Curious about SARMS? You need to read this before trying

When it comes to performance-enhancing drugs, you might have heard about SARMs. They have been ruling the market for almost a decade now.

Most fitness enthusiasts and professional sports men and women are looking for supplements that can help improve their overall performance and appearance. Just like steroids, Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) help burn excess fat, build muscle, and boost endurance levels.

Ostarine - one of the SARMs
Structure of ostarine, a nonsteroidal SARM. (Image: Wikipedia)

For the most part, SARMs act on your hormones directly and improve performance to a great extent without using anabolics.

However, they don’t have any of the significant drawbacks that are common with anabolic steroids. Undesirable side effective related to anabolic steroid consumption include liver deterioration, testicular atrophy (testicle shrinkage), and excessive body hair growth. Sounds too good to be true, right?

In this informative guide, we’re going to answer the bombarding questions related to SARMs’ functions, side effects, and everything in between, to give you a clearer picture.

Why do people take supplements with SARMs?

SARMs are a group of synthetic compounds that emulate the positive effects of testosterone in bone tissue and muscle, but they are known to have a minimal impact on the our vital organs. Thus, they deliver the benefits of steroids without their serious side effects.

They are designed to be a healthier substitute for testosterone replacement therapy. Plus, SARMs were initially developed for people with diseases such as osteoporosis, anemia, muscle wasting, and chronic fatigue. 

The therapeutic properties of this compound come with the main advantages of tissue selectivity and androgen-receptor specificity. Also, it helps you reach different fitness goals, be it improving your energy levels, lifting heavier weights, or building more muscle by reducing total body fat.

Structure of Ligandrol - one of the SARMs
Structure of Ligandrol, an investigational SARM for the treatment of osteoporosis and muscle wasting. (Image: Wikipedia)

Benefits of SARMs

There’s a whole range of advantages that SARMs offer, especially when taken regularly. Plus, you get to experience some of the benefits that are typically achieved with steroids, but without their associated harms. Here’s a list of the benefits:

  1. Fat loss

One of the main reasons people take SARMs is because they aid in fat loss. The compounds in SARMs help boost the oxidation process that cuts down the accumulated fat from stubborn areas. These compounds also help you retain muscle so that you do not look malnourished or underfed.

Many users also believe that SARMs help people lose bodyweight because they retain lean mass and don’t make the body retain water, i.e., they are not antidiuretic.

  1. Increase muscle

If you ask several regular SARMs users what their main benefit is, most of them, if not all, will mention muscle gain. A 2007 study showed that when you expand the use of androgens via SARMs, it helps prevent muscle wasting, especially in people who are resting, i.e., not physically active. 

Another study showed that SARMs aren’t as effective as steroids when it comes to muscle building, but are more powerful than natural supplements such as creatine.

  1. Use in bodybuilding

Successful bodybuilders do not get strong, lean, and muscular purely by luck alone. They are very careful about their diet, supplements, and other substances that they consume. SARMs are part of a sizeable percentage of bodybuilders’ diets today. Many athletes have also admitted to the regular inclusion of SARMs in their diet. 

After all, these performance enhancers help in enhancing the user’s body even when taken a few weeks before a show or important event. Some of them also start taking supplements with SARMs months in advance to help build body mass.

Athletes have found that SARMs are relatively difficult to detect in drug testing trials. Hence, they have become quite popular.

  1. Improved endurance level

If you read the product descriptions carefully, you’ll find that supplements with SARMs have a compound called Cardarine, which helps you lift heavier weights for longer. This means that if you’re focused on getting better at a particular sport, you can train for longer and at a greater level of intensity. Put simply; it boosts your endurance.

Athletics image 4994994
SARM consumption also exists in the world of athletics.

What are the side effects?

As mentioned earlier, SARMs are less dangerous than steroids. However, they are not totally free of side effects. Although adverse effects are possible; none of them are permanent, say researchers. 

Let’s check out the following section for some of SARMs’ most common side effects:

  1. Hair loss

Hair loss only affects some people who regularly consume these compounds. People who are already going bald or are genetically susceptible to male pattern baldness are more likely to report hair loss.

If close family members are bald, you have a higher risk developing male pattern baldness as you get older.

  1. Suppressed testosterone levels

While you’re on the cycle, some of the supplements can lower your sperm count and testosterone levels. It isn’t surprising because when you introduce excess androgens into the body, there is a change in the concentration level and the body responds by lowering the production of its own hormones. 

However, a study showed that even though the testosterone levels had gone down when users were on the cycle, they returned to normal after that particular supplement was stopped.

Since it doesn’t reduce the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) as well as the Luteinizing Hormone (LH), it’s easier for the body to return to normal after the user stops consuming it.

  1. It may increase your risk of cancer

According to a study on the SARM cardarine, the results showed that a hefty dose of 2000mg per day could result in the growth of pre-existing cancer cells. But most bodybuilders usually consume about 10mg to 30mg per day. So, unless you consume massive doses of the substance, your risk of cancer most likely will not be elevated.

  1. Other side effects

Some rarer side effects include acne or back pimples, anxiety, and gyno (gynecomastia – male breast enlargement). These rarer side effects are andectotal. Major studies are needed to determine how rare they are.

Final words 

Wondering whether SARMs are safe? The good news is that if they are taken in moderate doses, they are relatively safe. However, you should keep track of your cycles to avoid crossing more than eight weeks.

Remember that all the side effects, if they do present, resolve soon after you stop taking SARMs.

If you do decide to try them out, make sure you get a well-known brand. Also, while you are on the cycle, monitor your body, drink plenty of fluids, get the proper amount of sleep each day, and follow a healthy and well-balanced diet.

If you are not sure whether you are healthy enough to go ahead or have other concerns, talk to your GP (general practitioner, family doctor) about it.

Interesting related article: “Sports Psychology: How to Prepare Your Mind When Getting into Any Sports.”