SARMS (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) have recently become the newest fitness fad and for good reason. SARMS are very effective at building muscle, they are legal (in most jurisdictions), they seem to be less dangerous than steroids, they are taken orally and they do not carry the stigma that comes with steroid use. Seems quite enticing, does not?
SARMS almost seems like the perfect and perhaps even a better alternative to tried and true Anabolic Steroids. Though are they really safer? Are they even as effective? We’ll try to answer those questions and more in this article.
Perhaps the biggest issue with SARMS is that they are still relatively “new.” They have not been studied nearly as long or in-depth as Anabolic Steroids. Anabolic Steroid use has been linked to various health issues such as liver damage, increased blood pressure, and cardiovascular complications.
SARMS are selective to skeletal muscle, while Anabolic Steroids can bind to any androgen receptors, which on paper makes them less safe than SARMS. Though as mentioned, the biggest issue with SARMS is that they simply have not been around long enough. We do know that Steroids can be hazardous to one’s health, but we know this because they’ve been extensively studied. We do not have any data showing that long term use of SARMS is safe.
When it comes to safety, we’re aware of the risks associated with Anabolic Steroids. We do not know the risks associated with the use of SARMS. Theoretically, SARMS should be safer than Steroids, but we do not know for certain. We hope that SARMS can possibly be a safer alternative to Steroids, but at this time most SARMS are still being researched, so we simply do not know. In conclusion, one must ask, would you rather use the tried and true Anabolic Steroids, while being aware of all the prospective side effects? Or would you rather take a new compound (SARMS), which could potentially be safer, but could also potentially pose some unknown side effects down the road? That’s for you to answer.
All of the data we have access to that pertains to comparing SARMS to Steroids side by side is derived from anecdotal information. Thus far, we have not seen any scientific studies that compare the muscle and strength building properties of SARMS compared to Steroids. Such studies would be very difficult to conduct because the following questions would be raised: Which Anabolic Steroid is going to be compared to which SARM? What dose of each compound is going to be used?
Such questions are integral to the integrity of any study that would be making a side by side comparison of any SARM to any Anabolic Steroid. To make this clear, a very popular and widely used Anabolic Steroid Anavar (Oxandrolone) is commonly used by male bodybuilders at an average dose of 40mg per day. On the SARMS side, a popular SARM LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) is most often used at an average dose of 10mg per day. Perhaps Anavar may prove to be more potent than LGD-4033 at their most commonly used doses (40mg Anavar vs 10mg of Ligandrol), but how would 10mg Anavar compare to 10mg of Ligandrol? Not so simple now, is it?
Now let’s put the studies aside and analyze some anecdotal feedback. If you speak to the most experienced bodybuilder, they will without a doubt state that Anabolic Steroids are significantly more effective than SARMS. This could be due to various factors. One critical factor being that Steroids can induce muscle growth through mechanisms outside of androgen receptors (such as an increase in IGF-1 levels). SARMS, on the other hand, are “selective” androgen modulators, so they do not cause muscle growth through pathways outside of the androgen receptors. It’s also worth noting that many bodybuilders stack various Steroids together, which evidently create a more potent muscle building protocol. When it comes to SARMS, they can be stacked with one another. Though from the limited data that we do have, they do tend to be liver toxic, which means that it may not be prudent to stack multiple SARMS together for extended periods of time.
So far we do not have any scientific data demonstrating whether SARMS are more potent than Oral Steroids and Injectable Steroids when It comes to building muscle/strength one way or another. However, based on the limited information that we do have, combined with the anecdotal feedback from users, anabolic steroids seems to be the winner when it comes to muscle building and increasing strength.