SARMs and Steroids might seem like very similar supplements, but they're actually significantly different in certain ways, each boasting their own benefits and uses as well as separate sets of side effects. Here's an in-depth look into SARMs, Steroids and the various different ways they're meant to be used, as well as what kind of results and risks you should expect if you're planning to take them for yourself.
hese days, enhancement drugs and supplements are extremely commonplace among bodybuilders and fitness lovers, even if they're only doing it as casually. If used properly, they can be a great way to build muscle faster and make sure that regular exercises leaves much more of an impression on your body, having just as much impact on the outside of your body as they do the inside. However, there are dozens of different types of supplement products on the market, and each of them are supposed to work in a different way: some are for medical purposes, others are purely to build muscle mass, and a select few might even be designed purely as energy boosters or enhancements that affect your mental focus.
This means that you can't simply pick one steroid or SARM and expect to get perfect results. It's like medication for an illness or condition you have: only certain chemicals and formulas will give you the result you actually want, so you need to choosing one that will actually have effects on your body and performance, rather than just taking random hormone boosting substances and prohormones and hoping that you'll get lucky with the results. For ever supplement that can help you, there are dozens of others that offer a completely different set of benefits that aren’t relevant to what you want.
Some supplements are also much more body-affecting than others. One steroid type might simply promote muscle mass growth through substances like androgen, while other supplements might affect the receptor pieces of your brain to make you more alert or responsive. Of course, no matter how major the change is, some supplements will have more side effects than others: not all side effects are inherently bad, but it's not something you should ignore.
What are Steroids?
Steroids are, in most cases, synthetic hormones. They're generally a synthesised version of testosterone, the male hormone that promotes things like muscle growth and hair loss, as well as less obvious links to things like aggression and beard growth. All human bodies have testosterone in them, and men naturally have more than women, but the natural version of testosterone is heavily limited inside our bodies to prevent bad side effects. The synthetic steroids add to this amount and boost their good qualities further, but can also amplify the bad ones if they're used irresponsibly.
Steroids are also occasionally used to treat major conditions medical conditions, mainly ones that cause muscle wasting or other issues with how your muscle tissue can develop. Some types of steroids often heavily restricted (or even sometimes illegal) for use outside of medically-prescribed reasons, and using them in professional organised sporting events is considered cheating no matter the circumstances. This is because the dosage levels are incredibly fiddly, and using too much at once can be extremely dangerous.
Steroid Side Effects
There's a reason that steroids are often seen as having an increased risk: they can be incredibly dangerous, with dozens of potential problems that can affect certain people in really troubling ways. Not all side effects are lethal, but the known ones can be very concerning, especially if a person takes far more bodybuilding and strength-boosting steroids than they're supposed to be. There are still benefits, but the side effects are worth mentioning first due to how serious they can be.
First of all, males who use steroids are likely to develop breasts, or at least some close approximation of them. This is known as gynecomastia, the enlarging of the breast tissue that's normally kept to a minimum on regular men. It isn't as significant enough to give you the same kind of breasts as a woman, but it still results in a different chest shape, and is one of the most identifiable symptoms of steroid use there is. It isn't necessarily harmful to your health, but it can be a difficult thing to get rid of, especially if you're still actively taking steroids.
Another more subtle side effect in men involves your reproductive organs: your testicles can shrink and your prostate gland will enlarge, and extreme steroid use can cause infertility, often permanently. There can be other minor changes to body shape alongside this, usually caused by certain pieces of tissue growing or shrinking in response to the added testosterone and other chemicals being used in the anabolic steroids.
If you're a women, expect to see some similar changes: an enlarged clitoris, increased body hair and reduced regular hair (or even baldness) are very common. In a way, steroids contain so much testosterone that they start to erase the conventionally feminine attributes of the female body, but not in a healthy that can be easily reversed: even if you wanted to change these qualities, there's safer ways to do it.
Once again, infertility can be a problem, but you're also occasionally going to have a sudden reduction in the frequency of your periods. Long-term use of steroids might even remove them altogether. Expect your voice to deepen, too: this is quite often permanent, and you won't be able to lighten it again.
