Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic Steroids youve heard the words, but if youre like most youre probably more familiar with a flux capacitor and thats a fictional device from the hit movie series Back to the Future. Whether youve supplemented or not most have very little knowledge; sure, most everyone knows they work but very few understand the how and why. To begin most of society is unaware there are several forms of anabolic steroids. Youve seen the TV shows and movies depicting the bad boy athlete downing a bottle aptly labeled Steroids but this is as simplistic as labeling everything at the grocery store as food. Sure, most of items in the grocery store are foods, but there are fruits, vegetables, meats and so on; you get the idea.

To understand anabolic steroids at least in a general sense the most logical step is to describe their nature. From this point, we can assess their mode of action, the benefits and downfalls they possess. Unfortunately, while this will advance understanding it is far from perfect as there are literally hundreds of anabolic steroid forms. Even so the following will provide you with a solid foundation in-order to seek out a thorough anabolic steroid education if you so desire.

Anabolic Steroids 101:

Anabolic steroids, more aptly labeled Anabolic Androgenic Steroids are synthetic derivatives of the naturally occurring sex hormones Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). While both Testosterone and DHT are the primary hormones of the androgen class that provide us with anabolic steroids, Testosterone remains the single most important hormone of all. All anabolic steroids owe their allegiance to this primary androgen.

As hormones, anabolic steroids are not foreign substances to the body; although they are often referred to as drugs this character is a bit off-base. While hormones by definition fall into the drug classification the term hormone itself is far more appropriate. For example, the human body naturally produces Testosterone; regardless of one's feelings towards anabolic steroids you make Testosterone and necessarily so. Testosterone is critical to our function and well-being and without we suffer. When we supplement with the pure Testosterone steroid, although it is synthetically made the body does not distinguish between it and the natural produced version; once in the body, regardless of origin the hormone performs in a similar fashion.

When looking at anabolic steroids we can usually begin to understand them simply by understanding the key words Anabolic and Androgenic. Anabolic refers to anabolism or in an extremely simplistic term muscle building, where as Androgenic refers to the male sex characteristics. Each anabolic steroid carries with it its own anabolic and androgenic nature that largely defines the hormones mode of action. For example, Testosterone carries an anabolic rating of 100 and an androgenic rating of 100 as well; as such, all anabolic steroids are measured against Testosterones ratings in both regards. However, the anabolic and androgenic rating of a steroid can be somewhat confusing at times; it is not enough to rely simply on the rating, but we must also rely on how such a rating interacts in a direct fashion on the body. There are some steroids that provide an enormous androgenic rating yet present very few androgenic qualities and vice versa; as such, to understand all anabolic steroids we must understand the hormones nature and effect.

Anabolic Steroids Direct Function:

There are many traits produced by anabolic steroids and various steroids share many of the same traits. While many share similar traits, various steroids bring them in different levels of power and in some cases possessing traits unique unto their own. As such, there are many anabolic steroids that provide a vital role in building lean mass, while others provide a vital role of increasing strength. Further, while a steroid may have a primary role it may carry secondary characteristics inclined towards another purpose; however, the degree will vary from steroid to steroid.

Of course, mass and strength are two commonly generalized traits, although foremost in their existence; well delve into this more as we go along. To better understand anabolic steroids, the next step is to look at the direct functions. Many of these functions will be shared by all, but again the level of functionality will vary. The primary functions of anabolic steroids include:

  • Increased Nitrogen Retention
  • Increased Protein Synthesis
  • Increased Red Blood Cell Count
  • Increased IGF-1 Production
  • Decreased Glucocorticoid Production (Stress Hormones)
  • Increased Nutrient Efficiency

These are the most commonly shared anabolic steroid functions, and through these functions, many benefits can be obtained. Through the use of anabolic steroids, depending on the steroids at hand, the diet of the individual supplementing and the combination of anabolic steroids applied the following can be achieved:

