steroids and bodybuilding

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Have you been into bodybuilding for a while now? Are you a beginner instead or interested in pursuing bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding involves a vigorous regime of weight-lifting and a proper diet. This intense training gives bodybuilders their bulky muscles. Many also use steroids to help them in this process.

Steroids are synthetic substances and have their medical benefits. They are also used for performance-enhancing purposes. Some bodybuilders use steroids to build their muscles and boost their physical performance.

Do you wonder which steroids work for a bodybuilder? Is it even safe to take them in the first place?

You have come to the right place. Read on to know all about steroid usage in bodybuilding.

Why Do Bodybuilders Use Steroids?

Doctors generally prescribe steroids to treat a few hormone problems. Some bodybuilders, however, use steroids to help them build their bulk bodies.

Some steroids can decrease fat and contribute to increasing muscle mass. This large muscle gain builds up faster than the usual routines. Additionally, these steroids enhance the performance of bodybuilders.

Steroids also help in gaining weight. It could, however, be very gradual. Nevertheless, regular cycles of usage can cause significant weight gain.

Another reason why bodybuilders use steroids is to gain better endurance. Some steroids can lead to an increase in red blood cell production in the body. This increase gives the body the capacity to carry more oxygen.

This process increases the endurance of bodybuilders. It is beneficial for bodybuilders during their intense exercising regime and other physical activities.

Is it Legal to Use Steroids for Bodybuilding?

Some steroids are legal to use. These are also called multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements (MIPS).

These legal steroids help in bodybuilding. They are OTC (Over-The-Counter) supplements. Some of them are safe and also quite efficient. However, some could have negative consequences.

Legal steroids are the ones that do not fall under the specific category of illegal. These supplements work for building muscles.

Anabolic-androgenic steroids are synthetic substances that are a version of testosterone, the male hormone. They are for the use of people with testosterone production deficiencies. A doctor’s prescription is vital to use these steroids.

Some bodybuilders and athletes illegally take these steroids sometimes. They use it for muscle mass gain and better performance instead. 

Science does not back some of these legal supplements. However, they are not completely unsafe to use. Meanwhile, other legal steroids can be inefficient and may even harm the users.

What about bodybuilding competitions? Is it legal to use steroids in such competitions?

Some bodybuilding competitions do ban steroids. However, not every competition imposes this restriction. Even those that do have the ban impose it only sometimes.

Some of these competitions ban the use of steroids to ensure fair competition. Moreover, the possible health risks are another essential consideration for this ban.

Types of Steroids Used in Bodybuilding

Many bodybuilders are known to use steroids. However, they must only be taken in small and appropriate doses.

The following are the types of steroids used by bodybuilders:

1.Oral Steroids

Oral steroids generally come in the form of pills. Quite a few bodybuilders prefer this method. It is mostly because of its ease of consumption.

You can also take oral steroids anywhere without much hassle. These also come in a soluble variant.

2.Steroid Injections

Steroids in the form of injection are another common type of steroids that bodybuilders use. This type is usually known to be more effective.

The side effects of this type are generally not very common. The area the steroid is injected into can be sore for a couple of days.

Oral steroids pose a higher risk of damaging the liver. For this reason, many bodybuilders prefer steroid injections. However, needles have their health risks as well.

3.Topical Steroids

Topical steroids are the ones that can be applied through the skin, inhaler, or nasal spray.

Bodybuilders use steroids on the skin. These come in the form of ointments, lotions, or creams. You can measure the amount of this steroid that you must apply in fingertip units.

Most Common “Legal Steroids” Used in Bodybuilding

Many bodybuilders take steroids regularly along with their fitness routine. It helps bring faster results.

Some of the steroids that bodybuilders use can be very effective. They can be safe when taken in small doses appropriately.

The following are some of the most common legal steroids that bodybuilders use:


This steroid is one of the most popular among bodybuilders. It is known for its good performance support.

It is a naturally occurring substance. You can find Creatine in foods such as meat and fish. Many stores sell Creatine as a supplement to build muscles.

This steroid helps in the growth of muscle fibers by almost three times. It also doubles the body mass of bodybuilders.

If you use Creatine in your weight training, it helps in building strength in your limbs. Your muscle mass also increases. It is known to be the best supplement when it comes to building muscle mass.

Studies show that Creatine does not have any health effects in the long-term. However, make sure to check for extra ingredients. They may lead to allergic reactions or side-effects.

2.Matrix Metalloproteinase

Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP) is a steroid that is a mixture of betaine, creatine, and dendrobium. You can often find this steroid being sold under the name of Craze and plenty of other brands.

This steroid is generally safe to use by many bodybuilders. The marketing copy of this steroid claims to boost high levels of muscle-building. There is, however, not much significant muscle-building as it claims.

It does not cause a lot of growth in the body mass and performance levels of users. Nevertheless, it boosts high energy levels and much better concentration.

