- Anabolic action – HGH causes muscle growth;
- Anticatabolic action – HGH inhibits the destruction of muscles;
- It reduces fat mass;
- It regulates the use of energy;
- It speeds healing of wounds;
- It has a rejuvenating action improving recovery times and stamina;
- It activates regrowth of internal organs (which atrophy with age);
- It promotes bone density, enhancing growth in young people aged up to 25 (before the closure of growth zones);
- It raises glucose rates in the bloodstream;
- It strengthens immunity.
Synthetic somatropin, available in most online pharmacies, can be found both in powder and in tablet or capsule form. According to most experts, injectable synthetic is much more beneficial for the body, because it travels directly to the bloodstream but it does require dilution in water prior to injection. Scientists and experts are very doubtful about its effectiveness when supplied as pills. Most experienced doctors agree that somatropin form requires breakdown, digestion and absorption across the gut wall equating to a radically delayed action if it is even efficacious at all.
You might be interested in HGH-X2 – legal herbal substitute for HGH hormone drugs.
What is the Difference Between HGH and Steroids?
So, growth hormone is a somatotropic hormone, an artificially synthesized peptide hormonal substance, which mimics the action of HGH produced in the anterior part of the pituitary gland, whereas steroids are the artificially synthesized male hormone testosterone or drugs produced on its basis. It is easy to see how people become muddled between the two, thinking they are identical or, at the least, very similar. In reality, these synthetic hormones have only two similarities in common: (1) synthesis in the human body, (2) status as a pre-requisite for normal development and growth.
Contrary to popular belief, HGH does not formally belong to the classification of anabolic steroids. It has a different chemical structure, although its functionality is similar. The main goal of human growth hormone is to promote growth (especially in children) – the clue is in the title! Overuse or abuse of HGH is a dangerous game. Steroids are principally responsible for protein synthesis. It is unlikely that a person will grow massive internal organs if they use increased dosages although the liver may increase in size, not because of natural growth, but because of inflammatory and dangerous processes – the wrong organ and for all the wrong reasons.
HGH vs Steroids: What is Better?
The goal of the HGH solo cycle is to achieve excellent, quality muscle definition whilst maintaining existing muscle mass, certainly there should be no corresponding deterioration. This cycle provides rejuvenation, highlights the elasticity and flexibility of muscles, and improves skin tone and texture.
The ambition of the HGH cycle plus steroids is to attain both muscle mass and definition, the ultimate in greedy! This cycle offers all the upsides but it can cause water retention depending on the type of steroid used.
Thus, it is impossible to give a completely clear cut and unambiguous answer to what is better – human growth hormone or anabolic steroids. Some athletes use both, others prefer only one (like Anavar or Sustanon). Everything depends on the end game you are striving to achieve. The main advantage of HGH is that it appears to be safer than anabolics. The principal disadvantage of HGH is the time taken before the onset of action. It can take a few months to achieve the desired outcome, while some fast-acting steroids get to work in as little as a couple of days.
It should also be noted that uncontrolled use of both these substances is not without substantive risks and can lead to undesirable side effects, such as steroid-induced psychosis.