  • Increased Lean Muscle Mass
  • Increased Strength
  • Increased Rate of Recovery
  • Increased Vascularity
  • Increased Levels of Hardness
  • Increased Endurance
  • Increased Metabolic Activity
  • Decrease in Body-Fat
  • Increased Rate in Fat-Burning
  • Increased Rate of Tissue Preservation
  • Its hard to deny those are some pretty impressive and highly desirable traits, but they are not the only ones. When examining anabolic steroids, we can go much deeper than the list above. Simply by looking into the hormone Testosterone we can significantly add to the list; for example, beyond the above list the anabolic steroid Testosterone alone can improve the following:

    • Sexual Function
    • Energy Levels
    • Mental Clarity
    • Enhanced General Well-Being of State of Mind
    • Improved Immune System
    • Improved Sleeping Patterns

    The Side-Effects of Anabolic Steroids:

    It is true anabolic androgenic steroids carry with them possible adverse side-effects, but there are useful things to consider. Possible Side-Effects means just that Possible and by no means implies guaranteed. When looking at the side-effects of anabolic steroids we must take into account the possibility of such effects, and the possibility can vary from steroid to steroid. Further, possibility also varies based on total dosing, individual sensitivity and response, the general health of the individual and the combination of anabolic steroids stacked. Even ones general lifestyle can play a considerable role; what we eat and how we live can have an enormous impact on this topic.

    When looking at the side-effects of anabolic steroids, to understand we only need to see them as we do all other things in life; theres nothing mysterious about anabolic steroids that creates a need to see them any differently. For example, Aspirin, most of us can take Aspirin, but there are those who can get terribly sick if they touch a single pill. Further, most of us can take Aspirin, but if you down a whole bottle it will more than likely be the last headache you ever treat. What does this tell us? This doesnt mean Aspirin is unacceptable, if you take way too much it can kill you, some people cant take it at all, but through responsible use, the majority of users can use it safely; the same can be said about anabolic steroids. We can even take it a step further into the foods we eat; some of us are lactose intolerant, but this doesnt make milk bad, some of us cant eat the first peanut or it will follow with devastating effects, but most of us can; you get the idea. The bottom line is clear; when we supplement with anabolic steroids we must do so responsibly without reckless abandonment, and if we are a healthy adult male who follows this rule we will by and large avoid the dangerous side-effects of anabolic steroid use.

    So what are the side-effects of anabolic steroid use? We have compiled a straightforward list of all the possible side-effects that may occur. While this will be an extensive list remember this encompasses all anabolic steroids; each steroid will carry its own side-effects from the list and they include:

    • Gynecomastia
    • Excess Water Retention
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Increased LDL Cholesterol
    • Decreased HDL Cholesterol
    • Hair-Loss
    • Acne
    • Insomnia
    • Anxiety
    • Rapid Heart Rate
    • Night Sweats
    • Liver Toxicity
    • Natural Testosterone Suppression
    • Testicular Atrophy

    These are the side-effects to anabolic steroid use. While there can be other complications, we are providing a list based on the possible side-effects that may occur in a healthy adult male. If you already possess an adverse medical condition, there can be other adverse effects. Further, if you are a female there can be effects of a virilizing nature, and if you are an adolescent the list can get horrific; by no means should any adolescent touch anabolic steroids. Lets examine each side-effect to provide an understanding:

    • Gynecomastia & Excess Water Retention: Largely caused by aromatizing steroids, which cause testosterone to be converted into estrogen, and the buildup of estrogen leads to these problems. While aromatizing steroids are the number one causes of Gynecomastia, anabolic steroids that do not aromatize yet bring a progestin nature can also cause this condition, but with less probability. To fight Gynecomastia and excess water retention Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) work best. AIs do exactly what their name implies; inhibit the aromatase process thereby preventing the conversion and even reducing the amount of estrogen in the body.
  • High Blood Pressure, Increased LDL Cholesterol & Decreased HDL Cholesterol: AIs can also help with each of these conditions, as excess estrogen can have a negative effect on blood pressure and cholesterol. However, irresponsible doses of more potent steroids are the number one cause of such adverse effects; especially regarding high blood pressure. To keep your levels healthy, beyond responsible supplementation the best thing you can do is simply living a healthy lifestyle that promotes healthy levels. Ensuring you are eating plenty of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, avoiding abundant saturated fats, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and exercising regularly will significantly benefit you. It should be noted if you already suffer from blood pressure or cholesterol issues, especially blood pressure you will inevitably need to avoid anabolic steroid use.
  • Hair-Loss: A genetically based side-effect most often brought on by steroids of a strong DHT nature. Individuals who lose hair due to anabolic steroid use will be those who are predisposed to male-pattern baldness; individuals who are not predisposed will normally be in the clear.
  • Acne: Individuals who are sensitive to acne will be the ones who have a problem in most cases. Keeping your skin exceptionally clean will significantly benefit you but those who are ultra-sensitive may still have breakouts. Further, a cause of acne that is often ignored is when anabolic steroids are used that are of an unsanitary nature. Ensuring all your products are clean and pure will do more for you than just about anything else.
  • Insomnia: Largely dose dependent and somewhat sensitivity driven, the number one reason is too strong of a dose. However, some will find even with low doses of certain steroids, most notably Trenbolone will still have a problem; however, most who supplement responsibly will be in the clear.
  • Anxiety: Largely dose dependent and somewhat sensitivity driven, the number one reason is too strong of a dose. However, some will find even with low doses of certain steroids, most notably Trenbolone will still have a problem; however, most who supplement responsibly will be in the clear.
  • Rapid Heart Rate: Largely dose dependent and somewhat sensitivity driven, the number one reason is too strong of a dose. However, some will find even with low doses of certain steroids, most notably Trenbolone will still have a problem; however, most who supplement responsibly will be in the clear.
  • Night Sweats: Largely dose dependent and somewhat sensitivity driven, the number one reason is too strong of a dose. However, some will find even with low doses of certain steroids, most notably Trenbolone will still have a problem; however, most who supplement responsibly will be in the clear.
  • Liver Toxicity: In most cases, liver toxicity is due to oral steroid use. Most oral steroids, with few exceptions such as with oral Primobolan are of a C17-Alpha Alkylated (C17-aa) nature. Put simply this means the hormones structure has been altered at the 17th carbon position in-order for it to survive ingestion. Without this structural change, the hormone would be destroyed by the liver and be useless to the body. For this reason, we must be extremely cautious with oral steroid use and avoid any other activity that might cause stress to the liver. How dangerous are C17-aa steroids? Not as dangerous as excessive alcohol consumption and not as harmful as many over the counter medications but during use your liver enzyme levels will go up. How much will depend on the steroid at hand, total dose and genetic makeup of the individual as well as the health of the liver to begin with. However, with responsible use once use is discontinued, healthy adult men will find their liver enzyme levels return to normal shortly after use is discontinued. It should be noted some injectable steroids can carry a C17-aa nature such as Winstrol Depot.
  • Natural Testosterone Suppression: When we supplement with anabolic steroids, our natural testosterone production, will be suppressed. How much suppression occurs will vary from steroid to steroid, but it will happen nonetheless. For this reason, most who supplement always include testosterone, as testosterone is an essential hormone to our health. It does not matter which testosterone form you choose so as long as you give the body what it needs. Once all anabolic steroid use is discontinued, and the body has had time to adjust with all anabolic steroids clearing your system normal testosterone production will occur again in healthy adult men.
  • Testicular Atrophy: Testicular atrophy occurs due to testosterone suppression. As testosterone is manufactured in the testicles, and such production has been suppressed the testicles will lose some of their fullness when anabolic steroids are used. This does not mean they shrivel up and disappear, it simply means they atrophy and lose some of their fullness. Once all use has been discontinued, and all anabolic steroids have cleared your system, as natural testosterone production begins again your testicles will return to their normal size.

The Truth:

The truth is simple; anabolic steroids are powerful hormones and before you supplement with the first one you truly need an understanding of what youre getting yourself into. Those who supplement responsibly, who do not abuse the hormones and live a healthy lifestyle will in most all cases enjoy success without any complications; again, were speaking of healthy adult men.

While anabolic steroids are extremely powerful hormones, there is something we need to clarify that is often greatly misunderstood. Anabolic steroids while powerful are not magic. When we supplement the rules of nutrition do not go flying out the window, the need for physical activity does not change. Anabolic steroids are hormones, although synthetically made they are based on the hormones you already produce; put simply, the idea behind anabolic steroid use is to do what youre already doing right and to make it a little better.