Anabolic Steroids – The dark side of bodybuilding

In any competitive sport, there is intense pressure to be at the top of your game all the time. This principle is doubly true in the arena of competitive bodybuilding. Athletes in this sport are driven to drastic measures to be the best, largest and most defined. Often times in order to achieve these sometimes, unrealistic goals; they look to supplements to give them a boost and help aid in muscle growth and recovery. One such supplement that is nary uttered aloud in a crowded gym is Anabolic Steroids.

At one time all the rages in the professional and amateur bodybuilding world, Anabolic Steroids are now as hard to get as that, often times elusive, symmetrical physique. At the present time, there is only one way to obtain these products through legal channels, this being a physician’s prescription. But because Anabolic Steroids were classified as a controlled substance back in the early 90’s, getting a doctor to oblige is not a simple task. To add to the difficulty, physicians can be subject to stiff penalties for prescribing this substance without just cause and might even face questioning if there is a valid medical reason.

Without legal options, bodybuilders are forced to get the substance through the black market. While the black market has always been a regular supplier of the supplement, now that they are virtually the only game in town, they provide the majority of Anabolic Steroids in the US. Most steroids purchased in the United States make their way into the country by crossing the boarder from Mexico, primarily through California. Once in the US, the supplement is sold throughout the country and into Canada. Most supplements are shipped via mail.

Steroids work by helping to build lean body mass and increase bone density. The active ingredient in the supplement is one that is already found naturally in the human body. Testosterone, a well-known male hormone, has two major effects, anabolic and androgenic. The anabolic means provides the desired result of increasing tissue mass (muscle) and bone thickness, while the androgenic component can provide undesired changes in secondary male sex characteristics.

So what do we know about testosterone’s effects on the human body? On the positive side, it encourages the discharge of growth hormone, which increases muscle growth and it goes to work on the muscle directly by increasing the area of muscle fiber. However, in order to see any effects, a person must take a does of at least 300 mg. In addition, it has an anti-catabolic effect thereby changing the way the body metabolizes waste products.

Because of the mass quantities needed to see results, it is not surprising that the supplement can have detrimental effects on a person’s health. Additionally, because of increases in male sex characteristics Anabolic Steroids can cause extreme mood shifts and even acts of rage. Furthermore, because of their quest for perfection, many athletes will experiment with several different types of supplements, resulting in dangerous and sometimes deadly side effects. With all this in mind, careful consideration should be given to the use of these illegal muscle mass builders. At the end of the day, one question should be asked. Is my health and well being more important than the end result of using such products?