Steroids

Bigger, Faster, Stronger, are three words which comes to our mind when we talk about steroids or picture them. As a matter of fact there was a movie too named by the same three words.

Steroids were never meant to be used in bodybuilding or any kind of sports which needs a lot of physical performances. Steroids were made or synthesized for the sole purpose of treating patients who suffered terminal illnesses, or in whom the muscle wastage was severe. Although to enhance performances the ancient times have some recording of substances being abused for events like Olympics, but not the way it is done now, probably because of the advancement in science.

Steroids can be typically classed into three main types.

  • Corticoids- because they are made in adrenal cortex
  • Sex steroids – because they are made in the gonads or the placenta

Within the above two mentioned are the five subtypes

  • Mineralocorticoids
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Progesterone
  • Estrogens
  • Androgens

In this post we will mainly discuss something about the androgenic steroids usually used for increased performances.

Two classes which are broadly used in the fitness industry are

Class I– Injectibles- which are oil based suspensions, they mainly interact with the androgen receptors and bind to them thus , creating the desired effects.

Class II– Oral formulations- they bind to other types of receptors and achieve the effects through other mechanisms of actions.

Our focus is to describe a particular steroid which is abused and the effects it can bring, instead of promoting it and saying they give explosive results. So here they are:-

  1. Anavar 

It’s generic name is Oxandrolone, its availability is low and price remains high throughout the year in most of the countries. The company which makes it keeps it production low for the reason because the demand is high.

This medication is used preferably to gain weight for patients who have lost weight due to surgery, illnesses, or trauma. It is also used for bone pain due to osteoporosis. Anavar is used heavily among women athletes because of its low virilisation property and low water gaining profile. It does not aromatise at any dosage , which makes it a little safer than other anabolics, and also men with pre existing hypertension can use it. It was unsurpassed by its strength gaining potential and not for its bulking property.

Side effects

Its side effect profiles are a bit worrisome. Acne and oily skin is seen in some of the users. Sexual problems such as prolonged erections can be really dangerous and can be painful. This drug can reduce the sperm production there by it can cause infertility too. Though the water gaining profile is not to be worried about, but unusual weight gain is seen in some of the patients.

It can interfere with certain lab tests such as done for thyroid profiles.

2. Clenbuterol

Its a known sympathomimetic substance which can mimic adrenaline and noradrenaline actions. It can stimulate the beta-2-receptor agonists present in fat and muscle tissues in the body. It has been used to the advantage of burning fat by increasing the body temperature. This compound was initially developed to treat asthma in horses, and it acts by decongesting and bronchodilating the vessels. It stimulates both the heart and cns.

It is now banned in using animals as well. In UK it is still allowed to procure the drug but not to sell it. In USA and Canada its banned.

By stimulating the beta-2-receptor agonists, it can bring about the following effects:-

  • Nervousness
  • Excitability
  • Greater determination
  • Increased energy
  • Rapid fat burning

So as you can see, the effects it can have may bring about the changes that a person wants, since those effects like rapid fat burning is a desired outcome for most of the fitness models.

3. Deca Durabolin

Also called Nandrolone Decanoate, worldwide deca is one of the most popular injectible steroids. It’s popularity is likely due to the fact that deca exhibits significant anabolic effects with minimal androgenic side effects. It’s considered by many as the best over all steroid for a man to use, (side effects vs results). It is commonly used as once per week dose, gynecomastia usually not seen as the amount used causes less the molecule to convert less into estrogen. It is highly used in HIV cases to bring lean mass up to normal levels. High liver toxicity can be seen if the dosage is increased. It stays in the system in detectable amounts for years therefore it can show up on the detectors easily.

This compound is expensive and weighs heavy on the pockets of many athletes. It can get aromatise in high doses, so chances of cancer can rise, and especially if the person is genetically predisposed to it.

Side effects

  • Bladder contractions
  • Breast tenderness
  • Masculinisation in women
  • Low appetite
  • Depression
  • Thickening of skin
  • Microscopic blood filled cavities in the liver

Higher blood pressure that can cause headaches and increased libido can be expected. Bladder irritability is one common case in people abusing this substance.

The above list is not comprehensive, and some are severely seen and can have an insidious onset, while some are common and can be managed, although from the looks of it, doesn’t seem like a person might handle them well. It can have a major impact on someone’s physical and emotional well being ,when you experience such symptoms and you have to visit the doctors often.

4. Depo-Testosterone

This is an oil based injectable form of testosterone with the generic name of Testosterone Cypionate, it is high in androgens and is very anabolic as well. Aromatises quite easily , water retention is a problem. It can cause marked disturbance in body’s endogenous production of testosterone.

It is mainly used for size building and strength gaining, the size gain is dramatic but the loss is dramatic as well because of suppression of natural testosterone.

Women should not take any form of testosterone at all. Moderate usage might prevent liver toxicity but risk will still outweigh the benefits.

Side effects

  • Chronic priaprism
  • Decreased libido
  • Decrease in testicular size
  • Severe acne Loss of size and strength after stopping the use
Severe acne can be seen on the back muscles

5. Dianabol – 5mg methandrostenolone tablets

A daily dose of this compound for like 4-5 tablets is enough to give very strong anabolic results. It is off from the US markets but it is supplied from the Russian territories and also from Mexico, street names might vary. It still remains popular. The Russian counterpart is often counterfeited, and the Mexican one is an injectible one which people are using. Its a derivative of testosterone, but the oral form is more effective. It was developed way back in 1956 by Dr. John Ziegler. FDA decided to stop it because only athletes were using it.

It has shown to increase glycogen retention and increase endurance.

Side effects

  • toxic to liver
  • water retention
  • high blood pressure
  • extreme acne
  • stressed liver

Its an alpha -17-alkylated compound which makes it toxic to the liver, and it aromatises real fast even on less dosages.

6. EPO or erythropoietin.

This is not a corticosteroid but a  hormone released by the kidney. It’s finds an honorable mention here since it’s often used for doping by atheletes like steroids.
Steroids are mostly misused in body building whereas EPO is mostly misused in athletics for endurance.

It is used as an injectible protein hormone that acts on bone marrow to stimulate red blood cell production. It is a glycoprotien cytokine that is released by the kidney during a cellular hypoxia.

It was developed for patients suffering from anemia. For what it was designed, it was very effective and hence used in tranfusions.

Athletes have been using this compound for mainly to increase the red blood cell productions and thereby increasing the oxygen storing capacity.

Unfortunately EPO has been responsible for over half a dozen dutch cyclists. It increases the hematocrit value which is the percentage of red blood cells in the blood. The red blood cells can go up above the normal value of 40% and can clog up the arteries. Heart attack, stroke or pulmonary edema is another case that can happen too. It has so much of risk associated with it , that the only feasible use is during a medical condition and not really for a sports performance.

Conclusion

It’s not conlcuded yet and the list is not completed yet, there are many anabolics we will cover still in our next post.

Stay natural as long as you can , as much as you can. People who understand the risk associated with anabolics will do it no matter what. There is not a single compound in the market which is safe for any athlete no matter how gifted he or she is.

References

https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/adverse-effects-of-sports-supplements-in-men

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-53226/anavar-oral/details

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28258581