What is Cardarine anyway?
Cardarine has a lot of names and numerical markings. Some might know it as Endurbol, or GW501516. No matter the name, the product is the same.
Cardarine actually has quite a history. It was first developed in the 1990s as a part of a cancer treatment trial. As a chemical developed for this specific purpose, it has a lot of benefits, as one would imagine. However, no drug is without side effects, but we’ll discuss that a bit later.
A SARM or something else?
The interesting thing about Cardarine is that it isn’t actually a SARM. Both SARMs and GW501516 are becoming increasingly popular in the bodybuilding community. However, they aren’t from the same family of performance enhancers.
SARMs are selective androgen receptor modulators. That basically means that SARMs influence the receptors that receive signals from androgens. Is GW501516 the same?
While many think the answer is yes, they are wrong. Cardarine is actually a PPAR delta activator. That means that it doesn’t modulate the work of the receptors in bones and muscles to increase muscle mass as SARMs do.
Cardarine can have positive effects on the digestive system, which can lead to fat building and muscle gain, among other things. This also explains why it’s commonly confused with SARMs. This PPAR delta activator also has positive effects on the vascular and the nervous systems, and liver and kidney function.
- Helps grow bigger muscles
- Helps in improving strength
- Increases endurance
- Improves stamina
- Helps in muscle recovery
- No negative side effects
The history of Cardarine
As mentioned, Cardarine was developed as part of cancer treatment research. The primary goal was to create a chemical that can stop tumor growth. Namely, GW501516 was supposed to target colon, breast, and prostate tumors and prevent their formation.
Yet, during the trial, the research team found interesting results.GW501516 also had positive effects on lipid, as well as vascular health. Among the surprising results were also:
- higher levels of endurance,
- burning fat
- and lowering the severeness of diabetes’ symptoms in rats.
Thus, it is only logical to assume what train of thoughts led athletes, especially bodybuilders, to turn to Cardarine. It burns fat and increases muscle gain. In fact, it offers all the benefits of anabolic steroids, albeit on a much smaller scale, without the testicle shrinking and liver failure. What’s more, GW501516 can have a beneficial effect on a damaged liver. It really sounds like a bodybuilder’s dream come true, right? But is it?
Medical uses and benefits of GW501516
After the initial research, back in the 90s, scientists discovered that GW501516 has plenty of potential uses in medicine. Fat burning, higher endurance, and muscle gain are the most important benefits for bodybuilders. But Cardarine also affects the vascular and the nervous system, and liver and kidney function.
- The vascular system
One of the major effects of Cardarine is that it lowers cholesterol levels. However, it also directly affects blood vessels and arteries. Because it has anti-inflammatory properties, Cardarine diminishes the effects of oxidative damage.
Researchers found that GW501516 significantly reduced the risk of heart disease. What’s more, potential complications of cardiovascular diseases were also affected.
Cardarine prevents plaque buildup in the arteries and protects them from damage. Furthermore, it can also accelerate the growth of new cells and blood vessels.
Yet, this benefit is the proverbial double-edged sword. It can also stimulate the growth of other cells that aren’t beneficial at all — cancer cells.
- The nervous system
The fact that Cardarine has positive effects on blood vessels is also beneficial for the nervous system. It means that it can diminish the risk of strokes and hemorrhage in the brain. Furthermore, some trials hint that this chemical can also have positive effects on the development of brain cells.
Other research shows that anti-inflammatory properties may actually cause brain cell damage. So, in essence, the jury is still out on the matter of Cardarine benefits on the nervous system.
- The effects on liver cells
The liver is the principal target of Cardarine. As we know, the liver has a crucial role in storing, releasing, and burning fats. That’s why the effects that Cardarine has are especially beneficial for bodybuilders.
Our blood sugar levels go down when the liver switches from glucose as an energy source to fatty acids. That’s precisely what Cardarine causes the liver to do. Furthermore, it can also prevent insulin resistance, non-alcoholic liver damage, and cell death.
The benefits of Cardarine for athletes
Of course, as bodybuilders, we are mostly interested in three features of GW501516:
- Fat burning
- Muscle growth
- Stamina growth
When it comes to fat burning, the good news is that GW501516 was researched as a part of clinical, human-based trials. The science shows that this chemical activates the genes in charge of burning fat. What’s more, it also increases energy use. Thus, it actively boosts your system so that it burns fat as an energy source.
This is also very beneficial to obese people. Cardarine diminishes the symptoms of metabolic disorders, as it increases fat burning levels. What’s more, it decreases liver fat, insulin levels, and blood fats by 10 to 30% according to some studies.
How Cardarine enhances fat burning
Cardarine works by blocking the formation of fatty acid chains. Essentially, this means that it prevents the body from storing fat, as well as using it as an energy source. The results are similar to the “starvation mode” that the body goes into when food intake is scarce. Yet with Cardarine, there is no muscle mass deterioration or muscle “cannibalization.”
Furthermore, enhanced stamina, as a side effect of GW501516, leads to an increase in physical activity. People who use it have more strength and endurance. Thus, building muscle mass and developing a more muscular, lean figure is easier.
Not to mention Cardarine also improves tissue recovery. A healthier liver function allows for faster recovery time. Of course, this is amazing news for bodybuilders. Cardarine can reduce “rest” time. That means that we can keep a more rigorous training program. It works both for bulking and for cutting.
While on that subject, it’s important to note that Cardarine is a very versatile chemical. It can be used in any program, and we can stack it with virtually any other chemical and other SARMs.
Potential side effects
We all know the horror stories that come with the territory of anabolic steroids. Liver damage, vascular damage, destroyed reproductive organs — we all try to stay away from that. So what happens when we hear about a magic pill that promises fantastic results? Naturally, we want to know — what’s the catch?
However, it seems as though there isn’t a catch. Healthy individuals who use Cardarine and stick to proper dosages shouldn’t experience any side effects. That’s not to say there aren’t any.
Extensive studies done on rats and mice have shown that GW501516 could potentially cause liver damage. Still, the research was done on mice with pre-existing liver disease. Furthermore, individuals with certain issues, as well as pregnant women should avoid using it.
Recommended doses and uses of Cardarine
When it comes to dosing Cardarine, the sweet spot is somewhere between 10 and 20mg per day. What’s more, the intake should be once a day. For beginner bodybuilders and amateurs just looking to lose fat, a lower dose might be enough. However, athletes and bodybuilders should take around 20mg before a workout.
The important thing to remember is that GW501516 has a half-life of 16 to 24 hours. Therefore, you’ll often hear bodybuilders taking their recommended dose in two parts — twice daily.
Furthermore, the recommended cycle is around 12 weeks. This is a bit longer than most SARM cycles. Still, since Cardarine isn’t actually a SARM, that’s understandable. Furthermore, Cardarine doesn’t need any PCT (post-cycle therapy).
Due to the lack of significant side effects, prolonged use isn’t as frowned upon. Still, keep in mind that any abuse can potentially lead to particular consequences.
A few parting words
Overall, for those of us looking for a safe, clean performance-enhancing chemical —GW501516 is an excellent choice. The benefits-to-side-effects ratio is almost too good to be true. The drug itself hasn’t been thoroughly tested on humans in an official capacity. Nonetheless, it’s been a fan-favorite among bodybuilders for over thirty years now.