Since as early as the 1950s, anabolic steroid drugs have been available for medical purposes. However, the significant anabolic effects of these drugs have drawn sports men and women from virtually all manner of sports to its use.
Athletes particularly in strength and performance based sports like weightlifting, powerlifting, strongmen tournaments and competitive bodybuilding events have taken to steroids like duck to water since as early as the mid-1950s.
Today steroids bodybuilding is very popular and you only have to visit a gym for a day and by all means you are sure to hear steroid street names like “pumpers”, “candy”, “Arnolds”, “stackers”, “roids”, and “gym” mentioned in various context by bodybuilders working out.
This post gives you an insight into what anabolic steroids are and what bodybuilding gains can be derived from their use. You will also get to know the most popular steroids out there, the effect of steroids in sports, how these steroids are administered and their common side effects.
I. What are Anabolic Steroid Drugs?
Androgenic-anabolic steroids or AAS drugs are chemically synthesized derivatives of naturally produced hormones, such as testosterone and growth hormone. When used, anabolic steroid drugs are known to affect either positively or negatively, many different parts of the human body.
AAS will affect the kidneys, liver, central nervous system, reproductive system, immune system, blood, hair follicles, bones, muscle structure and so on. Anabolic steroids were initially developed to treat ailments, for example; synthetic testosterone was developed to treat hypogonadism (a deficiency in natural testosterone).
However, synthetic testosterone like testosterone enanthate, testosterone propionate or testosterone cypionate are now used by bodybuilders running bulking or cutting cycles. Synthetic testosterone will help build muscle mass, enhance bone density, and stimulate rapid healing of damaged muscle tissue.
In addition, synthetic testosterone or ‘Test’ will increase strength, boost energy levels and make bodybuilders more aggressive and competitive. In the United States of America and many other countries around the world like Canada, Western Europe and Australia, AAS is listed as Schedule III or IV controlled substances and can only be obtained upon the presentation of a prescription from a qualified physician.
However, because steroids bodybuilding has become so popular and there is a huge demand for genuine anabolic steroids such as testosterone enanthate or ‘Test’, suppliers have found different ways to get their illegal steroids for sale to the hands of eager athletes that need them.
These AAS drugs are obtained without a prescription despite the stiff sanctions in place for the possession and use of steroids. Performance enhancement is the simple answer to the question of what are steroids used for?
Athletes use anabolic steroid drugs to give themselves the extra edge needed to excel in their respective sport. AAS will enhance performance by building muscle and bone mass while providing athletes with unbelievable stamina, strength, energy and endurance.
But as great as anabolic steroid performance enhancing drugs are in turning an average athlete into an exceptional one, there are many side effects (more on this a bit later) that users need to be wary of.
II. List of Popular Anabolic Steroids for Sale
The number of genuine anabolic steroid drugs available to bodybuilders are quite many, but there are currently at least 30 different known androgenic-anabolic steroids out there.
These steroids are essentially used to provide significant improvements in energy, strength, stamina, and endurance. There are steroids available for bodybuilders wishing to run a bulking cycle where they can increase their body weight, bone density and muscle tissue mass.
There are also steroids available for bodybuilders looking to run and so cutting cycle where their rate of metabolism is increased. These bodybuilders will burn excess body fat and gain lean muscle mass in the process.
Some steroids pills that are popularly used by bodybuilders and other athletes include:
- Oxymetholone: Available under the brand name of Anadrol, but popularly called “Drol”.
- Oxandrolone: This steroid is available under the brand names Oxandrin or Anavar. Bodybuilders call this steroid “Var”.
- Mibolerone: Also known as “Cheque”.
- Mesterolone: This anabolic steroid is available by the brand name Proviron.
- Methyltestosterone: Available as Virilon.
- Fluoxymesterone: Brand name Halotestin, but known amongst users as “Halo”.
- Stanozolol: Brand name – Winstrol, but called “Winny” by bodybuilders.
- Methandienone: Dianabol or “Dbol” is a popular brand name.
