Over the last few decades the bodybuilding community have been moving away from steroids and into Prohormones and SARMS. This article addresses some facts on prohormones and how they compare to SARMS and steroids
Prohormones Steroids and SARMS
This is an introductory info page on prohormones. Information on legal steroids, legal SARMs and related substances is a veritable rabbit warren which you are most welcome to explore (link out from this page to various other articles).
Be aware that anything we post is for educational purposes and is not advice or guidance on the use or procurement of these hormones/drugs.
Also, products that are legal or illegal now may or may not be in the future. Bare that in mind if you are reading this.
An example of this is Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals 1-AD, which is essentially a legal pre prohormone – containing 1-Andro – on the US market today. It may not be next year.
Note: SARMS are gaining popularity among body builders. SARMs exert their effects by activating androgen receptors, which leads to increases in protein synthesis, fat loss , and muscle gain. This is an important distinction because there are several other supplements on the market that also increase protein synthesis (e.g., leucine), decrease body fat levels (e.g., raspberry ketones), or promote lean mass accrual (e.g., creatine ).
A Word on Anabolic Steroids
Anabolic steroids are just synthetic hormones that are introduced to the body either orally or via injection. All of them are prescription-only drugs in many countries, and some are even banned for medical use altogether.
Classic bulking cycle oral kick starters like Dianabol and Deca Durobolin require a lot of monitoring and come with some pretty fierce side effects – particularly in the form of liver toxicity.
With the legal and health issues combined, many bodybuilders began using other ‘designer’ steroids or prohormones until the mid-2000s.
What Are Prohormones?
Prohormones have become known in the bodybuilding community as an alternative option to steroids, most notably because before 2005 they were legal to purchase and use.
A prohormone is basically a precursor of a specific hormone. Dihydroboldenone – aka 1-Testosterone – is the prohormone of the most famous of all anabolic steroid hormones; Testosterone.
The testosterone boosting industry has exploded in recent years with dozens of products flooding the market. As with any industry there are the good bad, the bad and the downright ugly.
Examples of testosterone supplements that are available to obtain legally are TestoPrime and Testo Max
Are Prohormones Legal?
In 2005, the US FDA – Food and Drug Administration – banned the use of 1-Testosterone and all the other prohormones, forcing them on to the black market, where they have remained ever since.
For residents of other countries, there exists a grayer zone than the US. We have international readers in mind, but your access to prohormones is something we cannot really confirm, deny or openly discuss.
Just be aware of the law in your own country. Controlled substances are not always illegal to possess for personal use, but they may be illegal to purchase.
A head scratcher, if ever there was one.
How Do Prohormones Work
Prohormones are precursors to hormones, meaning that they are the raw materials your body uses to produce its own natural steroids. Your endocrine system is responsible for producing all of these steroidal compounds, including testosterone and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone).
Are Prohormones Steroids?
No! The key word here is “precursor.” While prohormones convert into active anabolic-androgenic steroids in vivo, they can also serve as building blocks upon which endogenous hormone production relies. In other words, prohormones provide a legal option for increasing testosterone levels without resorting to illegal substances like clenbuterol.
Types of Prohormones
- 4- Androstenedione
- 4- Androstenediol
- 19- Norandrostenedione
- 19- Norandrostenediol
In addition there are:
Androstenedione, also known as andro or A-dione, is a steroidal hormone produced in the adrenal glands that converts into testosterone once it enters muscle cells . Long popular with bodybuilders , this compound was banned by the FDA in 2005 . Andro products have been linked to increased risk for heart attack and stroke
Pregnenolone is an allosteric modulator that interacts with neurotransmitters throughout your central nervous system . In other words, pregnenolone has unique cognitive benefits such as improved memory recall and superior mental focus while simultaneously promoting physical growth! This makes it especially valuable for students and athletes .
Phenylpropionate is a metabolite of phenethylamine , an organic compound found in chocolate that produces feelings of intoxication when consumed.
Phenylpropionate converts into amphetamine upon ingestion, which can have powerful stimulant effects on your central nervous system
Methylstenbolone (also known as M-Sten) was developed by British Dragon Pharmaceuticals to be six times more anabolic than methasterone while still retaining its mild steroidal aromatase properties! This makes methylstenbolone perfect for bodybuilders who are looking to maximize muscle growth without encountering too many estrogenic side effects . Androsta-ol , also known as adiol or A-diol, is a steroidal hormone that converts into both testosterone and estradiol
Trenbolone acetate is an injectable, non-aromatizing steroid with strong anabolic activity. This means trenbolone binds to the androgen receptor just like other anabolic steroids but does not convert into estrogen .
Since it cannot be aromatized , the use of exogenous testosterone is unnecessary when taking this compound because your body will produce enough on its own! Trenbolone also has anti -catabolic properties which prevent muscle loss during calorie restricted diets or periods without food intake (i.e., intermittent fasting ). Methylsten bolon e was developed by British Dragon Pharmaceuticals to be six times more anabolic than methaster.
Legal Age to Use as a BodyBuilding Supplement
Prohormones are legal for adult use. They cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18, and they must not be advertised as anabolic steroids or muscle enhancers.
How Are Prohormones Different From Steroids?
There are several key differences between prohormones and their illegal counterparts. First off, there is no withdrawal period involved with prohromone supplementation because it does not cause permanent hormonal changes in the body .
Furthermore, unlike anabolic-androgenic steroids , which can negatively affect your cardiovascular health if taken irresponsibly, research suggests that hormone precursors may actually have beneficial effects on blood pressure levels! Finally, whereas oral steroid administration poses a risk of liver damage.
The Difference Between Prohormones and SARMS
Prohormones are different from selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) because they do not directly interact with the receptors in question.
Rather, SARMS function by mimicking anabolic-androgenic steroidal compounds that already bind to these receptors, which is what makes them so controversial among athletes .
If Not Prohormones, What Else?
Some companies and manufacturers found some ways around the law. Precursors to prohormones was one of them.
Stick with us here: that’s a precursor of a precursor of a hormone (like testosterone)…a preprohormone if you will.
So, by taking a modified version of DHEA, scientists discovered a 2 step conversion to 1-testosterone, which of course converts to testosterone.
That compound is called 1-DHEA aka 1-Andro.
The Food and Drug Administration Ban
These products – like 1-AD from Hi-Tech Pharaceuticals – float around the US market until they are banned under the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004.
They are usually only available in the USA as well, living a relatively short-lived over-the-counter life.
Several iterations of this pattern has occurred since the main ban in 2004/2005. The last bunch of prohormone type products were made illegal in 2014.
Some companies go under when it happens, but others keep moving liquidly, adapting their science to the changes and coming out with new solutions.
What Are Your BodyBuilding Options?
With everything from black market steroids to high street supplement store products, it’s sometimes difficult to know what works and what doesn’t, what is safe and what is dangerous.
It boils down to what level you want to get to, how fast, and what you are willing to risk along the way.
Steroids, SARMs, Prohormones…they are all essentially an introduction of exogenous hormones.
Some might be a few steps away from the anabolic hormone, but it’s still playing by the same basic rules.
For someone who is not competing or trying to break out as the next fitness model, there are safer, sustainable, affordable and effective options.
Natural supplements are a slower route, that’s for sure, but they are also the cleaner route.
Besides, nothing, not even the most anabolic steroid will lift the weights for you!!!
As mentioned above there are legal anabolic steroids that are formulated using natural ingredients that will not cause side effects. They are also legal to buy and use for bodybuilding. They can build muscle for bulking cycles and aid fat loss on cutting cycles.