Mainly used by the athletes for fulfilling their goals in the sports arena, the use of steroids has been circulated notoriously by the mainstream media for a very long time. Steroids are synthetic hormones which if administered inside the body behave like natural testosterone.
Now, testosterone is no more than any heavenly ambrosial drink for a man. This hormone increases the anabolic and androgenic capabilities of a person. Nonetheless, all the strong capacities of a man from deep voice to a muscular body are bestowed with this magical hormone.
Most of the people have limited knowledge about anabolic steroids. They associate them with big and pumped up muscles, good performance, enhanced capabilities and health risks. However, it cannot be so easy for any athlete to get those humongous muscles by just swallowing few pills along with water. There must be a large biological process going in the background. Well, we have tried to lift the curtain for you and explore the working of steroids in a transparent manner.
HOW ARE STEROIDS ADMINISTERED?
Steroids are mainly given in the following ways:
- Topically which means in the form of an ointment or cream.
- Orally which is in the shape of pills and powder.
- Injection where steroids are injected into the veins, muscles or soft tissues of the body.
HOW DO ANABOLIC STEROIDS HELP IN BUILDING MUSCLES?
Muscular Hypertrophy is the main term which you should understand if you want to dig deeper in knowing how those beefed up muscles are created. When an athlete over exerts his or her body by weightlifting or any rigorous muscle training, then micro tears are generated in the muscles. The body owing to its repair mechanism will then start compensating by producing bigger cells in the body. The process is known as muscle hypertrophy and if repeated many times through resistance training and gym exercises will lead you to have an overall muscle growth.
Testosterone is a prime factor in the repair mechanism. However, with anabolic steroids, the mechanism is even more enhanced and accelerated. Thus, faster and improved results are obtained.
Once administered in the bloodstream anabolic steroids start working at the cellular level. They attach themselves to the protein receptors of the cells, inducing an increase in protein synthesis. RNA, sister of DNA of the cell is triggered and is responsible for protein synthesis.
Nitrogen retention is another valid way through which anabolic steroids help in building bigger muscles. Nitrogen is the primary building block of proteins and tissues. With the enhanced nitrogen retention due to the administration of anabolic steroids, muscle growth takes place at a faster pace.
During Intense workout, a body has the natural tendency of secreting cortisol hormone which has a degrading effect on muscle tissues. Anabolic steroids can block this cortisol hormone from binding to the muscle cell receptors. Thus, muscle depletion is restricted, and this results in less muscle fatigue and more bulking of muscles.
DOSE OF STEROIDS MATTER FOR BODYBUILDERS?
Well, yes. The dose of steroid plays a key role in finalising the type of body that you want. Hence, comes the brilliant concept of stacking. Stacking involves the usage of varieties of steroids targeted for various purposes with a cleverly concocted dose. Those who want a massive musculature probably follow a different stacking than those body builders who are more interested in the toned body.
HOW DO CORTICOSTEROIDS REDUCE INFLAMMATION?
Corticosteroids fall under another category of steroids that are mainly used to reduce inflammation and to relieve pain. Allergic reactions are body reactions to foreign objects in the bloodstream. The immune system starts attacking the foreign bodies and this results in redness, swelling, inflammation and pain.
Cortisol is a primary hormone produced in the body which is important for reducing inflammation. Corticosteroids replicate the effects of this cortisol hormone by intervening the immune system and lessening the production of White Blood Cells. Corticosteroids are thus useful in decreasing severe back pain, poison ivy and immune system problems. Corticosteroids can be lifesaving in many instances and save the organs from depleting.
If kidney inflammation is treated in the right stage with steroids can save a person from having kidney failure. Small doses of steroids can be helpful in treating arthritis pain. Also, short term dose of steroids is usually beneficial to reduce the shooting pain of arthritis.
Many diseases are treated by Corticosteroids like rheumatoid arthritis, Inflammation of blood vessels and muscles. Lupus, Gout, etc.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTSIn the long run, the continuous meddling of corticosteroids with the body’s immune system is very harmful. This leads to a significant number of potential side effects, and the list goes a long way.