Anabolic steroids have a number of wide-ranging effects on body functions.
Use of ergogenic aids, or any type of prescription or over-the-counter drug/ supplement that helps increase capacity to work out is nothing new with athletes.
Today, use of anabolic steroids is banned by sporting organizations, but it still doesn’t stop athletes from using them.
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Most associate anabolic steroids with injections that bodybuilders and athletes often take to enhance their muscle mass, physique, and performance.
But it’s important to know that the body does produce some hormones that can produce anabolic-androgenic effects.
Synthetic anabolic steroids are merely chemical modifications of the male sex hormone, testosterone.
Testosterone is manufactured in the male testes and in very small amounts by the female ovaries.
Actually, synthetic male hormones (anabolic steroids) are related to testosterone and are designed to stimulate growth of body tissues.
The body does make a variety of steroids, including adrenocortical steroid.
Hormones manufactured in the adrenal cortex are called steroids and have three functions:
Some hormones manufactured by the endocrine system can be associated with anabolic steroids, it least in regard to function.
It’s important to differentiate corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids are defined as steroid hormones (produced in the adrenal cortex) and are responsible for numerous physiological processes.
Corticosteroids are often used in medical environments to treat a variety of conditions including dermatitis, Crohn’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and more.
Anabolic steroids on the other hand, also known as anabolic-androgenic steroids or AAS, are drugs that are synthetically created to have similar effects of testosterone, increasing protein in cellular structures, and most specifically in skeletal musculature.
Synthetic forms of testosterone are just one common type of anabolic steroid in the treatment of hypogonadism, delayed puberty, and low testosterone levels that affect quality of life.
What are steroids that are often used in sports? Just a few include:
Of course, there are more when it comes to use of non-medical use of steroids by athletes.
Check out the prohibited drugs lists of the World Anti-Doping Agency as well as the International Olympic Committee (OIC) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for starters.
It should be noted that anabolic steroids like testosterone are prescription-only drugs.
Some dietary supplements, which are legal and available over-the-counter, that contain hormone precursors are available and can be much safer in regard to side effects.
However, some of these substances are also banned by athletic organizations.
One of the most popular is DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone.
Certain processes in the body can convert DHEA into steroid hormones such as cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone, so many bodybuilders and athletes use the supplement to increase muscle mass.
Note – Excessive amounts of DHEA and other drugs designed to mimic or increase testosterone levels can have the same side effects as injections anabolic steroid.
The basic function of an anabolic steroid is to produce anabolic effects or muscle growth effects, at least in regard to use by athletes.
Anabolism is the process by which proteins are synthesized and muscle tissue is grown. It is contrasted by catabolism, whcih is the breaking down of proteins and body tissue.
Steroids have a different medical use and are taken for many different reasons, including treatment of anemia, muscle wasting disease, growth disorders and more.
The body does provide enough natural testosterone to repair and rebuild muscle broken down by heavy lifting in a process known as muscular hypertrophy.
Steroids work faster though. The steroid attaches to androgen receptors and function to stimulate protein synthesis.
Steroids have a number of detrimental side effects on the human body.
Many athletes and bodybuilders inject massive doses of anabolic steroids, and often stack or pyramid with other products to increase and accelerate their muscle building and physique efforts.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, athletes often inject anywhere between 10 to 100 times larger doses than recommended!
Ramifications of anabolic steroid abuse can be alarming and have a negative effect on numerous body systems including:
What are steroids? Dangerous stuff when injected in the body without a medical reason or without medical supervision and oversight.
Other alternatives are out there, including exercising more, or exploring nutritional supplements that may boost production of testosterone, growth hormone, and IGF-1 in the body without such great risks to health and wellness.