Bodybuilders also use injectable steroids and the most commonly used AAS include:
- Trenbolone acetate: Finajet is a popular brand name of this steroid, but this AAS is also called “Tren” by athletes
- Testosterone cypionate: Available as Depotest.
- Testosterone enanthate: Available as Andro-Estro, bodybuilders call this anabolic steroid “Test”.
- Testosterone propionate: Also availble as Testex.
- Nandrolone phenpropionate: Durabolin or “NPP” is a popular brand name for this AAS.
- Nandrolone decanoate: This AAS is available as Deca Durabolin or “Deca”.
- Methenolone enanthate: Primobolan or “Primo” is a famous brand name for this steroid.
III. Anabolic Steroid Side Effects
As mentioned earlier, users of anabolic steroid drugs are exposed to a number of different adverse effects. Some of these side effects are mild while others are severe in nature.
These side effects affect different parts of the human body. Below are some known side effects from androgenic-anabolic steroid use:
- Endocrine or reproductive system side effects: Changes in libido, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, and infertility.
- Feminization side effects in males: Gynecomastia or enlargement of male breasts, and testicular atrophy.
- Masculinization side effects in females: Acne, male pattern baldness, hirsutism, a deepening or hoarseness of the voice, breast and uterine atrophy, irregular menstrual cycles and enlargement of clitoris.
- Renal system side effects: Nephropathy, renal hypertrophy, renal cell carcinoma, and acute renal failure.
- Hepatic side effects: Jaundice, peliosis hepatis, hepatic steatosis, cholestasis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
- Musculoskeletal system side effects: Muscle strains, tendon ruptures, muscle hypertrophy, and rhabdomyolysis.
- Cardiovascular system side effects: Myocardial hypertrophy, myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, and thrombosis.
- Neurological or Psychiatric side effects: Dysphoria, delusions, depression, psychosis, anxiety, aggressive behavior, mood swings, and suicidality.
Other side effects include; Edema or fluid retention, prostate cancer, and sudden death.
IV. Anabolic Steroid Use by Athletes
The Controlled Substance Act of the U.S makes it unlawful for anabolic steroid drugs to be held and distributed by anyone without a permit or valid prescription.
Despite strict regulations, androgenic-anabolic steroids have and are still being used by athletes of various sports. Athletes get most of their anabolic steroids from the blackmarket.
Today there are many pharmaceutical companies based mainly in Asia and some parts of Europe that offer original steroids for sale and without a valid prescription.
Athletes are driven to use steroids by their desire to be successful in their respective sport. Many athletes with money are now using “designer steroids” which are chemically synthesized to evade detection during routine drug tests.
In the past, many renowned athletes have failed drug tests and have received bans for their indiscretions. In athletics, you have household names like Marion Jones, Dwain Chambers, and Justin Gatlin who all received various bans for their use of performance-enhancing drugs and steroids.
After winning the 100 and 200 meter races at an event in Helsinki, Finland back in 2005, Justin Gatlin received a 4 year ban for using testosterone after he failed a mandatory drugs test.
Dwain Chambers used THG and the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong was also banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for using growth hormones while winning the world famous Tour de France cycling event.
V. How to take Anabolic Steroid?
Anabolic steroid is taken by mouth, injection, as a gel or cream and as pellets that are implanted just under a person’s skin. Steroids pills are quite common because of their convenience. However, hepatotoxic steroid pills can be problematic to users.
To avoid liver related health issues, the use of liver protective medications and supplements is advised. TUDCA and SamaGen (Samarin140) are popular liver protection drugs.
Anabolic steroid is used by bodybuilders in cycles. Steroids may also be stacked with other performance enhancing drugs on the advise of an experienced trainer or qualified medical practitioner.
Apart from the use of liver protective drugs, post cycle therapy or otherwise called PCT is a necessary procedure that athletes have to implement at the end of their steroid cycle.
To avoid feminization, bodybuilders using steroids that convert to the female hormone – estrogen, may include Clomid as part of their protective drug use during and after a steroid cycle. During PCT, estrogen inhibitors such as Proviron can also be used to reduce estrogen and restore the balance of testosterone in the body.