What Are Anabolic Steroids?

As much as you may have already heard about, there are a lot of people who continue on talking about the use of anabolic steroids, and that’s especially among athletes and sportsmen competing in various different sports fields. That may sound strange taking in consideration that there’s nobody who actually comes out and says that he’s using steroids and plus to that, almost all professional sports are having anti doping tests.

So, regardless if we’re talking about fitness models or enthusiasts who won’t ever be tested or professional sportsmen like bodybuilders or fighters or any other who are tested – you won’t find anyone saying that he’s using steroids. Yet, you still  find a lot of people talking about anabolic steroids and their use for physique and performance enhancement.

That’s all because the use of steroids is a taboo topic due to multiple reasons and while there’s almost nobody admitting to use steroids, a lot of them do use the anabolic steroids. That’s why there are a lot of people who keep on talking about using anabolic steroids.

The problem is that there’s not too many people who actually know what anabolic steroids do, how exactly they would work on our body and why actually do people use them, despite the fact that so many people constantly talk about steroids. We would try our best to make a short summary about what are anabolic steroids and try to answer this question in the best and easiest way.

First off is important to mention here that the use of anabolic steroids is not done only in fitness and bodybuilding world. Anabolic steroids were created a lot of years ago and they were firstly designed for the use of various health conditions for helping patients to get treated. Although not all steroids are still used in medical settings, a lot of them are still being prescribed to patients suffering from various disorders and various diseases. Patients are being prescribed those anabolic steroids by doctors for a certain health condition.

Anabolic steroids are very commonly used among bodybuilders and anyone else searching for physique and performance enhancement purposes but they are very widely used for various health conditions, and few people know about this.

  • Is important to understand one thing – steroids are actually naturally occurring in the body. Many people may get shocked by reading such information about steroids but that’s pure truth. Anabolic steroids are a synthetic version of hormones and mainly of testosterone. Testosterone and any other hormone is naturally being produced by our bodies but in a certain limited amount.
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Anabolic steroids are the synthetic version (laboratory made) of those hormones and as soon as they enter your system, they simply increase the total amount of those hormones and mainly – testosterone. Since this hormone is essential and is the main and most important hormone for growing muscle mass, losing body fat and boosting performance, no wonder that increasing its number would help with all these needs. Since anabolic steroids are widely known to increase testosterone levels – they get a lot of help for their fitness requirements.

In the end, anabolic steroids increase the levels of hormones in the body and this is leading to a number of positive processes, some of which are inhibited, others are getting enhanced, but all of this leads to pretty much same outcome – users are gaining strength, muscle mass and weight, power as well as endurance and aggressiveness.

  • Among steroids you may find corticosteroids and anabolic steroids so do not confuse the 2. Steroids are a type of drugs that are all having a similar structure and they are binding to the hormone receptors in the body. However, the main difference is that corticosteroids (used only in medicine) are binding to the glucocorticoid receptors in the time that anabolic steroids are binding to the androgen receptors – and that’s making the big differences in how they are affecting the body.

How Do Steroids Work?

The male hormones and especially when talking about testosterone, they are having a very important role in the changes that our bodies are going through, in developing and growing our bodies. The huge hormonal change that is usually occurring in adolescence years while going through puberty is the explanation why teenagers may change, physically, so much in such a short period of time.

  • Those are the hormones that are being known to offer anabolic as well as androgenic effects and those changes which are occurring in both primary as well as secondary sexual characteristics are being known to be androgenic effects. Again, that’s why teenagers are changing so much. A good example of those characteristics can include: voice changes (usually getting deeper), enlargement of penis and testicles which are leading to more libido, increased aggressiveness and changes in behavior, moody feeling, hair growth on intimate areas as well as on various other parts on the body like face, axilla etc.
  • In the same time, there are anabolic effects too. Some of the best anabolic effects examples include: improved neural condition, increased performance, agility, endurance and speed as well as accelerated growth of muscles, bone density, red blood cells and others.
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There are also anabolic types of drugs that are being manufactured in order to improve the tissue building of the androgens and also to lessen the androgenic or the sex linked properties. However, is important to mention here and to know that there are no steroids at all that has fully or completely removed androgenic effects, despite the fact that there are some of them which have very low androgenic effects.

That’s because the androgenic effects, in essence, are anabolic effects tissues which are being sex linked. That steroid which is having the most potent anabolic effect is also the one that is considered to have the most androgenic effects too. But there are some steroids made with high anabolic activity and scientists tried to reduce their androgenic activity.

Receptors

It was earlier mentioned that the anabolic steroids are synthetic hormones and they are working by binding to the receptor molecules and therefore there are stimulating those receptors which are mainly being found in muscle cells, as well as bone cells and many other parts of the body. As a result of this stimulation, this is going to active some certain genes which would allow to produce more proteins. As a result, those hormones are having an effect of the activating the rate of the enzyme systems which are very closely linked with the protein metabolism.

In short, this process is inhibiting the process of degradation of proteins and is working the other way around by greatly boosting the protein synthesis. Protein synthesis rate indicates how fast and how well a person is capable to gain muscle mass and size. No wonder that so many people are searching for so many ways on boosting their protein synthesis.

Anti Catabolic Effects

Except for the fact that giving your body a favorable anabolic environment for growing muscles, anti catabolic effects are exactly as important. Anabolic steroids, by the way they are working, are amazing at offering anti catabolic effects too. A lot of people using anabolic steroids claimed that they are recovering much faster and allows them to train much longer and much harder too.

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This is extremely beneficial for making progress and going further. Anti catabolic effects are ensuring that you won’t be losing muscle mass and make sure that you can go train harder and recover quicker. There’s often noticed a muscle catabolism effect during the really intense workouts and anabolic steroids help you to stay away from this effect.

Anabolic steroids are famous for other reasons as well. For example, it is inhibiting the effects of some hormones like for example cortisol. This is a type of hormone that has to do with the breakdown of the tissues during the time when the person is exercising and after that and the hormone is known to inhibit tissue breakdown after the intense workout. This would stunt your growth. As a bonus, it is fastening your recovery either.

This hormone cortisol is causing the breakdown of the protein and is being secreted during the time that you’re working out. As a result, it would improve the use of the proteins for fuel and it is going to be suppressing the inflammation too. Inflammations and injuries may occur during intense workouts and that’s often because there’s too little protein amounts. Without cortisol, your protein is put for better use.

Is important to mention that anabolic steroids are very helpful at stopping the binding of the cortisol to the receptor sites. That’s helpful because this way your muscles won’t get tired as fast – and that’s what allows you to keep on pushing further without so much pains and you’re also going to recover much faster after each training.

Due to all of this, cortisol has been nicknamed “the stress hormone” and by reducing this hormone, you’re reducing the risks of getting diabetes, you get less body fat and less risks of weight gain, you reduce muscle weakness and skin that is getting bruised easily etc.

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