Some people say body-building steroids are safe and amazing. Others claim they are deadly. Either way, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding steroid use, and abuse. Here’s what the experts told Foreverfit.

#1 Body Building Steroids are a class apart 

The term ‘steroid’ refers to a mixture of hormones and vitamins. Steroid hormones fall into two groups: corticosteroids, used to treat diseases; and anabolic steroids, that have body building capacities.

So, anabolic steroids are popular among those looking for a quick way to build lean muscle mass. “Steroid abuse is common among body-builders, because of unreal standards set by the industry, and media-hype about muscles,” says Delhi based fitness expert Mukul Nagpaul.

foreverfit- different type of anabolic steroids

#2 Body building steroids aren’t medically approved

“Body building steroids or anabolic steroids are a class of ‘designer steroids’ which aren’t medically approved,” says Dr. Ritesh Gupta, Additional Director, Fortis C-DOC Hospital, New Delhi.

According to Dr. Gupta, the best known anabolic steroid is testosterone, and this comes in the form of injections, pills, skin patches and even gels. “Testosterone is a sex hormone that both men and women produce naturally, though men have higher levels,” he says.

This affects sexual desire, fertility, and also promotes the development of lean muscle mass, by increasing the rate of muscle growth, recovery, and strength.  And on occasion, doctors may prescribe testosterone to men with low levels.

“But the dose taken by bodybuilders is 10 – 100 times higher compared to the dose prescribed for medical conditions,” clarifies Dr. Gupta.

foreverfit- Human Muscle

#3 Anabolic steroids are addictive

Indeed, life is better on steroids for many, and biological and psychological addiction is a major downside. Every steroid user knows how much better they feel during the on cycle. Energy levels soar, they need less sleep and their confidence levels are enviable. Obviously, the thought of giving them up, doesn’t arise.

#4 Every time you inject or swallow them, there’s danger

Steroids put a lot of stress on the body and every time you inject or swallow them, there’s a chance something can go very wrong. The side-effects are huge, and sometimes irreversible.  Some are high blood pressure, increase in  bad cholesterol, obesity and liver damage.  Importantly, steroids are also linked to heart attacks and strokes.

Foreverfit-Closeup Of A Man Injecting Himself With Steroids.

# 5 Men risk losing their erections, and ability to have children

Steroids can damage sperm production, shrinking of testicles and ultimate infertility. And guess what else? They also cause erectile dysfunction, lead to acne and baldness, and make you unduly aggressive and hostile.

# 6 Repercussions for women too

In a female body, anabolic steroids can cause masculinization, a drop in body fat and breast size, and an increase in aggression and hairiness. Also, they coarsen the skin and deepen the voice. If used over an extended period, they may impact a woman’s fertility too.

# 7 Don’t Rely on Your Trainer’s Advice

If you think your trainer is knowledgeable about steroids, chuck this idea! Instead, face the fact that your trainer’s knowledge about body building drugs comes from Google, and his friends. That’s because a physical trainer’s education curriculum doesn’t include a course in Anabolic Steroids. Only medical education imparts this knowledge.

“They are banned substances, so obviously trainers have never been educated comprehensively about their impacts and side-effects,” says Vinay Bhushan, Co-director of Parsona Grand Gym, Delhi NCR.

#8 You and Your Trainer Can Land in Jail for Steroid Abuse

Remember, anabolic steroids are illegal, banned substances. Every time you take them, you stand to lose something.  So, if the trainer who supplies you works for a gym, both he and you run the risk of landing in jail. “Gyms are liable if their trainers are prescribing steroids to clients,” says Vinay. “And users face doping charges.”

And in the end, nothing good can come out of your attachment to body building steroids. “There is no safe use of anabolic steroids, and as a doctor, I would strongly discourage its use for bodybuilding,” emphasizes Dr. Gupta.