There are many people who are taking up bodybuilding as a career and would like to make thr best out of it. Some of them have nature’s gift of a good muscular body and all they have to do is work hard in a gym and participate in competitions. There are a few who just got the body but not the muscle and still, they too would like to make a career out of it. Steroids are there for their help in various capacities. Hollywood stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, John Cena, and Hulk Hogan are few names who are rumored to have used steroids in some ways but proving it may be difficult.
What are Steroids?
Before delving into the use of steroid, it would make good sense to understand them better so that one can make informed choices. Steroids are synthetic chemicals which can mimic hormones generated by the body. The hormones secreted by the human body are called endogenous hormones and the synthetic ones are called exogenous. Hormones are peptide chains and are basically signaling molecules for a specific function. There are many types of hormones produced in the body but largely they are classified into 2 categories, sex steroids and corticosteroids. Most of the hormones have specific functions like controlling metabolism, sexual desire, brain function, cholesterol, fertility, etc. Example of endogenous hormone is Testosterone Enanthate which act like the testosterone hormone secreted in the body but with a long half-life.
Steroids for Bodybuilding
Bodybuilders require steroids for a few functions like increasing muscle mass, reducing fat or weight and increasing strength or stamina. The steroids that help in muscle building are generally called Anabolic Androgenic Steroids. A list of them includes Testosterone, Oxandrolone, Nandrolone, Trenbolone, etc. In addition to enhancing the muscle growth, they are able to provide additional strength and stamina. They also affect the sexual characteristics to a certain extent. Steroids that help in fat or weight reduction include Clenbuterol, Anavar, Dianabol. There are other steroids which offer pain reduction via reducing inflammation out of heavy workouts like Dexamethasone.
Safe Use of Steroids
Steroids were invented for use in medical treatments like pain relief, hypogonadism, growth issues, Turner syndrome, AIDS/HIV, recovery from cancer, general trauma and surgery, angioedema, infertility, etc. But due to their multifaceted role, they found use in bodybuilding and sports for performance enhancement. But one should be cautioned that the use of steroids in competitive sports is not legal and could lead to a ban. Steroids should be used under strict supervision lest they start to give side effects. Even though steroids act like the testosterone hormone, in large doses they could turn counterproductive. Common symptoms include headache, irritation, mood changes, aggression, nausea and vomiting, change in skin color, hair growth or loss, etc. Since most of the bodybuilding steroids are male hormones, women using them acquire male characteristics like acne and hair loss. In the case of high doses, they run the risk of virility and masculinization. Men using steroids run the risk of infertility, testicular atrophy, enlarged breasts due to aromatization and infertility. They should be used in cycles where a period of rest from the drugs is a must.