Nowadays, there is a lot of speculation about sarms and their potential for replacing steroids as a supplement for fast muscle growth and weight loss. Most users claim that sarms produce the same effects as steroids in the body but with the added benefit of causing fewer or less severe side effects.
This article will talk about each of these substances, their benefits, side effects, and any differences or similarities that exist between them.
Firstly, let us take a look at steroids. What exactly are steroids?
Anabolic steroids are synthetic replicas of naturally occurring hormones in the body; it is most commonly a version of testosterone. Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is majorly responsible for the growth and development of secondary sex characteristics.
Formally known as Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, these substances can bind to androgenic receptors in the body to elicit a rapid growth of muscle mass while also facilitating fast weight loss.
Medical personnel usually prescribe steroids as a form of therapy for delayed puberty in males. It is also used to correct muscle wastage in diseases such as hypogonadism, cancer, or immune deficiency syndromes like HIV or AIDS.
Effects of Steroids In The Body
Some of the benefits that steroids can produce in the body include;
- Stimulation of androgen receptors, thereby leading to cell growth and an increase in lean muscle mass.
- It can cause virilization, which is the development of male sex characteristics such as an increase in libido and deepening of the voice.
- Increase in muscle strength and endurance
- Reduction in body fat without muscle loss
- It helps injuries to heal faster.
- Reduces the amount of damage caused to muscles during exercise and aids rapid muscle recovery
- They can lead to an increase in the production of red blood cells.
Side Effects of Steroid Use
Due to the muscle-building and strength-increasing effects of steroids, it is usually used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase their level of performance and accumulate muscle tissue quickly. Anabolic steroids are also used in animals such as race horses to make them have increased muscle bulk and a longer endurance time.
While anabolic steroids can work wonders when it comes to building up muscle and cutting down fat, the side effects of constant and unethical steroid use can be adverse at best and life-threatening at worst.
The following are the side effects of unethical and self-medicated use of anabolic steroids;
- Shrinking of the testes
- Decrease in sperm production
- High levels of aggression
- High blood pressure and increased risks of heart attack
- Severe acne
- Gynecomastia; development of enlarged breasts in male
- Female virilization
What Are Sarms?
Sarms, like YK-11, which you can buy in Australia, is short for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. These bind to androgen receptors and modify them to produce an increase in tissue size. Unlike steroids, sarms target only select receptors in the muscles, fats, and bones instead of the entire group of androgen receptors present in the body.
Sarms were originally developed during research into prostate cancer. Although further research into the effects of sarms on the human body was halted at the time, it is still being used today as a supplement for muscle bulking.
Sarms are prescribed by healthcare professionals as a way of treating muscle wastage caused by diseases such as cancer, hypogonadism, HIV, cardiac failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), liver disease, and kidney failure without the resulting cardiovascular, hormonal, and psychiatric effects that are characteristic of steroids.
A lot of fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders prefer to use sarms instead of steroids as the former is said to elicit fewer and less severe side effects than the latter.
Benefits of Sarms
Sarms produce more or less the same benefits as steroids in the body, such as increased muscle mass, reduced loose fat, improved muscle power and endurance, and faster muscle recovery.
In addition to the above, some other positive effects of sarms include;
- Treatment of osteoporosis and muscle loss as sarms can lead to an increase in bone mineralization and density
- Possible treatment of prostate cancer
- As a form of therapy for multiple sclerosis
- It can be used to treat sexual dysfunction in both males and females.
- Increase in appetite
- Promotion of sleep
- Rapid healing of injuries to the tendons, ligaments, joints, and muscle tissue.
Side Effects of Sarms
Like steroids, sarms are the new drugs of choice for gym enthusiasts who wish to bulk up quickly and easily. While there are several clinical studies that point to the potential benefits of sarms on the human body, it has not been approved and recognized by the Food and Drug Administration.
Sarms are usually sold as a substance for research purposes, but some companies have begun to sell fitness supplements that contain sarms as active ingredients. The prevalence of such supplements has allowed people to get their hands on sarms-based products without proper education about their side effects.
Some of the effects that misuse of sarms can cause include;
- Liver toxicity
- Increased risk of cardiac attack and stroke
- Hair loss and baldness
- Stunted growth
- Abnormal hair growth in females
- Menstrual cycle abnormalities
Sarms are different from steroids in that they bind to a limited number of receptors in the body to produce more anabolic effects such as muscle increase and fat loss than androgenic effects such as the development of the male sex gonads.
However, both substances have a few similarities as they allow for an increase in bone density, more endurance and muscle strength, and faster muscle recovery after exercise.
Sarms do not produce side effects as severe as that of anabolic androgenic receptors. However, constant misuse of sarms can cause a number of potentially fatal adverse effects.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has prohibited the use of steroids and sarms for professional athletes before and during competitions. The FDA has also released a memo stating the potential adverse effects that misusing sarms can cause.
It is advisable to consult physicians and healthcare professionals before you include sarms in your daily regimen. Ensure to adhere to prescribed dosages and report any side effects immediately.