The drive to obtain the perfect body can tempt you into taking shortcuts without thinking of possible side effects of steroids. People lose sight of the harm they’re causing themselves by clinging to the idea of being in control.
The side effects of steroids can cause lasting damage that leaves you incapacitated and at risk for an early death. It’s possible to gain a healthy form without resorting to dangerous supplements.
That said, many other remedies exist that can give your body what’s needed to help you get positive results from your workouts.
Side Effects of Steroids and What You Can Do to Avoid
In This Article:
- What Are Anabolic Steroids?
- How Are They Used?
- What Damage Do Steroids Cause The Body?
- What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Using Steroids?
- How Can You Make Natural Gains Without Steroids?
What Are Anabolic Steroids?
Synthetic anabolic steroids imitate characteristics of the male sex hormone testosterone. Doctors have occasionally resorted to them to treat men with issues related to low testosterone.
It also increases the stamina to help build muscles. That’s why steroids look tempting for athletes. As a result, steroids are often referenced when athletes get permanently banned from a sport after getting caught with illegal substances.
You take the steroids by injecting or taking them in orally. Then, your body breaks them down and passes them into your cells.
They later bind to structures called androgen receptors, designed to work with the body’s natural testosterone. The anabolic steroids fool these receptors into thinking it’s testosterone, causing them to activate and increase the protein levels in your body.
This process rapidly creates new cells in your body, leading to an increase in muscle mass. It also speeds up muscle recovery after a workout, allowing you to work out for longer periods of time.
How Are They Used?
Anabolic steroids administered by a doctor can help cancer patients recover and treat people lacking certain hormones. Other valid medical uses for anabolic steroids include:
- Treating anemia
- Helping breast cancer patients
- Alleviating endometriosis
- Aiding AIDS patients in gaining weight
Carefully monitored doses can minimize any potential harm. But using these drugs without a doctor’s direction puts you at risk for lasting physical damage.
Since it’s hard to get access to these drugs without a physician’s approval, many get them from unverified sources through illegal means. You could buy versions of these drugs as supplements from health food stores up until 2004 when they were permanently banned.
However, people still obtain illegal versions of anabolic steroids at places like their local gym or hunt them down through other sources like backroom laboratories or unethical pharmacies.
What Damage Do Steroids Cause The Body?
Abuse of anabolic steroids causes side effects to appear within a very short amount of time. Some early signs of anabolic steroid abuse might include:
- Your skin becomes oily and acne-ridden
- Losing your hair
- Showing increasing signs of aggression with little provocation
- Increasing blood pressure
What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Using Steroids?
More serious adverse effects from long-term use include:
- Development of heart issues
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Damage to your kidney and liver
- Shrinking of your testicles and related infertility
Many side effects of steroids can be reversed once you stop taking the drugs. But that gets harder the longer you go on using them without proper supervision.
In effect, you can get physically and psychologically dependent on the steroids. This leads to risky behavior trying to continue obtaining more of the drug.
More than the side effects of steroids on your health, it also drains your financial resources. It’s not recommended for heavy users to try and stop using on their own. This could lead to a worsening of mood swings and even put you in a suicidal state.
You can receive help withdrawing from the steroids by placing yourself under a doctor’s care. They can recommend treatments designed to safely get the drugs out of your system.
How Can You Make Natural Gains Without Steroids?
We’ve highlighted what happens when you try to make unnaturally quick gains using anabolic steroids. These alternatives we’ve highlighted won’t get you a six-pack in two weeks.
What they will do is allow you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and physique in a way that doesn’t slowly break down your overall biology.
1. Maintain a Nutritious Diet
Yes, we’re starting here, because people tend to find every way they can to get around this. But the single best thing you can do for yourself and your body is making sure you’re giving it healthy, nutritious food at regular intervals.
This isn’t intended to plug a specific diet or health regime. We recommend you get help from a certified dietician. They can help you come up with meal plans and snacks designed to help you meet your stated goals.
2. Find a Clean Form of Creatine
Creatine, an amino acid, forms naturally in the body and helps it regulate certain functions. Many bodybuilders take it in food form to increase their stamina.
It also helps build muscle mass by creating more muscle cells and making them larger. It’s important to take creatine the right way to start seeing real gains.
Improper or overuse can lead to side effects like stomach pains and issues with bowel movements. Talk to a fitness professional if you have questions about the proper dose for your current weight and height.
They’ll help you find a product that’s been verified as free of anything harmful.
3. Use Protein Powders
Some people find it difficult to get enough protein from their normal diet to help them build the muscle mass they desire. Protein powders can fill that gap and help your body produce more of the enzymes and other substances needed to help your muscles recover properly.
4. Try L-carnitine
L-carnitine is another form of amino acid that improves your endurance during intense workouts. You can find versions in most health food or drug stores.
It keeps blood sugar low and aids in burning fat. This also helps make the definition from muscle gains more obvious.
Other benefits of L-carnitine include improving blood flow and making you feel less sore after workouts. As with anything you take in your body, make sure you’re taking the recommended dosage and consult someone professionally qualified to answer your questions.
Creatine is a great alternative to help you build muscles. With it, you won’t have to worry about any side effects of steroids. Watch the video below to find out more about this amino acid:
These alternatives should help you see more benefits from your workout without worrying about the adverse effects of anabolic steroids. Don’t be tempted into gains by using harmful shortcuts.
Are you trying to build muscles? Share your tips on how to naturally increase muscle mass without using steroids in the comments section below!