The whole truth about steroids; which are best for you? Where did anabolic steroids first appear? Negative and positive aspects of steroids? Read the article and find answers to these and many other questions. Steroids have become a unique group of drugs. The initial purpose of releasing these substances was their use in medicine, for example, for bedridden patients or those who have AIDS, to maintain their muscle mass. But over time, steroids found their use more widely in sports. A large number of athletes around the world ask for their help, but this is not surprising because, with the help of these drugs, which are artificial formulas of testosterone and, therefore, doping for the male body, it is possible to achieve a much better performance in a shorter time. Everything is in order.
History of the appearance of steroids
The first stimulants, which began to be used in sports to improve results, have been known since ancient Greek times. Athletes eat sesame seeds to increase stamina, drink a mixture of wine and strychnine, and eat hallucinogenic mushrooms. Of course, this is far from steroids, but there was interest in substances that could increase strength and endurance then. Then the term stimulant appeared in the mid-19th century when cyclists took heroin-cocaine mixtures to increase their endurance over long distances. The result of the experiment turned out to be a disaster; in 1886, one of the cyclists died directly during the competition. After that, the search began for another possible doping method, which turned out to be testosterone.
The first experiments with this hormone began in 1889 by a French scientist. Still, the final formula was produced in 1935, on May 25, by Ernest Lucker, a professor of pharmacology from Amsterdam. In parallel, other scientists were involved in finding ways to obtain testosterone, namely Leopold Ruzicka and Adolf Butenant, who patented their research, for which they received the Nobel Prize in this area. Since then, the first testosterone-based preparations began to be produced. The only problem that arises is the deterioration of the substance because it is not soluble in water and, thus, does not provide the desired effect if taken orally. But even here, pharmacists found a way out, and improved material formulas were developed.
History of steroids in sports
In 1954, at the World Weightlifting Championships, dominated by bodybuilders of the Soviet Union, American team doctor Ziegler was present, who became interested in the athletes’ results. According to unconfirmed reports, he met with the head doctor of the USSR team. He found out the reason for the superiority of the Union weightlifters, apparently taking testosterone. Using the information received, doctors began to develop drugs capable of counteracting the results of the administration of pure testosterone by USSR athletes. And in 1956, the first official steroid drug, Dianabol, was released. Ziegler started giving this drug to his wards, and the results began to differ from other athletes positively. It is how the production of steroids known today began.
But it should be noted that in professional sports, in various championships and the Olympic Games, since 1967, the consumption of stimulants in the form of steroids has been prohibited. If the level of testosterone in an athlete’s blood increases, he is disqualified for the duration of the competition. But this fact does not prevent the use of steroids in bodybuilding or powerlifting; the demand for their use is increasing yearly. Therefore, we can say that the history of anabolic steroids is not yet finished; in any case, they will not leave the sport in the coming years.
Anabolic and Androgenic Properties of Steroids
The group of steroids is much broader and consists not only of anabolic steroids but also estrogens (female sex hormones) and corticosteroids (adrenal hormones). Both substances are actively used in medicine to treat various diseases but are not attractive to weightlifters. Only anabolic steroids are essential for sports; we discuss them in our article.
Testosterone has two main effects on the body:
- Anabolic is the main effect that interests bodybuilders; its main task is to increase muscle growth;
- The androgenic or masculine effect is responsible for male characteristics such as active hair growth, male body structure, narrow pelvis and broad shoulders, and typical facial features.
For athletes, the anabolic properties of testosterone are essential, but there is not a single drug that only has the effect of this steroid; androgenic signs are still present in it. But the main question is not about the presence of androgenic effects but related to the anabolic impacts. For example, there are drugs where the anabolic effect is maximum, and the androgenic effect is minimized so that the situation is like a natural physiological background without causing additional hair growth and other visual changes. There are also drugs where, on the contrary, the androgenic effect is too high or equal to the anabolic one. Some and others have one derivative in common – testosterone, but only in the androgenic or anabolic part artificially synthesized in medicine.
Modern pharmacology tries to stay away from the androgenic properties of synthetic testosterone as much as possible because this part causes more side effects, which we will write about later. It is impossible to reduce androgenic activity to zero ultimately. Still, a large number of steroids have a maximally increased anabolic effect. Against its background, a slight androgenic side is not visible.
Negative and positive aspects of steroids
Perhaps the most exciting thing for any beginner athlete who wants to start taking steroids is what results await him. What to expect from their application? What side effects can occur, and what positive effects await? We will try to answer these questions in this chapter.
