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Many young guys are faced with the choice of using steroids or building their body naturally. What about you? Here are a few items to pounder as you consider your approach to training.
Steroids are expensive. The amount of money needed to get through a single year on the chemicals is considerable. In fact it is typically more than even the top bodybuilders make from competing. So right up front it is a losing proposition.
Steroid use is illegal and some bodybuilders end up serving time in the clink after being caught using or transacting with the drugs.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to avoid steroids is what they do to the body. The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists several very nasty consequences of chronic steroid intake. These include:
Liver tumors and blood-filled cysts forming in the liver (a rare form of hepatitis) which results in internal bleeding. Instead of building the body, the steroids are building up blood-filled boils.
Shrinking testicles – a reversible but unpleasant situation. The bodybuilder who tries to impress the ladies with his manly body is just a façade – his testicles are small as an infant’s. And the irreversible changes in the body such as baldness and breast development also are the result of steroid use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse cites one study of male bodybuilders in which over 50 percent had testicular atrophy and/or gynecomastia.
One of the most serious issues of steroid abuse is just starting to reach critical mass and is associated with the heart as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart attacks and strokes, are showing up even in athletes younger than 30. The National Institute on Drug Abuse points out that steroids directly contribute to the development of CVD. Strokes can also be an issue.
There are emotional issues that arise from steroid use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse cites case reports and small studies that indicate that anabolic steroids, when used in high doses, increase irritability and aggression and a recent study suggests that the mood and behavioral effects seen during anabolic-androgenic steroid abuse may result from secondary hormonal changes. In fact the term “roid rage” is now part of the popular lexicon.
The issue of nonsterile injection techniques or share contaminated needles with other abusers is an issue. So are contaminated or fake products, which can contain body damaging elements which the user has no idea are in the substance. This is a particular factor in black market products. How do you really know what you are getting?
"Androgens cause changes in neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) as well (as other problems); this can be problematic," says Linn Goldberg, M.D., FACSM, Head, Division of Health Promotion & Sports Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University.
Recent research has delved into the effects that steroids have on the heart. For example, in a controlled study, researchers compared male bodybuilders and powerlifters who used anabolic-androgenic steroids with those who did not. In a study led by Dr. Axel Urhausen of the Institute of Sports and Preventative Medicine, results indicated that users of the steroids were found to have concentric cardiac hypertrophy (enlarged heart) even after steroid use had ceased.
In another study, from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, bodybuilders who were taking anabolic-androgenic steroids were found to have higher levels of circulating concentrations of C reactive protein. C reactive protein concentration is a proven predictor of future cardiovascular incidents. As more and more research is gathered, the results look very bad for those who use chemical enhancement for the physique. Steroids do cause huge problems for the physique. And human growth hormone, the chemical of choice for today’s bodybuilders, has severe known negative side effects as well.
Finally, steroid use never ends well. Steroids are a crutch that artificially inflate the body for a period of time. When the steroids use comes to an end, so does the size. Steroids mask the true size of the individual, which is always much smaller, and always much weaker. Once again, steroid use never ends well – steroids are for losers.
Disclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only. We strongly recommend that you consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. MuscleNet.com is not a licensed medical care provider. The reader should understand that participating in any exercise program can result in physical injury and agrees to do so at his own risk. The findings and opinions of authors expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of MuscleNet.com.