Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that closely resemble testosterone, but contain slight deviations to give them certain properties.
Conversely, HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is a synthetic hormone with no difference from the HGH naturally found in the body.
Many athletes and bodybuilders use one or the other – and sometimes both – to gain muscle, strength, and stamina. Read on to understand more about the HGH vs. Steroids debate.
What Steroids Do
Anabolic steroids are all derivatives of testosterone. Scientists in laboratories make slight molecular changes to testosterone, and each change gives a steroid a new property.
For example, it is possible to make testosterone more anabolic or less androgenic by simply manipulating the carbon atoms in the molecular chain.
This gives athletes and bodybuilders a wide variety of steroids from which to choose (i.e. Dianabol, Trenbolone, Winstrol etc.) whether they want to build muscle or cut fat.
What HGH Does
On the other hand, HGH is a hormone that, although synthetic and created in a laboratory like anabolic steroids, is no different from the HGH produced in the body.
Growth hormone has very few side effects when used responsibly, and it performs a host of vital functions such as stimulating the repair of tissue, promoting cell regeneration, directing the function of other hormones and enzymes, and controlling overall brain function.
While anabolic steroids serve one main purpose for athletes, HGH serves several. In fact, it can be said that HGH primes the body to make anabolic steroids more effective in the long run, although not everyone who takes HGH will need steroids to bulk up. HGH is much more expensive though.
The Versatility of HGH
When comparing HGH vs steroids, the sheer versatility of HGH cannot be argued. There is no doubt that HGH can improve a steroid cycle and even help you get back on track after your cycle, but people around the world (including celebrities) use it for a variety of reasons.
Some take it for improving their overall health and wellness, some use it to slow the aging process, and others use it under the care of their physicians to help them recover from serious and often traumatic injuries. The dose fluctuates based on need and goal, as well.
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*Research has shown that high-dose HGH can speed recovery from traumatic injuries, including severe burns. You should never use HGH at these doses unless you are under the care of a physician.
HGH vs Steroids for PCT
Another important difference in HGH vs steroids is its use in post-cycle therapy, or PCT.
Because HGH is quite effective at maintaining lean muscle mass, it is commonly added to PCT cycles to help prevent the loss of muscle tissue that comes from replacing endogenous testosterone with exogenous steroids.
Simply put, steroids create the need for post-cycle therapy, and HGH can serve as part of that therapy.
Remember, though, that you should only incorporate HGH into your PCT if you used the hormone during your cycle.
Otherwise, because it takes a while to build up in your system, it will not be as effective – if at all.
To use HGH for post-cycle therapy, continue using it for four to six weeks at the same dose you used during your cycle, which should fall somewhere in the 2IU to 8IU range.
Safety for Men and Women
When comparing HGH vs steroids, the fact that HGH is considered safe for men and women alike is a very important talking point.
Most anabolic steroids mimic the function of testosterone to such a degree that women cannot use them safely without fear of virilization, which is a term used to describe the development of male characteristics.
Virilization includes side effects like a deepening voice, thickening body hair, reductions in breast tissue, and clitoral enlargement, all of which can become permanent if not treated immediately.
HGH, on the other hand, is different. While testosterone can be found in both the male and female body, women have significantly less testosterone than men.
Conversely, both men and women alike have about the same blood concentration of HGH through infancy, childhood, puberty, and adolescence.
In adulthood, men do seem to have slightly more HGH, and for this reason, the dose for women is slightly different – between 0.5IU and 4IU per day, depending on goals. For most women, a dose of 1IU daily is perfect for cutting, while 1.5 to 2IU per day is ideal for bulking.
HGH vs Steroids
Another thing to consider when it comes to comparing HGH vs steroids is the time it will take to see and feel the results.
Anabolic steroids are coveted for their ability to work very quickly, and many can produce significant muscle mass within just a few weeks’ time.
HGH, on the other hand, may make you feel better within a few weeks, but it generally does not provide any noticeable physical effects for three to six months.
Which Is Best?
When you want to determine whether HGH or anabolic steroids are your best choice for bulking up or obtaining a tight, lean appearance, there are several different factors to consider.
Unlike anabolic steroids, HGH has very few side effects and does not cause chemical dependence.
HGH is generally well-tolerated in both men and women.
The body absorbs HGH easily because it is an exact duplicate of the hormone produced in the pituitary gland; the body has a harder time absorbing anabolic steroids because while they are close in molecular structure, they are not exactly the same.
HGH takes a while to work; most users must stay on it for several months in order to notice any real effects. Anabolic steroids can provide bulking or cutting results in as little as a few weeks.
Many people consider HGH the fountain of youth, and this is apparent in Hollywood actors like Sylvester Stallone who is in prime physical condition despite his upcoming 70th
Whether you want to use anabolic steroids or HGH depends on many things. Remember that HGH is milder, but it takes much longer to provide results.
Anabolic steroids can provide results much more quickly, but the risk of side effects is much higher.