SARMs vs Steroids seem to gain more and more popularity among bodybuilders and athletes.
Steroids have been around for many years but SARMs are rather new compounds that seem to gain more and more popularity almost on a daily basis. Based on this, a question arises: Why? Why do SARMs continue to become so popular despite the fact that anabolic steroids were proven effective so many years ago?
We’ll try to explain in this article the differences between SARMs vs Steroids and help you have a better idea about them.
SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) are highly praised compounds in bodybuilding settings. That’s because they seem to be very promising. According to manufacturers and scientists, SARMs are mimicking the effects of anabolic steroids when it comes to building muscle mass, and burning fat, and yet, they are coming with less side effects. We’ll try to cover it by comparing SARMs and steroids based on the medical research as well as anecdotal experiences from people who tried both.
So, SARMs are deemed safer. Scientists created them for treating health conditions, serving very similar purposes to anabolic steroids when it comes to medical uses. Such as: increasing lean muscle mass helping patients suffering from muscle wasting condition (cachexia), osteoporosis, red blood cell and bone mineral increase in dealing with anemia among other uses.
Thus, when it comes to purposes, it seems like SARMs and steroids are very similar. Scientists created SARMs keeping in mind the same objectives of anabolic steroids. However, what’s different is that scientists tried to make SARMs less dangerous. That’s why they tried to create a superior medicine to steroids. The same benefits yet, less or no cardiovascular, estrogenic, androgenic, or hepatic effects that steroids are popular to have.
How SARMs vs Steroids Work?
As I described above, SARMs and anabolic steroids are very close to each other when it comes to functionalities. Therefore, they are very similar in how they are working as well. They both strongly bind to androgen receptors (ARs) which help aid muscle growth, strength gain, and fat loss in users.
However, SARMs (new generation compounds) are SELECTIVE androgen receptors. This means that they only bind to specific androgen receptors in the body, compared to steroids that bind to them all over the body, which causes side effects.
SARMs are binding to androgen receptors specifically found in muscle, fat, and bone tissues. Not in tissues on the scalp, prostate, and so on and so forth, which causes side effects.
SARMs are non-steroidal too, this means that they are not exogenous testosterone like anabolic steroids. Considering they are non-steroidal, bodybuilders debate up to this date whether administering SARMs make you remain natural or not. They are effective in growing muscles as performance enhancing drugs, but non steroidal. Anyway,
The main and biggest difference between them is the structural feature of SARMs, which is tissue selectivity. This is what makes SARMs stimulate anabolism in specific cells and inhibit unwanted effects in other cells. Or at least, not “touching” them. Therefore, this eliminates or at least reduces the side effects that are commonly associated with anabolic steroids.
Both anabolic steroids and SARMs are legal. But there’s something more that you need to know.
For example, anabolic steroids are classified as Schedule III controlled substances. That’s why steroids are illegal in the USA and many other countries unless you have a prescription for specific steroids. Doctors can still prescribe specific steroids for treating specific health conditions. For example, prescribing testosterone for hypogonadism. Without a prescription – you can’t buy or use them legally.
The legal status of SARMs is easier. You can perfectly legally buy SARMs for sale online, even without a prescription. In fact, nobody can offer a prescription for them. You can only purchase SARMs for “research purposes”. That’s why, although you can buy them legally without a prescription, you can’t use them.
SARMS have not been approved by the FDA for human use. So, they are legal to purchase, but illegal to use. Why? That’s a very natural and common question to ask, considering that SARMs, technically, are safer than steroids. That’s because there are not enough clinical studies conducted on SARMs in human trials. Therefore, scientists can’t say with certitude the long term effects of SARMs, albeit the short term effects proved them fairly safe.
- So, legally, you can’t buy nor use steroids without a prescription. However, legally, you can buy SARMs but cannot use them. Nevertheless, it seems like the legal status of both SARMs and steroids haven’t stopped millions of people from all over the globe from using them for fitness goals.
SARMs vs Steroids Results – Which Ones Grow More Muscles?
People run both SARMs and anabolic steroids for achieving pretty much the exact same results and yielding the same benefits. They use SARMs and/or anabolic and androgenic steroids (AAS) for fitness and bodybuilding goals. The main goals people aim for are: strength and muscle mass increase as well as fat loss.
