A lot of people out there want to know if steroids really help in supplementing their bodybuilding efforts by making them gain lean muscle at a faster than normal as well as helping them recover quickly from fatigue so they can perform workout sessions more frequently.
As a number of studies have already shown, anabolic steroids do enhance our workout efforts, and in more than one way. Let us have a closer look. When we do some form of strenuous exercise, the fibers in the muscles suffer from many micro-tears. What repairs these tears is the hormone testosterone which is produced naturally by our body. The hormone does not only repair tears, but at the same time as it is performing this process, it also overcompensates by way of building stronger muscle fibers. In the medical terminology, this process is referred to as muscular hypertrophy. Over time, repeated occurrences of muscular hypertrophy eventually result in greater muscle mass.
How do steroids affect the body?
Now, steroids (testosterone as well as others) are just synthetic variants of the natural hormone mentioned above and are prepared in laboratories. When we take steroids, the substance is absorbed in our blood stream and ultimately enters the muscle cells through androgen receptors. Once the hormones get into the cell, they work together with the DNA of the cells and aid in increasing the protein synthesis rate which, in its turn, stimulates growth.
Steroids also help us recover quickly than is normal from fatigue accumulated in the muscles during exercise. When muscles are overworked, they tend to release the hormone cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. These stress hormones contribute to the breakdown of the muscles by binding themselves to the receptor sites of the muscles. But what anabolic-androgenic steroids do is they inhibit this process, thereby reducing the fatigue. And when there is less fatigue, we can work out more days a week, thus gaining muscle more quickly.
The benefits of steroid are not only limited to muscle growth and strength, but they also help one reduce body fat and stay lean (which means that you do not need to observe a strict diet all the time and may even go over the top once in a while!). Research has shown that the natural hormone testosterone slows down the creation of fat cells, which is why lower body fat percentages are associated with higher levels of testosterone and similarly, higher levels of body fat with lower testosterone levels.
However, no reliable information is available as of yet regarding exactly how steroids help reduce body fat percentage. First of all, there are many different steroids available out there and most of them come with their unique combinations in terms of synergism, potency, and so on. Apart from Testosterone (the steroid and not the natural hormone), some common varieties include Dianabol, Trenbolone, Stanozolol, Nandrolone, Oxandrolone, and a few others. And people who use steroids often use a combination of these different variants to achieve their desired goals. This process is commonly referred to as ‘stacking’. Depending on the combinations you are using, the steroids can affect your body in different manners (as have been demonstrated from actual results). However, we will have to wait for further and more comprehensive research on stacking to understand in what ways different manners of stacking affect our system.