Gaining strength and body mass is not easy. The most common way to do this is to exercise. Lifting weights, calisthenics or doing CrossFit, any one of these can help you achieve the body you want. But these are a long-term plan. There’s a faster but riskier way to gain strength and body mass. It is called the anabolic steroid. It is a quick but dirty way to bulk up. It tricks the body build up body mass and endurance, but it will also make your body age faster. Anabolic steroids masquerade itself as one of the primary hormone found in our body, more common in men: testosterone. Technically, testosterone is anabolic steroids or anabolic-androgenic steroids to be more specific. Testosterone is our body’s natural “steroids.” Men have a much higher testosterone production in their body compared to women, that’s why men are more muscular than women.
How do steroids make you gain strength?
There are many kinds of steroid in our body, but anabolic steroid is the only chemical compound that plays a vital role in our body. When you use anabolic steroids, our system will break it down into the molecular level so that it can pass into the barriers of our cells. After they moved to the barrier, they will bind with androgen receptors. This process is where anabolic steroids do its job since the receptors are shaped to link with our body’s testosterone naturally. The Anabolic steroid will mimic what the testosterone does to our body. The moment the synthetic steroids bind to the receptors, it will activate the receptors and will cause changes in genes that are found during the onset of puberty.
(To know more about how steroids are synthesize by our body, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steroid_hormone)
Synthetic steroids can affect our metabolism in two ways, and both cause an increase in muscle mass. The activated receptors will trigger an increase production of proteins that our body uses to build muscle cells. This cycle is called anabolism, where the energy that is stored by small molecules that then made into more complex molecules. Anabolism is also the reason of muscle build up in our body, that’s why they call it anabolic steroids. During anabolism, the muscle known as skeletal muscle or powerful muscle attached itself to our skeleton and started to replicate, building up agility and strength. But it is not all anabolic steroids that cause an increase in muscle mass. The steroid called glucocorticoids speeds up the protein molecule’s breakdown into small units like amino acids. These breakdowns of molecules are called catabolism, one half of the metabolic cycle, the other half is anabolism. Inhibiting the glucocorticoids will shorten the catabolic phase of our body’s metabolism. It causes our muscle to spend less time to recover in between workouts. That’s the reason why steroids can improve strength and muscle mass since our body can do more with less to no rest.
(Click here for a more detailed explanation about synthetic steroids)
Does steroid work?
According to studies conducted by Men’s Health, a leading health magazine, men that use steroids for ten straight weeks will gain at least 2-5 kilogram of lean muscle mass. The study also shows a 5-20% increase in agility and strength of the user. Increase muscle mass was found in the chest, shoulders, back upper arm areas. There is less improvement in leg muscles is because there is less concentration of androgen receptors in those areas. Most participants have improved dramatically with their bench press and other kinds of weightlifting regimen.
The use and misuse of steroids
Doctors usually prescribe anabolic steroids to patients that have AIDS and cancer. The ingredients in steroids alternative help patients gain body mass that they lost due to their illness. It is also a treatment for specific hormone deficiencies. All sports organizations prohibit their athletes from using anabolic steroids because it improves the athlete’s performance giving them an unfair advantage. But despite its illegal status in sports, 1% of American athletes still use this drug for recreational purposes.
There are side effects when steroids are not used correctly. Aside from being labeled a cheater and some drug charges, users will experience problems in their sexual characteristics. Because steroids can exhibit changes that are only found in adolescent entering puberty, it causes an increase in oil production in our sebaceous gland and causes to increase the amount of pimples and acne. Not just that, but steroids can also cause faster aging, low sperm count, testicular atrophy or better known as shrinking of the balls. Because of the changes in hormone levels, the steroid can also cause alopecia or pattern baldness in both male and women.