What are Steroids and How Do They Work?
These days, whenever people see a bodybuilder or anybody carrying a significant amount of muscle around on their frames, they instantly think of steroids. It’s easy to sit on your butt and judge people that use anabolic steroids, but what’s frustrating is the fact that most people are clueless as to what steroids actually are. People are quick to talk about the dangers of steroids, yet if you asked them to name just one anabolic androgenic steroid, they’d almost certainly stare blankly back at you and wouldn’t have a clue what you were talking about. Steroids can indeed provide significant increases in muscle mass, strength, and size, and they can also greatly improve your athletic abilities, your rates of recovery, and reduce the amount of fat you carry on your frame. But what exactly are steroids, how do they work, and what are some common risks associated with taking them? That’s what we’re going to be looking at in today’s article.
Legal disclaimer – Before we make a start, we do not condone the use of steroids, nor do we recommend them. Steroids are illegal, they’re dangerous, and they can potentially be fatal. The aim of our article today is to inform readers about what steroids are and how they work.
So, what the heck are steroids?
Steroids, or Androgenic Anabolic Steroids (AAS) as they are also known, are synonymous with the world of bodybuilding. In fact, they are prevalent in many other sporting disciplines too, with baseball and cycling both being prime examples, also it can be used with any kind with SARMs such as LGD-4033. But what the heck are steroids? Well, steroids are basically synthetic variations of a hormone which occurs naturally in the human body – testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for male sexual characteristics. It is a highly androgenic hormone with anabolic properties that plays an essential role in the growth and development of muscle tissue. The more testosterone you have in your body, the more muscle you will likely build. Steroids are created in a lab and are all derived from testosterone. They can be injected, or they can be consumed orally in tablet form. The interesting thing about steroids is that no two forms of steroid are exactly alike. Each steroid is created to serve a different purpose in the body. Some steroids will slightly speed up rates of recovery and fat loss, whereas others will help you to pack insane amounts of muscle onto your frame in a matter of weeks. There are steroids to make you lean, steroids to make you strong, steroids to boost your endurance, and much more besides.
How do steroids work?
So, now that we’ve established what steroids are, we now need to look at how steroids work. Remember, no two steroids are exactly alike and each one will therefore behave slightly differently to the last. Each steroid currently in existence however, does share a very similar structure with its counterpart. There is a heck of a lot of science involved in describing how steroids work, so stick with us, and we’ll do our best to cover it as best we can. Basically, once you take steroids, either orally or in injectable form, your body will take the drug and break it down into molecules which are then able to make their way into your cells. It’s here where steroids really get to work. Once they’ve penetrated your cells, the steroids bind to structures in your cells which are known as androgen receptors. Androgen receptors are designed to work in synergy with testosterone. Steroids are basically synthetic versions of testosterone so they bind to these receptors incredibly well. Once the binding has taken place, the androgen receptor is then activated. Once activation takes place, the behaviour of specific genes in your body may be altered. Typically, when the androgen receptors have been activated they will then allow cells in your muscles to produce an increased rate of proteins via protein synthesis. Proteins are utilized by the body to create more cells. This means that you are now able to synthesize more cells, including more muscle cells. When this occurs, your body is in an anabolic state. When anabolism occurs, your body is generating more muscle tissues, which is why steroids are often known as anabolic steroids. During anabolism, this increased rate of muscle tissue growth results in your muscles becoming bigger, stronger, and more durable. In basic terms, it results in you becoming big and jacked.
Not only do steroids help to speed up muscle growth, they also help to reduce rates of recovery after a tough workout. They do this by inhibiting glucocorticoids which are hormones which play a key role in muscle catabolism (wastage) by inhibiting these hormones, your muscles can recover quicker, and you can therefore be at your best much quicker before you hit the gym the next time you train.
Common side effects of steroids
Steroids, if misused, can potentially be fatal. Many people have lost their lives in the past as a result of steroid use/abuse, and we certainly don’t want you to be the next. This is why we’re going to list some of the most common side effects associated with steroid use and abuse. These include the following:
- Oily skin
- Mood swings
- Accelerated hair loss
- Hair growth
- Liver toxicity
- High blood pressure
- Elevated LDL cholesterol