4 of the Most Dangerous Bodybuilding Drugs and the Effect They Can Have on Your Health
The world of bodybuilding is full of supplements and drugs, both legal and illegal, and marketed to show off their benefits. Some are mostly benign while others pose serious risks. Here, we discuss four of the most dangerous bodybuilding drugs, their risks, and their benefits.
1. 2,4-Dinitrophenol or DNP – Marketed to Help People Lose Weight and Drop Stubborn Body Fat
As a drug, 2,4-Dinitrophenol allows the exchange of protons to cross into the mitochondria without utilizing the ADP process. APD generates energy for cellular usage. The result is that the ADP process becomes less efficient and your body must work harder to do normal activities. Therefore, you burn more fat and lose weight. Is it worth it?
An article that appeared in the Journal of Medical Toxicology lists the risks associated with 2,4-Dinitrophenol as a mixture of symptoms that range from hyperthermia and tachycardia to diaphoresis and tachypnoea – Increased body temperature, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, and rapid breathing. The result is death from acute toxicity.  These are all symptoms of shock.
The danger is that people try to ride the wave – to take advantage of the benefits but then get off the ride before it crashes. For some, that approach works. For others, not so much.
2. Insulin – Increases Stamina and Endurance
Insulin is a hormone that we produce naturally. Its use as a medication helps people who suffer from diabetes because it helps to control blood glucose levels. In bodybuilding, insulin is taken to help extend workout times and to help your body make more muscle cells.
An article in Science Daily points to a study that appeared in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and claims that high levels of insulin lead to heart failure.  The draw by bodybuilders to insulin is that they believe it becomes undetectable because it is a natural substance produced in the body. Insulin is a banned drug in sports. There are different forms of insulin available to bodybuilders even though using insulin can kill you.
A case study found on the US National Library of Medicine’s site, shows how easy it is to make a deadly miscalculation with Insulin.  In this case, a bodybuilder used the wrong form of insulin and was rushed to the ER unresponsive and near death. Little mistakes when using insulin can lead to adverse effects and death.
3. Anadrol – Boosts Lean Muscle Mass
Anadrol is an anabolic steroid (a manmade version of testosterone) that bodybuilders use to add bulk and lean muscle to their bodies. It can be found in many products and in specialty blends or stacks. It is sometimes used during cutting cycles to help drop fat, but most bodybuilders use it to add bulk. It is a schedule III drug and only available legally if you have a prescription from your doctor.
Originally, this drug was part of the treatment for people who suffered from anemia. Anadrol is widely available, and while many people focus on the fact that it raises estrogen levels, this is a drug that is very toxic to the liver. The toxicity of Anadrol increases if used in conjunction with other steroids, so half-life ratios for all drugs is always an issue.
An article that appeared in LixerTox looked at the effects of anabolic steroids on the liver. They found that these steroids damage the liver in four ways. These include increasing liver enzyme production, the onset of the acute cholestatic syndrome (vanishing bile duct syndrome), liver tumors, and damage to the blood vessels that support the liver. 
Oddly, in the bodybuilding world, conversations about Anadrol involve terms like, “More toxic than” or “Less toxic than” as though there is no hope for avoiding toxicity. The big dangers from Anadrol are increased due to its habitual use and risk to your liver. It is not a matter of if, but when liver damage occurs. That is because this is not a one-use drug, it is one of the steroids that bodybuilders cycle, stack, and worship.
4. Dianabol – Fast Bulking of Lean Muscle
Dianabol or Dbol is an anabolic steroid that is like Anadrol. Dianabol is also a schedule III drug and illegal to possess without a prescription from your doctor, so naturally, it is available everywhere. The most common form is oral Dianabol through injectables are also available, though rare.
Bodybuilders flock to Dianabol because it helps the body build strong, lean muscle cells. It is a steroid that helps to enhance strength and allows for more intense workouts. However, that might not be the full truth. A study that appeared in Clinical Science questioned whether the bulk gain from using Dianabol was from new muscle mass or a buildup of cellular fluid. The conclusion from the study was that while there is a weight gain, it is not from normal muscle growth. 
Methandrostenolone (Dianabol) carries with it many risks, and one of those is the risk of liver cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. It is also an androgen steroid meaning that it is a sex hormone. If prolonged use by men occurs, they will likely grow breasts, experience shrinkage of the testes, and massive changes in mood.
Through the pursuit of a better, stronger, and well-toned body, bodybuilders risk death, disease, and other maladies along with arrest and imprisonment. Is the risk worth the gain? The four steroids discussed here represent a small percentage of the steroids available to bodybuilders. While there are very heated debates about whether there is “risk”, how to use these drugs, and what they do for you, the lesson here is that the choice to take a steroid must be an informed decision. There are so many variables and dangers that one small miscalculation could mean death.
Unless you are a pro bodybuilder you should avoid the above drugs at all costs, the health risks are not worth it. If you feel you need something to help you pack on muscle there are legal steroid alternatives that can offer similar results without affecting your health.
James’ passion is fitness and everything related to optimizing your health and wellness. He utilizes progressive overload and macro calculations and mental techniques like mind-muscle connection in my training. He shares his teachings as a senior coach.
He has used anabolic steroids, peptides, HGH, insulin, and vitamins at some point in his life and can relate.