What are SARMs?
Athletes, bodybuilders, and weekend fitness warriors – men and women alike – have started to take advantage of new “magic pills” that promise dramatic gains in muscle mass and strength, a powerful alternative to steroids.
Called Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs), these drugs are commonly marketed as a legal alternative to steroids – giving you all of the anabolic steroid benefits you’re after without any of the dangerous side effects and no need to deal with black market or back alley drug dealers.
Yes, it’s true that SARMs are 100% legal (as of right now) and it’s also true that SARMs can trigger a cascade of biochemical reactions throughout the body to produce steroid -like benefits, the short and long-term health impact of these kinds of drugs is not yet understood.
Health authorities the world over, and particularly in the United States where SARMs have taken off like wildfire, are more than a bit concerned about the potential side effects that these chemical cocktails could bring to the table.
These powerful drugs were originally created as an effective prescription medication and alternative to traditional anabolic steroids, designed to help individuals that were suffering from muscular degeneration issues, disease-related muscle loss, and good old-fashioned atrophy over time.
SARMs have proven time and time again to help regenerate and regrow muscle mass at an almost unbelievable pace, and they do not have the same kind of disastrous side effects that traditional steroids present almost immediately after beginning use of them.
If you’ve been thinking about taking advantage of SARMs, particularly for the muscle building and strength improving benefits they offer, you’ll want to know EXACTLY what you are getting into.
Check out the inside information we highlight below to better understand whether or not these chemical cocktails are right for you or if you should look somewhere else for performance-enhancing benefits.
Let’s dig right in.
- Helps grow bigger muscles
- Helps in improving strength
- Helps in healing process
- Improves endurance
- Helps in fighting Osteoporosis
- No negative side effects
The truth about SARMS
There’s a lot of hype regarding SARMs, and honestly, most of that hype is pretty well-founded.
As we have touched on a couple of times already, it’s not that SARMs aren’t effective and it’s not that SARMs haven’t conclusively proven to provide the muscle mass increases in strength improving results that they promise. SARMs very much are capable of producing these game-changing results and are capable of producing these results a lot faster than anyone would have thought possible before.
SARMs can give you the same kinds of benefits that anabolic steroids bring to the table without any of the side effects or shortcomings of those potentially dangerous and deadly chemical cocktails. You’re going to notice an immediate pump as soon as you begin using SARMs, but you’re also going to notice your body putting on pound after pound of lean muscle mass in a hurry – all while your strength and endurance levels shoot right through the roof.
That’s not hype. That’s the real deal benefits that these chemicals are capable of (when combined with proper diet and exercise), and no one is disputing that.
The dispute from the health and wellness side of things is that SARMs just haven’t been around long enough to really understand what they might be doing to the human body over the long haul.
Sure, they are going to give you an amazing litany of benefits right out of the gate – but until we have more data (which could take a decade or longer to really collect enough information) SARMs are still a little bit of an unknown quantity.
There’s a reason why most of the SARMs available on the market today still go by their chemical and test names as opposed to more “marketable” or brand names.
Some of the most popular SARM options on the market today include MK-2866, GTx-024, LGD-4033, LGD-3303, GSX-007, S-4, and GW-501516. Because these chemicals haven’t yet been approved by the FDA pharmaceutical production organizations haven’t taken the time to brand or market them just yet.
This again all tracks back to the shortage of data that numerous organizations have on the long-term impact that SARMs may or may not produce. All signs indicate that SARMs are a lot safer than anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, but until enough time passes and enough clinical trials are conducted we won’t really know what may lie beneath the surface.
What makes SARMs so special?
The number one factor that makes SARMs so special (aside from their ridiculously inexpensive price tag and easy availability compared to traditional performance-enhancing drugs) has to be the way that these chemical cocktails transform your body.
To understand how SARMs work you have to first understand the physiology of the hormones we all have in our bodies right now.
Think of hormones as little more than chemical messenger boys that run all over your body, communicating with different types of cells in your central nervous system in an effort to trigger different reactions automatically.
Hormones are sent out from the body containing critical instructions to your cells, and as soon as they reach they are “target” the hormone receptors execute the instructions that have been sent.
