Although all anabolic steroids are derivatives of the same natural hormones, they each have their own inherent set of benefits and drawbacks. Some steroids are wet, which means they increase liquid in the body. Others are dry, and while they might not cause bloating, they leave the joints sore and achy. Learn about the dry vs. wet steroids debate here.
What Makes a Steroid “Wet”?
A “wet” steroid is one that causes the body to retain water. This occurs in compounds that have estrogenic properties, meaning that they aromatize in the body and convert readily into estrogen. This increase in estrogen causes a buildup of water between the muscle cells, which in turn leads to a loss of definition. However, that extra water between the cells also boosts the muscles’ ability to repair themselves and adds to the athlete’s overall strength. Wet steroids are common in bulking cycles when bodybuilders want to add mass and strength. Popular wet steroids include Deca Durabolin and Dianabol, which are often cheaper and in the case of Deca, require less frequent injection.
What Makes a Steroid “Dry”?
Conversely, a “dry” steroid is one that actually removes the fluid from between the muscle cells, helping to promote definition and a ripped, toned appearance. Winstrol is one of the most popular dry steroids known to man, and while it can certainly provide the results you want, there are other things to consider. A dry steroid not only affects the fluids lubricating the muscle cells, but also the other cells in the body. This is why many people who use Winstrol and other dry steroids tend to experience joint pain; the compound actually dries the fluid in the joint.
How Do You Choose?
The fact of the matter is that all anabolic steroids come with side effects, so it is important to weigh the benefits against the potential risks. Choosing a wet or dry steroid is often as simple as determining whether you want a bulking or cutting cycle. Adding more fluid to the body boosts short-term gains and strength; removing fluid from the body provides a toned look prior to shows and competitions. Although the wet and dry effects of these compounds are beneficial in certain circumstances, they can also cause issues. Too much fluid increases the volume of blood, which increases blood pressure in turn. Conversely, too little fluid may cause joint pain and muscle cramps.
Finding a Balance
The best way to make sure that you get the results you want without any of the truly adverse effects of wet or dry steroids involves finding a balance between the two. If you will use a wet steroid, counterbalance some of the negative effects by using a diuretic along with an aromatase inhibitor. Conversely, if you will use a dry steroid that may cause joint pain and discomfort, try lowering the dose if the discomfort becomes too much. Adding a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement as well as fish oil may help replace the fluids that the steroid takes away, too.
Wet vs. Dry Steroids: Using them Together
If you are thinking about creating a steroid stack, but you aren’t sure about how to do it, it’s important to keep a few things in mind about wet vs dry steroids. First, you must understand which steroids are wet and which steroids are dry so you will get the effects you expect. The table below provides a list of all the most popular steroids and whether they are wet or dry.
Steroid Wet or Dry?
Another prime example is the Dianabol / Winstrol stack that bodybuilders turn to for bulking. Dianabol is excessively wet, which means it can cause you to gain 10 to 15 pounds of water weight. Some people will add two to four weeks’ worth of Winstrol on the backend of these cycles to help dry up that water and harden the muscles at the same time. This is not ideal for everyone as it can be a harsh cycle, but advanced users claim it’s the best way to get the most out of Dbol. Second, it’s important to understand which steroids work together to help you reach your goals. Many bodybuilders and athletes will purposely pair wet and dry steroids to help them avoid the potential side effects of either. For example, someone using Winstrol during a cutting cycle may experience joint pain due to its drying effect, so they may choose to add a small amount of Deca Durabolin to counteract this.
Is One More Dangerous than the Other?
When comparing wet vs dry steroids, there is some speculation that wet steroids tend to be harsher and more dangerous than their dry counterparts, but this is simply not the case. This notion comes from the fact that wet steroids are almost always estrogenic, which means they can cause gynecomastia and other unwanted effects in men who don’t take the proper precautions. By using aromatase inhibitors alongside steroids that can aromatize in your body, and by following your cycle with any kind of steroid with the proper PCT, you can avoid all the unwanted effects and realize your goals.
Wet vs Dry Steroids and Mitigating Effects
If you spend much time reading forums for steroid users, you’ll find that there are a few different ways to relieve the side effects common of wet and dry steroids. When using a dry steroid, you are likely to experience joint pain due to the lack of moisture in your tendons, ligaments, and joints themselves. The following supplements can help:
- Omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in fish and krill oil can go a long way. They reduce the overall wear on your joints, and they also inhibit enzymes called collagenases, which break down the collagen in your joints over time. It also helps to improve tendon health and reduce inflammation.
- Calcium reduces inflammation and joint pain, particularly in the knees.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that will keep your connective tissues in good health, and when your connective tissue is strong, your joints are better supported.
- Gelatin supplements act as lubricants for your joints, which comes in handy during a cycle with dry steroids.
Conversely, wet steroids can cause significant bloating in your hands, feet, and even face, as well as in other parts of your body. This can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but even outside of diuretics, there are a few different ways to counteract it.
- Reduce your sodium intake so that it falls below the daily RDA of just 2300mg each day. This can be difficult at first, but by decreasing your sodium levels, you will experience less bloating.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables to boost your circulation and keep bloating to a minimum.
- Drink more water to help flush toxins that may be latching onto water in your body. Though it sounds contradictory, it’s one of the best ways to feel better.
- Eat more protein to combat bloat. Numerous studies have suggested that too little protein is a leading cause of water retention. You should be consuming adequate protein anyway.
- Consider lime and lemon juice or dandelion tea, which are natural diuretics that can provide gentle relief from water retention.
Dry and wet steroids both have benefits for athletes and bodybuilders alike, but it often comes down to mitigating the risks and discomfort that they bring. Remember that wet steroids add mass while dry steroids offer muscle tone and definition, and always purchase the supplements you need to counteract any side effects before you start your cycle.