People who enjoy watching bodybuilding competitions are by now very well aware that the athletes with abnormally large muscles and strength are taking different synthetic substances apart from training regularly. Substances like steroids, steroid related drugs and testosterone are the incentive which allows some athletes to push their limits. Due to the fact that the power of steroids is so great that it can change the result of the competition in the favor the athlete using the steroids, they have been banned from all international competitions. “Doping” and “anti-doping agencies” became buzzwords especially around the time the Olympic Games are held. However, the ability of steroids, and steroid-based drugs to increase muscle mass and stamina is not the only reason why the steroids were banned. It was proven that the prolonged use of steroids can cause a variety of side effects which can be very detrimental to the health of people consuming them. In spite of the backlash of steroids in the media, they became more popular as they grew more effective. Today, in spite of the possible side effects, they are very popular among the people who are not professional sportsmen, but who like to train and see effects more quickly. So, it is no wonder that SARMs were introduced, the substance which can provide gym-lovers with the positive effects of steroids, minus many side effects.
This by no means mean that SARMs are harmless, but let’s start from the beginning.
Why are Anabolic Steroids Dangerous?
Apart from being used for enhancing the training routine, anabolic steroids have their application in medicine. They will sometimes be prescribed by doctors for treating delayed puberty in male adolescents and improving the muscle and bone mass in the patients who went through a radical therapy such as radiation and cancer surgery or who are struggling with osteoporosis or HIV. In such patients, anabolics can improve physical and mental health and help them beat the illness. However, these prescriptions are strictly controlled, and the doctors always emphasize that the patients should stick to the prescribed dosage. However, there is no doctor who will prescribe this medicine to a healthy person who just wants to be able to lift more kilos or have the perfect summer body. This is not because doctors are simply mean, but because anabolics are always a calculated risk, and still, a risk which a healthy person shouldn’t take.
Anabolics can cause a variety of side effects and they range from mental issues- mood changes, aggression, depression, insomnia, hallucinations, making rash decisions and drop of libido, to physical problems- liver damage, testicles shrinking, breast tissue development, weight-gain and baldness. In women they cause irregularities of menstrual cycles, breasts getting smaller, voice deepening, facial and body hair growth.
Why are SARMs different?
Due to the growing interests in anabolics in spite of the possible side-effects, SARMs appeared on the market and made it even more difficult to convince people they shouldn’t use them. SARMs is the abbreviation for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. Their sales are going through the roof and they’ve become advertised in many magazines for men. They are compounds similar to steroids in some aspects, but quite different in others.
The word “anabolics” is actually shortened from its full name anabolic-androgenic steroids. The name points out to the two main features of this type of steroids. The androgenic feature is responsible for men’s deeper voice, hair growth, bulkier body and development of genitalia. The anabolic feature is what enhances body and bone mass. So athletes actually take anabolics for its anabolic feature, but they also take androgenic as a collateral. Androgenic feature is to be blamed for a lot of issues the anabolics are causing.
This is why SARMs are a game changer for many. These substances managed to keep anabolic features, but reduce androgenic ones and many side effects which they bring. So, SARMs and steroids are similar. They both have the ability to create alternations in the DNA in order to make the muscle mass increase. But, while steroids affect the whole body, the SARMs are described as “tissue selective”, targeting only your muscles and not the whole organism. Additionally, SARMs are usually taken in the form of a pill instead of an injection, which makes consuming them far easier.
Popular SARMs on the Market
There are many types of SARMs you can buy, but none of them are approved for human use. Anyways, they are becoming increasingly popular in spite of the prohibitions all around the globe.
We will present you with some of them.
Ostarine is one of the brand names for Enobosarm. The substance belongs to the SARMs group. Even though it is not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is frequently used among bodybuilders, and by people suffering from a wasting syndrome which is the illness which causes the patients to lose a lot of weight even though they don’t want it. It works in a way that it gets attached to the proteins in the body called androgen receptors and signals muscles to increase. At the same time, it avoids affecting other parts of the body. Because of the befits it can bring to people combating illnesses which decrease their muscle mass and weight, it is probable that ostarine will be legalized soon.
Cardarine is the marketed name of SARM GW501516. It is interesting to know that it was originally released to be used for prevention against colon and prostate cancer. Nowadays, it is popularly used as a fat burner. Its capability to reduce body weight even if you are not regular in the gym is what draws people to this substance. Its effects are even better if you train regularly as it enhances the creation of lean muscle mass and easily burns the fat on your belly. On top of that, it reduces inflammation which comes with harsh and frequent trainings. For athletes who like doing bulk-and-cut cycles, cardarine usually comes in the cutting period.
It is also known under the name Testolone. This substance is in the first phase of the clinical trials as the potential treatment for muscle wasting diseases and breast cancer. While the possible benefits are significant, the researchers are still very reluctant to approve it as recent studies showed they can cause liver damage after a prolonged use. It also has the ability to burn fat, but Rad 140 also increases strength and libido.
MK 677 or Ibutamoren is commonly mistaken for a type of SARMs, but it doesn’t belong to this group. It is described as growth hormone secretagogue. It has the ability to improve IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor1) and growth hormone levels. It is currently being researched as the possible therapy for people suffering from IGF-1 and growth hormone deficiency. However, it also found its application among athletes. It works in a way that it imitates the hormone ghrelin which is naturally produced in our organism. Ghrelin receptor recognizes it and in turn releases higher levels of growth hormone and IGF. They contribute to growing lean muscles and having better results from regular trainings.
Andarine is also known under the name S4. It is considered one of the stronger types of SARMs. Initially, it was created for fighting muscle wasting diseases, but it quickly gained popularity among athletes too. Small dosages of this compound can bring significant results. It is frequently paired with other types of SARMs, often with Ostarine. It’s used during both- bulking and cutting periods. Andarine can improve muscle mass even in the periods of losing weight, and help athletes lose weight more quickly. In the periods of adding mass, it enhances muscle growth without water retention.
It is originally developed under the names LGD-4033 and VK5211 for the purposes of treating muscle wasting and weakening diseases. It operates by getting attached to skeletal muscles and changing the behavior of particular genes in the DNA chain. Apart from enhancing muscle growth, it significantly contributes to muscle repairing. While having fewer side effects than steroids, it can still impair the mental health and cause irrational behavior, anxiety, mood-swings and aggression.
This SARM is most commonly used among bodybuilders and weight-lifters. It is very strong and contributes to considerable muscle growth, confidence and stamina. It is also able to enhance the bone mass as it triggers proteins in charge of building bones. It works in two ways- on one side, it increases the production of follistatin, known as activin-binding protein, which contributes to the muscle growth, and on the other side, it blocks its twin myostatin which is the protein decreasing the muscle growth.
This is one of the milder SARMs when it comes to building muscles, and it is known under the name SR9009. However, it definitely enhances muscle growth, as well as fat burning process. It works by activating proteins ‘Rev-erb-α’ which control oxidative function and mitochondrial production. This is why its main advantage is in providing an athlete with more energy and endurance when training, whether it’s a cardio workout or weight-lifting.
to the growing popularity of steroids for medical purposes and among
athletes, SARMs appeared as the upgraded version. They have the
ability to skillfully avoid some of the common side effects coming
from the androgenic feature of steroids. Many types of SARMs are in
the process of clinical research as their potential for treating
different diseases is becoming more obvious. Even though they are not
yet approved, SARMs are widely used among athletes and gym-lovers for
losing weight and boosting muscles. While SARMs’ effects on the
body shape are indisputable, they are still not without side effects,
and it will take a few more years for some of them to be approved and