Steroid Effects: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Anabolic Steroids

It would be fair to say that steroids have become pretty synonymous with bodybuilding over the last few decades. At first, they were entirely fashionable, and endorsed by some of the biggest celebrities around.

anabolic steroid effects

However, it soon started to become apparent that they weren’t just associated with monumental muscle growth – but plenty of side effects as well. In other words, they were a mixture of good and bad effects.

This is the reason today’s guide has been put together and we will now take a look at the reasons why people turn to steroids, as well as the potential harm that their bodies can incur as a result of this.



Why do people take steroids?

Why do people take steroids

Let’s start with a positive look at steroids, and just why so many people did (and still do for that matter) turn to them.

At this point it’s probably worth mentioning that steroids are very much a short-term solution. In other words, by taking them for a few weeks, you are not going to experience lifelong results. Instead, the results will only be prevalent for as long as you continue to take them. This means that some people might struggle to maintain the positive effects that we are about to talk about.


An increase in testosterone

To say that testosterone is the buzzword in the industry would be an understatement. It’s something that we are all aware of and we all know that higher levels of it result in a magnitude of benefits, including more muscle growth and even more sex drive. Testosterone helps out with this, meaning that muscle growth is so much easier.


An increase in nitrogen retention

Nitrogen retention is something that is often not understood very well but in truth, it can make a huge difference to the way in which your muscles develop. The calculation is simple; if your body holds more nitrogen, it can also build more muscle. Steroids allow your body to hold more nitrogen.


An increase in protein synthesis

As we all know, this is the bread and butter of building muscle. The more protein synthesis that takes place, the more proteins that can be replaced with stronger alternatives. This is something that steroids aid considerably with.


An increase in red blood cell production

Steroids help our bodies produce more red blood cells as well. This is really important, as red blood cells carry oxygen. Ultimately, you are going to be given more power when it matters during a workout.


A decrease in recovery times

So far, we’ve talked all about “increases”. We are now going to look at something that will tend to decrease courtesy of you turning to steroids; your recovery times. As we all know, this can be a big problem for those of you who train frequently – it’s very hard to get your muscles to recover for the next day. This is a really important benefit of steroids, as they can reduce this recovery time and ultimately allow you to train more often and more intensely.


What are the side effects of anabolic steroids?

side effects of anabolic steroids

As you can see anabolic steroids are pretty powerful and can really supercharge your results. At the same time, there are drawbacks.

Perhaps one of the worst things is that while the benefits only last for as long as you take the steroid, the side effects can actually last a lifetime. In other words, you might experience some of the following effects years down the line – many moons after you have stopped taking steroids.


Liver damage

Certain types of steroids can have really significant effects on the liver. Some of this damage is most certainly long-term, with some studies revealing that steroids can even cause liver cancer.


Man breasts

This is one of the more interesting side effects, but naturally one that nobody wants to experience. A lot of men find that they get “man breasts” when they use steroids, and there is a very scientific reason behind this. Steroids tend to suppress the amount of testosterone our body can produce naturally which in turn, means that our estrogen levels rise. In other words, our body is completely unbalanced with these hormones, and this means that men start to develop female characteristics.


Hair loss

Let’s start by clarifying that not everyone who takes steroids is going to suffer from hair loss. However, if you are someone who is already losing their hair (or will do in the future), studies have shown that steroids accelerate the process. If you have no chance of going bald, they won’t make a difference though.



This is one of the most common side effects of steroids and can again be related completely to science. Steroids cause the sebaceous glands in our skin to go into overdrive; producing more oil than they really need. This is unfortunately reflected in the acne that can develop.


Lower sex drive

Considering the fact that steroids can help you to produce testosterone, which is known to boost your sex drive, this next side effect might appear somewhat bizarre. Nevertheless, at least from a long-term perspective, it has been found that a man’s libido can diminish significantly if they have previously taken steroids.


Testicular atrophy

On a similar subject, let’s now look towards your testicles. This is the organ which produces the hormone and as such, when you use steroids, your testicles can actually shrink.


High blood pressure

We’ll leave one of the most dangerous side effects until the end. It has been found that steroids can raise your blood pressure, with some cases leading to hypertension. Considering the fact that this can be life threatening, little else needs to be said.


How can you get a best of both worlds solution?

legal steroids

As the guide has hopefully highlighted, it’s clear that there are significant pros and cons to steroids. On one hand, the muscle building benefits can be insane – certainly sufficient to transform your body. On the other, the drawbacks can be life changing as well – and sometimes life-ending.

Bearing this in mind, what can you do to ensure that you get a best of both worlds solution? In other words, you reap all of the benefits, but without any of the nasty side effects?

Fortunately, modern-technology means that there is now an answer. This comes in the form of legal steroid alternatives.

To say that these have transformed the whole outlook on steroids would be a gross understatement. They are able to mimic all of the positive effects of “normal” steroids, but without putting your body through any side effects. This all happens because they are made from 100% natural ingredients (like plants) which of course are not going to cause any harm whatsoever to your body.

The interesting part about these steroids is that they work exactly the same as their “big brothers”. In other words, they might promote thermogenesis, or they might make your body produce more testosterone. However, all of this is completed in a safe manner which isn’t going to compromise either your short-term or long-term health.

In short, for anyone who doesn’t want to risk their health but does want accelerated results, legal alternatives are designed for you. It’s possible to find alternatives for dianabol, clenbuterol and trenbolone, so it’s certainly fair to say that they are becoming very mainstream as well.

If you are looking for legal steroid supplements, check our article here first.

the top legal steroid alternatives

About George Allen

George Allen – Author – An AFPA Certified holistic and preventative nutrition professional. George is a well known exercise physiology and sports nutrition expert, the co-founder of
Syracuse University graduate: bachelor’s degree in nutrition/dietetics (B.S.) and a master’s degree in nutrition science with a concentration in counseling (M.A.)
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