The effect of anabolic steroids on the body
We will try to explain to you the effect of anabolic steroid on the athlete’s body in a completely accessible form. The whole truth as it really is.
This article is intended to protect people from false information about anabolic steroids.
What is AAS?
Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of testosterone, the male sex hormone. They have both anabolic and androgenic effects at the same time. Therefore, they are sometimes referred to as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS).
The androgenic effect carries with it the negative side of testosterone. All side effects are associated with it, such as the development of secondary sexual characteristics, aggression, a low voice, sexual desire, and development of the genitals. The anabolic effect of steroid use is associated with increased muscle mass. That is, it is associated with the activation of muscle growth through the synthesis of proteins in muscle cells.
History of the discovery of anabolic steroid
The first, anabolic steroid was obtained by the German biochemist Adolf Butenandt in 1931. He managed to isolate 15 mg of androstenone from 10,000 liters of urine.
A little later, Nazi Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland joined forces in the field of obtaining anabolic steroids. And they secrete a more powerful component from animal testicular extract, crystalline testosterone.
During the war in Germany, anabolic steroids were tested on prisoners. There are also rumors that Hitler used injectable steroids. According to unconfirmed reports, the Nazis used steroids for aggression and increasing the stamina of soldiers. Other countries used the AAS to restore the health of soldiers who were released from captivity.
Since 1940, steroids began to actively enter the sports life of society. For example, the success of the USSR national weightlifting team made the doctor of the US national team actively cooperate with chemists. Their goal was to obtain an anabolic steroid that would have minimal androgenic activity, and at the same time, maximum anabolic effect. The result was methandrostenolone. In 1956, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the legal use of the new drug.
Methandrostenolone – first steroid
First of all, methandrostenolone has been released for tissue repair and regeneration in the post-burn period, as well as for retirees. Instead, this steroid is beginning to be widely used in bodybuilding and other strength sports. Moreover, it was used in large, uncontrolled dosages. As a result, mass infertility begins, and prostate hypertrophy in athletes. In 1976, the International Olympic Committee bans the use of any anabolic steroids. From this moment, the era of the hunt for athletes using the so-called doping begins. Thoughtless, unfounded, absolutely uncontrolled use of anabolic-androgenic steroids has led to disastrous consequences. As a result, there was a desecration by society of any mention of potent drugs, such as steroids.
Anabolic and Androgenic Properties of Steroid
If testosterone is consumed in its natural form, it will quickly begin to be eliminated from the body. Since the half-life of pure testosterone in the body is only 10 minutes. That is, every ten minutes exactly half of what is left will be excreted from the body. And in one hour there will be nothing left. As you can see, the use of testosterone in its natural form is extremely ineffective. You can of course put an injection into the muscle, which will lead to an increase in the duration of testosterone on the body by exactly nine hours. But even this is not enough to feel at least some effect on the body.
Therefore, scientists were tasked with making testosterone so that it could effectively act on orgasm. The solution to this problem was brilliant. Chemists have created derivatives of testosterone molecules, 17-alpha-alkylate and 1-methyl (to prevent destruction in the liver, thereby making the use of steroids orally, in the form of tablets), 17-beta-ether (use in the form of injections, we will dissolve in fats, accumulating thus, in the tissues, as a result, the duration of action increases to two months). Thus, today, absolutely all steroids differ only in the variation of the above derivatives of the testosterone molecule.
Why is it important to know?
Decreased androgenic and anabolic properties, or overestimated anabolic and androgenic effects, this is what distinguishes the derivatives of the testosterone molecule from the original substance of testosterone. This explains the different side effect, spectrum of action, and of course the different effectiveness from the use of all existing anabolic steroids.
Anabolic and androgenic steroids are two different things, but they used to think otherwise. People wanted to create a drug that would only have an anabolic effect useful for athletes. But they wanted to create a drug without androgenic effects. Now everyone understands that any steroid has both anabolic and androgenic effects on the body. Currently, all steroids are conditionally classified as anabolic and androgenic. That is, steroids in which the androgenic effect in relation to testosterone is underestimated are called anabolic. Where the androgenic effect is higher, it is called androgenic.
A similar effect on the body from the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids is associated with testosterone. Consideration of all the biochemical processes occurring in the body when using steroids does not make sense for bodybuilding. Therefore, we will consider only those points that an athlete needs to know for a more competent use of the AAS.
The mechanism of action of steroids
Steroids taken in the form of injections, that is, intramuscularly, immediately enter the bloodstream. Taken orally, in tablet form, steroids travel through the gastrointestinal tract to the liver. There they are completely or partially destroyed, or in their original state they enter the blood.
Once in the blood, the steroid, in the form of steroid molecules, spreads throughout the human bloodstream. The purpose of the steroid molecule is to transmit information to the desired cells. The cells intended for this purpose have various receptors on the outer membrane. The so-called steroid receptors are found in large quantities in muscle cells.
