Anabolic steroids, or anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), are synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone. “anabolic” refers to muscle building, and “androgenic” refers to increased male characteristics. Anabolic steroids can be taken in pill form or injected into the body using a needle. These pills that increase muscle mass artificially enhance performance by increasing muscle mass and strength and other physical changes such as improved endurance and recovery time between workouts.
Understanding how anabolic steroids work
Anabolic steroids work in two different ways: they increase protein synthesis in cells and inhibit glucocorticoid hormones from breaking down tissue. Protein synthesis is the process by which cells make proteins that are essential for building muscle mass. Glucocorticoid hormones break down tissue, so inhibiting their action helps to maintain existing muscle tissue while allowing new tissue to grow. The net result is increased lean muscle mass, strength, and power with few side effects when used responsibly.
Benefits of anabolic steroids
The primary benefit of using anabolic steroids is increased muscle size, strength, and endurance. Bodybuilders use them to reduce body fat while maintaining muscle during competition, while athletes use them to improve performance on the field or court. In addition, people suffering from chronic conditions such as asthma or COPD may find these drugs useful as they help significantly improve breathing capacity. Finally, anabolic steroid users report feeling good after taking them due to an elevated mood caused by the drugs’ effects on serotonin levels in the brain.
Risks associated with anabolic steroid use
Despite their benefits, numerous risks are associated with anabolic steroid use, ranging from mild to life-threatening side effects, depending on how much and long you’re taking them. Common side effects include fluid retention (oedema), increased blood pressure, acne outbreaks, hair loss or thinning (alopecia), liver damage/toxicity from elevated liver enzymes (hepatotoxicity), and mood changes including aggression (roid rage). Long-term use can lead to more serious health problems including heart disease due to cholesterol changes resulting in coronary artery calcification, kidney damage, reduced testicular size, infertility, gynecomastia (enlarged breasts), prostate enlargement, severe depression, erectile dysfunction, seizures, stroke, decreased libido, and even death due to overdose or improper administration methods such as intravenous injections instead of oral tablets.
Are there alternatives to anabolic steroids?
Yes! Building a strong foundation of nutritional habits combined with resistance training has been proven effective in increasing lean muscle mass without the negative health effects associated with the use of anabolic steroids.
In addition, natural supplements such as whey protein powder combined with creatine monohydrate have also been shown to improve athletic performance without the dangerous side effects associated with steroid use. Finally, hiring a personal trainer or nutritionist can be helpful if you need additional guidance on how to safely optimize your fitness goals.
Anabolic steroids offer many potential benefits, but should only be used under the careful supervision of knowledgeable medical professionals due to the potentially dangerous risks associated with misuse or abuse. If you’re looking for faster results than diet and exercise alone, but don’t want the risks associated with taking illegal substances, there are alternatives that can still provide excellent results without compromising your overall health.