Anabolic Steroids: Benefits, Side Effects, And More

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

Anabolic steroids, also known as juice or roids, are synthetic versions of testosterone, a male hormone.

Technically speaking, there is a variant class of drugs known as anabolic-androgenic steroids. Some steroids have the potential to be extremely dangerous to users.

However, they are not the same as anabolic steroids, which are more dangerous compared to some of the other steroids.

It may be used lawfully to accelerate puberty or to aid people with debilitating illnesses like cancer or AIDS.

Athletes frequently abuse steroids to boost their physical prowess and athletic performance. The only way to lawfully obtain steroids is with a prescription.

They are prescribed to treat illnesses like postponed puberty, certain types of impotence, and body wasting in AIDS patients. In this article, we will be looking at all about anabolic steroids.

Anabolic refers to growth or development. It may increase your sexual desire, increase your competitiveness or aggression, and help you gain muscular mass.

They essentially function as synthetic testosterone substitutes and increase muscle mass like the natural hormone.

Corticosteroids, which are steroids used to treat diseases that cause inflammation, are not the same as anabolic steroids. 

Additionally, it makes a person more likely to have male traits like facial hair and a deeper voice.

Although everyone’s bodies produce testosterone, it is occasionally referred to as the masculine hormone.

The lean muscle mass of steroid users who exercise and consume a high-protein diet typically increases significantly.

Bodybuilders typically utilize anabolic steroids. It also plays a significant role in women, supporting sex drive, maintaining bone and muscle strength, and influencing mood and cognition. 

Males’ voice deepens, their face and body hair grows, and their height develops throughout puberty as a result of increased testosterone levels.

These could come in the form of steroid tablets, creams, injections, or nasal sprays. The growth of muscles, bones, and skin is encouraged by anabolic steroids, which are synthetic forms of the male sex hormone testosterone.

Types Of Anabolic Steroids

There are many different ways to take anabolic steroids, including pills, injections, pellets that are implanted, creams, and gels.

There are many different kinds of anabolic steroids, and even those that are legitimately prescribed to cure illnesses may be abused if used improperly.

Enanthate, cypionate, and undecanoate are examples of testosterone esters that are frequently used in medicine to treat low testosterone levels.

Another ester, nandrolone, was one of the first anabolic steroids that athletes used to enhance their performance.

Benefits Of Anabolic Steroids

  • May Imoprove Cognitive Performance

    Men with higher testosterone levels perform better mentally and have better memories.

    Other investigations have linked diminished cognitive function to androgen deprivation. Therefore, anabolic steroids may have a positive effect on mental clarity, intelligence, and memory.

    However, long-term use of high doses of steroids may result in decreased cognitive function, especially in visuospatial memory.

    These studies have led to links between dementia and the use of anabolic steroids aggressively.

  • May Increase Energy Levels

    An athlete would have a competitive edge from some of the approved medicinal uses for anabolic steroids.

    For instance, 32 individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, were tested.

    Following six weeks of anabolic steroid use, these patients’ capacity for exercise and quality of life was higher than at baseline.

    Due to their lowered lung capacity, such patients frequently aren’t in good physical condition.

  • May Boost Testosterone Levels

    Anabolic steroids could successfully treat hormone imbalances to treat symptoms and concerns when prescribed by a licensed doctor.

    It helps with serious medical conditions, muscle growth, and tissue healing. Both males and women need the hormone testosterone and anabolic steroids.

    When this hormone is out of balance for an extended period, it may have negative effects on one’s health.

  • May Decrease Recovery Time

    Anabolic steroids significantly shorten the time it takes for patients to recover from injury and burns.

    Anabolic steroids are currently used by athletes and bodybuilders to train at higher intensities for longer periods, improving performance and body composition.

    This was especially advantageous for bodybuilders during the golden age, who trained for several hours daily and generated significant muscle hypertrophy.

    Anabolic steroids speed up healing by increasing IGF-1 levels, a powerful wound-healing compound.

Side Effects Of Anabolic Steroids

There are several side effects when it comes to anabolic steroid consumption.

  • Short Term Effects

    Bad acne and fluid retention might be brought on by these steroids. Chronic usage may prevent the body from producing testosterone.

    This results in smaller testicles, less sperm, sterility, and breast development in males. Women may develop facial hair, experience periods that change or stop, have male-pattern baldness, and have a deeper voice.

    Teens who use them may experience stunted bone and height growth. Extreme mood swings, rage, and aggression known as roid rage could occur at high doses.

  • Long Term Effects

    High amounts of anabolic steroids taken over a long period may harm your heart, liver, and kidneys. Heart failure and severe fluid retention could also result in swollen hearts.

    Additionally, these medications may increase your LDL bad cholesterol, which may increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes at any age.

Are Anabolic Steroids Good For You?

There has been a noticeable increase in intramuscular steroid injectors, according to local needle exchange programs all over the world.

In medicine, anabolic steroids are used to treat conditions where a person’s growth and development are restricted or inhibited to the point where it interferes with their ability to develop normally.

Bodybuilding and baseball are two sports where steroid abuse and misuse have been common. People who want to improve their physical development and athletic performance use anabolic steroids illegally. 

As a result, results have been disputed and participants who are found to have used these substances have faced harsh penalties from the governing bodies.

The use of performance-enhancing drugs, such as steroids, is rising, especially among young men who want to develop the ideal gym physique.


When there is a requirement to meet a certain standard, this problem occurs among athletes and other competitors in the fitness industry. 

Many athletes and bodybuilders may speak to the fact that without the use of steroids, it is impossible to achieve the degree of strength and muscular growth that is possible.

As a result, the outcomes of natural muscle growth and fat loss are inferior to those obtained through the use of anabolic steroids.

Any medication that alters or affects homeostasis the body’s internal systems and functions will affect the user. 

When using anabolic steroids, some side effects could be reversed or improved by stopping the use of the drugs, while other side effects may be fatal or permanent.

The excessive doses of testosterone that are supplied to achieve muscle growth, aerobic capacity, and power hurt practically every organ and system in the body, which leads to the side effects of steroids.

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