Not to be too judgmental, but seeing some one with well-formed and bulky muscles, brings two things to our mind.
One, that person surely works out regularly and secondly, that person must be taking steroids. It may or may not be true!
Steroids have had a bad rep, especially if notable sports personalities are found guilty of taking them.
But what are steroids, how do they work and what role do they play in building muscles?
These are questions that need to be answered and we are here to do exactly that!
So read on and get enlightened!
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What are Steroids?
Steroids are basically synthetic testosterone, which is a male hormone.
Steroids help in protein synthesis and also promote muscle development.
Most commonly, anabolic steroids are used.
These anabolic steroids promote muscle growth, as well endogenous production of steroids in the body.
Anabolic steroids come in the form of either a pill or an intramuscular injection.
Oral pills are water-soluble pills and take around 3-4 weeks to clear the body.
The oil-based intramuscular injections take 6-8 months to clear the body.
How Do They Work?
Since we already know that anabolic steroids are synthetic testosterone analog, so it must be kept in mind that it has two different kinds of effects on the body.
- It has androgenic effects on the body, which include growth of body and facial hair, deepening of voice and development of male genitalia.
- Anabolic effects include increased muscle and bone mass.
So, how do the steroids actually work?
Steroids work at a cellular level and help the muscle cells to produce more proteins, which in turn leads to an increase in muscle mass.
However, keep in mind that these effects are visible as long as the person is working out on a regular basis.
Another effect of these anabolic steroids is that they also enhance production of ATP, which is the fuel for our body.
Crazy Bulk works at the cellular level to not only increase your muscle mass, but to also increase ATP levels for an intense workout!
Steroids and Muscle Building
The principle of muscle building is simple. When you lift weights, and especially heavy weights, you create micro-tears in your muscle fibers.
In order to repair these tears, the body over-compensates and adds bigger cells to create a stronger muscle fiber.
This process is called muscle hypertrophy and this is what builds muscles. Naturally, it is the testosterone produced in the body that helps in this process.
But synthetic testosterone/ anabolic steroids can be used to enhance these effects and cause a muscle growth spurt!
Crazy Bulk is a synthetic anabolic steroid that not only builds muscles, but also increases muscle strength.
Legal Uses of Steroids
Though anabolic steroids have always been tainted especially if they have been used illegally, however, there are certain situations where they have been deemed legal for use!
- They have been legally prescribed for patients who naturally produce lower levels of testosterone in their body.
- They are prescribed in some muscle-wasting diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis.
- Some anabolic steroids are legal for use by athletes to enhance the body’s natural muscle-building process.
- Intense exercise leads to sore muscles in athletes, an action produced by cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that breaks down the muscle tissue. It is here that anabolic steroids step up!
They block the action of cortisol and reduce the recovery time.
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Steroids are Not Growth Hormone
Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland in our body. It is produced in large amounts in children and in adults, it is secreted in smaller amounts.
As the name indicates, it is responsible for growth of all the tissues, including muscles and bones, in our body. Do not confuse its actions with that of anabolic steroids!
There is no evidence that taking synthetic growth hormone can enhance performance or increase muscle mass in adults.
Positive Effects of Steroids
Steroids may have gotten the bad rep, but they have positive effects as well.
Let us take a look at few of these positive effects.
- Steroids are known to reduce the recovery time. As mentioned earlier, steroids block the actions of cortisol, leading to reduced breakdown of muscle fibers. This also increases exercise stamina of an athlete.
- Steroids are known to increase the nitrogen content of the body. Increased nitrogen content means an increase in protein production. Even without exercise, muscles will start to develop however, to get dramatic results, an exercise regime should be followed.
- Although no substantial reasons have been found as yet, but steroids are known to reduce body fat, as well.
- Steroids are known to accelerate production of red blood cells in our bodies.
- Steroids are well-documented to increase athletic performance.
Steroids May Be Tricky to Use, if you Are an Athlete, but Remember That Moderation is The Key to Building the Muscles You Want!