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Aging and anabolic steroids they make you strong but they may also make you age fast
Anabolic steroids have been all the rage for many decades. In almost a blink of an eye, they can make you stronger, bigger and help you outperform your competition. It’s not only bodybuilders who take anabolic steroids. Almost every professional athlete has experimented with some anabolic substance at some time or another.
Just because athletes use them does not mean they are safe. You hear of the many side effects like liver, kidney, and heart damage, but taking anabolic steroids goes far beyond damaging your body’s organs. Anabolic steroids can make you look old.
I recently looked at some before and after photos of pro bodybuilders and how they looked before and after taking anabolic steroids. Most of the before and after images showed a significant increase in aging.
How anabolic steroids work
Testosterone is the main hormone in men. Women also have testosterone but in much smaller quantities. Testosterone is responsible for increasing muscle mass, bone density, and sex drive. Normal levels of testosterone are needed for men to function.
Anabolic steroids are known as AAS androgenic-anabolic steroids. In simple terms, they are synthetically made derivatives of the male hormone (testosterone). The anabolic effect can boost testosterone to incredible levels. The androgenic effect from steroids helps increase muscle and is responsible for the effects of puberty, such as increased sex drive, facial hair, and deep voice.
Different variations of anabolic steroids produce different results. Bodybuilders and athletes will combine different AAS (stacking) to achieve different results to achieve these effects. While the need of a bodybuilder is to increase muscle mass (bulk up), a football player or baseball player may want something to increase performance, power, and endurance.
Once anabolic steroids enter your body, they are broken down into tiny molecules that can be absorbed by the body’s cells. The molecules bind to what are called androgen receptors. These receptors change how your genes react.
Once the steroids are in your body, they begin to enhance your body’s metabolism by increasing muscle mass and improving the way your muscles synthesize protein. The quicker your body metabolizes protein, the more muscle mass you will gain.
Another benefit of anabolic steroids is that they reduce muscle recovery time. When you train with weights, you are tearing the muscle. The muscle then repairs itself. This is when it grows. Unfortunately, the average person will normally wake up sore the next day. It usually takes a couple of days for full muscle recovery. That is why athletes take them so they can train more often.
Anabolic steroids make you age faster
Anabolic steroids increase every function of your body, which speeds up the aging process. One of the reasons many bodybuilders suffer from certain heart conditions is due to packing on too much muscle in a short period of time. This places a constant strain on the heart, making it pump harder. This often leads to an enlarged heart which can restrict the proper blood and oxygen flow that your body needs. Besides an enlarged heart, anabolic steroids also increase bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.
Taking steroids for a prolonged period of time will eventually reduce sperm count, shrink testicles, cause baldness, and drastically reduce your sex drive. Ultimately anabolic steroids can turn a young man into a very old-looking muscular guy.
Anabolic steroids make you lose your hair
Not every man or woman will lose their hair by taking steroids. Many do. If a person is prone to baldness due to genetics, anabolic steroids will speed up the hair loss process. This is dues to increased levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone). If you are genetically prone to hair loss, you will lose your hair.
Some of the steroids responsible for hair loss:
Are the effects of steroids reversible?
The effects of steroid damage are reversible. A lot depends on how long you have been taking them. This is no different than someone who smokes or drinks. Someone who has abused alcohol all of their life might have a tough time making a complete recovery, while someone who has only done it for a couple of years should expect a full recovery. The same goes for anabolic steroids. A lot depends on how long they have been used.
Why anabolic steroids still exist
While anabolic steroids are mostly known within the bodybuilding world, steroids have many benefits that can help people who suffer from certain illnesses. Anabolic steroids are administered to patients who have cancer and aids to help increase the weight they lost due to their illness. They are also administered to adolescents who do not produce sufficient levels of hormones during puberty.
Anabolic steroid use should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, many men and women do. Long-term use will make you look older, plus it can have some long-lasting side effects that may surface later on in life. Steroids should only be used if prescribed by your doctor to treat certain medical conditions.
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.