With so much emphasis on steroids in the bodybuilding world, it’s worth shedding some light on this topic in this article.
There are many misconceptions about what steroids are, their dangers in use and their role in bodybuilding. This short article takes a closer look at steroids and outlines everything you need to know about the topic.
What are steroids
The term “steroid” refers to a broad class of organic compounds made up of hormones and vitamins with a structure containing four carbon rings.
Steroid hormones can be divided into two categories; corticosteroids and anabolic steroids, each of which has a different function.
Anabolic steroids have the ability to build muscle, which explains their prevalence in bodybuilding. On the other hand, corticosteroids have functions that are important in the treatment of various diseases and allergies, so you will not find them in the bodybuilding steroid cycle.
What are anabolic steroids
Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that mimic testosterone. Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is important for healthy libido (aka sex drive), the development of secondary sex characteristics in men (facial and body hair, a lower voice) and, most importantly for bodybuilders, the development of muscle mass.
Adding anabolic steroids to already normal testosterone levels can lead to increases in muscle size and strength, as well as unpredictable consequences for other organs.
Types of Steroids
Anabolic steroids come in many different forms, simply because they are manufactured in laboratories. Here are just a few of them:
- Nandrolone Decanoate (trade name: Deca-Durabolin)
- Stanozolol (Winstrol)
- Methandrostenolone (Dianabol)
How steroids differ from human growth hormone
Anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) differ in the way they work and in their function.
Growth hormone is produced in the body and is responsible for cell multiplication, cell replacement, the proper functioning of certain hormones and enzymes, and proper brain function.
On the other hand, anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) are responsible for improving masculinity, increasing strength and muscle mass.
Dangers of steroid use
When a person with normal testosterone levels takes anabolic steroids, they can cause both short term and long term side effects in their body, including:
- Cardiovascular diseases and internal injuries
- Liver disease and liver cancer
- Breast growth
- Testicular atrophy
- Acne rash
- Water Retention
- Raising cholesterol levels
Where can I get them
Patients are prescribed anabolic steroids to treat conditions such as anemia and low testosterone levels. Federal laws in many countries prohibit the prescription of anabolic steroids to improve athletic performance or increase muscle mass.
What is my natural testosterone level and how do I know if I am deficient?
A typical adult male produces 10 to 36 nmol / L daily. These levels are different for each person, and also depend on age. Natural testosterone in men rises during adolescence and peaks by age 20, and then begins to slowly but steadily decline from age 30.
Symptoms of low testosterone include
- Low sexual activity
- Bad erection
- Hair loss
- Lack of energy
- Loss of muscle and bone mass
- Mood changes
Low testosterone levels can be treated medically, so if you think you have low testosterone levels, consider visiting your doctor.
What can I do to make sure I have optimal testosterone levels .
Here are some ways to ensure that your natural testosterone levels are at normal levels:
- Find the right supplements for your diet and fitness
- Keep your body fat below 20%. Higher body fat levels lead to lower testosterone levels.
- Train. Both strength training and high-intensity interval training have been shown to increase testosterone levels.
- Meet your daily requirements for zinc and vitamin D, as they play an important role in the body’s production of testosterone.
- Eat healthy fats from foods such as nuts, oils, eggs, meat, and avocados.
- Consume protein that is high in leucine from meat, nuts, dairy products and whey.