Research

SARMs Review: Facts, Benefits & Side Effects

From the beginning of time, man has tried to step on the evolution ladder. We have strived to be better, stronger, bigger and faster.

And in the pursuit of bettering ourselves, we uncovered some of the highly developed pharmaceutical and hormonal treatments in Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, which have enabled us to fully change outlook and performance of our bodies.

Research and development still continue to expand the limits of health care and other fields with the optimism of making us better versions of ourselves that gets its fair share of interest and attention.

However, despite all the advancement in the medical field, in theory, the choices seem still restricted in reality.

SARMs are getting very popular among athletes, sportsmen, bodybuilders, and even the average Joe at the gym. Some of the claims border on the impossible.

Muscle mass growth, fat loss, enhanced strength, improved stamina and faster recovery time, all with minimum or zero side effects.

And when there are serious and professional athletes with years of training completed backing these claims, one starts to wonder whether there is any truth to it.

Let’s closely look at SARMs, which is a popular buzzword in the health industry these days.

What are SARMs?

SARMs or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators are a complex of unique androgen receptors that are quite akin to anabolic steroids in their effects.

SARMs were originally researched and developed for their potential medical applications, especially for preventing muscle deterioration that may result in different conditions such as cancer, hypogonadism, and osteoporosis.

Interestingly though, as with some of the most commonly used drugs around the world, SARMs was discovered by chance as they had a tissue-selective action in the body which allowed them to offer many of the benefits of anabolic steroids without the baggage of the harmful and toxic side effects.

In other words, SARMs contain limited androgenic properties, which make them much more attractive when used for health supplementation for boosting overall performance, muscle mass growth and accelerated fat loss.

In the medical field, when administered in prescribed dosage, SARMs can help in preventing muscle degeneration in cancer patients.

At the same time, the typical side effects do not occur that are mostly associated with other cutting agents. There is no excessive perspiration or high fluctuation in energy levels.

Similarly, SARMS also allows bodybuilders to develop lean muscle mass without the typical side effects linked to steroids. There is no damage to the liver, gynecomastia, acne, voice deepening and unusual hair growth on the face and other parts of the body.

History of SARMs

SARMs have been introduced after world war two by a modified testosterone molecule. Some big pharma industries are working on increasing their testing for the last couple of decades. They have only one goal, that replaces testosterone replacement therapy with drugs/hormones that work for muscle wasting, and osteoporosis issues.

The only problem that they are facing is that using anabolic steroids for muscle wasting or hormonal replacement. You see, SARMs don’t cause prostate problems, hormonal issues, and other issues that are common in men. In this year, there are more than 5 SARMs that were abandoned. Most of them were pushed back in pre-clinical trials and a few in the clinical testing phase.

Benefits of SARMs

Here are some of the common benefits linked to the use of SARMs:

  • Works exactly as testosterone hormone does
  • Allows retention of those hard-earned muscles, even during catabolic stage
  • Helps to gain muscle mass while also bulking without water retention
  • Enables to breaks the lifting threshold
  • The body recovers much faster after a rigorous workout session
  • Helps to prevent joint pain
  • Prevents cancer cell division
  • Improves the size of the libido
  • Does not convert to DHT
  • Does not break down into Estrogen
  • It doesn’t suppress HPTA (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Testes-Axis) as steroid does
  • SARMs are not scheduled drugs. Steroids are Schedule III drugs which are illegal to apply or sell
  • Blood tests cannot detect some of the SARMS
  • SARMs are not toxic to the liver
  • They are neuroprotective

One of the benefits of SARMS that stands out the most is the usage as they do not require pricking needles in order to administer them.

Because of the legal standing of steroids, many bodybuilders tend to administer it themselves and the only feasible way to administer it is the intramuscular method.

The potential risks of pricking the needle in the wrong place are quite obvious as it can even cause paralysis. Not to mention the risks that come with needle sharing, which is common at gyms. SARMS helps to avoid all these hassles.

Are SARMs Safe?

Here comes the big question, how safe really are SARMs? To be completely honest, there is no way to know enough and say that its 100% safe.

SARMs are still in their early stages of development. The studies and research have only been conducted for the past few years and most of the research has been limited to preclinical trials involving rodents.

For the uninitiated, humans share 98% of their DNA with rodents. But at the end of the day, humans are not like rodents at all. So, it is just not possible to completely understand all the long-term effects of these compounds.

What is known, though, is that all the research conducted on rodents has been highly positive and encouraging. There have also been a couple of studies involving humans that have shown extremely positive signs.

But there is clearly not enough data to conclude the studies. Who knows, maybe it would take another few decades to confirm what bodybuilders and athletes know already, such as:

  • SARMs do not reduce testosterone production as much as steroids do
  • SARMs may cause mild side effects but not as severe as steroids do
  • SARMs usage significantly reduces the recovery time
  • SARMs may be potentially beneficial for preventing cancer

Female Use of SARMs

SARMs are considered safe for use in females as well. The most popular SARMs for females use include:

  • GW501516 (Cardarine)
  • LGD4033 (Anabolicum)

SARMs are equally capable of women for offering a fat reduction, lean muscle mass, improved strength, and they also help with soft tissues.

How to use SARMs?

SARMs are actually quite simple and easy to use. They come in small-sized vials that can be stored into kits or messenger bags. An applicator comes with the bottle to help administer precise dosages.

SARMs can easily be taken orally anytime one feels like.

Take the prescribed dose into the mouth and swallow it. It is almost tasteless, which makes it easy to swallow without water. But it can also be taken with a glass of water or juice if one feels like. Another good thing is that there are no limitations regarding the variety of juice.

SARMs can also be added to a glass of water or juice of any flavor and then gulped down.

From the experience of many SARMs users, it is found that the second method is most desirable as it prevents the user from tasting the compound and it can be taken with the choice of juice to mix it with.

Where to buy SARMs?

Apparently, there exists a huge black market where fake SARMs are easily found and some sellers even source them from China’s black market. So it is very important to ensure authenticity by purchasing them from verified and approved sources. There are many pharmacies and even online commerce platforms that are offering different kinds of SARMs.

Final Verdict

Finally, there is now a newer and safer drug on the horizon that does not require poking needles into flesh.

SARMs have shown great optimism in the medical field as well as for performance enhancement. With its tissue-selective action and minimum androgenic effects, there is hope that it might replace AAS or steroids someday soon.

Tom Brendon

Tom Brendon has completed his nutrition undergrad in the UK and received his Master's degree from Canada in health education and specializes in human health and pediatrics. He began his career as a writer for Nutritionline in 2014 and Authority Health in 2016. He has considerable research experience and currently writes nutrition and health articles for general readership. He enjoys outdoor activities, snowboarding and spending quality time with family and friends.

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