• musclemecca bodybuilding forums does not sell or endorse any bodybuilding gear, products or supplements.
    Musclemecca has no affiliation with advertisers; they simply purchase advertising space here. If you have questions go to their site and ask them directly.
    Advertisers are responsible for the content in their forums.

SARMs vs Steroids: Everything You Need to Know



Well-known member
Aug 7, 2023
The ongoing debate between Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) and traditional anabolic steroids has generated considerable interest in the fitness and bodybuilding communities. SARMs and steroids are both effective for promoting muscle growth. However, they have a lot of differences, especially in the mechanism of action and side effects.

The purpose of this article is to clear misunderstandings that exist regarding SARMs and steroids. Information in this comprehensive guide will help you decide which of the two substances is right for you.

SARM featured

Definition and Basics​

What are SARMs?​

Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) comprise a category of synthetic compounds that target androgen receptors specifically. Initially, researchers created them to treat various medical conditions, including osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, and hormone-related problems.

Late in the 20th century, scientists developed SARMs to develop a more targeted alternative to anabolic steroids. They aim to treat conditions that cause muscle atrophy, including cancer and AIDS. However, SARMs have become popular among bodybuilders and athletes looking to improve their muscle mass and strength.

Some of the most popular SARMs include:

  • Ligandrol (LGD-4033): Recognized for its potential to increase bone density and stimulate muscle growth.

  • Ostarine (MK-2866): Frequently used to assist in recovery and preserve muscle mass during cutting phases.

  • RAD 140 (Testolone): Acknowledged for its potential in promoting strength and muscle mass gain.

  • Andarine (S-4): Studied as a potential treatment for benign prostatic hypertrophy, osteoporosis, and muscle atrophy.

What are steroids?​

Steroids are a class of anabolic-androgenic steroids commonly used to promote muscle growth and strength. They are synthetic compounds that replicate the physiological responses of the male sex hormone, Testosterone. Although they effectively stimulate muscle growth and stamina, they may also result in severe health complications.

Several prevalent steroid substances include:

  • Testosterone: Serves as the principal reproductive hormone in males. It is a fundamental component of numerous steroid cycles and testosterone replacement therapy.

  • Dianabol (Methandrostenolone): A popular choice among bodybuilders due to its swift muscle-building effects.

  • Trenbolone: Acknowledged for its capacity to stimulate muscle growth and facilitate reduction in body mass.

  • Deca-Durabolin (Nandrolone): Prescribed for treating osteoporosis, anemia, and other conditions.

  • Anavar (Oxandrolone): Frequently prescribed to assist individuals in regaining weight loss due to specific medical conditions.

Mechanism of Action​

How SARMs Work​

SARMs work by binding to androgen receptors in muscle tissue. Androgen receptors are cellular nucleus-localized proteins. These receptors are in various tissues, including muscle and bone. When Testosterone or other androgens bind to androgen receptors, they trigger a cascade of events, enhancing protein synthesis and muscle growth.

This selective process means SARMs primarily affect the desired tissues without causing widespread hormonal imbalances. This specificity distinguishes SARMs from traditional anabolic steroids, which can influence multiple organs and systems throughout the body.

How Steroids Work​

Steroids work by increasing the body's testosterone levels. It is responsible for many of the physical characteristics of men, such as muscle mass, bone density, and body hair.

Hormonal imbalances may result from anabolic steroids, which inhibit the body's average testosterone production. Introducing exogenous Testosterone or its derivatives into the body may decrease endogenous testosterone production, leading to potential long-term hormonal issues.

Despite the hormonal imbalance, it increases protein synthesis, retains nitrogen in muscle cells, and decreases muscle degradation. Increased testosterone levels can also accelerate recovery by reducing muscle soreness and fatigue.

Benefits of Usage​

Benefits of SARMs​

SARMs aid in developing lean muscle mass as they bind to the androgen receptors in muscle tissue. Enhancing protein synthesis and reducing muscle breakdown may reduce the time needed for muscles to heal and adapt.

Additionally, the selective targeting of specific tissues makes them an attractive option for addressing these medical issues with potentially fewer side effects than traditional anabolic steroids.

Benefits of Steroids​

Anabolic steroids, such as Testosterone and its derivatives, can promote rapid muscle hypertrophy. Athletes and bodybuilders often experience increased strength, endurance, and a reduced recovery time between workouts. Its performance enhancement benefits allow athletes and bodybuilders to train harder and more frequently.

