No book on modern bodybuilding can be considered complete without discussion of the problem of anabolic steroids. Steroids have been used in many sports, so bodybuilding is no exception. However, no matter how widespread the use of these drugs, they continue to be the subject of serious controversy.
How dangerous are steroids? To what extent do they increase the strength and volume of muscles, their efficiency and effectiveness in training? We still do not have exact answers to these questions. Apparently, much more effort is expended on attempts to ban stimulants than to search for answers. One thing we know: they seem to help some people in certain cases, and most bodybuilders are convinced that steroids are needed to rise to international heights.
What are steroids?
In sports nutrition, many types and types of steroids are used.
Types of Steroids
Medications, commonly called steroids, can be classified as anabolic (anabolic-androgenic) steroids or corticosteroids. Corticosteroids, such as cortisone or prednisone, are drugs that doctors often prescribe to help control inflammation in the body. Corticosteroids are not the same as anabolic steroids, which are often associated with illegal use in sports.
Anabolic steroids (anabolic-androgenic steroids) are synthetic versions of male hormone testosterone.
They are a class of drugs that are legally available only on prescription and prescribed for the treatment of various conditions that cause loss of muscle mass.
Non-medicinal use of anabolic steroids is illegal and banned by most major sports organizations. In January 2005, the Anabolic Steroids Control Act amended the controlled substances to which anabolic steroids and prohormones (a precursor of the hormone) were added. This list of controlled substances was transferred to the commission and raised to the status of a federal crime. However, some athletes continue to use them illegally, despite the evidence that using them in this way can cause many serious health problems.
How does anabolic steroids work?
Anabolic steroids are testosterone derivatives that help the body metabolize swallowed proteins and facilitate the synthesis of skeletal muscles. They also reduce fatigue and can create a sense of euphoria.
Frequently used steroids
Androstenedione (Andro) is a designer steroid, often referred to in connection with athletes, although there is no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness in improving athletic performance. Andro is an addition made from a natural steroid hormone. In 2004, the US Food and Drug Administration banned Andro’s sale due to an increase in evidence indicating serious health risks for those who use this substance.
This forbidden steroid has been associated with several Major League Baseball players, including Alex Rodriguez. It can be administered or taken in the form of tablets. Primobolan was a popular steroid among athletes, because it increased its strength without muscle mass and without many negative side effects of other steroids.
Tetrahydrogestrenone (THG) is another designer steroid that has a similar chemical structure with other banned steroids. Apparently, THG was specially manufactured, so it will not be detected in doping tests during the examination. The FDA banned the sale of THG in 2003, stating that this is not an addition, but not an approved drug that makes any sale or use it illegal.
Clenbuterol (Clen) is a selective beta-2 antagonist / antagonist and bronchodilator, sometimes prescribed for obstructive pulmonary disease. As anabolic steroids, it can increase muscle mass, but also has potentially serious side effects.
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a natural steroid prohormone that is produced by the adrenal glands. Then the body turns DHEA into male and female sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone). DHEA supplements have been sold for some time as anti-aging additives, but studies on this are currently limited.
DHEA supplements were withdrawn from the US market in 1985 and were available only on prescription. DHEA was then reintroduced as a dietary supplement in 1994 following the adoption of the Healthy Nutrition and Education Act. DHEA is still considered a banned substance by many sports organizations, and athletes are cautioned against its use.
What are other prohibited anabolic steroids?
Anabolic steroids are prohibited by all major sports bodies, including the Olympic Games, the NBA, the NHL and the NFL. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) maintains an extensive list of all banned substances that increase effectiveness. Some of them include the following:
- Anadrol (oxymetholone) Anadrol (oxymetholone)
- Oxandrin (oxandrolone) Oxandrine (oxandrolone)
- Dianabol (methandrostenolone) Dianabol (methandrostenolone)
- Winstrol (stanozolol) Winstrol (stanozolol)
- Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate) Deca-durabolin (nandrolone decanoate)
- Durabolin (nandrolone phenpropionate) Durabolin (nandrolone fenpropionate)
- Depo-Testosterone (testosterone cypionate) Depot-testosterone (testosterone cypionate)
- Equipoise (boldenone undecylenate)
Why do athletes use steroids?
The widespread use of anabolic steroids among athletes has developed in the hope of improving performance.
Although drug testing is widespread, new designer drugs are manufactured specifically to avoid detection. Nevertheless, the technology is constantly evolving, blood and urine samples for years before are now being re-tested with a new science and identifying athletes who have used illegal substances in the past.
How do athletes take steroids?
Steroids are taken in the form of tablets or injections. The most common dosing is performed in cycles of weeks or months with a small break between them. This is called “cycling”. “Stacking” refers to the use of several different types of steroids at a time. “Pyramid” involves a slow increase in the number or frequency of steroids before reaching a peak, and then a gradual decrease in the amount and frequency of the drug.
Doses taken by persons abusing steroids are often 10-100 times higher than what would be prescribed from a medical point of view for legitimate use.
What is the health risk from steroid abuse?
There are many health risks from the use and abuse of anabolic steroids, including:
Effects of anabolic steroids in men
- Breast development
- Testicular narrowing
- Male Hair Loss
- Severe acne and cysts
The effect of anabolic abusing steroids in women
- A lower voice (similar to a male voice)
- Clitoris enlargement
- Excessive body hair growth
- Male Hair Loss
- Severe acne and cysts
Other effects of anabolic steroid disorder
- Delayed growth in adolescents
- Tendon rupture
- Elevated LDL cholesterol
- Decreased HDL cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart Attacks
- Increased left ventricle of the heart
- Fluid retention
- HIV AIDS
- “Wave of anger” – rage and aggression
Anabolic steroids and withdrawal syndrome
Athletes who use steroids may experience withdrawal symptoms when they leave the sport and stop taking the medications. Symptoms include mood swings, depression, fatigue and irritability, loss of appetite, insomnia and aggression. Depression can even lead to attempts at suicide if it is not treated.