Alongside the regular side effects, there's also an increased risk of many other major problems. These include things like acne and liver issues, as well as increased chances of catching infections, developing heart problems, rupturing your tendons or suddenly suffering physiological issues like paranoia and mania.
Steroids come with a huge list of potential benefits, which varied depending on the particular type of steroids being used and how often they're taken regularly. They're most known for one thing: muscle building. Without steroids, building muscle takes a lot longer, and many people struggle to maintain it properly without spending hours of their week doing nothing but exercising. Anabolic steroids give you all the muscle mass of a heavy workout without forcing you to do as much hard work, which is why they're so popular.
The increase in muscle mass also gives you a higher level of endurance during workouts, and stops your added muscle wasting away as easily. This makes them popular with people that like to have the strength and stamina to keep exercising for longer, especially if they want to see results faster.
Androgenic steroids are similar, but mainly effect the sex characteristics, primarily hormones. These are more useful for adding testosterone and nothing else, which is very similar to the purpose of anabolic steroids. In many ways, they’re very similar, both offering better strength and muscle development with similar side effects.
What are SARMs?
SARMs are, in a way, meant to be a replacement for regular steroids. SARMs, known as Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, are performance enhancers, are designed to be selective, as the name suggests. This means that they only target the pieces of your body they're supposed to, with all Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators you use fulfilling their purpose and leaving the rest of your body alone. They were originally made to target and cure diseases, but they've become more known for being “better steroids” to many people, since they offer similar benefits without as many bad side effects.
The way that SARMs work is slightly different to conventional steroids: they bind to your body's androgen receptor areas as a cellular scale. Given that the name of them means “Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators”, you can probably guess that they're designed to be selective about which androgen receptor type they bind do, with the receptor modulators having a specific “type” that they stick to. All Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators are made for a different practical purpose, whether it's muscle growth, testosterone boosting or other unique effects.
SARMs can also be used for medical reasons, not counting their ability to help fight of diseases. Like steroids, they can help with muscle growth and repair, and can restore lost testosterone if used correctly. However, many medical professionals continue to use steroids since they're more direct and have a faster impact, and a smaller dose is far more likely to have large-scale effects that can cure or save a patient.
SARMs Side Effects
SARMs are similar to steroids in many ways, so they share many of the same side effects. However, it's the dosage of each Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator that matters most, along with the specific chemicals used to create it. In a way, you could suffer all of the same problems if you used them irresponsibly, but it's far harder to do compared to the way that steroids can easily be overused.
Some of the more minor side effects include night blindness, which can happen if you're using andarine – this has the unusual effect of giving everything in the dark a yellow tint, but this only happens after frequent high-dosage uses, and it's not inherently dangerous. The biggest issue with SARMs is that they reduce the amount of natural testosterone in your body: in particular, Testolone and Ostarine are known for suppressing your testosterone, which can lead to all kinds of minor health issues and body changes.
SARMs are still far less suppressive than steroids are, so you'd need to take a lot more of them to see any major effects. This is true of almost all side effects they have: they still have them, but they're a lot less pronounced than steroids and you need to use far more of them before any problems are developed.
Unlike steroids, mental or psychological problems are far less common. Heavy use of SARMs can cause depression, sometimes to the point of suicidal thoughts, but this can be fixed by just stopping SARMs for a while. Unlike steroids, this only affects a handful of users of SARMs, and isn't a widespread issue that can't be fixed. At worst, most people might just experience a tiny amount of depression if they suddenly increase their SARMs dosage.
SARMs vs Steroids
The “SARMs vs Steroids” debate has been raging on for a long time, and new research is always being released that points out new benefits and weaknesses that have been found in different supplement compounds or SARMs and steroids. Choosing between SARMs vs steroids was originally quite difficult, since they were generally considered to be one and the same, but that's no longer the case. They're not only considered different entities now, but SARMs have started to overtake steroids in certain areas of the market as the “default option” for bodybuilders.
These days, it's worth using SARMs if you absolutely have to take supplements for some reason. SARMs are much safer in general, and can even be entirely harmless as long as they're taken in a very regimented, controlled pattern. Unlike anabolic steroids, Selective Androgen Receptors are not only far harder to overuse, but are also easier to get hold of and aren't considered as dangerous, making them more legal in a lot of places across the globe.
