SARMs Vs. Steroids
Of late, it has become a common occurrence to see bodybuilders, athletes and other fitness enthusiasts using some sort of enhancement drugs to get better results, or up their game at the gym. However, one has to be very careful when steroids are involved, as they can lead to more side effects than you would anticipate.
Meanwhile, SARMs are an excellent replacement for steroids, as they can deliver almost similar results, without posing a considerable health risk.
However, it would be quite unfair to declare SARMs, the winner without allowing the two compounds to fight it out. As a result, we’ve compiled details regarding the two substances that will help to determine who the winner of this highly contested battle is.
Here we go!
What are Steroids?
Steroids, known in full as anabolic steroids (AS), are a synthetic variation of the male testosterone hormone. They have been used for a while now, although they have been banned from professional sports due to their performance enhancement capabilities, and deemed illegal due to their grave side effects.
When anabolic compounds were initially developed, they were not aimed at enhancing performance. On the contrary, they were used for therapeutic uses, including treating muscle wasting (catabolic) conditions. Furthermore, they were also used to treat delayed puberty, and have also proven useful in treating testicular atrophy.
What are the benefits of using steroids? As the name anabolic steroids suggest, these compounds are beneficial when it comes to muscle building. However, the price for the advantage usually way too steep.
Testosterone affects the way an individual build muscle. By introducing synthetic testosterone into their systems, the hormones anabolic properties manifest and helps them to build muscle mass.
Furthermore, steroids can enhance one’s performance by providing remarkable strength and endurance. As a result, someone can work out for long hours and lift significant amounts of weights without tiring quickly. Besides, using steroids also increases recovery speed, which means that one can exercise more frequently, eventually resulting in substantial gains in muscle.
If you’ve been contemplating about using steroids, it is high time that you pay close attention.
Injecting exogenous testosterone into your system leads to a surplus of the hormone. In a bid to balance the hormones in your body, the extra testosterone may be converted into estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone responsible for producing feminine traits. As a result, one may start developing man boobs (gynecomastia).
Secondly, given the excess of testosterone, your system may shut down producing testosterone, which may lead to testicular atrophy, infertility, and enlargement of the prostate isn’t unheard of either. Some other testosterone may be converted into 5-alpha-reductase, which may cause permanent baldness.
When it comes to women, their problems are worse as they are injecting a male hormone into their bodies. Naturally, they lose their femininity, which may take the form of growing unwanted hair, deepening of the voice, and even hair loss.
Virilization may also occur in women, causing them to have engorged clitoris. Furthermore, they may begin missing their periods or even have them disappear completely.
Unfortunately, the list of side effects doesn’t end there. Other adverse effects include:
- Tumors and liver disorders
- Increased LDL and decreased HDL cholesterol
- Cardiovascular complications
- Tendon ruptures and the risk of tendinitis
The worst bit is that the
majority of these side effects are irreversible. Besides, no amount of post
cycle therapy will ever restore your body to normalcy.
Is It True That Steroids Cause Mental Problems?
Yes. Using anabolic steroids can lead to behavioral and mental issues. For instance, steroid users are prone to aggression, which is commonly referred to as ‘roid rage.’ This sort of behavior can make you antisocial, given that you may harm the people around you during a fit of rage.
Depression is also a common side effect of using anabolic compounds, which is probably associated with the shut down in testosterone production. Users are often left feeling blue and sad, and in some cases, it may blow up to full depression.
Finally, the user may become addicted to the steroids, which is life-threatening, given the prolonged exposure one may undergo to sustain the desire.
Other psychological issues include:
- Impaired judgment
- Severe jealousy and paranoia
What are SARMs?
SARM in full represents selector androgen receptor modulator. It is a non-steroidal chemical compound that mimics the action of anabolic steroids, although selectively (more on this later).
SARMs came about as pharmaceutical companies were researching advanced ways of utilizing androgen receptors for therapeutic applications. Anyway, these compounds operate differently from steroids. The non-steroidal compounds stimulate the androgen receptors in the bone and muscle tissues, with little to no effect on the rest of the body (hence the name selective).
What’s more, SARMs are not converted into other hormones such as 5-alpha-reductase, which caused several side effects such as baldness. Nor do SARMs entertain enzyme aromatase which converts testosterone into estrogen.
Let’s take a look at some of the
benefits delivered by SARMs.
The beauty of SARMs is that they are specific. While some SARMs may help you to pack substantial muscle mass, some may help you to shed some pounds and get shredded. Moreover, they are even more effective when stacked together.
Anyway, SARMs are beneficial if you want to:
- Lose weight without losing muscle mass
- Promote the growth of lean muscle
- Recover from injuries fast
- Prevent muscle wastage during exercise
- Last longer at the gym (endurance)
- Increase muscle recovery potential
Another good thing about SARMs is that they are administered orally, which eliminates the risk of needles and the associated illnesses (Hepatitis, HIV) and phobia too.
SARMs are consistent and uniform in the results they provide, whether in bulking or cutting. Unlike steroids which may leave you with an unproportioned form, SARMs rely on gene expression on the androgen receptors, which ensures uniform gains.
Nine out of ten times, you will hear people claim that SARMs do not pose any side effects. This is ignorance caused by the fact that SARMs are still investigational and most of them have not been tested on humans, meaning that side effects haven’t been documented. Ignorance is bliss, they said.
However, you should know that SARMs do pose side effects, although they are dose-specific and considerably mild to the extent that one would recover after cessation. For instance, SARMs suppress testosterone production to some extent; some SARMs are being studied for potential application as a male contraceptive. In particular, the likes of Ostarine and Testolone are highly suppressive, which calls for users to be very cautious regarding the dosage. Otherwise, there’ll be no difference between a steroid user and a SARM abuser.
One of the adverse side effects is linked to changes in vision, caused by Andarine (S4). Andarine users have complained about nighttime blindness, seeing everything with a tinge of yellow, as if the world is in Sepia. However, it has been shown that this does not occur when used in small doses.
Eventually, the higher the dosage of SARMs, the higher the risk of side effects. Therefore, you should always start with the smallest possible dosage and increase it gradually as you observe your needs.
Another precaution is to run short cycles of about eight to twelve weeks and then breaking for a while.
The fact that SARMs are illegal means that they are black market products which are manufactured and peddled without quality control and regulation. For that reason, they are subjected to contamination, mislabeling, and other questionable practices.
Any Mental Issues with SARMs?
The only significant mental issue a SARM user may experience is depression. Again, this is probably caused by the suppression of testosterone. It is imperative that users are keen to notice any behavior change and strange thought processes. In such an event, the most reasonable measure is to stop using the SARMs. Again, unlike steroids, the number of people who’ve been affected by depression are very few.
In your opinion, who is the winner of SARMs vs steroids? Better yet? Was it a KO, split decision, or a unanimous one? All factors considered, including the long jab of fast results from steroids, and the SARMs’ takedown defense of minimal side effects whom do you think deserves the win?
Let’s recap. SARMs can mimic the results of anabolic steroids, although not as fast, and as impressive. Secondly, each one of them has their fair share of side effects, including testosterone inhibition, for which they tied. However, the side effects posed by anabolic steroids lean more towards permanency, while those of SARMs can easily be reversed.
Again both these compounds are illegal, hence uncontrolled, which is yet another tie.
However, when SARMs are taken in regular doses, for a short while, they are almost harmless. Despite the insufficient research regarding the extent of SARMs side effects, if anecdotal reports are anything to go by, SARMs are relatively safer compared to anabolic steroids.
When tallied, SARMs gets the win by unanimous decision, considering that you can get that fabulous physique fast, and steer clear of the nasty side effects as well.