Anabolic steroids or simply “anabolics” are now very widespread in the bodybuilding “amateur” community. Previously, their admission was the privilege of mainly professional athletes, but today they are available to literally everyone who would like to purchase them. Thanks to “pharmaceutical support”, the athlete gets the opportunity to more quickly reveal the potential of his muscles, and indeed to significantly accelerate progress in achieving sports heights. But do you know how harmful or safe they are? Can a bodybuilder abuse them knowingly? In this article we will try, at least briefly, to shed light on this issue.
In essence, anabolic steroids are hormonal drugs of a pharmacological profile, which are taken in the form of tablets (capsules) or are injected into the body. The active active ingredient is usually either “pure” testosterone , or its molecule with different structural and molecular changes, with which their therapeutic effects are directly related. Many athletes probably know that it is testosterone that drives muscle growth.
If you use steroid drugs competently and rationally, strictly observing a safe dosage regimen and not neglecting other recommendations developed over the years of sports practice, then, as a rule, harm to health and other undesirable complications is not foreseen. But, when it comes to young enough guys (and sometimes girls), who, due to age reasons, are maximalists, and want everything, and immediately (for example, quickly build impressive muscle volumes or dry out perfectly), they may well decide to take high dosages of anabolic steroids that will be clearly higher than the safe recommended ones. In such cases, the abuse and the unpleasant consequences that follow it will not be long at all.
Why do athletes take anabolic steroids at all?
Anabolic steroids have been gaining popularity in the sports community since the second half of the 20th century (in the 1950-60s). They gave athletes of those years the opportunity to quickly recover and achieve more significant and expressive sports achievements and results. Since then, they have gained more and more popularity and demand not only in the sports community, but also among ordinary people. Prior to 1975, anabolic steroids were generally administered without any significant government control. Later, for a number of natural reasons, their free circulation was limited, and they were taken under state control in many countries of the world.
In the United States of America, after long public consultations with the medical professional community, at the legislative level, a decision was approved on significant restrictions on the free circulation of anabolic steroids without appropriate medical (medical) prescriptions. In the future, this practice became relevant for almost all countries of the world. But even with such restrictive measures, it is not such a problem to buy steroids today.
In medical practice, anabolic steroids are used in the treatment of serious illnesses. For example, oncological diseases, anemia, diseases of a genetic nature, hormonal imbalance in children and people of any age, for recovery after surgery and burns. This is due to the fact that they accelerate protein synthesis and promote the rapid regeneration of tissues and cells in the body.
Many people, even among athletes, mistakenly believe that bodybuilders are building their impressive muscles only with steroids. But there is no really convincing evidence that just one method of sports pharmacology can significantly increase the volume of “dry” muscles. Alas, even here it will not be possible to achieve everything without hard work, discipline and motivation. On the other hand, doping and sports pharmacology in modern professional sports are used very often and a lot, and anabolic steroids are not even its most advanced version today.
How to recognize signs of AAC abuse?
A weak libido and an almost complete or complete absence of sexual desire can be noticed along the male hormonal background. Against this background, there may be problems with potency in general and erection. Athletes with an individual predisposition may experience baldness (alopecia). As for women, they may also have hair loss and excessive masculinization. In fact, the female body can begin to take on the outlines of a male-type figure and the whole range of secondary sexual characteristics of a man (coarsening of the voice, growth of body hair, etc.). In adolescents, linear growth may be slowed.
A number of anabolic steroids can have an increased effect on blood pressure in the direction of its increase. This is an additional risk factor for people with heart disease. In the case of anabolic steroids prone to conversion to estrogen (aromatization), if taken incorrectly and without special prevention (prophylaxis) of “side” reactions, there may be high swelling and gynecomastia may develop. You should also closely monitor the condition of the liver and kidneys.
How to use steroids without harm?
Mainly, it should be forever understood and remembered that the use of steroids in professional sports, and their use by amateurs (especially if we are talking about beginners without appropriate experience) are two big differences. They are fundamentally distinguished by the dosage level and duration of use. It is good practice to consult with a qualified sports physician or other health care professional before starting steroid use. Professionals can continuously be on the cycle for more than six months, while amateurs and beginners can “head over” one or two 4-6 week cycles throughout the year. The steroid cycles themselves must be carefully and carefully thought out, not forgetting about the prevention and minimization of adverse reactions, as well as post-cycle recovery measures ( PCT).