Believe it or not, everybody who’s ever lifted iron has wanted to look like a Greek god.
Every rep, every set, the pain, the agony, the sweat and the grime are just stepping stones towards the the rock hard, vein-popping physiques that make meek mortals swoon.
Only, most people never achieve the kind of results they desire at the onset of their bodybuilding journey.
And most likely, you are one of them.
You lift every day. Eat till you choke. You guzzle the most expensive supplements on the planet.
Yet, you look nothing like a Greek god. Far from it.
That’s not the worse part.
The worst part is that you know that there’s a way to achieve the kind of body that you so desperately crave.
But it’s riddled with risks which you are just not willing to take.
We are talking about anabolic steroids.
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SARMS VS. Anabolic Steroids
The holy grail for bodybuilders, athletes, gym rats and everyone else looking to gain an extra ‘edge’.
But, can you take gynecomastia, prostate cancer, permanent liver damage, baldness, testicular atrophy and cardiovascular disease in your stride?
Maybe Not. Anybody who’s sane probably wouldn’t touch steroids with a barge pole.
And then, just when you are about to lose all hope, you hear or read about a middle ground.
Something that will give you the ‘anabolic steroid’ results without permanently messing with your system.
That’s SARMS for you.
The only question is, how reliable is the information that you read on the internet?
Can you trust someone who posts video testimonials based on anecdotal evidence?
Can you believe what you read on bodybuilding forums and pop pills that you know nothing about?
Are SARMS as effective as they are touted to be?
Today, we decode SARMS for you.
The Science behind SARMS
SARMS or Selective androgen receptor modulators are research chemicals that were originally developed for therapeutic use (like steroids) but eventually found better use in the bodybuilding circuit and the athletic community.
Who doesn’t like the extra strength and the extra bulk?
That’s not where SARMS shine though.
The fascination for SARMS stems from the theory that they can produce results identical to anabolic steroids without the side effects.
Well, as farfetched as it sounds, at least, part of that is true.
Because SARMS are non-steroidal compounds.
Yet, they show a strong affinity for androgen receptors in bone and muscle tissues only.
In other words, SARMS spare your prostate, your liver and everything else that is undesirable.
Ah, I think we jumped the gun.
Let’s rewind a little.
How do steroids work?
Steroids are synthetic compounds that mimic the action of naturally occurring hormones like testosterone and DHT in the body.
Think of them as messengers that carry important messages to hormone receptors in your cells.
For example, when you inject exogenous testosterone, the compound carries instructions to every hormone receptor that is programmed to receive the instructions.
A lot of it is favorable for an athlete or a bodybuilder.
For testosterone signals muscle cells to grow rapidly. Faster than it’s ever possible naturally.
It will also increase strength.
But a lot of it is not.
For example, the surplus testosterone that you inject will get converted to Estrogen as the body desperately tries to adjust to the excess supply of the hormone.
Estrogen will cause side effects that you can do without. Like gynecomastia. Permanent breasts that have to be surgically removed.
Some of the excessive testosterone will get converted to DHT due to an enzyme called 5-a reductase.
DHT will cause permanent baldness. And it can also cause your prostate values to go haywire. Maybe even prostate cancer in the long run.
Well, not to forget that the results with steroid use will be so good, that there’s a high risk of you getting addicted to it.
Almost 30% of steroid users report dependency.
How do SARMS work?
SARMS on the other hand, carry instructions specifically for androgen receptors in muscle and bone tissue. It spares everything else.
Get the gist?
Think of it like messages for your body to grow exponentially without telling your hair follicles to shed or your prostate to swell.
Or instructions for increasing protein synthesis without messing with your endocrine system.
No bitch tits. No shrunken testicles either.
That’s not all.
SARMS have therapeutic benefits as well which can complement steroid usage.
Like amplified ligament healing and improved recovery from complete testosterone suppression.
Are SARMS safe?
The big question though, is how safe are SARMS?
The fact is that we are not sure yet.
That’s cause there’s not enough human clinical research or quantitative data to back it with.
There are at least three SARMS that have been extensively researched and have shown remarkable promise in performance enhancement.
Many others are being studied as we write this.
But an FDA approval is a pipe dream. (As if it mattered)
Based on anecdotal evidence and the clinical research that we have on our hands, SARMS appear to be the middle ground that the average gym user has always sought.
But there’s the risk of contamination, mislabeling and what not.
There are chances that the fancy looking vial that you bought online does not contain SARMS at all.
To be fair, that risk exists when you buy steroids from underground labs as well.
Hence, always buy from a reputed source.
Are SARMS legal?
SARMS are not approved by the FDA. So a lot of the products that are sold online will have a warning that states ‘Not for Human Consumption’
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has banned it as well.
That’s not going to stop the supplement industry from labelling it as dietary supplements though.
If you are into competitive sports, please be aware of the detection time of any compound that you use for performance enhancement.
That includes SARMS.
What are the side effects of SARMS?
Despite all the positive press, SARMS have the potential to cause side effects.
The most likely one, is that it will suppress your natural testosterone production.
So much so, that a PCT cycle might be useful.
Some SARMS have been associated with an increased risk of intestinal cancer. But those have been at extremely high doses for unreasonably long time frames.
To sum it up
In theory and backed by anecdotal evidence, SARMS look like the perfect middle ground between steroids and supplements.
Although not as effective as steroids, they offer much better results as compared to expensive bodybuilding supplements.
But their long term health effects remain unknown.
And you never know what you are buying online.