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If you want to use anabolic steroids safely, then it is important to do your research first. As you read, you will likely come across terms like “esters”, “active life”, and “half-life”. These terms refer to the steroid’s molecular structure, how long it remains active in your body, and how long until half of the compound has exited your system.
Almost every single anabolic steroid you put into your body is a chemically modified variant of testosterone. This means that a scientist in a laboratory somewhere took a single molecule of testosterone and made a few changes to make it beneficial in certain situations. When it comes to steroids, these additions are in the form of carbon chains. When a testosterone molecule contains carbon, that carbon essentially deactivates the steroid for a short period of time. Then, once the steroid makes its way into the bloodstream, enzymes go to work on the carbons and remove them.
To make things simple, think about testosterone in all of its different forms. You have testosterone propionate, testosterone cypionate, testosterone enanthate, and others. Testosterone refers to the actual hormone, and the terms propionate, cypionate, and enanthate refer to the hormone’s ester. The ester refers to the carbon chain added to the testosterone to make it behave differently once it enters your body. A long-estered version of testosterone has a long carbon chain; a short-estered version has a shorter carbon chain.
Many people mistakenly use these two terms interchangeably. While an ester is the molecular deviation of a compound that affects the time it takes to release its parent into the body, the half-life is the period of time at which half of the compound has left your body. For instance, the half-life of Anavar is approximately nine to 10 hours. Because of this, you can assume that 10 hours after taking the Anavar, you still have 25mg in your body. In general, the longer the ester, the longer the half-life, and vice versa. Because it takes longer for a long-estered compound to release its parent into the bloodstream, the half-life increases.
With all of this information in mind, it becomes quite simple to understand active life. This is the amount of time that a certain compound remains active in your body and continues to produce the desired (or therapeutic) effect. It is best summed up with an example. Going back to the 50mg dose of Anavar, remember that in 10 hours, about half of that Anavar is gone – but the other half is still active. Using a bit of simple mathematics, you can deduce the following immediately will occur immediately after that dose:
Theoretically, this could go on infinitely with a few hundredths of a microgram left in your body weeks later. However, this does not accurately describe active life. Most experts agree that anything less than 10mg of Anavar is no longer therapeutic, so the active life is about 24 hours.
To sum things up, the ester refers to the chain of carbon molecules attached to the steroid to enhance its behavior in the body. The half-life is the time it takes for exactly half of the dose to exit your body. Finally, the active life is the amount of time that the same dose provides therapeutic benefits. For the most part, when dealing with AAS, you can figure that the active life is roughly double the half-life.