When we think of steroids, the first thing that comes to mind is their use by great athletes for the main purpose of gaining muscle mass quickly. However, steroids can be prescribed in several other cases.
Is it worth taking steroids? Are steroids good for you? These are the two questions we are going to ask ourselves today.
When it comes to the “benefits” of anabolic steroids, the first thing to know is that they are as numerous as their harmful effects on the body. It is therefore very important to consult a healthcare professional before considering treatment.
WHY USE STEROIDS?
Anabolic steroids are mainly used by athletes, and in particular bodybuilders in order to increase, among other things, their muscle gain, their strength, their energy level as well as their recovery time.
Indeed, it has been shown that their use can gain between 5 and 20% of additional strength, and between 2 and 5 kg of lean body mass, then contributing to better shaped muscles.
During sports competitions, it is not uncommon for some to take it in low doses to avoid detection of the drug during anti-doping controls. Many athletes are willing to take the risk of getting caught if it gives them what they need to win, in other words increased power and reduced recovery time.
In the field of sport, athletes are constantly looking for ways that would allow them to have a physical advantage over their opponents.
It is therefore also very common, especially for bodybuilders, to combine several steroids in order to maximize the effects on the body, despite the side effects which will also be multiplied.
MUSCLE LOSS DUE TO ILLNESS
Steroids are also prescribed to counteract muscle loss due to disease, for example cancer, kidney or liver problem, AIDS, etc. Several diseases can lead to muscle loss, and these substances can even compensate for a deficiency in adolescence.
Loss of muscle mass has been studied and has been shown to be closely related to mortality in some patients. These therapeutic treatments have been able to prolong the longevity of users for some time by restoring and / or preserving muscle mass, but unfortunately the many serious side effects have also already caused death.
WHAT BENEFITS CAN WE GET FROM STEROIDS?
Although there are indeed many risks and side effects when taking steroids, it is important to also talk about the positives of using steroids in order to be aware of the pros and cons. vis-à-vis these substances.
Now here is a list of the main benefits that have already been associated with taking anabolic steroids.
- An increase in muscle tissue thanks to better protein synthesis
- A decrease in the percentage of body fat
- An increase in strength and power
- Better recovery after training or injury
- An improvement in bone mineral density
- Better endurance and more energy
- An increase in the production of red blood cells
Athletes taking steroids have been shown to have a shorter recovery time compared to normal, as well as faster repair of damaged tissue / muscle after heavy training. Tests have also shown that the steroids can decrease body fat and thus give the appearance of a drier and fuller body.
The aspect that is one of the most interesting for athletes is obviously muscle mass gain. Anabolic steroids make it easier to increase and / or maintain testosterone levels in the body, which leads to muscle growth, more energy and better physical performance.
Anabolic steroids are effective in the treatment of muscle deficiency or atrophy following illness, but also for young people who would need a testosterone supplement in order to maintain a correct libido and facilitate puberty when the person's body is not able to make enough hormones naturally.
Steroids have also been shown to speed up the production of red blood cells, allowing better oxygenation throughout the body, which will increase endurance and the ability to work more intensely on muscles.
Research suggests that athletes who use steroids for a short period of time can reap the benefits throughout their career, however nothing is yet definitive about the negative effects steroids would have on the body when taken for a long time.
The experiments were carried out on mice and they showed that a brief exposure to testosterone allowed them to quickly regain muscle even at a later time in their life. This would be due to the " muscle memory Which would therefore allow someone who exercised at a young age to redevelop their muscles more quickly at a later age.
For a long time it was thought that the benefits from these drugs were only valid for the short term, but research has shown that steroids have an impact on the number of cell nuclei in the muscles. They could in fact have a lasting effect, perhaps even for ten years or more… Nothing is certain yet in terms of duration.
ARE STEROIDS GOOD FOR YOU?
Steroids are not "good" per se since they have many side effects of varying severity. On the other hand, here are the precautions to be taken to avoid as much as possible the risks associated with their use:
Get regular blood tests
The easiest way to avoid possible complications is to go to a lab frequently for a blood test. Steroids can increase hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. These two markers being important for the good distribution of oxygen throughout the body, it is best to have them checked to avoid a possible heart attack or stroke.
Steroids can also influence good and bad cholesterol levels, as well as two liver markers. A blood test will therefore allow you to know and stay within healthy limits, and thus not take the risk of ending up with heart disease or liver dysfunction.
It is also strongly recommended that you have your blood tested before you even start taking this type of medicine, just to make sure you are in good health. This is because taking steroids could make your condition or illness worse, so be vigilant and take a few minutes to get tested!
Pay attention to where they come from
The risk of infection is higher for a person taking steroids, and by buying these drugs on the black market, you risk getting mislabelled or counterfeit products. So do not take any risks, if you want to use it, make an appointment with a health professional and have the medication prescribed!
Any steroid user should verify that the product is genuine. To make sure of this, be aware that the majority of reliable manufacturers provide with this one a authentication code which can be checked on their official website.
You also have the possibility to check the exact composition of the drugs and the quality of the products by having them analyzed by a laboratory, this is the best possible quality control!
Take a dosage that's right for you
It cannot be said enough, so beware of the risk of addiction and the misuse of steroids! To do this, do not exceed the dosage indicated to you by your doctor and use it in the short term.
Low doses of steroids will be significantly safer than uncontrolled or abusive dosages. However, everyone will react differently depending on the organism, so it is difficult to predict which effects you may experience individually.
Take breaks between each steroid cycle
After a cycle of taking steroids, it is essential to give the body time to eliminate all traces of these drugs, so it is important to go through a post-cycle therapy (PCT) then a break without taking anything.
Among other things, MDT is intended to reduce the total recovery time, help the body to produce testosterone again in a natural way, as well as reduce the side effects of steroids on the body.
After MDT, a real break of a few weeks without taking any medication is necessary to let hormones, cholesterol and blood pressure return to normal, but it all depends on your metabolism.
How do you know how long the break should last? Take a blood test before and after a steroid cycle to compare the results! This is because the length of the break is not equal to the length of the steroid cycle. This should last until taking steroids no longer affects your body. The older you get or cycle steroids, the longer the recovery time will be ...
Supplement yourself to protect your health
To reduce the risks to your health and protect your organs when taking steroids, and after a cycle, supplement yourself! There are medicines made especially, like Samarin, to limit the harmful effects, especially on the liver, which is the organ most affected by these substances.
It will all depend on the type of steroids you are taking, but some are very toxic to the liver, others will need to be followed by post-cycle therapy, or even require taking anti-estrogen in order to regulate the levels of estrogen and limit certain effects, in particular the risk of gynecomastia ...
So consult a specialist to see with him what will be the best drugs to counter the side effects of the steroids that you are going to use during your next cycle!
TO SUM UP
Is it worth taking steroids? This is going to be a personal point of view. For many athletes, the answer will be “Yes! Because without these substances, they would not be able to perform as quickly and as well as they do after taking steroids at some point in their life, or during a therapeutic cycle in addition to intensive training.
For others, the many risks and side effects are not worth risking your health just for the sake of achieving a physical goal.
Are steroids good for you? It all depends on how you use it. Indeed, for those with a muscular deficiency or other problem requiring the taking of steroids, will be considered good in the sense that they will have "benefits" which are sometimes vital for the health of the user. For athletes mainly seeking to gain muscle mass, the often excessive dosages and the many side effects observed even when taken in the short term mean that steroids are quite bad for your health. The consequences being different for each person, it's up to you to make your choice!
It is important to remember that by taking the right dosages of steroids, using the right medications for protect the organism, and if you are in basic good health, the chances of serious side effects are greatly reduced.