When it comes to effectiveness, medical research suggests that anabolic steroids have an enhanced effect compared to SARMs. Each anabolic steroid and each SARM have varying degrees of efficacy and potency and that’s very important to keep in mind. However, in general, steroids are more powerful than SARMs.
Considering that, generally, AAS are more potent and overall stronger than SARMs, they can grow more muscles. However, there doesn’t seem to be a significant difference. For example, over a course of 8 weeks, research on humans indicated an average increase in muscle mass of about 2 kg (5 lbs) with SARMs and an average increase in muscle mass of about 2.5-3 kg (6-7 lbs) with AAS.
But it’s extremely important to remember that it’s near to impossible to compare them. There are different steroids and different SARMs. People react differently due to different genetics and it also comes down to a lot of other different factors that you need to take into consideration: age, gender, the dosage administered, lifestyle activities, exercise schedule, diet plan, and many others.
- PS: remember that the growth of 2-3 kg (5-7 lbs) of lean muscle in clinical trials was possible without a bulking plan in terms of training and diet.
Are SARMs Safer Than Steroids?
Anabolic steroids were discovered almost 100 years ago while SARMs have been around for only about 30 years. That’s why there are a lot of studies performed on anabolic steroids and a limited amount of research on SARMs. That’s why there is no official data or conclusion saying with certainty that SARMs are safer than steroids.
Nonetheless, there are a lot of different scientists and studies that prove SARMs (in human clinical trials) are safer than steroids. In almost any aspect. That’s when talking about cardiovascular strain, hepatotoxicity, estrogen, and androgen related side effects as well as natural testosterone suppression. This is true even according to people who used both AAS and SARMs for physique and performance enhancement purposes.
There’s a big difference between clinical studies and people who use them for fitness needs because of the dosages. People generally use AAS and SARMs for bodybuilding and athletic needs in higher doses than those involved in clinical studies.
That is something fairly expectable considering that SARMs do not increase androgenic activity, they are non-steroidal so won’t suppress testosterone as badly and they are resistant to aromatization (conversion into estrogen). Generally, as mentioned earlier, SARMs are less potent than steroids.
A general rule is: the more powerful a compound is, the more likely it is to cause side effects.
PS: You may find sources suggesting otherwise – steroids being safer than SARMs. But that’s simply against logic. Steroids that bind to androgen receptors all over the body that convert into estrogen, shut down testosterone production, and have increased androgen activity can’t be safer than SARMs. While SARMs might be slightly less effective in growing muscles, they are definitely safer. You’ll most likely find such information on sites attempting to sell steroids.
SARMs Side Effects vs Steroids Side Effects
The side effects of SARMs and steroids are fairly similar considering they are having similar results and similar mechanisms of action. As said, SARMs are milder than anabolic steroids, that’s why they might not be able to help grow as much and as fast muscles as anabolic steroids do. But the answer to the question I mentioned at the beginning of this article is:
SARMs side effects are milder than those of anabolic steroids. That’s because of their tissue selectivity ability. Moreover, they are resistant to aromatization and they are non-steroidal in the first place.
So, because SARMs are milder than steroids, anabolic steroids are slightly more effective at growing muscles and gaining strength. In theory, SARMs’ side effects are similar to anabolic steroids, however, they are much less severe and much less likely to occur in the first place.
One of the biggest issues with anabolic steroids is their ability to increase blood pressure. AAS are very notorious for causing hypertension and negatively affecting cholesterol values. Different steroids are having different risk levels of cardiovascular issues including both cholesterol and blood pressure, but, ultimately, all of them have a negative impact.
SARMs also have the ability to reduce HDL cholesterol levels (the good type of cholesterol), however, not as bad as steroids do. Moreover, while SARMs might increase blood pressure, it’s far from the ability of steroids to increase blood pressure.
- In fact, there are some SARMs like GW501516 Cardarine (technically, it’s not a SARM, but it’s categorized as one) that are actually helping in managing blood pressure and cholesterol issues!
In the end, while some specific SARMs might pose a cardiovascular and blood lipid profile risk, they are much safer compared to steroids. From this point of view – SARMs are better.
SARMs come as oral compounds. You use them either in the form of liquid (sublingually), capsules/tablets (swallow), or powder (mixed with water and drinkable). Therefore, they pass through the liver and increase ALT / AST enzymes. With prolonged administration, it could stress out the liver leading to inflammation of the organ, or various other issues.