Anabolic steroids possess valid medical justifications, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat delayed puberty, low testosterone levels, and specific muscle-wasting disorders. Healthcare professionals prescribe them to address these medical conditions and improve the quality of life for patients.

Steriod sarms

Side Effects​

Side Effects of SARMs​

While SARMs are selective, some may still impact the endocrine system, leading to hormonal imbalances. These short-term effects can reduce natural testosterone production, affecting libido, mood, and energy levels. Some also experience tolerable side effects like hair loss, acne, and oily skin.
One significant concern with SARMs is their long-term impact on health. It causes liver damage, infertility, and cardiovascular problems when used for prolonged periods or in the wrong dosage. Some speculate that extended SARM use may carry the risk of yet-undiscovered side effects.

Side Effects of Steroids​

Steroids can cause a wide range of side effects, both physical and psychological. When used in a prolonged cycle, it can result in testicular atrophy, infertility, and gynecomastia. Some oral steroids can strain the liver and potentially lead to liver damage. It also contributes to increased blood pressure, which may raise the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and stroke.

Prolonged use of steroids can lead to psychological effects, such as mood swings and irritability. Some users become psychologically dependent on steroids, leading to anabolic steroid addiction.

Hormonal imbalance also happens even after discontinuing steroid use. Hypogonadism is a common side effect where the body doesn't produce enough Testosterone.

Administration and Dosage​

SARMs Administration​

SARMs typically come in the oral form, such as capsules or liquid. This method is convenient and avoids the need for injections, which can be a deterrent for some individuals. The ideal dosage for SARMs can vary depending on the specific compound and individual goals. Ligandrol has lower dosages among all standard types, starting at 5 to 10mg daily.

Steroids Administration​

Anabolic steroids users most commonly administer steroids via intramuscular injections. The substance goes directly into the muscle tissue, where the bloodstream absorbs it. Some steroids, like Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) and Anadrol (Oxymetholone), are also available in oral form and are taken by mouth.

Experienced users frequently employ stacking, combining two or more anabolic steroids to improve their effects. Individuals can optimize their strategy by stacking to achieve various objectives, including bulking, reducing, or athletic performance enhancement.
Dosages for anabolic steroids can vary widely, depending on factors such as the specific steroid, experience level, and desired outcomes. For beginners, a typical guideline might include a weekly dosage of 300-500mg of Testosterone, 20-30mg daily of Dianabol, or 150-300mg weekly of Trenbolone.

Safety, Risks, and Post-Cycle Therapy​

Safety Measures for SARMs and Steroids​

Please consult a qualified healthcare professional before beginning a SARM or steroid regimen so that they may evaluate your health, offer advice, and monitor your progress. Consistent health surveillance, including medical check-ups and blood tests, is necessary to assess hormonal balance and identify possible adverse effects.

Individuals should stick to the recommended dosages and cycle lengths to minimize the risk of side effects. Higher doses for quicker results are often a misconception, which leads to health issues.

Risks Associated with Misuse​

When misused, it increases the risk of side effects. Both SARMs and steroids can increase blood pressure, raising the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and stroke. Misuse can lead to psychological dependence and, in some cases, anabolic steroid addiction. Steroid misuse can also shrink the testicles due to suppressed natural testosterone production.

Post Cycle Therapy (PCT)​

After a cycle, healthcare professionals advise to consider post-cycle therapy (PCT) if necessary to help restore natural hormonal balance. It is of utmost significance for individuals who have administered higher dosages or experienced significant hormonal fluctuations. PCT also mitigates the risk of side effects.

Some of the most common components of PCT include:

  • Clomid (Clomiphene): A pharmaceutical agent that stimulates the body's natural testosterone production. As a component of PCT, individuals frequently use it to restore hormonal equilibrium.

  • Nolvadex (Tamoxifen): A drug that promotes the recovery of natural testosterone levels and prevents the development of gynecomastia.

  • HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin): A hormone that stimulates the testicles to produce Testosterone. Using HCG on PCT prevents testicular atrophy and promotes testosterone production.

Legal Status and Implications​

Legal Status of SARMs​

The legal standing of SARMs differs across nations. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) disapproved of SARMs for human use in the United States. However, they are still widely available online and in supplement stores.

SARMs belong to Class C substances in the United Kingdom, which renders their possession without a prescription unlawful. In Canada, SARMs are still investigational drugs, and people can only use them under the supervision of a doctor.

