Now, we don’t want to alarm you, but shockingly, some jacked pro bodybuilders and athletes alike may have used these things called ‘steroids’ to help get them in shape. Yes, we know, we’re just as shocked as you are. Steroids were responsible for world famine, you know. They were also the cause of every major war and conflict in history, they started the Bubonic Plague, they caused the global financial crash just over a decade ago, and they were even responsible for the Kardashians. If you couldn’t tell, we were just being a little sarcastic back then. If you listen to the media, you’ll probably consider steroids to be the creation of Satan himself, but as you know, the media knows very little. Steroids are dangerous, but they also provide some health benefits, and if you understand what they are and how they work, you’ll be in a much better position if you do decide to use them. In today’s article, we’re looking at what are steroids and how do they work.
Legal disclaimer – We do not condone the use of steroids, nor do we recommend their use. The information in this article is designed to be informal and honest. The truth is that people have always used steroids, despite knowing the risks, and we’d much rather they did so safely.
What are steroids?
First off, we need to clear up the difference between corticosteroids, and anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). You can almost guarantee that when you visit a doctor and are prescribed steroids by him, somebody will make a joke about working out and getting jacked. Steroids prescribed by doctors for medicinal purposes are corticosteroids, and are very different to AAS which athletes and pro bodybuilders use to get jacked, burn fat, and perform at an elite level. AAS are artificial variants of testosterone. They are created in a laboratory and are designed to mimic the effects of testosterone, just on a much more powerful scale. Androgenic is a term used to describe sexual characteristics, as androgens are sex hormones. Anabolic refers to muscle building. Steroids are all based on testosterone. They are tweaked and adapted in labs to provide different benefits to their users. Accorting to this steroids blog, Some steroids for example, will result in freaky muscle gains in a matter of weeks. Others however, will barely allow you to gain any muscle at all, but will instead help you to burn fat. There are steroids for building muscle, steroids for burning fat, steroids for increasing energy, steroids for increasing strength, steroids for cutting, steroids for bulking, and much more besides. Some of the most common steroids used by bodybuilders include the following:
There are countless other steroids out there, but the ones listed above are particularly popular. There are so many types of steroid because each one provides different characteristics. Some promote increases in strength, while others help you to burn fat. They are synergized in different ways, they have different half-lives, they provide different effects and side effects, and they are taken in different dosages.
Types of steroids
Because there are so many different types of steroid, we can’t possibly list each one. What we will say however, is that steroids come in two forms. They are either injectable, or they can be taken orally. Injectable steroids are steroids which are either water of oil-based and have to be injected into the body. Oral steroids come in tablet form and have to be taken orally, just as you’d taken a pain-killing tablet. People seem to assume that oral steroids are weaker than injectables because taking a tablet is easier and less-extreme than injecting yourself. However, the truth is that oral steroids are typically more extreme and harmful than injectables because they have to pass through the liver, and they cause liver damage and toxicity. Injectable steroids bypass the liver completely.
How do steroids work?
Okay, so now that we’ve looked at what steroids are and how they’re taken, we’ll now take a quick look at how they work. There’s a great deal of science behind their mechanisms of action, but we’ll do our best to break it down as simply as possible, so that you can get finished reading quicker and head to the gym. Basically, AAS are miniscule molecules of atoms of carbon that are arranged into a ring-shape. Because of their atomic compositions and size, they are able to enter your cells much quicker and easier and make their way to the nucleus. The nucleus is the centre of the cell, almost like its brain or battery. Now, this is where they get to work. Once they reach the nucleus, they bind onto receptors in the cell. Now, the cells are almost reprogrammed and are told to begin synthesizing more muscle proteins in large volumes. Protein synthesis is the natural process responsible for muscle growth and repair, and steroids basically increase the rates in which our bodies are able to synthesize new muscle proteins. The more we produce, the more muscle we build.
Are steroids safe?
No. We’d love to tell you that injecting or swallowing steroids would help you to pack on heaps of muscle, burn fat, get stronger, run faster, and become a better athlete while not putting your health at risk at all but unfortunately we can’t. Steroids cause nasty side-effects, including:
- Gynecomastia (man boobs)
- Suppressed natural testosterone production
- Oily skin
- Accelerated hair loss
- Mood swings
- Unstable hormone levels
- Increased LDL cholesterol
- Liver toxicity
- Testicular atrophy
- Reduced fertility levels
- Low libido
- And more…
If you run a course of post cycle therapy after finishing a steroid cycle, you can help to minimize the risks associated with steroid use, but they are dangerous, there’s no getting around that.