These days, anyone who has dabbed into performance-enhancing drugs are often criticized or put down. A majority of people consider them as “cheaters.” One of the most known variants that are considered to be harmful ---- steroids ----- come to mind.
For more than a decade now, there’s a surge in an entirely different category of performance-enhancing drugs. These compounds are widely known as SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators). Despite its limited research, SARMs appear to have a promising future in the fitness world.
These supplements are capable of building muscle and burning fats in the same level as steroids. But what makes them unique is that they don’t shrink one’s testicles, destroys the liver, or promote hair growth in different areas of the body. They act directly on one’s hormones in a selective manner. They have a high potential to build muscle and melt fat at a rapid rate.
Rat Studies and Experiments
With that in mind, a majority of SARMs today have been experimented in rodents. So far, there hasn’t been any long-term human clinical trials carried out that determine their safety. There may be other side effects that many don’t know about and manipulating a person’s hormones may pose certain risks. Although at the very least, SARMs are interesting chemicals that have value in any fitness and medical-related discussion.
SARMs have fallen firmly in an era where “experimental” biohacking is widespread. For every experiment there’s a chance of a negative effect or a beneficial one.
Steroid Use and Downsides
Making use of steroids in boosting one’s hormones is comparable to tweaking an essential component in a full-functioning machinery. Steroids aids in the building of muscles by increasing testosterone levels, which in turn, increases the synthesis of proteins within the cells. Hence, more fats are burned and more muscles are made. These are what many would label as the “anabolic” aspect of steroids. This can be a great thing.
It should be noted that steroids also have a tendency to interact with the liver, heart, prostate, and sex organs (one of them would lead to shrinking testicles (for men) and enlarged clitoris (in women)). A male’s secondary characteristics are more pronounced which includes: a deeper voice, excess body hair, acne breakouts, and man “boobs.” Such adverse effects are the “androgenic” characteristics of steroids.
The problem in steroids is that their androgenic-anabolic ratio is split even at 1:1. This means they’ll produce adverse effects around the same time muscle is being built. This can be manageable, of course, if one is on a strict bio-identical testosterone which can help preserve hormone levels. Even that would require supervision by a doctor to make it happen.
Effectiveness of SARMs
Efficacy is where the SARMs are particularly good at. They have a more selective approach compared to steroids and boasts an anabolic-androgenic ratio of 3:1. It can even scale as much as 90:1. That would mean fostering muscle growth and fat loss without worrying about any adverse effects. The best part about these compounds is that they can be taken by mouth. So, there’s never a need for painful injections.
SARMs are deemed legal as long as one purchases them for research reasons. Many will find SARM products to have disclaimers that would entail using them for research purposes or how they are “unfit for human consumption.” The reason why they do this is to protect themselves from the law in case they change in the future.