Are there any products that can replace anabolic steroids? In order to answer this question, we have first to clarify the purpose of replacing anabolic steroids with something else. There can be three situations:
-the bodybuilder has decided to completely eliminate anabolic steroids from his sports diet.
Must Read: Bodybuilding Diet Myths
-the substitutes of anabolic steroids are needed in addition to the basic courses of steroid therapy or as a way to maintain the achieved results.
-the main purpose is completely abandoned of anabolic steroids use in the way to build muscle mass.
In this case, have to be mentioned that building strong muscle mass without steroids use is impossible. Numerous researchers have shown that there is not another group of drugs equal in power and versatility to anabolic steroids.
As you probably know anabolic steroids are synthetic analogs of the male sex hormones (androgens). Compared with androgens, they have a weaker and stronger hormonal anabolic action. The protein synthesizing action of anabolic effect steroids is manifested mainly in relation to the muscle tissue. Steroids are unique especially due to their impact on the genetic code of cells.
Man as a biological species is not gifted from nature with big muscle. The main reason is that they just do not need it and not consolidated in the course of evolution. Large muscles needed gorillas, orangutans and some other forms of apes and they really have those big muscles.
Some gorillas weigh under 300 kg or even more. Solid muscle mass is the dream of many people. The evolution of man, however, took a different way. In the struggle for survival defeated people more intelligent and therefore the process of natural selection, chose the path of increasing the proportion of the brain.
Every species with a brain has a very important characteristic, as the ratio of brain weight to body weight. This value is relatively constant and there is only a slight hesitation. The highest ratio of brain weight/body weight is, of course, specific to people. That's why we become the most highly organized species.
Now imagine that people try to change this situation and build large mass, contrary to all natural laws and all specific parameters for people. It is impossible, even in principle, because the body itself will, by all means, limit the gains that can suppress the brain. Fluctuations of the muscle mass are possible only within very narrow limits.
Human genes themselves have the role to limit the growth of muscle mass. This situation can be changed only if there will occur some modification of the genetic apparatus of the cell. There have to take place some mutations in order to get muscle mass increased. These changes are not the result of only congenital anomalies. They can occur in a healthy body in response to certain external influences.
The excess of male hormones-androgens- can cause some breakage of the genetic apparatus of the cell. People with severe hyperandrogenemia relatively easily increase muscle, but at the same time very often this increase is accompanied with the development of malignant tumors. So, it has been observed that the more muscle mass are, the shorter is the life. Many great athletes dying because of cancer, but not in all cases the sport is the main cause.
There are common causes of major sporting achievements and the early formation of tumors. And these causes are genetic abnormalities. In addition to mutations can occur other changes in the genetic apparatus of cells that can build up a relatively large mass of cells.
Imagine the muscle cell, which is exposed to the best training conditions. However, it gets vitamins and minerals etc. What if this happens? Optimum physical activity leads to a thickening of the muscle fiber by increasing the synthesis of contractile proteins, glycogen, etc., but it will be only a thickening to a certain extent, only as long as it allows the genetic apparatus of the cell, ie, opportunities that are inherent in its genes.
Remember that the gene is only one portion of the DNA molecule, which is coiled in the chromosomes of the cell nucleus. Each gene is responsible for a biochemical reaction in the body. And the expression of biochemical reactions depends not only on the presence of any gene but also on their number. The more genes, the stronger the reaction. The law of transformation of quantity into quality work here.
Let’s suppose muscle cell grown in length and thickness to a certain size only to the extent allowed its genetic. It would seem that the limit is reached. However, the fun is just beginning. If we continue to subject such a cell further to training, then a wonderful thing happens: a long DNA molecule undergoes longitudinal division, or, quite simply, bifurcates. Instead of a single DNA molecule appear two.
The cell is not divided (the muscle cells of the adult organism is not able to divide), but the mass of the nucleus of the cell is increased by increasing the mass of DNA and the doubling of genetic material. Now the cell can grow again. A set of genetic material, it allows it. So begins a further increase to as long as the possibilities of genetic apparatus of the cell will be exhausted again.
With further increase in load, there is again a longitudinal division of the DNA molecule, and once again the potential of the cells is doubled. Now that cell already has the potential to four times the original amount. And this is not the limit.
