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What Are Anabolic Steroids? Are they Safe and Legal?

What Are Anabolic Steroids?

Anabolic steroids or properly termed as anabolic-androgenic steroids, are synthetic (man-made) variations of the primary male sex hormone testosterone.

“Anabolic” refers to muscle building, and “androgenic” refers to increased male sex characteristics.

Doctors can prescribe anabolic steroids to treat hormonal issues such as delayed puberty for men.

Are Steroids Legal?

Steroids are legal but without a doctor’s prescription for a medical condition, it’s not. Possession or selling anabolic steroids are against the law.

Additionally, Doctors are not allowed to prescribe steroids just to enhance one’s athletic performance. And on top of that steroids are banned by professional sports organizations.

However, despite this, there are still some athletes and bodybuilders who misuse these drugs in an attempt to boost performance or improve their physical appearance.

Adverse Effects

Anabolic steroids are powerful hormones. If they are taken inappropriately they can affect the entire body negatively. Some of the side effects are common to all user which includes but not limited to:

  • painful erections
  • low sperm count
  • Impotence
  • gynecomastia (male boobs)
  • infertility
  • baldness

What Are Safer Alternatives?

Some people believe that the only way to achieve muscle gain is the use of steroids, but that is definitely not a fact. Here are some of the best alternatives to anabolic steroids.


Creatine is one of the most well known performance support options. They are naturally found in protein rich foods like meats and fish. It is sold in many stores as a muscle building and performance boosting supplement.

Creatine perhaps is the most safe alternative to steroids. Research has also found no long-term health effects of using creatine.

Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)

MMP is a blend of creatine, betaine, and dendrobium extract.

This supplement is relatively safe to use. However, it doesn’t result in the muscle-building claims this drug’s marketing copy might lead you to believe.


Dehydroepiandrosterone is a precursor molecule that the body converts into the hormones testosterone and estradiol.

These increase protein production and consumption, in turn, increasing muscle growth and strength.


Limited research proposes that D-aspartic acid (DAA) may have a role in the production and release of testosterone.

However, most of these studies showing that DAA enhances testosterone levels have been in animals. More human studies are needed to support their findings.

The Takeaway

Steroids, legal or not, are never the best solution for building muscle or getting fit. It’s best to focus on sustainable, healthy alternative ways to build muscle and stay fit like having a good weight-training routine and following a healthy muscle friendly diet.

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