Steroids have been in the news headlines for a number of years now and it seems that a growing number of sports personalities are still being caught using them.
In the United States, commercials warning the public of the dangers of steroid use are increasingly being aired. Without sounding complacent, these warnings usually allude to worse-case scenarios.
This does not mean that I am advocating in any shape or form illegal steroid use because this site is about getting results naturally and safely and might I add, “steroid-freely”, if I could say such a thing.
Nevertheless, there are many misconceptions surrounding anabolic steroid use, and this article aims to put these right.
Definition of Steroids
Anabolic steroids are man-made or “synthetic” derivatives of testosterone. Anabolic steroids are often used to help build bigger muscles and body mass, as well as the speed of recovery and overall strength. Quite often, corticosteroids are mistaken for anabolic steroids but their function is quite different because they are quite often used to help buffer overactive immune responses and help reduce swelling.
Both sexes produce testosterone inside the body, although females produce only a fraction of what men do.
Who Uses Them?
1954 saw the introduction of anabolic steroid use during a world lifting championship.
The 1960s saw anabolic steroid use move into other areas of Olympic sports.
Today, anabolic steroid use is subject to ridicule because athletes are continuously being caught using these banned substances in an attempt to gain unfair advantages over the competition.
Lance Armstrong is the last guy that comes to mind.
Not only individuals involved with organized sports are prone to using anabolic steroids.
A nationwide survey held some 15 years ago questioned high school seniors on the topic of anabolic steroids.
The results were startling because the survey revealed that 7% of the respondents had used or were using anabolic steroids.
A quarter of these individuals admitted to using it in an effort to improve appearance rather than athletic performance.
How to Use Steroids
Most anabolic steroid users use the substances as part of a cycle, usually meaning weeks or months of alternating use and non-use.
The dose is usually increased into the cycle, and a typical cycle can last between 5 and 10 weeks.
It’s normal for other anabolic substances to be used in conjunction with anabolic steroids, and this process is usually called “stacking”.
Stacking is suspected of increasing the potency of anabolic agents.
The most effective delivery method is via injection, although other methods exist including oral consumption, although this is suspected of being less effective.
Dependent on the type of injectable steroid in question, it can remain circulating inside the body from 1 day all the way up to several months.
There are many side-effects associated with anabolic steroid use, most of these are temporary, however, there is always the risk of permanent changes inside the body occurring.
Although one or two cycles may not trigger anything out of the ordinary, if you happen to have an addictive personality, or even worse, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), then I can pretty much guarantee disaster sooner or later.
Ill effects normally surface when people do not cycle properly or start to depend on the steroid to the point of addiction.
In reality, not many people are entirely happy with their bodies, but if you’re prone to obsess on imperfections around your body during anabolic steroid use, I’d advise you to stop immediately!
The Lighter Side
Most “benefits” from steroid use are extremely short-term, and probably don’t last as long as the accompanying side effects.
The first cycle is very important because the initial hormonal imbalance can lead to mental instability and vulnerability.
The long-term drawbacks can sometimes be so debilitating, that hindsight would suggest not going anywhere near these substances if given a second chance.
In the world of competitive sports, the potential benefits of steroid use are many.
Professional athletes have to train on a daily basis, and this hinders the body from which fully recovering before the next session.
Moreover, it also reduces the amount of time the body remains in a catabolic state due to the decreasing cortisol levels allowing for a maximum anabolic state by enhancing testosterone.
In plain English, this means that the body is able to train harder, at a much higher intensity for longer without needing massive periods of rest in between sessions. And this will inevitably lead to bigger muscles, better performance, and more strength.
To Sum Up…
Athletes bank everything on their performance, and despite their illegality, anabolic steroids are extremely inviting.
The potential side-effects that the body is exposed to, and the loss of reputation and good name, and sometimes the possibility of being incarcerated isn’t enough to put some people off.
If this is a dilemma for you, I would strongly advise you to look at the legal alternatives that are touted as being on par with illegal anabolic steroids in terms of what they can offer without the side effects.