First, it is essential to note that there is not a single drug that is entirely free of side effects, contraindications, and everything else; it does not have to be. So steroids are no exception, but these negative consequences can be avoided correctly.
Side effects and solutions
- Testicular atrophy. Due to the intake of artificial testosterone in the body, the hormone begins to be produced in smaller amounts. Where is testosterone produced? In the male endocrine gland, namely the testes. It is possible to avoid such a pathological process if the steroid intake does not exceed a month; such changes will not occur. If the course is longer, it is recommended to take gonadotropins in parallel or take Tamoxifen for two weeks at the end of the use of anabolic steroids.
- Heartbreak. After the endocrine system, the maximum effect of steroids may be on the liver. But even in this case, hepatotoxicity can be avoided, that is, a violation of the liver in the robot. To prevent liver problems, it is recommended:
- Give preference to injectable drugs, and not in tablet form; in this case, the drug enters the bloodstream immediately, avoiding deposition on internal organs;
- Do not exceed the recommended intake dose; every day must be around 20-30 mg; toxicity occurs when this figure exceeds 80 mg;
- Do not use the methyl steroid group.
- Gynecomastia. This side effect is the growth of mammary glands in men, according to the characteristics of women. To prevent such mutations, which cannot be restored if they occur, it is necessary to take preventive measures in the first place. A similar action consists of taking Tamoxifen, starting from the second week of taking steroids; this may be the primary method to protect against Gynecomastia. More often than other drugs, methandrostenolone and sustain can cause this phenomenon, so it is better not to use their use.
- Skin rash or just acne. It is a common side effect of steroids; it occurs due to an increase in the amount of sebum and due to blockage of the sweat glands. It is possible to reduce these manifestations with personal hygiene and taking Accutane.
- It increases blood cholesterol levels. With a background of high cholesterol, concomitant diseases may occur. To maintain its average concentration, it is recommended to take omega-3 fatty acids.
- Problems with the cardiovascular system. Cardiac work is directly affected by both steroids and strength loads during exercise.
To protect your heart, it is recommended:
- Do not exceed the recommended dose of anabolic steroids;
- Combining strength training with aerobics (cardio);
- Monitor your cholesterol levels.
- Kidney failure. Since all substances that enter the blood pass through the kidneys, they act as filters in the body, filtering and removing toxic elements. The effect on the kidneys will be minimal if the dose and duration of anabolic steroid intake are not exceeded. It is forbidden to take steroids for people with chronic kidney failure.
- Risk of blood clots. While taking this group of drugs, blood clotting increases, and the risk of bleeding decreases, but the risk of thrombophlebitis (thrombus formation, blood clots in the vessels) increases. A similar danger increases in people after forty; therefore, cardiomagnil is recommended.
- Stop growth. Steroids accelerate the closure of the growth zone, so they are not recommended for athletes under the age of 21.
The positive side
- Muscle volume increases. Steroids stimulate protein synthesis in muscle mass by acting on specific receptors, thus causing it to grow more actively.
- Improve power performance. All the same protein synthesis in muscles, causing blood flow to them and increasing the number of elements responsible for muscle contraction, thus increasing strength in athletes.
- Avoid muscle tissue damage. During strength training, fat is burned, and muscle tissue is partially destroyed because the body feeds energy for exercise and from fat. And steroids have an anti-catabolic effect by preventing muscle fibers from breaking down.
- Increased endurance. Taking anabolic steroids increases the level of glycogen in the muscles, a type of fuel for exercise. And increased pressure encourages blood flow to the muscles, improving their performance.
- Emotional euphoria. This particular situation while taking steroids makes it easier to face stressful situations and various psycho-emotional stresses during the competition.
Which steroid is best for you?
Which drug should be preferred depends on the goal you are achieving.
The best for gaining muscle mass is:
- Retabolil or Deca Durabolin;
To increase relief and dry the body:
- Testosterone propionate.
To improve power performance, Anavar and Winstrol are considered the best.
Important! The choice of the correct course, with the selection of the proper dosage and time of its intake, is best left to a qualified specialist in this field. Free choice of one or another drug can cause unpleasant consequences for the whole organism. In conclusion, anabolic steroids have been a great help to athletes all over the world. If you choose responsibly, their reception can significantly improve your sports performance without interfering with the body’s work. Functional training combined with diet and steroid use will help you achieve the desired results and get a beautiful, toned, sculpted body!