Whenever you hear the word “steroids,” the first thing that comes to mind is often a dramatic story of an athlete caught with performance-enhancing substances. We’re also associating them with muscle growth and bodybuilders. And while these associations are not entirely wrong, we often forget to mention all the other aspects that steroids can be used for. Anabolic supplements have many legal applications, such as treating certain types of cancer, asthma, chronic pain, and more.
Did you know steroids can even be used for both mental and physical enhancement? With so many benefits available today through medical and therapeutic use, it’s important to know the truth about these drugs before making rash decisions about pursuing one form of therapy or medication. Let’s look at some of the most common questions about legal steroids.
That depends on what type of steroid you are taking. The most significant difference between legal and illegal steroids is the source it comes from. Steroids found naturally in parts of plants or produced synthetically have many legal uses as long as they are used within a doctor’s prescription and by your individual diagnosis. However, some illegal forms occur when people take anabolic steroids without going through a doctor or without having a prescription. You can learn more about the difference between various types of steroids here.
There are several different types of legal steroids, including:
- Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMS) These are also called Selective Androgen Receptors Modulators. The US FDA has legally approved SARMs to treat muscle-wasting conditions in patients with diseases like cancer and AIDS. The World Anti-Doping Agency approved them in 2004, where they are considered a performance enhancement drug. These drugs may not produce the same results you achieve from anabolic steroids, but they work effectively to build muscle mass and increase strength in men and women alike. SARMs are more effective than androgenic anabolic steroids.
- Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) These are the most well-known legal steroid class, and they are often referred to as ‘anabolic steroids’ or testosterone drugs. AAS can be taken orally or injected, but they all similarly affect muscle tissue. When you take an oral AAS, you will notice an improvement in libido, mood, energy levels, and aggression—and that’s where it gets interesting because these characteristics are also commonly attributed to anabolic steroid users, which is not true at all for legal users of AAS.
You won’t gain weight or become a giant overnight, but you may notice a difference in your muscle size in some cases. You can’t get an instant six-pack from taking Testosterone, but you will notice that your muscles can hold up to more reps, contractions, and workouts, eventually leading to muscle growth.
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Testosterone replacement therapy is used for men who have had low testosterone levels throughout their lives or for those who have gone through surgery that either damaged the testicles, reduced Testosterone released into the body, or removed them altogether. Your doctor may prescribe you TRT if you have hypogonadism, an endocrine imbalance in the body causing low testosterone levels.