Steroids are the most infamous supplements in the bodybuilding arena that especially attract teenagers. They promise glorified muscles, macho body and bulky posture in no time. But is taking steroids good for bodybuilding? Answers vary based on personal experiences, scientific research and promotional stunts. Many athletes claim that supplementing with steroids was helpful for them in bodybuilding, while there are some who are strongly oppose.
What are steroids?
By Kevin Iole’s definition steroids are “man-made derivatives of the male hormone, testosterone. They synthesize protein and help promote muscle growth”. There are two types of steroids available: growth hormones and anabolic steroids. The growth hormone steroids are available as oral formulations and are sold even without prescription. The anabolic steroids are mostly injectable supplements which are found to be most effective in muscle building.
All steroids work by stimulating the production of growth hormones in the body. Growth hormones are needed to improve muscle production. This comes, however at the cost of many complications and side effects.
The Effects and Side Effects
It is reported that for bodybuilders there is no valid beneficial impact of using steroids. But according to the manufacturers of steroids, they can help with muscle build up, improve athletic performance, enhance endurance and sexual health.
On the other hand, side effects of using steroids are very common and proven. Some of the severe side effects include: headaches, cystic acne, severe abdominal and leg cramping, premature hair loss, sudden and significant increase in body weight, and many more. There are some cardiovascular risks which include cholesterol modifications, heart disease, anaphylactic shock, hypertension or high blood pressure, septic shock, or even premature death. Then there are reproductive system anomalies like genital atrophy, sexual dysfunction, sterility, genital swelling, prostate enlargement, menstrual irregularities and impotence. Besides the physical there can be psychological impacts which these supplements can bring, like depression, aggressive and hostile behaviour.
Personal experience of a steroid user reflects some dangers of using steroids. He admits, “I was destroyed mentally and physically. I also believe steroids are addictive. It’s like being an alcoholic. It’s a habit you have the rest of your life. Steroids are as addictive, if not more, as any recreational drug out there.”
The benefits may be tempting but the side effects clearly outweigh the few benefits. If possible, bodybuilders should try to avoid use of steroids. The best way to bodybuilding is natural and unadulterated bodybuilding.