That’s why people who use SARMs only use them in 8 week cycles. Oral steroids cycles of 8 weeks is already way too long. So they stop at 4-6 weeks.
It’s because anabolic steroids are even more powerful. That’s why, milligram per milligram, steroids would stress up your liver even more. That’s why, the risk of liver damage, if abused, is way higher when oral C17 alpha alkylated steroids and some injectable ones.
The only anabolic steroids that are slightly safer than SARMs in terms of liver toxicity are some specific injectable ones. They need to be administered via injection intramuscularly. So, they do not pass through the liver. With all other steroids, there’s a significant hepatic risk.
SARMs are definitely safer than oral steroids and some injectable ones in terms of hepatotoxicity. The only safer steroids for your liver are those that you need to administer by injection.
Androgen Related Issues
Among androgen related issues we can mention different side effects such as acne and oily skin, hair loss (male pattern alopecia), roid rage (aggression and temper), enlarged prostate (which can lead to prostate cancer), and others.
Absolutely all anabolic steroids are known to cause such issues. Some to a greater extent than others but the point is – all of them cause it. In fact, because of these side effects (and enlarged prostate more specifically), SARMs were invented. Scientists tried to create products that would help promote anabolism but without androgenic activity. And they did it.
- SARMs do not convert into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) nor do they increase androgen activity. As a result, you wouldn’t experience such side effects, theoretically.
In some very rare instances, people report such issues with SARMs cycles, but mostly when the individual abuses SARMs. Either too high dosages or too long cycle lengths. In addition, mostly it occurs if the person is genetically prone to such issues.
How does it happen? It could be related to the fact that SARMs strongly bind to androgen receptors leaving out more free testosterone floating in the body. This testosterone can convert into DHT and increase androgenic activity. But for most people, that increase is so low that it goes unnoticed. On the other hand, you can’t avoid such issues with anabolic steroids. Some cause them more than others, but they all cause them and you can’t avoid such issues. So, in terms of androgenic activity, when comparing SARMs vs Steroids, SARMs are definitely a winner.
Estrogen Related Issues
Among estrogen related issues we can mention many different side effects, some popular ones are: gynecomastia, water retention, bloating, hypertension, low sex drive, and/or inability to reach and/or maintain an erection.
While some steroids are resistant to aromatization (the process through which testosterone converts into estrogen), all SARMs are resistant to aromatization. Some steroids aromatize, others directly stimulate estrogen receptors.
SARMs do not aromatize, but in rare situations, they can indirectly increase levels of estrogen. Similarly to as it was earlier explained – more free testosterone can bind to estrogen since SARMs bind to the androgen receptors they were supposed to bind to.
As you can guess, the levels of estrogen that SARMs might indirectly increase are so low, that it very rarely causes any issues. Again, unlike anabolic steroids.
That’s why those men who are sensitive to estrogen issues would find SARMs much better. Especially those who are sensitive to developing gynecomastia. In the early stages, it’s going to appear as puffy nipples. But in later stages, you’re going to develop “male breasts”.
Anabolic steroids are actually synthetic versions of exogenous testosterone. Therefore, the body detects an excessive level of testosterone and that’s why it shuts down the natural testosterone production. This is commonly a problem when you stop the use of anabolic steroids. Your body doesn’t produce testosterone naturally and you don’t administer it exogenously. As a result, the user may experience low testosterone levels and symptoms such as lower libido and overall sexual performance, decreased energy, depression, low mood, gaining fat, muscle and strength loss, and others.
Steroids are suppressing testosterone production at varying degrees, some do it more than others. It also depends on the dosage and administration length. Nonetheless, it’s not uncommon for steroid users to experience hypogonadism (total shutdown of testosterone).
But there’s a whole different story with SARMs. As I said, SARMs are non steroidal compounds so the level of testosterone suppression is drastically lower. They are still capable of causing some suppression (again, based on the type of SARM, dosage, and cycle length), however, far not as much as anabolic steroids can. Moreover, with SARMs, a complete shutdown of testosterone is not possible.
They may only decrease a bit the endogenous testosterone as a result of high affinity when they bind to androgen receptors. It leads to a mild involvement in the HPTA (hypothalamic pituitary testicular axis) unlike steroids that have strong effects on it.
The body would naturally recover back from this suppression. The length of recovery depends on the suppression rate.
