Thanks in part to Lance Armstrong, most people know about the use of steroids to enhance athletic performance.
It’s also common knowledge that steroids have a number of unpleasant side effects, which is why some bodybuilders and athletes have instead turned to SARMs.
But what are SARMs, and can they be safely used to get a better workout? Keep reading as we answer both of these questions and more.
What Are SARMs?
SARM stands for selective androgen receptor modulators. Like steroids, they stimulate the body in a similar way as certain sex hormones like testosterone but with fewer side effects.
The big difference between these two drugs is that SARMs almost exclusively targets muscle and bone tissue whereas steroids can also affect vital organs. This is what makes steroids so dangerous when misused.
There are also several types of SARMs, including:
- Ligandrol (LDG-4033)
- Testolone (RAD-140)
- Ostarine (MK-2866)
- Cardarine GW-50156
- Andarine S4
- S 23
- YK 11
Each of these has slightly different properties. This has caused many bodybuilders to practice “stacking” and mixing the types of SARMs to gain the most benefit from them.
Benefits of SARMs
The first four effects of SARMs we’re going to look at are those that are beneficial to the user. These are the reasons bodybuilders and athletes have started taking these drugs despite their potential dangers.
1. Muscle Growth
This is the primary reason so many bodybuilders are using SARMs as a dietary supplement despite the potential dangers. Because these drugs directly stimulate the growth of muscles, they can help anyone get the gains they’re looking for without needing to spend as much time in the gym.
This aspect is also why these drugs are being looked at for being used in cancer patients to help prevent muscle wasting. This is one of the symptoms of certain types of cancer.
2. Faster Recovery
Because SARMs help grow muscle mass, they can also aid in lowering recovery times.
When you exercise, you put a strain on your muscles until the fibers begin to tear. Then, during your recovery period, your body works to build back those torn muscle fibers stronger than they were before.
You can imagine how much faster your body would recover when it’s being stimulated to build more muscles. This means you spend less time feeling sore and can actually get back to exercising that part of the body sooner than you would without SARMs.
3. Lower Risk of Injuries
Another benefit of stronger muscles is the prevention of injuries, and SARMs may be able to help with that.
Every joint in your body is made up of a combination of bones and muscles which are attached with ligaments and tendons. Since you can’t strengthen ligaments or tendons, the only part of your joints you can directly work out is the muscle.
When you have stronger muscles, your joints will be more stable. This is why you see so much strength training and other strength-building exercises being used in physical therapy.
4. Can Treat Osteoporosis
Certain types of SARMs focus specifically on building up bones. If approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this could be great news for those suffering from osteoporosis.
It can also help anyone prevent the development of osteoporosis. This includes over 200 million people around the world right now. Around 33% of women and 20% of men will have an osteoporotic fracture at some point in their lives.
The medical community is always looking for better ways to treat this condition and SARMs may well be an option in the near future.
While most bodybuilders don’t have to worry about bone problems because of what they do, runners may benefit from this type of drug. This is because the repeated force of running can cause stress fractures in runners.
When to Take SARMs
As with most drugs and dietary supplements, you should only take SARMs at the direction of a medical doctor. This is because if you don’t need to take something, you’re more likely to suffer from the negative side effects.
If you think SARMs may benefit you somehow, feel free to bring it up to your doctor and see what he or she says about it. More than likely, they will discourage you from taking them because they’re not FDA-approved and there are simply too many risks.
Because SARMs are illegal in competitive sports and could result in you getting banned as you would for taking any performance-enhancing drug, you’ll want to avoid these at all costs if you are a competitive athlete.
Where to Get SARMs
If your doctor has suggested you take SARMs to treat certain medical conditions or to aid in recovery following an injury, there are a few places you can find them.
You can purchase SARMs online, but you need to be extremely careful when doing so. While there are some legitimate companies out there, there are also some that sell low-quality products.
Best case scenario, the low-quality SARMs you got are essentially sugar pills and won’t do any harm to your body although they won’t do you any good, either. Worst case, you end up facing serious side effects because of a poorly-formulated medication.
This is why we recommend avoiding SARMs and sticking with a healthy diet and time-tested natural supplements instead.
Learn More About Improving Your Health
Now you know what are SARMs and some of the positive and negative side effects that come with them.
As you can see, there are some benefits to taking them if they’ve been prescribed to you for certain conditions but you shouldn’t take them on your own even though they can be purchased online.
To learn more about how you can improve your health and about some supplements you can safely take, keep reading our blog. A great post to get you started is our guide to fasting.