Anabolic steroids are commonly used by bodybuilders and athletes to increase their muscle mass and boost their performance. In the United States, these steroids are categorized as Schedule III Controlled substances and many people claim that they pose a wide range of risks for abuse and dependency. Due to this, there is usually a lot of stigma surrounding the use of steroids. However, the truth is, like anything else, moderation and responsible use is the key to reaping the versatile benefits of steroids.
How Do They Work?
By definition, anabolic steroids are synthetic copies of the testosterone hormone which is naturally produced by men’s testicles and women’s ovaries. Males have higher levels of the hormone than females and that’s what enables them to grow muscles faster and easier.
These steroids work by increasing the testosterone levels of the user to levels that aren’t easily achievable naturally. This is the stage that it makes your weight and strength levels to skyrocket.
Steroids vs. Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Anabolic steroids and HGH differ in the way they work and functions. HGH is produced in your body and is responsible for cell reproduction and replacement, proper functioning of certain body hormones and enzymes, and for proper functioning of various brain functions. On the other hand, steroids (or synthetic testosterone) are responsible for enhancing various male characteristics and boosting muscle mass and strength.
Type of Anabolic Steroids
Generally, these steroids come in variety of forms considering that they are developed in various laboratories. Some of the common ones include:
• Stanozolol (Winstrol®)
• Nandrolone decanoate ( or Deca-Durabolin®)
• Methandrostenolone (Dianabol®)
• Trenbolone (or “Fina”)
There are many other steroids in the market today. However, it is important to note that all serve similar purpose: increasing the levels of testosterone in the body as a means of boosting the user’s muscle mass and strength.
Some steroids are injected directly into the body while others are taken orally in form of pills. There are other forms that come in the form of creams—these are mostly used by older men who are experiencing a condition known as andropause (or lessening of the levels of testosterone in the body due to age).
Using the Right Steroid Dosage and Cycle Lengths
One of the costly mistakes that people make, especially beginners when it comes to safe steroid use is taking more than the recommended dosages or for longer durations or cycles than they actually should. Before you begin taking steroids, therefore, it is crucial to understand that bulking up require some discipline and hard work—and that steroids don’t work miraculously. You need to understand the right doses for performance enhancement—including the maximum dosages that you shouldn’t dare to go beyond. It is also crucial to time your steroid cycles appropriately to lower the chances of being exposed to potential side effects. Cycles and dosages vary from one steroid product to another, so endeavor to carry meticulous research beforehand.
Despite the stigma and the numerous warnings on the use of anabolic steroids, it is important to note that safe steroids do exist. Actually, most popular steroids are safe when taken responsibly, alongside the right diet, supplements, and exercise plan.