That’s why it’s not uncommon for SARMs users not to require a PCT plan, or to go through a very mild one. Steroid users, however, always require a rather harsh PCT plan to recover their endogenous testosterone production.
Steroids vs SARMs for Women
Keep in mind – anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone. They are increasing the androgenic activity in the body, which leads to male sexual characteristics. That’s why steroids are going to lead to a masculinization process (virilization side effects). There are some of the worst side effects that women experience when using anabolic steroids and the incidents of this occurring are very high. That’s why most anabolic steroids are not suitable for women.
There are very few steroids that women may use with (still there, but) reduced risks of developing virilization issues. Even those steroids should be used in very low doses and for very short periods to avoid those effects.
Some examples of masculine effects (virilization issues) that women may experience while using anabolic steroids: deepening of the voice, menstrual irregularities, enlarged clitoris size, breast reduction, abnormal hair growth on the face and/or body, behavioral changes (resembling those of a man), hair shedding and others.
Both the research on SARMs as well as anecdotal experiences indicate that SARMs do not cause such issues in women. SARMs were created specifically for this purpose – to reduce androgenicity. They are selectively binding to tissues allowing women to safely use SARMs without risks of virilization.
Compared to anabolic steroids, SARMs are a way better option for women who want to keep their femininity intact. While some steroids still have reduced risks of causing such issues, the risk is still there.
Administration of SARMs vs Steroids
Anabolic steroids usually come in the form of intramuscular injection or in oral form. However, not all steroids come as pills. While there are oral versions of testosterone – they are extremely ineffective and expensive. That’s why, testosterone, for example, is one example of an anabolic steroid that comes as an injection only*.
*Other versions are still available, but they are not popular, ineffective, hard to find, and expensive!
On the other hand, you don’t have to worry about injections with SARMs. They either come as a liquid that you use sublingually or as tablets that you simply swallow as you would any other oral medication. There’s also the powder form that you can mix with water or juice and drink.
From this point of view – SARMs are much more optimal because the injection is a less convenient form of administration.
While you can still use some oral steroids (but far not all of them come as orals) – you need to use testosterone in all steroid cycles. That’s why it’s almost inevitable you need to perform intramuscular injections with anabolic steroids. This increases the risks of infections, post injection pains, rashes, and so on and so forth. Even oral steroids vs SARMs – at least SARMs are much less liver toxic with lower cardiovascular stress.
SARMs are definitely easier to administer and safer.
Both anabolic steroids and SARMs are often used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase physique and performance. With both, many people resort to the black market to get their products, and, unfortunately, with both products, there are a risk of getting counterfeit (bunk / fake) products.
The thing is that it’s not against the law to sell SARMs, while you can’t buy anabolic steroids in any legal way. With this being said, you’re sure to need to resort to black market when it comes to anabolic steroids. Therefore, increasing the risk of getting low quality / fake products.
However, there’s a higher chance for you to obtain pharmaceutical grade SARMs considering that you can buy SARMs legally.
Moreover, there’s no risk of purchasing bunk SARMs with our site – SARMS.to. We’re a company that works with the best manufacturers of SARMs that can prove the top quality of their SARMs.
As a result – it may be hard for you to find a reliable source of anabolic steroids. You risk being scammed by not receiving anything, or not receiving what you paid for (lower quality, under dosage, or not actual steroid you required). On our site SARMS.to, however, you’ll always buy SARMs for sale of maximum quality!
SARMs vs Steroids: Which is Better?
Anabolic steroids are highly popular and effective compounds, but there’s a reason why SARMs still continue to grow in popularity. If anabolic steroids would be perfect – SARMs wouldn’t be able to become popular in the first place.
This fact alone should make you think about the entire SARMs vs Steroids topic.
Anabolic and Androgenic Steroids (AAS) are slightly more effective than Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) when it comes to growing muscle mass. That’s because they are overall much stronger. Nonetheless, SARMs are definitely much safer than steroids when it comes to anabolic steroids. They are overall milder and safer as that’s the main purpose of what scientists tried to create in the first place. And they did it. They removed the estrogenic and androgenic risks with a significant reduction in hepatic and cardiovascular stress.
Steroids might be a better option for professional bodybuilders who want to grow as big as possible and are in competitions. Nonetheless, SARMs are definitely a better option for people who want to keep it safer and want some boost in their athletic progress.