Steroids have many effects on the human body. For example, corticosteroids suppress inflammation, and anabolic steroids contribute to the growth of muscle mass. In this article, we will describe the effects that steroids (by which we mean anabolic steroids) have on the body.
Beneficial effects of anabolic steroids
Anabolic steroids are artificial derivatives of the male sex hormone called testosterone. The physiological increase in testosterone concentration stimulates protein synthesis, which leads to an improvement in muscle volumes, bodyweight & strength. Moreover, testosterone and its derivatives are responsible for the occurrence and maturation of men’s secondary sexual characteristics (for example, hair growth on the body, male voice, male-pattern hair loss, sex drive, spermatozoa production and aggressiveness). People with testosterone deficiency take anabolic steroids for medical reasons, while athletes use these drugs to improve muscle growth, increase productivity and accelerate fat burning.
To maximize the benefits of anabolic steroids in sports, it is recommended to take testosterone boosters. These are herbs based supplements for raising testosterone naturally. Also, it is desirable to take protein, multivitamins and fish oil. It is also recommended to consume chondroitin and glucosamine to protect joints. If your joints are already aching, you should heal them before the course, as during the cycle the loads will only worsen the situation.
Side effects of anabolic steroids
Suppression of natural hormones is probably the most common and likely side effect of the use of anabolic steroids. Almost in all cases, the intake of hormones will signal the endocrine system to reduce or stop the production of hormones. Steroids can lower “good” cholesterol and increase “bad” cholesterol. In addition, these drugs can adversely affect the liver. Also, when taking anabolic steroids, people may feel increased aggression. If you want to know about the side effects of steroids in detail, read this article.
Features of some anabolic steroids
- Nandrolone decanoate (also known as Deca Durabolin) is a widely used anabolic steroid. It features progestogenic activity, which can lead to gynecomastia. It is worth highlighting another nuance: the drug can lead to erectile dysfunction (especially in elderly men). Therefore, Deca Durabolin is often combined with testosterone. The dosage of testosterone should be higher, and its intake should be a couple of weeks longer. It is this hormone that can exclude the occurrence of such a side effect.
- Testosterone propionate. This is the “short” formula of the main male hormone, that is, the peak of its action is only 1-2 days. Accordingly, the drug has to be taken every second day (or better even every day to ensure the smoothest background of the substance). This option as a first course of steroids is more suitable for elderly athletes, whose level of endogenous testosterone is already low.
- Oxandrolone (Anavar). It is the softest of all oral steroids. It practically lacks side effects – there is no aromatization, the effect on the liver and the endogenous level of testosterone is minimal. However, one should not expect a great effect of the drug. It is suitable only for beginners, for whom this action will be sufficient.
- Primobolan. Its effect is similar to that of oxandrolone. It does not aromatize. It slightly suppresses the production of natural testosterone. Its toxic effect on the liver is extremely low. Therefore, it is often used by beginners.
- Methandrostenolone. This is an oral steroid. It also aromatizes, is toxic for the liver, strongly suppresses the production of natural testosterone, and sometimes it affects the digestive tract. Some athletes include Proviron in the “methan” cycle, as it blocks estrogen receptors and is an androgen.
- Winstrol. This drug is usually used at the end of the cycle. It increases vascularization and helps quickly burn the upper layer of fat.
In general, when building in muscle mass, athletes commonly use long esters of anabolic steroids, which aromatize, for example, testosterone enanthate (or other “long” testosterone). If your goal is cutting, then your course can be immediately adapted to it, by removing long ethers of anabolic steroids. The thing is that the cutting phase traditionally requires either those drugs which, in principle, are not aromatized (for example, Winstrol or Trenbolone) or very short esters of testosterone (in fact, only testosterone propionate can be included in this group). This is done in order to have lean muscles, avoiding a “watery” quality. In general, it is enough for an athlete to remove a “long steroid” for some time before the competition, in order to turn the course into a cutting cycle.
It should be noted that the use of steroid therapy requires post-cycle therapy (PCT). This means that with the use of steroids and the appearance of side effects, it is necessary to take drugs that will reduce these side effects to a minimum. Another goal of PCT is the restoration of one’s own hormones after the course.
Steroids’ effects – the conclusion
All anabolic steroids have similar principles of action, but certain drugs can affect the body in different ways. For example, testosterone is used at the beginning of a steroid cycle to boost metabolism and gain good muscle mass. Such drugs as Winstrol are used in the final stage to provide vascularization and burn excess fat that hides the muscle definition.