What is a steroid?
The steroid is described as a fat ring with united carbon atoms. Steroids vary depending on the functional groups of the ring. Unique steroids were found in plants and animals. They play an important role in living systems as hormones. The term "steroid" is used in a restricted and specific context in different areas. In medicine, the term steroid is used by non-endocrinologists physicians as a corticosteroid. In terms of bodybuilding, the meaning steroid refers to anabolic steroids.
Most steroids are synthesized from cholesterol, as well as sex hormones are steroids synthesized from cholesterol. In terms of bodybuilding, anabolic steroids are synthetic hormones that cause body tissue to increase muscular products. Athletes use steroids to train easier, to have more power, run faster, lift heavier weights, recover faster, and have a perfect shape.
How do we use steroids?
Steroids exist in injectable and oral versions, but they may be available as a spray, ointment, and other applications under the skin. Bodybuilders typically use more than one substance, they can use one oral and one injectable steroid, to achieve better results. When using more than one substance, can be used not only steroids, they can be combined with other substances such as growth hormones, testosterone, insulin, clenbuterol, HCG, etc.
The most commonly used method is to combine in cycles from 2 to 16 weeks different substances, depending on the user's purpose. In the beginning, use small amounts and then gradually increase up to a maximum level and then minimize the dose to increase the effect and avoid side effects at the end of the cycle. There are other methods such as starting with a steroid and taking it in the same amount for a while, then continuing with another steroid combined with other substances. The doses one can use depend on the utilized substances and wanted results.
Injectable steroids last longer and are injected from 2-3 days to 7-10 days in doses of 250-1000 mg per week. Oral steroids should be administered daily and sometimes several times a day in doses from 5 to 100 mg depending on the type of substance and desired result.
For your safety and health, before and after using steroids, it is indicated to make some simple medical analysis to get sure that your body is sane. It is recommended to check up:
- cardiovascular system - need to control cholesterol levels, blood pressure, lipoproteins, and triglycerides, which are important factors of influence.
- liver functioning - liver is responsible for processing steroids, so it is important to inspect its functioning, considering bilirubin, transaminase, etc.
- blood tests - provide general information about your body, it is necessary to check hemoglobin, electrolytes, globulin, albumin, etc.
- endocrine system - will offer information about the hormonal system's proper activity: estrogen, cortisone, testosterone, etc.
Steroids' use may bring not only unwanted side effects but can also have certain contraindications in the administration to some categories of persons. Using steroids should be started only after reading the documents that accompany them.
Before, androgens and anabolic steroids were considered to be different substances, which might get new types of steroids that would have a better effect on muscle mass. As time has shown, those are similar substances that just act differently. All of the steroids that affect muscle growth have at the same time an androgen action. It is good to know that androgenic steroids' action is lower than testosterone, while androgenic steroids have higher androgen effects.
Protein production is the main action of steroids on muscle cells. As steroids have a catabolic action, they decrease the number of proteins that are destroyed in muscle tissue. Another important effect is to accelerate the process of forming creatine-phosphate, by providing energy to the muscle cells and making them stronger. The reversible process needs creatine - phosphate because it increases the amount of energy.
Oxandrolone is a substance that influences creatine-phosphate formation in large quantities, increasing muscle strength. Another significant thing for athletes is that steroids assist muscle cells to form glycogen, which is accumulated in muscles with fluid and helps increase resistance. Muscle cells process steroids, to obtain nutritive assimilated substances such as glycogen and proteins in amino acids, formed with minimal insulin. This helps to minimize fat and increase muscle mass because the anabolic hormone insulin transforms the glucose into glycerin, then into triglyceride, and finally to lipid accumulation.
Several steroidal molecules are processed by the body with sex hormones and some of them are eliminated outside while another part can be transformed into a female hormone - estrogen. This process is called aromatization and it appears to be impossible after a thorough examination of male and female sex hormones is observed that they are similar. The body processes structural changes in the molecule using enzymes.
Thus, some steroidal molecules turn into dihydrotestosterone with similar, exogenous parts as testosterone. Since it is chemically similar to receptors in muscle cells compared with testosterone, experts say that dihydrotestosterone is more potent than male and female sex hormones.
Artificial androgen steroids end up in the blood and have a high capacity to bind with suitable receptors because they are kept in a free form for a long. Products such as Nandrolone Decanoate, Dianabol, Testosterone Enanthate, Sustanon, and Parabolan are more active in looking receptors because they have a higher number of free molecules. Moreover, much depends on the particular organism.
Some athletes have a large number of receptors, they will have a visible result even if they will take steroids in small doses, unlike those who have a small number of receptors in muscle cells and will obtain the desired result only by taking strong artificial androgen steroids.