You have to keep in mind to check for other extra ingredients of this steroid. These may lead to health effects in the long-term or produce allergic reactions.


Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) is a steroid that many bodybuilders use regularly. You can find it in plenty of weight-loss and muscle-building supplements.

This steroid is, however, not safe to use. In some regions, it is illegal for any product to have DMAA in its composition and market itself as one dietary supplement.

Many warnings were issued by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) against the use of DMAA. It was advised to not use DMAA or any of its numerous forms of OTC (Over-The-Counter) supplements.

The use of DMAA can cause various complications. It can narrow the blood vessels and increase blood pressure. Difficulty in breathing and irregular heartbeat can also occur when bodybuilders use it frequently.

Other major complications may include seizures, mental health deterioration, and heart attack.

It is recommended to avoid this steroid for bodybuilding even though it very popular.

What Are the Side Effects of Steroids?

Steroids may lead to quite a few benefits for bodybuilders. Despite this, many steroids may come with various side effects.

The severity of the potential side-effects may vary. It is dependent on the frequency and extent to which you take these steroids.

Another factor that can have a major impact on side-effects is genetics.

The primary side effects that can occur due to steroids include the following:

1.Higher Risk of Heart Diseases

Bodybuilders mostly use steroids along with frequent strenuous exercise regimes. It can be bad for your heart.

It leads to an increase in the size of the heart’s left ventricle. Additionally, it increases the blood pressure levels.

All these factors may lead to a greater risk of heart diseases. It may ultimately lead to death.

2.Prone to Increased Aggressive Behaviors

The usage of steroids is often linked to an increase in aggressive behaviors. Impulsive behavior is increasingly noticed in many users.

Adult males and teenagers are the ones who are most prone to this side-effect.

3.Can Lead to Liver Damage

Steroids can lead to possible damage to the liver. It especially occurs for steroids that are taken orally.

Oral steroids can lead to a higher risk of liver-related ailments, such as liver dysfunction.

4.Affects Body Image

Frequent usage of steroids and their increasing dependence can lead to a negative body image.

If it increases, this can cause body image disorder.

5.The decrease in Testosterone Production

Increasing use of steroids can cause hypogonadism. It leads to the shrinking of the testes.

The functioning and production of testosterone can decrease quite drastically.

6.Can Cause Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia can occur when bodybuilders stop taking steroids. It leads the male breast tissues to swell.

The main reason for this is the hormone imbalance that many steroids cause.

7.Can Lead to Infertility

Another adverse side-effect of steroids may be infertility. It is because steroids can decrease the production of sperms.

How Safe Is It to Use Steroids?

Steroids may lead to many advantages for bodybuilders with more muscle mass, weight gain, and high-performance levels. However, you have now seen the various possible side-effects that the usage of steroids can cause.

So, you cannot consider the usage of steroids to be entirely safe. Most oral steroids pose a risk of liver damage.

It is also not safe to take injectable steroids. Do not share the needles. It may increase the risk of contracting infections like hepatitis B or HIV/AIDS.

It is always recommended to consult your doctor before taking steroids for bodybuilding.

There is no dose of steroid that is safe. If you take steroids, make sure to take only minimum doses. You also have to take breaks in between.

Is It Possible to Do Bodybuilding Without Steroids?

Yes, it is possible to do bodybuilding without any usage of steroids. You can do so in several healthy ways, such as the following:

1.Maintain Good Weight-Training Regime

You can maintain a good training routine. You have to focus on various muscle groups in alternate sessions. These muscle groups include your arms, chest, legs, and abs.

Make sure to follow the best techniques. A consistent and efficient routine will help you increase your muscle mass healthily.

2.A Healthy Diet

Your diet has to be healthy as well as muscle-friendly. It must consist of simple carbs and healthy fats. It is best to take food that has high fiber and protein.

Make sure to include foods such as eggs, salmon, tuna, tofu, and chickpeas.

3.Hire A Personal Trainer

You can always hire a personal trainer to help you out with your bodybuilding.

Make sure to hire one certified personal trainer (CPT). You can look for them online. To see their success rates, read the reviews.

Virtual trainers are also available to train you remotely.

Are There Any Supplements That Can Replace Steroids?

You can take many supplements other than steroids for muscle mass gain. These include:

1.Creatine Monohydrate

Scientific research backs the use of this supplement in place of steroids. It is safe and effective.


Protein shakes can help to build muscle. You should consume it after a workout only.

3.Amino Acids

You can take amino acids before and post your workout sessions. It will enhance your performance.

Final Thoughts

Many bodybuilders use steroids for bodybuilding. It helps to gain muscle mass, increase weight, and enhance performance. However, it may not be very safe and can lead to many side-effects. Always consult health experts before using steroids.

You now know several other alternatives and supplements that can replace the use of steroids for bodybuilding. You can incorporate them into your routine!