Anabolic steroids, selective androgen receptor modulators, growth hormones and co. all belong to the group of anabolic drugs, i.e. substances that promote tissue formation. And yet there are still many myths surrounding anabolic agents.
Therefore, we clarify the following questions in this article:
- What are anabolic agents?
- Which anabolic agents are there?
- What are anabolic agents used for?
- What are the effects and side effects of the substances?
- Are anabolic drugs illegal?
Note: This blog post is only intended to inform you about anabolic steroids, because the trade, purchase and use of these substances is regulated in some countries – including Germany. We want to inform here, but not to encourage or instruct consumption.
What are anabolic agents?
Anabolic agents are substances that promote the build-up of the body’s own tissue (for example muscles) through increased protein synthesis, i.e. they have an anabolic effect. Their group can be divided into ASS (anabolic androgenic steroids) such as the sex hormone testosterone and substances with a similar effect, and other anabolic agents such as (beta-2 agonists, SARMs and growth hormones). The latter are similar in action to anabolic androgenic steroids.
Incidentally, the singular of anabolic agents is anabolic, also askinanabolic, from Greek anabolé “throwing up”.
Which anabolic agents are there?
There are a wide variety of substances, all of which are called anabolic substances. Here we will explain the following ones in more detail:
- anabolic steroids (or anabolic androgenic steroids – ASS)
- SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators)
- β2-Sympathomimetics (lipolytic (fat loss) and muscle building effect e.g. clenbuterol
- Growth hormones such as somatotropin (HGH = growth hormone), insulin, somatomedins (IGF = insulin-like growth factors)
Probably the best known anabolic agents are anabolic steroids – also anabolic androgenic steroids, in short ASS. This includes on the one hand testosterone itself, but on the other hand also synthetically produced steroids that show a similar effect as the male sex hormone testosterone. Among the probably most important representatives are nadrolone, metandienone (Dianabol), methyltestosterone, stanozolol, metenolone as well as others.
Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) are a rather new class of anabolic substances. They strongly resemble anabolic and androgenic steroids in their effect. Their binding affinity to the androgen receptor is even stronger than that of testosterone, which is why they are becoming increasingly popular among athletes. Probably the best known SARMs are Andarine (S4), Ostarine, Testolone (RAD-140) and Ligandrol (LGD-4033).
These substances have a lipolytic (fat-reducing) and muscle-building effect. Beta-2-sympathomimetics were developed in medicine for the treatment of asthma complaints, because they have a bronchodilator effect. In sports, especially clenbuterol is used because it shows a high anabolic effect.
Growth factors and hormones such as somatotropin (HGH = human growth hormone), insulin, somatomedine (IGF = insulin-like growth factors) belong to this category of anabolic steroids. In particular, the endogenous substances such as somatotroptin and somatomedin are hardly detectable in doping tests, which is why they are often taken in sports. The growth hormone secretagogue Ibutamoren (MK-677) also belongs to this category.
Where are anabolic drugs used?
Due to their tissue-building effect, anabolic agents are used in human medicine, animal husbandry, as well as in sports. In particular, sports in which strength, muscle mass or rapid power are required – i.e. the fitness and bodybuilding scene – should be mentioned here. Endurance athletes also resort to low doses of anabolic steroids due to the shortened regeneration time.
Effects of anabolic agents
The substances all have an influence on the anabolism (build-up metabolism) of the human organism. Anabolic agents promote the build-up of the body’s own tissue (for example muscles) through increased protein synthesis. They therefore have an anabolic effect. They also ensure a good nitrogen balance, which promotes a muscle-building metabolism. Furthermore, male body characteristics are influenced (androgenic effect). In addition, the regeneration time can be shortened – so your body can recover faster after training. And you can also drastically reduce your body fat percentage with anabolic substances.
Advantages of anabolic agents at a glance:
- androgenic and anabolic effect
- increased protein synthesis
- good nitrogen balance (muscle building metabolism)
- reduced body fat percentage
- more testosterone in the body
- increased performance
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Side effects of anabolic agents
Depending on the substance, anabolic agents can have different side effects. In principle, it is difficult to separate the androgenic effect from the anabolic effect, which is why, in addition to the desired effects, there can unfortunately also be undesirable effects.
In general, SARMs are considered a safe alternative to anabolic steroids, as they show far fewer side effects (because they work – as the name suggests – selectively on the androgen receptor). However, all anabolic drugs belong to the hardcore preparations and should be used if with caution.
The following side effects can occur: Water retention, acne, cardiovascular problems, liver damage (which is why On Cycle as well as Post Cycle Therapy is always advisable), testicular atrophy and gynecomastia in men (due to the conversion of testosterone to estrogen), hair loss, etc. In women, there may be absence of periods as well as masculinization (increased body hair, clitoral growth, deeper voice, etc.).
Are anabolic steroids illegal in Germany?
Attention: We are not allowed to and cannot make any legally binding statements, but we would like to show you the legal situation as it is known to us (as of October 2021) in the following. Please always inform yourself about the respective legal situation in your country before buying and consuming anabolic agents.
According to §2 para. 1 of the Anti-Doping Act (AntiDopG), it is not permitted in Germany to manufacture, trade in, sell or dispense anabolic substances. Anabolic steroids also fall under the German Medicines Act (AMG) and are also not permitted.
In some cases there are exceptions for “small quantities”. What is already considered a “not small quantity” is regulated in the DmMV (Doping Medicines Quantities Ordinance) https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/dmmv_2023/BJNR0430B0023.html If the limits specified here are reached or exceeded, the possession, acquisition and importation of the substances is punishable.
The possession or acquisition of doping substances such as anabolic agents is permitted if they are not used for doping purposes, i.e. performance enhancement in sports. For example, if you possess anabolic steroids for medical or non-sporting personal reasons, you are not liable to prosecution. You should not use anabolic steroids for sporting purposes – especially in competitions.