How to use steroids safely
Steroids are known in society to be dangerous, especially towards your health, which is true. But is there a way to use them and avoid these health complications as best as possible?
The first question you might ask is why someone would want to use something dangerous in the first place? The answer is not simple, and everyone has their own reasons, however, a common reason is individuals looking to advance their athletic career. But steroids are not allowed in sport? True, but you would be surprised to know that most, if not all, top tier athletes are using performance enhancing drug. Anyone familiar with the inner workings of sport will tell you that. The way that they avoid being caught for steroid use is easier than it might seem (This is a separate topic for discussion).
I do not advocate for the use of steroids in any capacity, however, if someone has decided to use them, I will try dissuading them and if that does not work, I will educate them to the best of my ability on how to use them safely.
The principle used in this discussion is Harm Reduction. Harm reduction is the acceptance that individuals will use illicit substances and we must reduce the harm they cause to themselves in the process, instead of refusing the assist. It entails helping and not judging the individual. The end goal is to make steroid use as safe a practice as possible whilst not promoting its use.
With all that said and done, let us proceed to the topic of discussion.
The first principle is limiting yourself to the drugs proven to be the safest. Injectable testosterone is the safest and most researched steroid. It is a bioidentical hormone, meaning it is the same as testosterone produced by your body and thus is maintains the same functions. As mentioned before, it is well researched with the lowest incidence of negative health consequences. Furthermore, it is efficient at building muscle, it improves most individual’s libido, mood, and the fact that it converts to oestrogen helps with your cholesterol. Exclusive use of testosterone is most advisable. If testosterone is not available other drugs such as Nadralone (‘Deca’), Primobolan (‘Primo’), or Equipoise (Boldenone) should be used as they have minimal cardiovascular strain in comparison to other steroids. If an oral is desired c-17 alkylated steroids must be avoided due to their deleterious effects on the liver and cardiovascular system. The safest orals are oral Primobolan or Proviron.
As mentioned above, avoid toxic oral steroids. c-17 alpha alkylated must be avoided at all costs due to their effects on the liver, cholesterol, and heart strain. Most, if not all, positive athletic benefits that toxic orals provide can be attained from other safer agents.
Reasonable doses should be used. The principle of diminishing return should be known before using steroids. This means as doses increase above a certain level, the muscle gains become less and the side effects increase. 400mg total of steroid per week were used when steroids were first introduced to bodybuilding and that was enough to achieve many individuals’ goals. Now 0.8mg per kilogram of lean body weight per week is the general recommendation. Many individuals go above this recommendation without realising that diet and training will produce better results than steroids alone will. High doses should be avoided due to the strain they place on the cardiovascular system.
Steroids must be used in cycles. Never use steroids from longer than their intended duration. Therefore, keep a cycle between 6 to 15 weeks. Cycling will aid in preventing long term fertility issues and allows health markers to recover when you go off cycle.
Anti-oestrogens should be avoided as much as reasonably possible. Oestrogen is important in maintaining one’s libido, mood and supports cholesterol. If oestrogenic side effects do occur, try reducing the dose of the offending agent or start with a low dose SERM (Nolvadex) or aromatase inhibitor (Arimidex).
Health supplements should be considered. Although science behind the use of omega 3 in heart disease in inconclusive, they might support healthier cholesterol levels. Furthermore, garlic and resveratrol also assist. If liver toxic orals are used, protection of the liver should be considered. Supplements such as phospholipids (Essentiale) and TUDCA should be considered.
Blood tests are needed. A separate article on which blood tests are need will be published soon. Blood tests are needed before a cycle, during a cycle and after a cycle to ensure complete coverage.
Ensure you have a healthy diet. When using steroids your caloric expenditure will increase which leads individuals to eat unhealthy foods because more calories are needed to gain weight. In addition, the increase in metabolism allows one to deviate from their diet without adding too much additional fat. Steroids already have an impact on cholesterol and eating foods high in saturated fats, cholesterol or simple carbohydrates can exacerbate the issue. Thus, it is advisable to limit the consumption of foods high in these unhealthy elements.
Avoid underground steroids or counterfeit steroids. Underground steroids tend to present more health ramifications than just the steroids themselves. They may not be sterile (contain bacteria), they may have high heavy metal loads, or the raw powders used to produce the steroid may be of a low quality. Pharmaceutical grade steroids must be produced in a controlled environment and are heavily regulated to ensure they are safe for use. If it is not possible to avoid underground steroids, try using sterilization filters to ensure safety.
Last and possibly most important, involve a health care practitioner. No doctor will supply you with illegal substances, however, if you approach a doctor clued up on steroids, they will ensure your health is not compromised during a steroid cycle and will know how to monitor your health. Furthermore, they may offer you advice.
These are the steps I recommend to anyone who has started or has decided to use steroids. I would advise not to use steroids if possible, but the decision is up to you. Risk versus reward should always be considered first.