So sometimes we want not only fast results when we want to build muscle but results that are safe! So with that being said lets look into what is better for you. Testosterone or Steroids? Being a man with low testosterone levels can be frustrating, especially when you don’t fit in any medical diagnosis, but you still feel there’s something wrong. Everyone experiences low testosterone levels differently, and won’t necessarily need to reach a lower threshold a doctor considers hypogonadism to feel different than other men. That is why testosterone supplements have become a suitable option for males with low testosterone levels who still have functioning testis and do not require a complete replacement of synthetic testosterone.
Moreover, since testosterone was introduced in the world of fitness and sports doping, the side effects of this hormone have become popular. Conversely, most testosterone supplements contain natural options that will not trigger any side effect. That’s why there’s always a competition between steroids and testosterone supplements. Which one is better? Are testosterone supplements effective and trust-worthy or just another scam?
Why is taking Testosterone so popular?
Testosterone is probably one of the most popular hormones worldwide, and it is mainly because of the fame given by the sporting industry and bodybuilding. However, this fame is also accompanied by negative comments, including alleged cases of death caused by steroids misuse. Anabolic steroids hormones are listed among the prohibited enhancing drugs in anti-doping agencies, as in testosterone undecanoate, nandrolone esters, oxandrolone, and others variants, but not everything is bad and there’s an appropriate use of anabolic steroids in case of hormonal deficiency.
with thanks www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Testosterone is a natural hormone produced in the human testis, and it interacts with almost every tissue in our anatomy. It is responsible for the development of secondary sexual characteristics in puberty, and it is essential to maintain healthy sexual behavior, good mood, and even a relative cardiovascular protection in males.
Far from being an enemy, a natural synthesis of testosterone is a sign of health and wellness in adult males, and even though its secretion slowly decreases with age, that doesn’t mean an older adult will have very low levels of testosterone, as this condition varies from one guy to the next.
Testosterone is popular in our world because it is actually a superstar in our body, holding important relations with your muscle tissue, maintaining close contact with your brain, and triggering thousands of metabolic reactions in the blood vessels, your skin, your heart, and many other areas in your body.
The downside of Testosterone
Testosterone is vital for the normal function of males, and its administration as an anabolic steroid is medically recommended in some instances. Men with very low levels of testosterone may need anabolic steroids to regulate their hormonal pattern, and it is also widespread in the medical treatment administered to transgender men and children with delayed puberty, even though such uses are highly controversial. However, even when it is closely monitored by a doctor, certain side effects may start to arise.
We have always heard (find out more in our article taking steroids for bodybuilding) the side effects of taking anabolic steroids that include liver problems and aggressive behavior, but they are not the most common. One of the most common side effects is erythrocytosis, an abnormal increase in hemoglobin levels. Men with existing prostate problems might need close monitoring because it is known to stimulate prostate growth in cases of benign prostate hypertrophy and prostate cancer.
In patients who are actively trying to look for a baby, testosterone replacement therapy with anabolic steroids is not a suitable option because external administration causes a negative feedback that decreases the secretion of gonadotropin. In other words, instead of increasing the synthesis of sperm cells, it leads to a transitory state of infertility. Other minor side effects include acne and oily skin and baldness. On the other hand, not monitoring and controlling carefully the administration of testosterone may lead to severe side effects such as testicle atrophy, gynecomastia, and others.
Moreover, side effects are not only limited to the action of testosterone in the organism. Depending on each type and administration of testosterone, you may encounter a series of problems and adverse reactions. To make it easier to understand, we will arrange all of these side effects in the following table:
|Type of anabolic steroids||Adverse effects|
|Intramuscular anabolic steroids||Fluctuating mood, pain at the site of injection, coughing episodes after injecting|
|Transdermal gels and patches||Skin irritation and other skin reactions at the site of application|
|Buccal testosterone tablets||Irritation of the gums and taste alterations|
|Oral tablets||Hepatic toxicity|
Are Testosterone supplements Effective?
On the other hand, we have testosterone supplements, which are meant to stimulate your natural production of testosterone to increase your baseline levels progressively. These testosterone supplements usually contain a series of natural ingredients and extracts with proven effectiveness in increasing circulating levels of testosterone and improving the effects of testosterone in the body, which is measured by the quality of the sperm, the sexual potency, the capacity to achieve and maintain erections, and much more. Find out just How many Testosterone Supplements you should take in a day to be confident of an effective dose.
Instead of a list of side effects, testosterone supplements usually come with a list of additional health effects to the cardiovascular system, the normal function of the liver, the metabolism of energy, and much more. Some of them are adapted to the individual needs of people who need to increase their testosterone levels due to aesthetic reasons. Moreover, instead of compromising fertility, they often promote spermatogenesis, increase the quality of sperm, and improve sexual behavior.
So which one is better?
We can’t question the effectiveness of anabolic steroids as replacement therapy when there are low levels of this hormone in the body. However, our current understanding of health sciences does not endorse the use of anabolic steroids in every case of low testosterone levels because there are many side effects and other alternatives to try first.
Testosterone supplements are definitely the best choice, and the only one a doctor will recommend if your testosterone levels are not lower than the threshold to diagnose hypogonadism. Anabolic steroids are not medically recommended for fitness purposes, and won’t be your first choice if you have functioning testis that will respond to lifestyle changes and natural alternatives.
To further mark down the difference between testosterone supplements and steroids, we will leave you this final table:
|Anabolic steroids||Testosterone supplements|
|Side effects||When correctly administered, they cause erythrocytosis and aggravate prostate problems. When incorrectly administered, they cause testicular atrophy, gynecomastia, and more.||Acne, oily skin that may result from a naturally increased concentration of testosterone.|
|Effectiveness||Effectively increases levels of testosterone in cases of hypogonadism.||Effectively increases levels of testosterone in cases of low-to-moderate levels of testosterone.|
|Fertility issues||Reduces sperm quality and leads to variable outcomes in sexual potency.||Improves sexual behavior and it is suitable if you’re trying to maintain your fertility|
|Medical recommendation||Diagnosed hypogonadism, masculinizing hormone therapy in transgender individuals.||Low-to-moderate levels of testosterone, improved libido and sperm quality, and for aesthetic purposes.|
Hohl, A. (Ed.). (2017). Testosterone: From Basic to Clinical Aspects. Springer.
Carrasquillo, R., Chu, K., & Ramasamy, R. (2018). Novel Therapy for Male Hypogonadism. Current urology reports, 19(8), 63.
Sigalos, J. T., Pastuszak, A. W., & Khera, M. (2018). Hypogonadism: therapeutic risks, benefits, and outcomes. Medical Clinics, 102(2), 361-372.
FIMS, N. V., & Banshi Saboo, F. I. C. P. (2016). TO ASSESS THE EFFICACY OF FENUGREEK SEEDS EXTRACT, AS A TESTOSTERONE BOOSTER SUPPLEMENT, IN HUMAN VOLUNTEERS: AN ADD-ON STUDY. Endocrine Practice, 22, 235.