Prohormones in bodybuilding – their role and effects
Every year, the possibilities of sports medicine are growing, and athletes are getting more and more medicines and means to achieve their goals. Now, professional bodybuilders have in their arsenal not only familiar anabolic steroids, but also various fat burners, sports nutrition and other drugs. One type of such drugs we will discuss in this article. So, what are prohormones, are they really a plant anabolics and how do athletes use them in bodybuilding?
What are prohormones in bodybuilding?
Prohormones are substances that are precursors of hormones, while they themselves do not have biological activity. The term prohormone was first used in medicine in the mid-20th century. A large number of natural prohormones are in the human body: proinsulin, the precursor of insulin, thyroxin, the precursor of triiodothyronine, etc. In bodybuilding, prohormones are prosteroids, which, when ingested, are converted, as a rule, by enzymatic cleavage of part of the molecule into active anabolic steroids, such as testosterone and others. Although the concepts of prohormones and prosteroids are not synonymous, as many believe. Prosteroids are just one type of prohormone, and they may be considered as legal anabolics.
In the past two decades, prohormones (prosteroids) have been actively used by athletes in bodybuilding, powerlifting and other power sports to increase muscle mass and strength indicators. Initially, the main advantage of prohormones was their legal status, since formally they do not belong to anabolic steroids. Nevertheless, in recent years, many prohormones are listed along with steroids and their circulation is limited.
To date, manufacturers are constantly working on creating new prohormones that are not yet on the banned list.
The most popular prohormones:
4-androstenedione – Converts to testosterone. Its androgenic activity is high, and administration can lead to significant side effects. These are effects familiar to all athletes, such as gynecomastia and oedema. They arise from the conversion of excessive amounts of testosterone to estrogens.
4-androstenediol (4-AD) – has less androgenic activity compared to 4-androstenedione, since it does not convert to dihydrotestosterone. Its advantage is that it does not convert to estrogen. But, nevertheless, its effectiveness is lower.
19-norandrostenedione. This drug can convert to nandrolone (retabolil). Its anabolic activity is almost like that of testosterone. The great advantage of this prohormone is that it does not convert to estrogen and has low androgenic activity.
19-norandrostenediol. This prohormone is also can convert to nandrolone. Its conversion level is slightly higher than the previous prohormone.
1-androstenediol (1-AD) This steroid is converted to 1-testosterone (dihydroboldenone). It has 7 times greater anabolic activity and 2 times more androgenic activity compared to testosterone. Almost completely converted to active form when passing through the liver. The big advantage is that it does not aromatize (does not turn into estrogen).
1,4-androstadienedione (1.4 AD). It can convert to boldenone. It has high oral bioavailability and a low degree of aromatization to estrogens (50% less compared to testosterone). Low androgenic activity
1-testosterone (1-T) Structurally similar to testosterone, but has 4 times greater bioavailability when taken orally compared to testosterone. It does not turn into estrogen. Actually is not a prohormone in its chemical structure, but acts like a prosteroid.
How to take prohormones?
Manufacturers recommend taking at the same time 2-3 prosteroids or light anabolics that complement each other. When you are thinking about the steroid course without testosterone, you can consider using prohormones. On average, the duration of the course is 1-1.5 months. Despite the fact that active substances rarely disrupt the hormonal background, you should perform post-cycle therapy to prevent side effects. The procedure lasts 2-3 weeks and consists of taking medications to cleanse the liver and raise your own testosterone levels.
It is best to take prohormones in the bundles recommended by the manufacturer. Although many bodybuilders testify that the use of different brands of steroids gives the best effect. There is no single regimen for taking prohormonal drugs. Some drugs must be taken with meals, others – an hour after a meal. Each steroid has instructions with the rules of use and dosage. It should be noted that taking one drug instead of a bundle does not lead to actual results.
The effectiveness of prohormones, just like the effects of steroids, is based on an increase in testosterone in the blood. As a result, the athlete’s metabolism and sex drive are accelerated, bones and muscle fibres are strengthened. But the most important thing is that sports results are growing, and the athlete`s heading for mass and strength.
Effects of a prohormones
The first effect of a prosteroids is an increase in muscle mass. Transforming the athlete’s body into essentially the same steroids, prohormones activate protein metabolism. Protein is the basis for the construction of new tissues, and, as you know, the growth of muscle fibres is based on the destruction of old fibres and the growth of new ones. The result is an increase in muscle mass. In addition to performing the main function, prosteroids contribute to the retention of phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and other components necessary for the body. Many novice athletes include these drugs in a mass beginner course.
The second one is the increase in power indicators. Muscle gain increases the strength of an athlete. As a result, the athlete can train with a lot of weight, forcing the muscles to work at maximum, which in turn contributes to its growth. It turns out a cyclic effect. Prohormones increase energy and allow the body to recover faster. This leads to the fact that the athlete is training with mood and full dedication, and this is a significant contribution to increasing strength indicators.
Side effects of prohormones
These drugs have similar side effects as steroids. The severity and frequency of their onset depend on the specific formula of the supplement. Prohormones, like anabolic steroids, require post-cycle therapy.
Conclusions on prohormones in bodybuilding
Prohormones are actually precursors of testosterone and other anabolic steroids, while they are of natural origin. It is because of the natural origin that they have become popular among bodybuilders, and these drugs may be a part of a steroid course for girls. Currently, a fairly large number of OTC supplements contain prohormones. At the moment, there is some evidence confirming the ability of prohormones to increase testosterone in the blood. But there is practically no evidence that supplementation with prohormones can improve adaptation to training in young men with normal hormone levels. You can find steroid drugs in our steroid online store.