How Do Anabolic Steroids Work?

We’ve all heard of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. But to use it to support your muscle-training, you need to understand how it works. So, we break down all the things you need to know about anabolic steroids and what its effect on your body is.

How Do Anabolic Steroids Work?

What are Anabolic Steroids?

Anabolic Steroids are synthetic substances similar to testosterone. They stimulate the growth of skeletal muscle and the development of male sexual characteristics in both males and females. Testosterone is also of two kinds, androgenic and anabolic. While androgenic steroids push the growth of facial hair, deeper voice, and male genitals, anabolic is responsible for building muscle mass and strength.

Usually, anabolic steroids are prescribed by doctors to patients who might be suffering from anemia and lack of testosterone. Bodybuilders and sportspersons have been taking anabolic steroids from the 1950s to enhance their performance.

How do Anabolic Steroids work?

When ingested or swallowed, anabolic steroids travel through the bloodstream to the muscle tissue. The androgen receptor, which is the muscle’s cell receiving dock, draws the drug towards its. When delivered, the steroid interacts with the cell’s DNA and stimulates protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is the generation of protein cells in the body. These protein cells combine with the existing muscle fiber to make it stronger and bigger. If not attached to the muscle fiber, they combine to create new muscle fiber. The creation of new muscle fiber leads to bigger and stronger muscles.

Anabolic steroids also affect the cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is released in the body when it goes through intense exercise. It is a stress hormone that breaks down muscle tissue which leads to sore muscles. When anabolic steroids are ingested, they block the cortisol from binding to the muscle cell’s receptor sites. This blocking process diminishes the breakdown process. Less muscle breakdown means less muscle fatigue, which leads to higher performance.

How are steroids ingested?

Some steroids can be taken orally like any other medicine. Some others require the usage of hypodermic needles to inject steroids into the muscles directly. Some athletes, however, have been known to inject specific sites hoping to increase muscle size and/or strength in that area. Unfortunately, this strategy does not work and can damage the injection site.

Steroids taken orally have a half-life of several hours, while injected steroids have a half-life of several days. Steroids that are taken orally usually come in the form of a pill. It takes these water-soluble pills three to four weeks to clear the body.

The oil-based injections take six to eight months to leave the body. After steroids are taken, the steroid molecule bonds to cell receptor sites. Now the steroid molecule can increase protein synthesis, increase nitrogen retention, make metabolic changes, and increase the size and strength of skeletal muscle cells. You can buy anabolic steroids easily at online drug stores.

Key Terms:

Cycling: Cycling is the cycle in which bodybuilders use steroids to promote their training. For example, a user can take a steroid for a set period. Such as 12 weeks on, six weeks off, and then another 12 weeks on.

Stacking: Stacking is when a bodybuilder uses multiple steroids at one time. To enhance their performance, they can take a combination of oral and injectable steroids.

Pyramiding: These are periods of use where the amount of the steroid use is gradually increased to a peak, and then tapered down.

Plateauing: The process of alternating, overlapping, or substituting with another steroid to avoid developing a tolerance of one particular steroid in the body.

Tips for Ensuring Safe Intake of Steroids:

  • Use low doses to reduce the risk of side effects.
  • Do not inject anabolic steroids into muscles such as biceps, calf muscles, or pectorals. This can cause permanent damage to your nerves.
  • Do not share injecting equipment with other bodybuilders. This will prevent any spread of blood-borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C.
  • Always inject steroids on a sterile location.
  • Restrict your intake of any other alcohol or drugs such as amphetamine within your steroid cycle.
  • Always discuss your intake of steroids with a doctor, even if it is without a prescription.
  • Limit your cycles to 8-10 weeks. This gives rest to your kidneys, liver, and endocrine system.
  • Always ensure that the needle is fresh, taken out from an unopened package.
  • Don’t inject steroids repeatedly into the same area of the body.

The goal of taking steroids is to speed up the body’s natural muscle-building process. But it is necessary to pair it with ample strength-training for the steroids to show the best results.

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Article Author Details

Sophia Will