Legal Status of Steroids​

Anabolic steroids are subject to strict regulations in many countries, primarily because of their potential misuse and associated health risks. In most countries, anabolic steroids belong to prescription medications. Individuals can only obtain them legally with a prescription from a qualified healthcare provider.

The penalties for illegal possession or distribution can vary widely, including fines and imprisonment.

Some countries classify steroids as controlled substances. Due to this, they implement stricter regulations and penalties for their illegal use or distribution.

Doping, Sports, and Testing​

SARMs in Professional Sports​

Every professional sport prohibits SARMs. Anti-doping policies enforced by major sports leagues and organizations strictly forbid the use of said substances. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has a list of prohibited substances that includes all SARMs.

Athletes who test positive for SARMs may face penalties, including suspension, fines, and competition disqualification. Engaging in professional sports with SARMs breaches anti-doping policies that may result in career termination and damage one's reputation.

Steroids in Professional Sports​

Notorious cases of athletes found guilty of doping have marred the use of steroids in professional sports. Some prominent athletes faced public scandals and consequences for their use of steroids.

One of the most controversial doping cases was when Major League Baseball (MLB) caught Barry Bonds using steroids. As one of the most appreciated baseball players, his case contributed to greater awareness regarding the issue of steroid use in professional sports.

The detection of steroids in professional sports relies on rigorous testing methods, including urine and blood tests. Anti-doping agencies continuously update and improve their detection methods to stay ahead of new substances and designer steroids.

Testing and Detection​

Athletes provide urine or blood samples during random or scheduled tests, where accredited laboratories analyze them. These tests identify specific metabolites or markers that indicate the presence of steroids in an athlete's system.

Anti-doping agencies set specific thresholds or reference ranges for the concentration of metabolites in an athlete's sample. If the concentration exceeds these limits, it is considered a positive test.

Community Insights and Testimonials​

Bodybuilding and Athletic Communities on SARMs​

Social media and online forums have emerged as centers for discussing SARMs. Online forums and social media platforms have become hubs for discussions about SARMs, where users discuss their results, side effects, and dosage recommendations.

Fitness forums also attract a significant number of SARM users. Users discuss SARM-related topics in this forum, including the most effective SARMs for reducing, bulking, and strength gain.

Bodybuilding and Athletic Communities on Steroids​

Steroid use has a significant historical influence within the bodybuilding community. Prominent bodybuilders, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman, have admitted to using steroids. For Arnold Schwarzenegger, steroids were essential to his success. However, for Ronnie Coleman, steroids were one of the factors that destroyed his body.

The issue of steroids in sports has also seen widespread media coverage and debates. Topics such as doping scandals and testing procedures continue to be a subject of ongoing discussion and controversy in athletics.


The choice between SARMs and anabolic steroids is a decision that requires careful consideration. SARMs are more selective in targeting specific tissues, while steroids have a systemic impact on the entire body, affecting various organs and systems. People generally consider SARMs safer than steroids because they have fewer side effects. However, it may still have short and long-term side effects harmful to the body.

Before beginning a regimen involving SARMs or steroids, consult with professionals who can offer individualized guidance. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of SARMs and steroids is critical before deciding whether or not to use them.

Frequently Asked Questions​

How do SARMs and steroids affect women differently than men?

The effects of SARMs and steroids may differ between men and women due to variances in hormonal profiles. When using these substances, women may experience irregular menstrual cycles, changes in libido, and other hormonal disruptions.

How long do SARMs and steroids stay in the system?

The duration that SARMs and steroids stay in the system can vary based on several factors, including the specific compound, dosage, and the individual's metabolism. Most SARMs have relatively short half-lives. It can take several days or weeks for the body to eliminate half of the dose of a SARM. Anabolic steroids, depending on their formulation and route of administration, can have longer half-lives.

Can I use SARMs and steroids together?

Fitness experts and healthcare professionals do not recommend stacking SARMs and steroids together. Both SARMs and steroids impact the endocrine system, and combining them can amplify these effects. Additionally, there is limited research on the safety and efficacy of using SARMs and steroids together.
  • Like
Reactions: KaiGold and ArnoldS


Mecca V.I.P.
Oct 11, 2013
We know the winner I think.
  • Like
Reactions: BigArvin and KaiGold

Similar threads

JY Pharma
JY Pharma
JY Pharma