Anabolic steroids, or anabolic androgenic steroids, are the most popular bodybuilding drugs for growing muscle mass quickly. They also help to boost performance and endurance so that bodybuilders can train more and with more intensity without taking breaks, and athletes can boost their athletic performance in competitions. The word anabolic refers to muscle growth and androgenic refers to the male characteristics that steroid use increases.
Who Uses Bodybuilding Drugs?
Anabolic steroids create the same effects in the body as natural hormones such as testosterone. Originally steroids were used by doctors to treat the lack of testosterone in men. When it was noticed that steroids also help to increase muscle mass, these bodybuilding drugs became popular with athletes. Today athletes, body builders, footballers, cyclists and many other types of sportspeople use steroids.
Often a steroid user is a young male athlete but many women athletes and female body builders use steroids too. Models sometimes use certain steroids to create a more toned appearance or to reduce fat while increasing muscle mass. Swimmers, runners and other professional and amateur sports enthusiasts sometimes use anabolic steroids to improve endurance and stamina.
Steroids are used medically to treat patients with delayed puberty or other problems that are caused by lack of testosterone in the body. They are also used in some diseases that cause the body to lose muscle tissue, such certain types of cancer or autoimmune diseases that cause muscle wasting.
Different Types of Steroids
There is a wide variety of steroids on the market, although most of them are only available through a doctor. Athletes and bodybuilders usually buy steroids online or through personal contacts. The different types of steroids are sold as pills and tablets or as liquid that is injected into the muscle. Many users prefer pills and tablets to injecting. Many steroid users also take different types of steroids at the same time and sometimes combine pills with injections.
A typical way of using steroids is to take them in cycles. The athlete takes one or more steroids for a period of time, usually some months, and then stops for a while. This is done to prevent the body from becoming tolerant to the substance. If the body gets too used to any type of steroids, you will need increasing doses to get the same effect as before. Taking a break from steroid use is thought to help to prevent tolerance.
The Side Effects
There are many side effects to steroid use and it is important to know about them before starting to use bodybuilding drugs. Some side effects are mild and temporary, and some can be permanent. When a person is treated with steroids for a disease, he gets steroids by prescription from a doctor and the daily dose is usually small. However bodybuilders and athletes often take large doses of steroids and the larger the dose, the higher the risk of side effects. Combining different types of steroids and taking them together is also thought to cause more side effects.
Typical side effects include the growth of male sex characteristics, such increasing growth of body hair (also in women) and hoarseness of the voice. Side effects also include sexual dysfunction in both men and women, and problems with the menstrual cycle in women. Steroid use can also cause irritation and other emotional problems. Serious side effects include liver and kidney problems.