Anabolic steroids have the potent effect of increasing proteins within cells, especially in skeletal muscles. Steroids are most well known as an item that increases body weight, muscle mass, and can deepen your voice and cause the body to grow more hair.
Since then it’s been used by bodybuilders to quickly and effectively increase their bulk. It’s also used in medicine to stimulate growth, repair bone marrow, help appetites and increase testosterone levels for those with abnormally low levels in any of those aspects of health.
However, steroids have some serious sides effects. These effects happen when steroids are used over a long period of time. That’s even when using the right dosage. Still, the higher the dosing, the stronger the side effects.
Some of the side effects of anabolic steroids are as follows:
- High blood pressure
- Decreased resistance against infection
- Stomach bleeding and irritation
- Ocular conditions like blurry vision, cataracts, and glaucoma
- Behavioral alterations and mood swings such as “roid rage”
- Behavioral changes attributed to addiction and dependence
National Geographic created a great visual aid to help us ‘see’ what’s going on with the good and the bad when using steroids:
Due to the abuse of anabolic steroids both past and present, a new way to achieve the same effects with dramatically fewer side effects was discovered. Enter SARMS.
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators
Said to be the “Holy Grail” of bodybuilding supplements, SARMs are compounds that are chemically similar to anabolic steroids. The point is that the body recognizes SARMs as similar to anabolic steroids and, therefore, causes the body to react similarly.
How Does it Work?
For lack of a better term, they are messengers. When these chemicals enter the body and attach to our cells, the cells receive a “command” and act accordingly. Anabolic steroids rely on similar methods, except the effect is so intense that cells are flooded, causing hormonal imbalances. This kind of imbalance can cause permanent damage to the user’s body.
Think of steroids as a country sending their soldiers and tanks into a city (your body), and make all its people (your cells) do what these soldiers want at gunpoint. It gets the job done, make no mistake, but doing this long term is going to do some serious damage.
SARMS are friendly door-to-door solicitors that go to specific houses and ask the people to do something as mandated on some official-looking order.
Foregoing the metaphors, SARMs attach only to muscle and bone cells whereas anabolic steroids attach to anything and everything that will accept them. This means there are far fewer side effects from SARMs over a long period of time.
Anabolic steroids also leave a lot of potentially toxic compounds after being processed. While SARMs also produce potentially unwanted molecules and compounds, it’s not enough to cause severe issues over time.
Nevertheless, SARMs offer the same benefits as anabolic steroids, but only in your muscles and bones. Of course, it has its side effects, especially when abused. If used in moderation, there will be fewer side effects and those that do arise are reversible.
Benefits of Using Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators
Presently, SARMs have no official medicinal use. Not because it doesn’t have any effects that can be used medically, but because there hasn’t been any significant research yet. Still, bodybuilders have been shown to gain the following benefits.
- Prevents Muscle Loss. Particularly useful during the cutting phases of your program
- Faster Injury Recovery. Faster muscle growth during bulking
- Improved Strength.
- Faster Joint Healing. Sprains are painful and take time to heal. SARMs help
In comparison to using Anabolic Steroids, here are some additional benefits:
- Virtually No Liver Damage. Over a long period of time – SARMs don’t attach to liver cells, leaving them relatively untouched.
- Virtually No Bone Loss.
- Less Threat of Prostate Issues
- Doesn’t Interfere with Hormonal Balances (Such as your HPTA)
- Has Similar Effect To Testosterone
- Doesn’t Contain Estrogen
Are SARMs Safe?
Yes, as long as it is taken in moderation. We repeat this because it’s not difficult to increase the dosage to get faster results. SARMs, pound for pound, have fewer effects than Anabolic Steroids but is still more potent than any other natural boosters like creatinine. Where these truly shine is that they make a great in-between for people who don’t want to take supplements but want to enhance their performance and gains.
Are SARMs Legal?
Yes. They’re available in the market right now in oral form. if you have doubts about using SARMs, consult a physician first so they can advise you on the do’s and dont’s.
SARMs, however, are not permitted in most sports. They’re still performance enhancing drugs, but it’s still up for debate if, when, and how they will be banned. For proper competitions, fairness and hard work are always better than looking for a chemical edge.
Examples of SARMs
There are a variety of brands out there, but the formulation in them are relatively the same when classified by their codes. Some of the more popular types include:
Commonly known as Ibutamoren or ostarine, this SARMs’ formulation stimulates appetite, the release of energy, and growth hormones. It increases muscle mass and bone density, with effects very noticeable after 3-6 weeks of continuous minimal dosage.
It has a known side effect of deepening your sleep and causing slight tingling of your hands. This is due to the increased growth hormone in the body. This formulation is best taken in a three-month cycle, increasing the dosage every month and stop by the third.
One of the most potent SARMs per dose. It has nearly 12 times the potency at a third of the dose of most common SARMs. Its effects are more appreciated during the cutting cycles, to completely avoid muscle loss.
Its potency comes at a price: it has an effect on the HPTA, or the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Testes-Axis, so use it minimally or use a SERM (selective estrogen receptor modulator) after the cycle.
A new contender in the market. This SARM promises an anabolic to androgenic ratio of 90:1. This means for every 90 “units” of muscle building power, you only get 1 “unit” of side effect. Compare that to anabolic steroids, which often have a 1:1 ratio, this one takes the cake… As long as *you’re* avoiding cake, that is.
Remember to follow recommended dosages exactly. Especially since these new products doesn’t have much real-world data, use them with care and moderation.