Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators, or SARMs, are becoming increasingly popular supplements among bodybuilders and athletes. They’re readily available at brick-and-mortar and online stores like Canadian anabolics, and they could help you improve muscle mass, boost your strength gains, enhance your athletic performance, and increase your fat loss.
SARMs capabilities aren’t unlike those of steroids, but the two supplements share few other similarities. Take a look at what SARMs are, how they work, and how they’re different from steroids, then decide whether they’re the right thing for you.
What Are Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs)?
SARMs are a relative newcomer to the market. Discovered by accident in the 1990s, they’re novel anabolic compounds that work to enhance the level of androgens in the body.
Originally, scientists studied SARMs as a potential treatment for various illnesses, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, sexual dysfunction, and osteoporosis, to name but a few. However, they quickly became renowned for their ability to promote muscle growth and fat loss.
Athletes and bodybuilders worldwide started using these legal alternatives to steroids to enhance their performance, strength, and endurance without exposing themselves as much to the risks commonly associated with similar performance enhancers.
How Exactly Do SARMs Work?
Whereas steroids and similar performance enhancers bind to random androgen receptors located all over your body (the liver, muscle tissue, bones, prostate glands), SARMs can target specific receptors. Thus, as their name would suggest, they can be selective.
Different types of SARMs can target different receptors – such as those in the muscle tissue or those in the bones, leaving all the other receptors undisturbed.
That means that you don’t have to worry much about your liver or prostate glands acting up when you’re taking SARMs that target your bones, for example. They’ll work to increase cell growth in the bones specifically, so you shouldn’t experience cell growth in the liver or prostate glands.
Common Types of SARMs You’ll Come Across
As mentioned, different types of SARMs target different receptors. Some of the most common SARMs you’ll come across are as follows:
- Andarine (S-4)
- It prevents bloating and water retention while encouraging fat loss.
- Ibutamoren (MK-677)
- Binds to the growth hormone receptors, increasing growth hormone levels and promoting bone density and muscle gain. It can also work to increase appetite and energy levels.
- Ligandrol (LGD-1033)
- It helps to burn fat while increasing muscle strength. It heavily impacts the regulation of the immune and reproductive systems and is one of the most potent SARMs. Therefore, it’s critical to pay attention to the dosage and start with a small amount.
- Ostarine (MK-2866)
- Perhaps the most popular SARM, Ostarine, is mild yet effective. Users commonly rely on it to improve endurance and athletic performance. Its most significant benefit is that it doesn’t suppress natural hormone production.
- Testolone (RAD140)
- It’s one of the newest and most potent SARMs. It mimics testosterone very closely, so it can help gain muscle mass. Its potency means you’ll notice a difference after just a few doses, but it also means that taking too much Testolone is a risk. Use smaller amounts and follow dosing recommendations.
- Similar to Ibutamoren, YK-11 is effective at increasing bone density and muscle growth. It can even help reduce muscle recovery time, allowing you to continue training without distractions.
- Cardarine (GW-501516)
- Cardarine isn’t a SARM, per se, but it has similar effects. It enhances protein synthesis and boosts energy levels, allowing you to improve your strength and endurance quickly. Since it works with protein and not androgen receptors, you’ll notice a dramatic difference in your performance and appearance after just a few doses.
SARMs Vs. Steroids – What Makes Them Different?
The primary difference between SARMs and steroids is that the former can bind to specific androgen receptors while the latter binds to all available receptors. However, that’s not the only difference.
Most notably, steroids usually aromatize into estrogen, while SARMs don’t.
When you take a steroid like testosterone enanthate, your body will convert most of it into estrogen. Higher estrogen levels can lead to bloating, breast swelling and tenderness, indigestion, and more.
Since SARMs don’t aromatize into estrogen, you won’t experience these side effects. The drawback is that it takes a bit more time to see the results of SARMs when compared to steroids, but you should still notice quite a difference within four to eight weeks.
SARMs can help to promote fat loss while increasing your muscle gain, strength, endurance, and overall athletic performance. In addition, they can target specific androgen receptors, allowing you to enjoy an abundance of benefits without facing much backlash from other organs.
If you want to give them a try, make sure to consult your doctor and strictly follow dosing recommendations.
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