Being one of the newer SARMS to have hit the market, very little is known about S23 or its purported uses in a performance enhancement setting.
To make things worse, there’s a lot of bro-science being peddled online about it being the strongest SARM in the world. A stronger version of the popular, S4.
This often leads to people experimenting with the drug, only to realize that it isn’t what they expected it to be.
Just to make things clear, there are many SARMS that aren’t as effective as it was touted to be and have been discontinued due to this very reason.
Then there are others that are just too dangerous to use and we wouldn’t be caught touching them even with a barge pole.
S23 falls into the second category.
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S23 is being researched as a potential male contraceptive that helps to reduce spermatogenesis without causing any other side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives.
It is a very powerful androgen receptor modulator. But it doesn’t cause BPH or other prostate related side effects.
In theory, this means that it should help you gain lean mass and strength, just like other SARMS do.
But you have to remember that SARMS have a selective action on androgen receptors. S23 has not been developed to stimulate a gene expression that causes muscle building effects.
Its primary use is to suppress the production of sperms.
Muscle building can be an unintentional, added benefit. But will come at the risk of some very serious side effects.
The perfect Male contraceptive
S23 works in a very unique way to suppress spermatogenesis or the production of sperms.
It shuts down the body’s natural testosterone production, which is hands down the easiest way to stop sperms from proliferating. To counter some of the effects of the shutdown, it would have to be delivered using some form of an estradiol analogue.
Despite the challenges in delivering the SARM, it shows remarkable promise as a powerful hormonal male contraceptive that does not rely on exogenous hormones.
This is where it gets interesting.
Is S23 really as powerful as it is touted to be? A stronger version of S4 or twice as strong as Ostarine?
Lean Muscle Mass:
Clinical trials conducted on rats showed that S23 helped increase lean muscle mass to a great extent during the cycle. A lot of athletes have also tried the drugs and based on anecdotal evidence, it does seem to be very effective in helping increase lean muscle mass during a bulking cycle.
Due to the extreme affinity of the drug in binding to androgen receptors, it also helps to promote fat loss, particularly in a cutting cycle. If you are looking to drop a few pounds without losing too much muscle, then S23 might be one of the best options.
SARMS like LGD-4033 and RAD140 are quite popular as bulking compounds. But they cause what is commonly known as ‘wet’ gains due to the water retention. S23 does not cause any water retention which means that any gains that you will make from the compound will be dry and vascular.
You will notice a significant improvement in strength while you are on S23. Lifts, running or any other athletic activity will become a lot easier.
Can you keep the gains after you come off cycle?
That depends on how you run it to be honest.
Just like other SARMS, you should be able to keep most of the gains with a normal diet and workout protocol.
However, there are other factors at play that might affect your ability to retain the gains. We will talk about this in a bit.
How to run S23?
S23 is so suppressive that there’s no use of running it solo. You will be shut down within a week or two and experience the most severe side effects that come with test shut down.
You have to run it with exogenous testosterone, at least at a TRT dose.
This completely beats the purpose of using a SARM in the first place. Why would you want to use a SARM and an anabolic steroid when you can use the steroid alone?
That being said, using S23 does tend to amplify the effects of the test cycle. There is very little water retention, the vascularity is amazing.
If you are looking to run it with test, start with 10mg/day which is the beginning dose or an equivalent of the dose that’s administered to rats.
You can eventually up this to 25mg/day if you aren’t experiencing any serious sides.
Why is S23 too risky?
Well, if you are willing to look beyond the extreme suppression, there are other reasons why S23 might be too risky to use.
- Risk of permanent sterilization: Because it has been developed as a male contraceptive and is known to severely suppress the production of sperms, there is a very high risk that it may make you permanently sterile. This is only an assumption as there is no long term data that proves otherwise. It is enough reason for a lot of athletes to steer clear of S23 though.
- Aggression: S23 causes a milder version of roid rage. Users report an aggravated response to incidents that they would have otherwise dealt with in a different fashion. At least some of this aggression can be channeled into better performance in the gym. But not everybody can deal with it in the same way.
Do you need PCT with S23?
A big resounding yes.
If you are running it solo, which we do not recommend one bit, then you will need a strong PCT protocol to kickstart your body’s natural test production.
Go the full deal with Clomid and Nolva. Add some on-cycle support with M1-MK and N2 Guard.
And if you are running with exogenous test, then you will be using a PCT anyway.
S23 vs S4
Don’t get fooled by random claims of S23 being twice as strong as S4. The theory is bunk. If you wish to use one of these two SARMS for your bodybuilding goals, stick to S4.
At least the vision side effects are known, are temporary and can be controlled with proper dosing.