The steroid molecule binds to the steroid receptor, while skipping all other types of receptors. Conversely, other, non-steroidal receptors are looking for a “desired” molecule. By connecting to the steroid receptor, the steroid molecule is able to transmit information to the muscle cell. But the problem is that about 98% of steroid molecules in the body are bound to globulin, which is bound by sex hormones. And only 1-2% of steroid molecules are in a free state, which can form a steroid-receptor complex.
The steroid molecule in conjunction with the steroid receptor is sent to the nucleus of the muscle cell. There, it joins the DNA nucleic acid fragments. That is, an imprint is made with DNA (transcription). Thus, ribonucleic acid is created, which begins to leave the cell nucleus. Once in the cytoplasm, it joins the RNA located here. There, protein (s) is synthesized from amino acids on the messenger RNA matrix using ribosomes (translation). In this, not tricky way, in combination with training in the gym, muscle hypertrophy occurs. That is, an increase in muscle cells occurs.
Anti-catabolic action of steroid
In addition, steroid molecules are anti-catabolic. They block the cortisol receptors on the membrane. Thus, they minimize the percentage of protein breakdown in the muscle cell.
Thanks to steroids, the synthesis of creatine phosphate (CP) increases. And as you know, it plays a critical role in the reduction of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Which means the accumulation of energy in muscle cells. When needed, ATP is converted to ADP (adenosine diphosphate), releasing a huge amount of energy. This explains the increase in strength, but not mass, for example, when using oxandrolone (a large amount of CP is synthesized in the muscle cell). The increase in endurance from the use of steroids is explained by the fact that an increased supply of carbohydrates in the form of glycogen occurs in the muscle cell. In addition, there is still an increased accumulation of fluid. As a result, muscle volume increases.
A percentage of body fat is lost while maintaining muscle mass. It also increases muscle hardness due to the fact that steroids reduce the production of endogenous insulin. That is, the muscle cell is less dependent on insulin. She can now metabolize carbohydrates in the form of glycogen and protein in the form of amino acids.
Steroid pump, as if blood was pumped into the muscles. This is another positive effect of steroid use. The number of red blood cells and blood volume increase, the muscle seems to swell. More blood enters, and with it the nutrients that enter the muscles become more. In this regard, the body begins to be supplied with oxygen much better. For example, sprint runners use this effect.
After the steroid-receptor complex has made its destination in the cell nucleus, the steroid molecule is returned back to the bloodstream. There she repeats the above steroid cycle again. Or it turns into an unnecessary steroid molecule that has exhausted all its resources. And such a molecule is excreted in the urine.
Why steroid work differently on people?
The fact is that once a steroid molecule gets into the blood, it does not immediately bind to globulin. Or it may be in a free, active state. Some of the steroid molecules, in the process of metabolism, can be used by the body, and immediately excreted from it. And some of them can generally go into female sex hormones – estrogens (a phenomenon called aromatization). This happens with the help of enzymes (enzymes). Some of the molecules can be converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Remarkably, DHT is chemically more strongly associated with muscle receptors than testosterone. At the same time, it has a stronger binding potential with the sebaceous glands and hair follicles. Experts agree that DHT has a stronger steroid effect. In addition, DHT is not converted to estrogen.
In any case, spent anabolic steroids will be excreted in the urine.
For example, some steroids have more free steroid molecules in their arsenal. Such molecules can be in a free state longer, and as a result, they have a better chance of finding the desired steroid receptor. These drugs include Deca, Dianabol, Sustanon-250, Parabolan, Cypionat.
It’s all about steroid receptors
That is, it turns out that the more a person has free receptors in muscle cells, the greater the effect of steroids on the body will be. Since free steroid molecules will have a much better chance of connecting to a steroid-receptor complex with a free receptor in the muscle cell.
The problem is that not all people have active steroid receptors in the right zone. So, for example, one athlete gets pimples and hair growth occurs. And nothing happens to another athlete in exactly the same dosage. And all due to the fact that the first receptors are not in the right place. The same can be said about building muscle mass. Someone has a large number of free receptors in their muscle cells. A small dose of steroids will be enough for such a person to feel the anabolic effect. And someone, and from large doses, will not feel anything. This is due to the fact that there are very few free receptors in its muscle cells.
Another good example is testosterone. Application in high dosages does not cause breast enlargement. At the same time, there are athletes in whom even a small amount of testosterone leads to gynecomastia. It is logical to assume that in the second case, athletes have a large number of estrogen receptors in the breast tissue. And as we know, they convert testosterone to estrogen.
At the age of 20, our receptors reach their peak of activity. Steroids are at their maximum absorption rate. Therefore, it is more appropriate at this age to use anabolic steroids in order to increase muscle mass, strength and relief. But before you cross this line of natural training and training on anabolic steroids, you need to take into account a lot of nuances. Starting from power indicators, ending with the appropriateness of their use.
It is not possible, within the framework of this article, to consider all those little things that make up the basis for understanding anabolic steroids. But the necessary minimum that every self-respecting athlete should know you have received.
This information on steroids has been provided for informational purposes only. You should not treat it as an instruction for the use of AAS. It is much more correct to protect you from the misunderstanding of anabolic steroids.