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Top 20 Steroids Questions!

By: Bob Howard

Anabolic steroids are synthetic analogs of the male hormone testosterone. They promote muscle growth, increase lean body mass, and stimulate fat loss.

The decision to use steroids should not be taken lightly. While it’s true that the drugs will speed up the rate at which you gain muscle size and strength, these powerful drugs also have numerous unknown qualities about them. Out of the hundreds questions that websites and forums receive every day, they generally can be broken down into the following 20 topics. Hopefully the answers will help you decide not to use of illegal compounds.

What are anabolics?

Synthetic testosterone also know as roids, anabolics, juice, sauce, and gear, are synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone. They have both anabolic effects (increasing muscle size and strength) and androgenic effects (hair growth, deepening of the voice, sex organ development. Steroids were designed to maximize anabolic effects and minimize androgenic effects.

When was illegal testosterone invented?

The first synthetic versions of testosterone were created in the 1930’s, and the first derivatives of the hormone came on the scene with Dianabol in the late 1950’s. As it stands now there are hundreds of different types of steroids available

How is synthetic testosterone taken?

Synthetic testosterone can be taken orally as pills, injected directly into a muscle, or delivered across the skin by using a trans dermal patch (just like the nicotine anti-smoking patch).

What is stacking?

Bodybuilders usually don’t take just one steroid. Over the years they have found that combining or “stacking” two or more drugs at the same time magnifies the results. It seems one drug boosts the effectiveness of the other drugs by a process known as synergy. The one drawback to stacking is that the risk of side effects goes up.

What is cycling?

Cycling is probably the only relatively safe way to take anabolics. It involves alternating periods of use with non-use. The average cycle last 6 to 8 weeks followed by 2 to 3 weeks off. Bodybuilders and other athletes cycle to reduce the risk of side effects as well as pass drug tests in drug-tested contests.

Which are safer, oral or injectable?

In order for oral steroids to survive the digestive system and passage through the liver they must be chemically modified. This modification occurs at the 17-carbon position on the drugs and while it does enable more of the drug to survive, it also increases the risks of side effects especially in the liver. Injectable do not have this chemical modification and are considered safer.

How Many People Use Them?

In 1994, 1,084,000 Americans, or 0.5 percent of the adult population, said that they had tried anabolic hormones, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. In the 18 to 34 age group, about 1 percent had said they tried them. For ages 35 and older, that figure went down to 0.2 percent. More men than women report using the drugs: 0.9 percent of men and 0.2 percent of women admitted to using anabolic hormones.

Are anabolics legal?

Steroids can be grouped into two categories – illegal and legal. Legal steroid analogs are available in the United States but their is speculation on weather they are as powerful as their cousins. As far as author Bob Howard is concerned they are the only way to go. According to a US website: Steroid analogs (http://crisp.cit.nih.gov/Thesaurus/00007688.htm) steroid analogs can be defined as “synthetic or natural compounds, which resemble a naturally occurring steroids in structure and /or function”.

As for illegal synthetic testosterone, under US Federal law it is illegal to possess or distribute certain synthetics for non-medical uses. However, heavy demand has generated a black market with estimated sales of up to $400 million a year, according to the NIDA Research Report: A Threat to Body and Mind.

How Do People Get Steroids?

Most synthetic testosterone manufactured legally or illegally outside the United States are smuggled across the border or shipped by mail. Once in the country they are distributed throughout the black market. Many substances sold as synthetic testosterone is diluted, contaminated, or simply fake.

What Are The Health Hazards?

While the media and law enforcement officials have exaggerated the side effects, some users may experience, acne, fluid retention, aching joints, high blood pressure, lower HDL (the good form of cholesterol), jaundice, and liver enzyme abnormalities. People who inject steroids with shared needles run the risk of contracting or transmitting hepatitis or HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Will steroids cause the penis to grow?

This myth probably started because the drugs do cause water retention. This may give the appearance of a “slightly” enlarged penis but it’s not true enlargement. There is one area that is closely associated with the penis that may change in size and that’s the testes.

Do They Really Work?

Despite what anti-anabolic groups say most athletes, coaches, and trainers, report significant increases in muscle mass, strength, and power from their use. A placebo effect is one thing but millions of people have used steroids since the late 1950’s. If the drugs were not effective they wouldn’t be as popular as they are.

Are they banned in sports?

Most sports’ federations including the International Olympic committee (IOC) have added them to their list of banned substances and test for them during competition and at random during the off-season. Athletes, however, are usually one step ahead of testers and many still manage to beat drug tests.

Who Takes Them And Why?

The media would have us believe that they are a bodybuilding problem. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Virtually everyone from amateur and professional athletes to teenagers and models, use steroids to increase their strength and muscle size, as well as to decrease body fat percentages and improve their looks. And their use is not confined to males, as professional and amateur female athletes in such sports as track and field, swimming, and bodybuilding use them as well.

Can they stunt growth in teenagers?

Yes there is some evidence that synthetic testosterone can stunt growth in children and teenagers. These drugs can cause the growth areas of bones (called growth plates) to fuse or stop growing prematurely. This can leave teens at a shorter height than their individual genetics would have allowed for. Because of this and other reasons, teenagers should never use illegal steroids.

Do they cause “Roid Rage?”

There is little to no evidence to suggest synthetic testosterone can cause the outbursts of violence known as “roid rage”. This term was invented by a couple of defense attorneys to try and explain their client’s outburst of criminal activity while using anabolics. As it stands now, no credible evidence exists to suggest that users are any more violent than non-users.

What are “bitch tits?”

Bitch tits is a term given to the swelling that sometimes takes place in the nipple region of men. It’s caused when estrogen, one of the breakdown products of steroids, stimulates dormant estrogen receptors in the nipple area. In some cases the growth starts resembling female breasts and will need to be removed by surgery.

Are legal steroids looked for in drug tests?

Drug testing and counter measures by athletes is still a game of cat and mouse. While drug tests have become more sophisticated, athletes can still beat the tests. Some of the older steroids like Decadurabolin can be traced as far back as 18 months from the last usage. Some of the newer “designer anabolics” can be used within a week or two of a drug test. And most of the new legal steroids are not tested for.

Should females use?

As synthetic derivatives of the male hormone testosterone, females should not use them as they may cause such masculinizing effects as a deepening of the voice, increased body hair, excessive acne, and sex organ enlargement. Are there supplements that can be used in place of steroids?

There are numerous legal testosterone derivatives that can be used in place to boost muscle size and strength. Such popular products as creatine, whey protein, and some prohormones are relatively safe and legal. And depending on the individual’s genetics, they may produce strength and size gains comparable to a cycle of steroids.

Given the availability of safe and legal compounds, individuals would be wise not to use harmful steroids. Your health and freedom comes first.

Don’t be another victim!

About the Author:
02/01/2006 Article © Bob Howard expert on bodybuilding. Are looking for more of his bodybuilding workouts articles? Visit http://www.bodybuilding-news.net/bodybuilding-workouts.html

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