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AN OVERVIEW OF SARMS VS. PROHORMONES
Everyone knows that gaining muscles or losing the extra fat the natural way is very difficult and almost impossible if you are trying to beat tight deadlines or when preparing for competitions. So, what happened is that several pharmaceutical companies invested hugely in coming up with supplements that can expedite the process and improve the results. These are compounds that have been in existence for over four decades. The truth, however, is that not all of these compounds are made equal. They are both formulated to achieve the same end game, but the path to that destiny is completely different, and the perfect example here is on this popular argument of SARMs vs. Prohormones. While both of these compounds are supposed to achieve the same bodybuilding results, they work in totally different ways, and this makes a whole lot of difference as we are going to see.
But first, what are SARMs? What are Prohormones? Are these compounds safe? Are they legal? And most importantly, which of the two should you use?
What are SARMs?
SARMs or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators were never intended to be bodybuilding supplements. These compounds were developed to help deal with muscle and bone wasting disorders among cancer, HIV/AIDs, and other chronic disease patients. While they were being used for this purpose, fitness scientists noticed how powerful they actually were, and this is where it raised eyebrows among bodybuilders. A few years down the line, the medical use of SARMs ceased as better drugs were developed for that purpose, but that didn’t stop bodybuilders from using them.
Since their initial development, most of these SARMs have undergone several improvements to fine-tune them for bodybuilding. As the name suggests, these compounds are selective in nature, and this is what sets them apart from both Prohormones and AAS. Once consumed, SARMs will only interact with the androgen receptors in your muscle and bone tissues. This stimulates them to grow beyond their biological limitations at a much faster rate, and that’s it. They won’t go on to raid other key organs in the body like say kidneys or the liver. As a result, SARMs users will get the bodybuilding effects just like prohormones and steroids, but without the devastating side effects that are associated with the two.
Over the years, SARMs have grown so popular, and it’s very easy to see why. Back in the ’90s, bodybuilders could get all the muscles they need and cut all the fat they deem unnecessary, but there was always a catch. The compounds they used then, steroids, were extremely harsh. This left them nursing so many unbearable side effects and even resulted in sudden death. When SARMs entered the industry, they changed all that. Now, everyone – including women – can get shredded without putting their lives at risk. That isn’t to mean that SARMs are completely safe, though, as they also come with their own risks.
While the research on SARMs is very promising, it’s still not permitted for human consumption. The SARMs available are supposed to be used for research purposes only, but bodybuilders are still using them.
What are Prohormones?
Before SARMs came along, Prohormones such as Epistane and Superdrol were the sweetheart for bodybuilders. They promised the same results as anabolic-androgenic steroids, but they were milder. Yes, they’d affect several organs in the body and cause numerous serious adverse effects including hormone suppression, but even then, they were still better than steroids. This should give you some perspective on just how brutal steroids really were.
In their simplest description, prohormones can be said to be chemical precursors. When you consume the prohormones, the chemical is converted into a hormone which in this case it is anabolic hormones. As the levels of anabolic hormones increase in the body, users experience an anabolic effect, which is in the form of muscle growth, fat loss, increase in strength and stamina, and many more.
Benefits of SARMs and Prohormones
Other than the fact that both of these compounds do a fantastic job in building muscle mass and increasing strength levels, they each have unique benefits that can compel you into choosing one over the other.
SARMs, for instance, are associated with the following benefits:
- Lean muscle mass gain
- Enhanced strength
- Faster recovery
- Cutting body fat
- It doesn’t suppress natural t-levels
- It doesn’t convert into estrogen
- They are mild
Meanwhile, Prohormones are known to be:
- Lean muscle mass gain
- Better pumps
- Cutting body fat
- Improved sleep
- Faster recovery
- Increased appetite
- Increased calories
- Heightens aggression
- They are mild than AAS
What the above lists don’t show you is how powerful Prohormones are as compared to SARMs. These compounds will get you ripped super-fast, and that’s why they are popular to date. Meanwhile, the selective nature of SARMs makes them a bit slow-acting, but in the end, you will still get the results you need.
Therefore, if we are just talking about which compound is powerful, then Prohormones are the winner here. But read on because there is a vital plot twist ahead.
SARMs vs. Prohormones Side Effects
Perhaps the main reason for the popularity behind SARMs is their mild nature. When used correctly, these compounds will deliver all the benefits you are looking for without any medical complications. Some of them, like RAD-140, LGD-4033, and S23, are very powerful, and hence, they can become problematic if abused. It’s also possible to stack several SARMs for better and faster results. In such an event, you will also be required to run PCT or Post Cycle Therapy to avoid suppression of natural testosterone and other hormones.
Even with the safest SARMs, you may still encounter issues such as:
- Acne breakout
- Oily skin
- Increased bad cholesterol
It’s important to note that these effects do not happen to all SARM users. Several factors will contribute to the likelihood of you contracting any of them. For instance, if you prolong your cycles or use the SARM in excess, then the risk goes even higher. Also, people react differently to different compounds, and hence, while some people may experience testosterone suppression with a particular SARM, others will have nothing but great results. The specific SARM you use could also determine the risk of suppression. Take MK2866 for instance, this SARM is known to be very mild, and hence the risk of testosterone suppression is usually very low.
Something else that SARMs has going for them is the fact that they do not aromatize i.e., get converted into estrogen. This saves users from lots of estrogen-related issues such as gynecomastia or man boobs.
The research on SARMs is showing really impressive results, but there is something concerning. Like I pointed out, SARMs are only available as research compounds, and they are not permitted for human consumption. This essentially means that there might be certain serious issues related to these compounds that are yet to be identified. Anecdotal evidence doesn’t show any serious red flags yet, but until scientists and the regulating authorities clear the compounds, we still can’t ignore the possibility of serious unknown complications.
When we look at Prohormones, it starts to get clear about why people prefer SARMs. The compounds are associated with several serious adverse reactions that may leave you questioning whether it is even beneficial to use them in the first place.
- Acne breakout
- Water retention
- Low libido
- Mood swings
- High blood pressure
The risk of witnessing these side effects spikes as you increase the dosage and prolong your cycles. But even if you follow the guidelines to the latter, experiencing some of these side effects still remains as a huge possibility.
To counter these side effects, users are usually advised to take Prohormones alongside other compounds such as Androtest to prevent suppression and an aromatase inhibitor like Arimistane.
If we are just judging SARMs and Prohormones in terms of side effects and overall safety to users, SARMs come out on top.
Are they legal?
SARMs are not legal to buy for human consumption, but you can get them as research compounds in the US and most European countries. It’s important to check the specific regulations in your country before buying SARMs as they may be banned.
A decade ago, you could have walked into a supplements store and buy Prohormones, but today they are classified as Schedule III drugs, and hence they are banned in the US and most other countries. If you can remember the Designer Steroid Control Act of 2014 is one of the regulations that were put in place to ban most of the powerful Prohormones.
However, there are several legal prohormones on the market, such as 1-Androsterone, 1,4-OHP, and 4-Androsterone. These compounds will get you the results you need, but they are nowhere as powerful as the old Prohormones we all knew.
Take note that both SARMs and Prohormones are banned in professional sports.
SARMs vs. Prohormones; Which One Should You Use?
By now, you probably know that SARMs are a better path to take than Prohormones. They may not be as powerful, but neither are they as brutal. It doesn’t matter how fast or desperate you need that extra lean muscle mass because none of that will matter if you are left nursing liver toxicity, water retention, and low libido issues. Just take your time and do your SARMs cycle and in the end, you will get that ripped physique you need with your good health still intact.