Who doesn’t wanna have a perfect shredded body? Those abs that we see on the Hollywood actors set very high standards. Looking that good is a dream for almost everyone. But the path to a perfect body like that is far from easy.
It requires a strict diet and regular exercise. With these, it takes time to get those shredded abs. So, many opt to take the short route. That is, they try using drugs to shred fat and gain muscles. Steroids are the most commonly used drug for this purpose.
But, let me tell you, steroids for abs isn’t the way to go. No, it’s not because of some bodybuilding-purist perspective. Rather, from a medical point of view, using steroids unnecessarily is harmful to your health.
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What are Steroids?
The term ‘steroid’ refers to any chemical compound with a ‘steroid nucleus’. A steroid nucleus is a chemical with 17 carbon atoms in four rings. Steroids are present all over, in animals, plants, and even in your body. Steroids have important functions in your cell membranes (covering individual cells).
Another important function of steroids is chemical signaling. These are the steroid hormones. Your body naturally produces many steroid hormones. They are broadly classified into three categories:
They have important effects on anti-inflammatory conditions. So, they reduce swelling and pain. They also have effects on metabolism.
These can keep your body from losing salt. They maintain the amount of blood in your body. These steroids tell your kidneys to retain water. So, you get concentrated urine and don’t lose too much fluid.
These are the sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen, etc. They are the reasons why the male and female bodies are so different. Testosterone shapes the male body by building more muscles. Estrogen and progesterone similarly shape the female body.
There are a few other steroids outside this classification as well. Vitamin D is a steroid as well which helps in bone rigidity.
These are the steroids used for cutting. These are parts of the sex steroids that we discussed earlier. Testosterone, the male sex hormone, is the only natural anabolic steroid in the human body. Some of the testosterone is converted into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). This compound is anabolic as well.
All the synthetic anabolic steroids you see in the market are similar to testosterone. They are made by chemically changing testosterone. The natural testosterone that the human body produces is short-acting. In pharmacology, they refer to it as having a short half-life.
So, scientists modified testosterone so that it stays in the body for longer. They modify testosterone by chemical processes like alkylation, esterification, etc.
How Do These Anabolic Steroids For Abs Work?
To understand how these steroids make people get ripped fast, let’s take a brief look at how you normally build muscle. Many different types of cells build up your body. What you see outside is the culmination of all the cells.
There are different types of cells. But, let’s focus on two types of cells, muscle cells, and fat cells. Each muscle of your body has countless small fiber-like muscle cells. And the structural component of every muscle cell is protein.
Proteins form thin filaments (long thread-like structures) and make up the muscles. These proteins can get longer or shorter. That’s how you can contract your muscles. Muscles are the only cells you can move voluntarily. If your muscles didn’t work properly, you couldn’t move an inch!
If more protein accumulates in your muscles, they get bigger. On the other hand, if more protein breaks down from your muscles, they get smaller.
Harmful Side-Effects of Steroids
Steroids make you gain muscles and lose fat. Something like this seems too good to be true. And it is. Steroids bring with them a plethora of harmful effects. That is the reason why it is illegal in most countries around the world.
Your body naturally produces all the anabolic steroids it needs. Any more and you’ll experience side-effects. Unless someone has a medical condition, steroids aren’t required.
Say you want to get ripped like all those TV actors. But, you don’t wanna put in the extreme work and discipline. If you want to rely on steroids, you’ll need to take 10-200 times the normal amount in your body. And get ready for the side effects.
Libido might change with the use of steroids. There may even be a regression of the gonads and infertility. This is called hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.
Males may experience-
- Painful and spontaneous erections
- Erectile dysfunction
- Development of the male breast called gynecomastia.
The effects of anabolic steroids in females are more noticeable. This is a substance that isn’t supposed to be in such high concentrations in the female body. So, it’s natural there will be adverse effects.
These effects are masculinizing, like, voice deepening, excessive body hair, facial hair, enlargement of the clitoris, menstrual disturbances like amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, decrease in size of the breasts.
Effects on Children and Teens
Fetuses are more susceptible to gross malformation if a pregnant mother is taking steroids. There is also early closure of the cartilage in the legs. So, height reduction might occur due to this. Puberty might come early. Young girls may also develop male characteristics.
Steroids harm lipid levels. They increase the bad cholesterol LDL. On top of that, they also reduce the good cholesterol HDL. So, it increases the chances of the development of atherosclerosis for those who use steroids for abs.
Atherosclerosis may lead to other severe conditions like:
- Myocardial infarction
- Heart failure
- Sudden cardiac death, etc.
Kidneys secrete a large number of steroids. So, it’s natural that they get damaged in steroid abuse. There may even be a renal failure. Cancer of the kidney can also develop.
Anabolic steroids have their main effects on muscle cells. Injection for 6 pack abs may sound enticing but their side effects are equally horrifying.
Thus abnormal amounts of steroids can cause problems like rhabdomyolysis, muscle strain, etc. Tendons may even sprain or rupture. So, when you are comparing steroid abs vs natural abs, I would recommend going for the natural way.
Liver cells are damaged by anabolic steroids. Liver cells are responsible for breaking down any foreign chemicals and drugs. So, high amounts of steroids can harm these cells.
So, excessive steroids can cause jaundice, elevated liver enzymes like AST, ALT, ALP, and even liver cancer, etc. Thus, it’s not a good idea for your livers if you use steroids for abs.