Because the benefits are so similar, using a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator or alter your Androgen Receptors can be a much better way of building muscle and managing testosterone without relying on dangerous steroids. SARMs are also considered to be better for more casual fitness use: steroids are associated with intense, extremely fast muscle growth and bodybuilding, and most people who use them end up looking extremely muscular. SARMs can have the same results if overused, but they're a more managed way to building muscle and improving your stamina: in a way, SARMs are better for people who just want to exercise and speed up their muscle growth or improve muscle definition without forcing their body full of anabolic steroids and other artificial boosters.
SARMs are still artificial, of course. In an ideal world, you wouldn't use SARMs at all and just build muscle naturally: but when the debate comes down to anabolic or androgenic steroids vs SARMs, SARMs win almost every time, regardless of whether you're using them as a one-time test or a long-term supplement.
Are SARMs Always Effective?
SARMs are the safer option than androgenic steroids by a long shot, especially since they bind to specific androgen receptors and don't run around your entire body. However, that doesn't mean that you have to use them, and there's rarely any pressure to force yourself to rely on SARMs if you don't need to.
Remember that SARMs and steroids are two sides of the same coin: it isn't like a full-fat drink compared to a no-fat drink, where one is much healthier than the other. SARMs are still an artificial supplement that makes changes to your body, and many people forget that they aren't necessarily that important for certain activities. For a lot of people, exercising without the use of SARMs is even more effective, and it's still the healthiest option.
When you're stuck between SARMs vs steroids, don't forget that ‘none' is also a valid option. You don't need SARMs to get fit, and all they do is take some of the pressure off to make your muscles regrow faster, as well as boosting your endurance. However, if you want to minimize the possible side effects, not using them at all is still the best option.
In some cases, SARMs might not have the impact you want, either. Maybe it's a health issue on your end, or you aren't taking the right SARMs for the task you're doing. It might also be because your dosage is too low, or because you simply haven't waited long enough to see results: most SARMs take at least a couple of weeks to actually kick in, and it's not always easy to tell if they're having any effect until you've waited a few days longer than that.
SARMS are no different to any other supplement: they still have their strengths and their weaknesses, and no SARMs can solve everything at once, so they aren't a magical cure-all for everything related to your fitness and health. It still takes work and care to make sure you're getting the best results you can.
Should I Use SARMs?
If you have no need to use SARMs, then don't use them. For example, if you only exercise occasionally and don't actually care about building muscle or getting any fitter than you already are, using SARMs is just going to put more chemicals into your body's hormone cocktail and increase the chance of you developing some minor health problems (even if it's only a tiny, tiny risk). SARMs aren't like a herbal tea, where you can use them occasionally and not actually bother with the exercise or care that your body needs: even if you don't exercise, they'll still be doing something inside your body, and it's not always a good idea to introduce artificial supplements that you don't actually need.
That being said, SARMs are much easier to get than steroids, and many SARMs are given out in safe doses. Compared to steroids, which are often just sold in bulk, this makes SARMs a far more approachable option for first-time users, and means that you aren't instantly giving yourself a high dosage when you try to use them. If you want to try out SARMs as a supplement, but aren't necessary to actually use SARMs long-term, it's a lot safer than using some steroids, and you'll find it a lot easier to keep yourself safe while doing it.
If you're already exercising a lot and want to push things one notch hider, SARMs might not be a bad idea. They're one of the easiest ways to boost your performance in the long term, and also one of the only supplement types that you can easily get hold of in many places. As long as you use the SARMs carefully and don't overdose or ignore your body's other requirements, they can be a great way to push yourself further and get greater results from your workout sessions. Not only that, but they might even help you fix certain diseases or boost your immune system if you're really, really lucky.
Remember that SARMs aren't harmless, though. If you're going to use them, you need to use them well and make safety your top priority. Not only are SARMs still a supplement by nature, but they're also have many of the same side effects as steroids, they're simply hidden better and don't actually happen unless you're careless with how you're using the SARMs. Be careful, limit how many you're using and be ready to head to a doctor if you notice anything strange, since you can never quite tell how your body will react to any supplements.