Androgens are the hormones that produce more masculine traits (a deeper voice, more facial hair, a higher level of lean muscle mass, lower body fat levels, etc.), with the most common androgen hormones being testosterone.
Under normal circumstances, your body produces an average level of testosterone depending upon your genetics. This testosterone is released at a somewhat standardized rate of time, and as you get older less and less testosterone is released according to the number of androgenic hormones that are calling the shots behind the scenes.
By introducing an external source of androgenic hormones, you’re essentially flooding your body with more “instructions” to produce extra amounts of testosterone.
You can accomplish that with anabolic steroids, but you essentially carpet bomb your body with way too many instructions to overproduce testosterone. That’s when all of those dangerous side effects start to happen, and that’s when your body starts to turn its own chemistry against you.
The beautiful thing about using SARMs instead of anabolic steroids is that you get even better results, but you do so with a much more targeted approach.
Instead of flooding your body with way too many hormonal instructions to overproduce testosterone, including instructions to do so in areas of your body that can damage critical organs and tissue, you’ll instead be laser targeting your muscle and your bone cells only – not your prostate, not your liver, and certainly not your brain.
This gives you the increase in muscle mass, strength, and endurance you’re looking for without putting any undue stress on life supporting and sustaining organs.
On top of that, SARMs aren’t going to break down into unwanted molecules inside your body that produce toxic chemicals or sky-high levels of DHT and estrogen – two hormones and biochemical triggers that work to produce the opposite results testosterone produces.
Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that SARMs are significantly less powerful (chemically) than traditional steroids. That means your body isn’t going to have its natural testosterone levels suppressed as heavily, allowing you to “bounce back” and cleanup from using SARMs a lot faster than you ever would have been able to with traditional steroid use.
Are SARMs safe to use?
As of right now, all signs point to SARMs being pretty safe for human use – but again we only have a handful of decades worth of research to go off of and nowhere near the mountain of evidence we have to understand traditional steroid and other performance-enhancing drugs.
Of course, this hasn’t stopped manufacturers of SARMs from running out and touting that these chemical cocktails as a 100% safe alternative to anabolic steroids and other PEDs.
That’s not exactly true and it’s not exactly fair.
While SARMs aren’t going to suppress your body’s ability to naturally produce testosterone that certainly doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to suppress your body’s production of testosterone at all.
Sure, anabolic steroids will suppress your natural production of testosterone a lot more if they are used for the same duration of time as SARMs – but there’s going to be a suppression of this natural production all the same.
On top of that, there has been some research suggesting that SARMs could be used as a form of male birth control. New research shows that these chemical cocktails are capable of lowering the levels of luteinizing hormones and follicle stimulating hormones in the male body, hormones that dictate the amount of sperm and testosterone levels your body produces on its own.
Though SARMs may not be 100% free of side effects, because they are less potent and less biochemically disruptive compared to anabolic steroids and other PEDs they are a lot easier to bounce back from. Athletes, bodybuilders, and weekend fitness warriors that supplement with SARMs should be able to recover from individual SARM cycles a lot faster than they would have with more traditional performance-enhancing substances.
At the end of the day, you’ll have to do plenty of research and due diligence to decide whether or not specific SARMs are right for you and if this is a path to fitness that you are interested in moving forward with.
Conclusion on Sarms
The benefits of using these chemicals are very real and have been conclusively proven, and the side effects are certainly a lot milder (the side effects we understand right now, anyway) than traditional performance-enhancing options. Only time will tell whether or not these substances are safe for use in the long haul.
It’s your body, your fitness, and your health. Only you will know whether or not the substances are the right call going forward!
Jonathan Deventer is a passionate Certified Personal Trainer who got his Master’s Degree in Human Kinetics at the Boise State University.
He specializes in steroids, peptides, SARMS and pre-workout supplements.
- BCAK Certified Exercise Physiologist
- Certified Fitness Consultant
- Athletic Taping Level I & II BCRPA
- Personal Trainer, BCRPA
- Supervisor of Fitness Leaders