Last updated on July 26th, 2021 at 12:14 pm
If you wish to build your body like any of those professional bodybuilders, you need a regular routine of hard and challenging exercises. However, to push your physical limits to the fullest, you need more than just a regular diet of food to make your weight-lifting session a cakewalk. This calls for supplements, which include healthy supplements like whey protein as well as something extra.
For long, it was believed widely that steroids and hormonal supplements were best for boosting muscle mass and stamina needed for bodybuilding. Unfortunately, as time went by, clinical trials and research proved that steroids and other such supplements can be highly harmful to the human body. Ever since then, fitness enthusiasts, athletes and bodybuilders are looking for alternatives that deliver the same health and fitness advantages without any of those adverse side effects.
In this particular respect, there has been a substantial buzz about SARMs. Selective androgen receptor modulators have been touted for long by many health and life science experts to be healthier and safer alternatives to steroids. But are they really that effective in helping aspiring bodybuilders push their limits and grow their muscle mass effortlessly without much health complications? It would be better for you to know everything about them and whether they can deliver on their promise.
What Are SARMs
Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) are selectively active compounds that were first developed by pharmaceutical companies back in the 1940s. This was when life scientists and experts wished to discover something new by altering the chemical structure of the testosterone molecule. It was when scientists struck gold in this particular domain that the first SARMs were formulated, out of the same testosterone molecule. However, these early modulator compounds had the properties of steroidal compounds. It was only later that pharmaceutical companies started developing new SARMs which were distinctly different from steroids in crucial aspects.
As their name suggests, SARMs are compounds that are responsible for modulating the work of androgen receptors. Androgen receptors are found naturally in the human body, particularly in the reproductive system and, more specifically, in the muscles of the skeletal frame. On being activated, they produce the requisite body hormones like testosterone and DHT which are needed to boost muscle mass and reduce weight. Steroids and other supplements also work on the same principle. However, they merely stimulate the working of these receptors artificially so that the rest of the vital tissues and organs suffer adverse side effects. These side effects nullifies the effect of these steroids.
What has made SARMs and bodybuilding associated with each other? It has to do with the selective nature of these compounds when they act on the androgen receptors. On some receptors, which are responsible for muscle growth and development, these compounds work more positively so as to foster their functioning. On the other hand, there are some other androgen and hormone receptors which, when stimulated, can cause some of the side effects that steroids are capable of causing in the human body. Unlike steroids, which would even activate those receptors, SARMs check and prohibit their functions to the point of reducing the associated adverse symptoms.
The general consensus, so far, on SARMs and bodybuilding is that they both go along quite smoothly. Compared to steroids, which cause certain side effects that can become serious diseases, SARMs are reasonably safe and the only side effects that they produce are much milder. Of course, more research has to be done on them. But it is hard to deny the advantages that it brings for bodybuilders, athletes. It would be useful for you to know everything about these advantages and then take your call on using SARMs for your daily exercise routine.
Advantages For Bodybuilders
When it comes to advantages that can be found in SARMs, there are many medical benefits that will be indispensable for even those, who are not into sports or bodybuilding. But when it comes to SARMs and bodybuilding, there are three key advantages that you will find most useful. Below are these bodybuilding and fitness advantages and how SARMs are capable of delivering on their promise with these benefits.
Increase Muscle Strength And Density
Since bodybuilding is a tough and challenging routine, it takes a physical toll on your body and, most crucially, on your muscles and joints. While protein supplements are recommended to restore the strength and stamina of your muscles, you would need something extra to increase muscle strength and density and also get rid of the wear and tear. SARMs are able to boost the production of the necessary testosterone or DHT needed to repair muscle wasting and injuries. At the same time, the enhanced flow of testosterone will also improve your physical stamina and endurance. Thus, you will be able to push yourself further in building more muscles while the SARMs also take care of repairing and restoring the same. Muscle atrophy, which occurs when the weight-lifting gets really tough, can also be prevented and cured.
Decrease Body Fat
As said before, SARMs are selective in their approach. And this means that they do not activate androgen receptors that are responsible for increase in body fat. Certain SARMs have been identified in clinical trials to result only in an increase of muscle mass that is deprived of fat or cellulite. There are also certain compounds that are known to boost and stimulate the function of AMPK. This is responsible for oxidising fat, in a process called lipolysis. This helps in faster burning of fat in the body as the muscle mass increases to better levels. Most steroids and testosterone-based supplements are also known for burning fat significantly. But SARMs are more balanced and selective in their approach and as a result, there is only harmless loss of body fat without any of the associated side effects.
Improvement In Bone Strength
Your bones take most of the toll when you are doing heavy bodybuilding exercises. And if they are not taken care of properly, the bones can get degenerated and deteriorated with the wear and tear of age. Traditionally, androgens are responsible for building and repairing the outer layer of the bones. This outer layer keeps calcium intact in the inner structure and also functions like a mechanism for all physical movements. SARMs help to enhance the strength and resilience of this layer.
SARMs also help to prevent and prohibit the occurrence of bone turnover. Bone turnover takes place when the softer, more flexible layer inside the bone become weak and vulnerable to damage. A reduced bone turnover helps to protect the outer layer from being damaged. It also improves the flexibility of the joints connected to the bones as well as the strength of the vertebrae in the body. For bodybuilders, these compounds also help to prevent the onset of diseases like osteoporosis and arthritis in the advanced years.
Even as SARMs are quite reasonably safe for consumption for bodybuilding, they are not completely without their own share of side effects and adverse conditions. The following are some of the major side effects that you should know about before you take any SARM for your bodybuilding routine right away.
- Delayed Chance of Prostate Cancer
It is quite likely that you might never suffer from the risk of prostate cancer in case of androgen receptor modulators. However, there is also the chance that prostate cancer might get delayed in people till
- Extreme Hormonal Changes
If you are a bodybuilder taking quite a lot of SARMs for building your muscle mass effectively, you might be vulnerable to some extreme hormonal changes. For instance, in men, there is the problem of men’s breasts which can be an embarrassing problem if not treated at the same time. On the other hand, in women who are actively into bodybuilding, the hormonal changes could include excessive facial and body hair which is a sign of imbalance between oestrogen and testosterone in the body.
- Anxiety and Mood Swings
Among the milder symptoms of SARMs, anxiety and mood swings are extremely common in bodybuilders. These can be treated quite easily. However, if the depression or anxiety goes to extreme levels, it can be a very serious complication that can affect everyday life of the person.
In any case, people like athletes and bodybuilders would be best advised to consult a dietitian or health expert before embarking on a dosage of SARMs. In many cases, the doctors would advise that a bodybuilder should have a post-cycle therapy session. For instance, if a bodybuilder has been taking a SARM for a period of 12 weeks in one cycle, he would be prescribed to take a break after that cycle for the same period. In this period of break, it is expected that his body would recover to its natural state. This is said to be a good way to prevent the above-mentioned side effects in bodybuilders.
If you are a bodybuilder, then SARMs and bodybuilding go quite well together. But it would be still advisable to consult your doctor before you start using them for your benefit.