Too oily skin, acne can be seen with excessive steroid use. Male pattern baldness and hypertrichosis, that is excessive body hair is common as well. If muscles grow abnormally fast, skin over them can be damaged. This leads to the formation of stretch marks.
Mental and Psychological Changes
If you want to use steroids for abs, you may have psychological issues. The human brain is used to normal amounts of steroid hormones. So, excessive steroids can cause an imbalance in the brain. This manifests as severe psychiatric changes.
These symptoms include:
- Bouts of aggression and violence
- Extreme mood swings
- Have delusions
- Drug dependence and progression to use of other more harmful addictive drugs
What’s scary is that some of these changes can be permanent. Anabolic steroids can produce apoptosis, that is, the death of neurons.
You Might be Thinking, I’m Not One of Them
This is where the big mistake happens. You might think, “I’m not one of those junkies. I’ll not use too much and take them off once I’ve buffed up.” But this isn’t how it works. When you start thinking about how to get abs while on steroids, that’s the point where things start to go wrong.
If you want to see significant changes with steroids, you’ll have to take too much. And your body produces enough anabolic steroids by itself. So, if you don’t need too much, why not just stick to what your body can make?
How You Can Build Abs Without Steroids
So, do you need steroids to get ripped? Will you have to give up on your dream of having abs? Certainly not for both. Some so many people who have a well-toned body who never used steroids. But you have to be motivated if you want to achieve that desired body.
It goes without saying that a proper workout is key when it comes to body development. But, you can’t rush in blindly. It’s best to get a gym membership and have a personal trainer. That way, you can maximize the number of workouts you can do.
You will have to train regularly to build muscle and burn fat. The more muscle you build, the more energy they’ll use. Consequently, you’ll burn more fat.
Cardio exercises can help you burn off the fat. Strength training can help you build more muscles. With a combination of both, you can achieve abs without steroids.
You have to control how you eat. It’s best to get in touch with a local dietitian. That way, they can tailor your diet according to the locally available food. A few changes you can do by yourself include:
This is crucial to keep track of how much you’re eating. Your body won’t burn fat if you take too many calories. Again, if you’re taking too little, your body may even break down muscles for energy.
So, you have to take a bit fewer calories than you spend. That way, you can build muscle and burn fat at the same time.
Taking Enough Proteins
Proteins make up your muscles. So, you have to take adequate amounts of protein. You can get protein from fish, meat, beans, etc. Without sufficient dietary protein, your body will break down your muscles.
Taking the Right Kinds of Carbs
Carbohydrates are essential sources of energy. In fact, without carbohydrates, your body can’t burn fat properly. Again, excessive carbs are converted into fat. So, it’s important to control the amount of carbohydrates you eat.
The type of carbohydrate is important as well. Refined carbs like white bread, cakes, sodas, sweets, added sugar, etc. aren’t good for your body. Your body absorbs them quickly and converts them into fat.
But, unrefined carbs are slowly broken down. They include whole wheat, multigrain bread, brown rice, oats, etc. These are more beneficial for your body.
Taking Enough Fibers
Fibers can fill your belly and satiate your appetite. But, they offer very few calories. They also slow down the absorption of carbs. So, they are key players when it comes to building a healthy body. You can even try taking supplements with fibers to ensure that you’re taking enough.
Eating the Right Kinds of Fat
Fats and oils are essential for your body. But we tend to eat more than what’s necessary. Saturated and trans fatty acid-containing foods should be avoided as much as possible. These include deep-fried foods, butter, bacon, beef, pork, cream, etc.
You should try taking foods with more poly-unsaturated fatty acids. These are the good fats and oils. Some of these foods are fatty sea fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, avocado, nuts, etc.
Changes in Your Mind Set Up and Mentality
This is perhaps the most important when it comes to getting those abs without steroids. You have to discipline yourself in terms of diet and exercise. If you’re mentally strong and have enough willpower, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.
Exercising and maintaining a diet is very hard. Many people can’t stick to this strict regimen. So, you have to prep yourself up mentally. You can try practicing meditation, concentration exercises as well. Being aware of what you want, why you want it and self-mindfulness can help a lot.
Do steroids help with abs?
Yes, steroids help with building abs and making them visible. Steroids activate enzymes that break down fat. So, belly fat is significantly decreased. Steroids also increase muscle mass by making muscle cells make more protein and get bigger. So, steroids make the ab muscle bigger and make them more prominent by taking away the belly fat.
Which steroid is best for lean muscle?
Anabolic steroids are best for lean muscle. They activate enzymes that cause a fat breakdown. They also cause significant muscle growth. But they need to be given in very high doses. And they have significant side effects. Hence, they’re illegal in most countries.
What are the 3 types of steroids?
The three types of steroids are:
Mineralocorticoids – these steroids tell your kidneys to keep more water. So, your urine becomes concentrated and you don’t lose too much fluid.
Glucocorticoids – These are anti-inflammatory. Thus, they reduce swelling and pain. They also have effects on metabolism.
Sex steroids – These vary between males and females. They help in the development of the reproductive organs. Anabolic steroids fall under this criterion. They also help build muscle.
What is the most powerful steroid?
Dimethyltrienolone is the strongest anabolic steroid ever made. It is almost a hundred times more powerful than normal testosterone. This is extremely harmful to the liver. So, it was never eligible for medical use.
It is very tempting to use steroids for abs. Steroids sound like the easy way to get a ripped body. But you’ll lose a lot more than you gain going down this path. The harmful effects are just too many. But by sticking to a regular diet and exercise, you’ll get those abs.