In the experiment is described in a 32-fold increase in the amount of starting genetic material (5-fold division). But this is only an experiment. In real life, everything is more complicated because of the many factors limiting the growth of reserve capacity of the cell.
Muscle growth is limited by the increase in reserves of the genetic apparatus of muscle cells. Even before receiving the experimental data on the possibility of doubling the DNA molecules in a single cell, speculated on possible changes in the genetic apparatus.
It has been observed that people who were initially fragile and managed to build up the muscles due to training alone, their children are already stronger than it would allow genetic factors alone. In other words, built muscles are inherited just for the reason that on the basis of muscle growth is the change in the genetic potential of the muscle cells.
A unique feature of anabolic steroids is their effect on the genetic apparatus of the cell. Like androgens, anabolic steroids penetrate into the cell nucleus and inhibit gene repressor protein synthesis. As a result of synthesis, cells begin to increase their protein mass.
In addition to the anabolic actions, anabolic steroids stimulate the processes of cell division, and in the case of muscle cells - the process of doubling the DNA molecules. That is why the action of anabolic steroids, it is extremely high in relation to the muscle tissue.
The ability of anabolic steroids to influence the genetic cells makes them unique class of pharmacological compounds. That’s why it can be said that for sure nowadays there are no other substitutes for them.
One of the disadvantages of many anabolic steroids is their androgenic activity.
An alternative to anabolic steroids could be HGH hormone. Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. In case of the young body, it is responsible for growth and anabolism. In an adult is responsible only for anabolism process. Moreover, the anabolic effect of growth hormone is manifested mainly in relation to the muscles and bones.
Must Read: Dosing of HGH in Anabolic Steroid Cycles
The main problem with using growth hormone is that it causes diabetes for 40% of people who take in long courses. Treatment with HGH is very carefully handling: in small doses and short courses with tight control of blood sugar. If there are any indicators of the output of sugar in the blood limit of normal, treatment with growth hormone has to be immediately ceased.
Thus the diabetic effect of growth hormone is the main factor limiting its large use in building muscle mass. During the last years increasingly is used insulin. It is a glucose-lowering hormone secreted by the pancreas of man. Insulin has a powerful anabolic action, however, in contrast to anabolic steroids and growth hormone insulin use leads to the simultaneous rise of both muscle and fat tissue.
This is a very big disadvantage of insulin. Some athletes even gain fat than muscle growth. The difficulty presents itself and the use of insulin as because too much of its hypoglycemic action may develop hypoglycemic state, sometimes with loss of consciousness and the development of a coma.
Insulin doesn't cause addiction. Cycles of insulin treatment can be long with a sudden withdrawal of the drug. You do not risk the development of a recoil effect. In order to achieve the anabolic effects are used only short-acting insulin: human insulin, highly purified porcine insulin. It is not recommended the use of long-acting insulin for building muscle mass.
Another product largely used for many years in bodybuilding is a gonadotropic hormone. This is a pituitary hormone that stimulates the growth and proliferation of germ cells, which leads to increased synthesis of androgens in men and estrogen in women. And in fact, in both cases developed anabolic effect by increasing the production of its own hormones.
And, after the abolition of HCG own sexual glands continue to produce increased amounts of androgens ( HCG is used to treat impotence in men.) In addition to hormonal anabolics, there are also non-hormonal which refer to the various classes of pharmacological compounds. Among vitamins with distinct anabolic effect hare: nicotinic acid, calcium pantothenate, carnitine.
Among neuroprotective drugs, the anabolic effect has Nootropil, Lantogam, Pikamilon. There is a whole group of herbal preparations with a light anabolic effect like adaptogens, plants with hypoglycemic activity. Also is recommended for the use of bee products palak and pollen containing vegetable androgens.
Crystalline amino acids that stimulate the release of growth hormone in the blood and insulin are also used as anabolic. Have to be mentioned that all non-hormonal anabolic agents by virtue of their actions cannot be compared with any hormones or with steroids, but their effect on the body is much softer, physiological.
As you see there are no substitutes for anabolic steroids that can have the main effect on muscle mass growth. Yes, there are other drugs, hormones or products that can for a little do the job of anabolic steroids but you will never manage to get big muscle mass only by using them.