Last updated on March 13th, 2023 at 02:40 pm
SARMs Vs Steroids: in this article, we’ll compare everything you need to know; efficacy, health risks and benefits for bodybuilding and athletic performance.. Are SARMs the same as steroids? What are the similarities between steroids and SARMs, and what are the differences? Find out everything you need to know about the benefits of SARMs and the downsides of steroids so you can compare and make the right choice for you.
SARMs Vs Steroids for Bodybuilding
SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) and steroids are both compounds that can enhance muscle growth, increase strength, and improve athletic performance. However, they work in different ways and have distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Steroids have a long-standing association with bodybuilding, but they also have a lot of risks and unknown side effects. SARMs, on the other hand, are a newer form of performance enhancing drugs that can have a lot of the beneficial effects usually associated with steroids, but without the negative side effects.
Based on this information alone, we can say that SARMs are a better choice than steroids when it comes to SARMs vs Steroids for bodybuilding. But that would make for a pretty short article! So we’re going to go into a lot more detail about the impact, legality and risks with steroids and SARMs so you can make an informed decision; should you choose SARMs or steroids for bodybuilding?
SARMs Vs Steroids for Muscle building and Performance-Enhancing
Steroids are generally considered to be more potent than SARMs in terms of muscle building and performance-enhancing effects. They can increase muscle mass and strength significantly, especially when combined with resistance training.
SARMs are also effective at promoting muscle growth and strength, but to a lesser extent than steroids. They may be better suited for athletes who are looking for moderate gains without the risk of serious side effects.
What Are Anabolic Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are synthetic steroid hormones which resemble testosterone in their effects on muscle growth. They are man-made, not natural and exogenous (meaning they come from outside the body).
Anabolic steroids are illegal, even though they continue to be used in a variety of sports (most notable in bodybuilding). The reason people still choose to use them despite their legal status is that they can have some powerful effects. But alongside those potential effects, come some risks and side-effects.
Most anabolic steroids were originally developed for medical use (or at least they started out that way). But remember that medical use of these drugs is controlled, dosed, administered in a sterile environment and assessed.
Steroids: Mechanism of Action
Steroids are synthetic versions of the hormone testosterone, which binds to androgen receptors in the body, leading to an increase in protein synthesis and muscle growth. They also affect other tissues and organs, such as the liver, heart, and kidneys.
What Are SARMs?
SARMs are Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators – they are performance-enhancing compounds, rather than synthetic hormones. They have become popular with bodybuilders and other athletes who want positive benefits but without the short- and long-term risks to physical and mental health.
SARMs work by binding to androgen receptors on a cellular level which means they are very unlikely to lead to health problems (like the fertility issues, heart problems and physical changes in the list of steroid side effects).
Common SARMs include Ostarine, Andarine and RAD-140.
SARMs: Mechanism of Action
SARMs are designed to selectively target androgen receptors in muscle and bone tissue, while minimising the impact on other tissues. This selectivity reduces the risk of side effects associated with steroids.
Steroid Benefits For Bodybuilding
If steroids didn’t have benefits, people wouldn’t take the risk. The truth is, these drugs can have some very impressive benefits on muscle gain, muscle retention and fat loss. We’ll look at the side-effects and health risks in a moment.
- Muscle gain – anabolic steroids mimic testosterone, one of the key muscle growth hormones
- Training duration and frequency – this in itself leads to more muscle stimulation and potential growth
- Muscle retention – anabolic steroids ca reduce the rate of muscle wastage during training
- Muscle mass – steroid users can grow more mass than all but the most genetically gifted natural athletes
- Psychological – using drugs can make people feel as if they should be achieving more, so they work harder and train more seriously (call it a placebo effect, but it can’t be ignored)
Health Risks & Side Effects Of Steroid Use
Anabolic steroids are illegal, unregulated and come with a lot of health risks (both in the short term as you are using them and in the long term future). Many of these effects are irreversible no matter how many years you spend off the “gear”.
- Gynecomastia (“gyno”) – where male steroid users develop breast tissue or lumps
- Shrunken junk – guys using gear often suffer from shrunken testicles
- Prostate problems – enlarged prostate can be a side effect of steroid use
- For women, changes to genitalia include an enlarged clitoris
- Women users can develop deeper voices (we’re talking so deep that it’s a shocking change)
- Women users can also develop physical changes to the shape of the jaw, plus facial hair
- Baldness or thinning hair and hair loss for both sexes
- Women should expect interrupted periods which can have serious health implications
- Both sexes can be affected by severe acne on the face and body
- Tumours and other changes (especially to the liver) are common health risks
- Increased LDL and decreased HDL cholesterol
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) and other heart and circulatory issues
- Increased risk of tendonitis and associated injuries (especially in conjunction with lifting heavy)
- Plus the risk of infections linked to the administration of injectable drugs
- Steroid use can also lead to a number of mental issues including aggression, rage, depression, paranoia, poor judgement and even violent outbursts
6 Benefits Of SARMs
You can expect a range of positive effects from the sensible, proper use of SARMs, including benefits to muscle mass, body fat and body composition and training performance.
- Can help build more lean muscle mass
- Can help improve strength levels (so you can lift more)
- Can boost the healing and recovery process
- May improve training endurance to boost the duration and frequency of sessions
- Has positive benefits for bone health and bone density
- Can help you lose fat without also losing muscle mass
SARMs can give you the anabolic (growth) benefits of steroids but without needing to use an illegal drug which can harm your health. Sounds like a no-brainer! Another great reason to use SARMs (rather than anabolic steroids) is that you can buy them from above-the-board, approved distributors so you know exactly what you are taking, how to dose them and how to use them.
Lower Risks With SARMs
- SARMs are non-toxic, so won’t harm your liver
- You can always opt for oral SARMs so no need for injections.
- SARMs have no effects on your libido (and don’t affect the size of your genitalia!)
- SARMs work via androgen receptors, so have a balanced impact on all muscle groups
- Combine SARMs with a PCT (post cycle therapy) or test booster to offset any suppression. See our Guide to PCT for more information.
SARMs Side Effects
SARMs are generally considered to have fewer side effects than steroids, but they can still cause issues such as:
- Decreased testosterone levels
- Hair loss (mainly potent SARMs such as RAD-140, S-23 and YK-11)
However, the risk of long-term damage to organs like the liver and kidneys is lower than if comparing SARMs vs steroids.
SARMs Vs Steroids Legal Status
Steroids are classified as Schedule III controlled substances by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), meaning they are illegal to possess or distribute without a prescription. In many countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada, steroids are also illegal without a prescription.
SARMs are not yet approved by the FDA for human use, but they are not currently classified as controlled substances in most countries. However, some SARMs are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and other sporting organisations because of their performance-enhancing effects.
SARMs Vs Steroids: The Final Word
SARMs and steroids are both compounds that can enhance muscle growth and improve athletic performance, but they work in different ways and have different risks and benefits. SARMs are generally considered to be safer and have fewer side effects than steroids, but they may be less potent in terms of muscle building and performance-enhancing effects. It is important to weigh the risks and benefits carefully before using either of these substances.
We are always honest with you, so we need to say that SARMs have been reported to give some side-effects (like vision issues with Andarine) – but this is only ever reported when SARMs are misused. So if you take the recommended dose, follow the instructions and buy from a reputable source then you should have no problem at all. (That’s kind of common sense, right?)