Why Do Athletes Use Steroid Substitutes?

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Steroid like testosterone cypionate for sale use has long been seen as a double-edged sword among amateur and semi-professional bodybuilders. One school of thinking opposes the use of performance-enhancing drugs, while another sees them as the key to rapidly gaining muscle bulk.

Many high school physical education teachers include an ominous warning about the consequences of anabolic steroid use in their weightlifting lessons. Young athletes, however, see their heroes using performance-enhancing drugs, from baseball stars to bodybuilders. The obvious question is: how much of the athlete’s reputation and success is due to natural ability, and how much is due to the use of performance-enhancing drugs?
The Internet and the Sale of Steroids

In the United States, possession of anabolic steroids without a prescription became a federal criminal in 1991. The emergence of the Internet as a worldwide marketplace by the mid- to late-1990s meant a proliferation of steroids and steroid alternatives available from nations where anabolic steroids were still allowed without a prescription.

Many substances that are not directly related to synthesized, or anabolic steroids, according to proponents of steroid alternatives, offer many of the benefits of anabolic steroids — an increase in muscle mass and a metabolism geared toward fat burning — but without the side effects of anabolic steroids. Hormonal abnormalities, liver damage, and higher “bad” cholesterol are just a few of the undesirable side effects.

Even so, professional athletes have used steroids, whether legal or not, to bulk up and gain a competitive advantage. And the rest of the world is watching.

In the sport of competitive bodybuilding, for example, there is no universal standard for what constitutes a “illegal” chemical. Rather, the chemicals that are prohibited by regulatory bodies differ between bodybuilding federations. Professional bodybuilders are thought to use illegal anabolic steroids, prohormones, and diuretics, which are generally prohibited by natural bodybuilding organizations.
Another Way of Thinking

Natural bodybuilding associations, as the name implies, focus on physical fitness and nutrition in order to create a level playing field for body shapers. Frequently, these organizations include related kinds of body aesthetics in their competitions, such as figure, female physique, junior level, and physically challenged categories. Some organizations do their own drug testing for their members. Many of these federations prefer to provide a list of prohibited substances on their Web pages in order to make their prohibitions clear. These may or may not include goods labeled as “steroid alternatives” in the generic sense.

Over-the-counter steroid alternatives can be purchased at most health and drug stores. However, they are not all named — or manufactured — in the same way. “TREN-Xtreme,” “MASS Xtreme,” “ESTRO Xtreme,” “AH-89-Xtreme,” “HMG Xtreme,” “MMA-3 Xtreme,” “VNS-9 Xtreme,” and “TT-40-Xtreme” were among the goods named by the US Food and Drug Administration in its Warning Letter to American Cellular Laboratories Inc. in the summer of 2009. According to the FDA, these items claim to have steroid-like components but really include synthetic steroid compounds that are not generally recognized as safe and effective. The items are also misbranded, according to the administration, because the label is misleading and does not provide proper instructions for usage.

The products in the steroid alternative category come with their own set of dangers. And they’ll almost certainly be scrutinized more closely by federal regulators when specific items raise red flags. Nonetheless, the existence of the market reflects a widespread desire among athletes to achieve rapid gains in muscle bulk, strength, and stamina — a desire that overcomes the hazards.