Part of using responsibly involves obtaining the right supplements to protect your health and well-being. Every single anabolic steroid out there requires some sort of supplementation, no matter how mild it is. Fortunately, these compounds are easy to find and often inexpensive. Here is a guide to necessary supplements and why you need to take them.
Testosterone is an absolute must in almost any anabolic steroid cycle. Remember that all are derivatives of testosterone, but they have slight molecular changes that give them their unique properties. Although they bind to the same receptors as testosterone and trick the body into believing that plenty of testosterone is present, after 21 days in a cycle, there is no more testosterone in your body.
This can cause all kinds of horrible side effects, including testicular atrophy, a complete lack of libido, overwhelming fatigue, and uncontrollable mood swings. Supplementing with testosterone during your cycle combats the signs of low testosterone.
Testosterone boosters are simple enough to find, and there are many different types available, too. You can use any kind you like if you stick to the recommended dosage and cycle lengths. Just be sure to measure your dose carefully and administer it often enough to prevent low-T symptoms.
Many of the most popular among bodybuilders and athletes convert to estrogen over time, and this can also cause symptoms like gynecomastia, testicular atrophy, hair loss, and mood swings due to the buildup of estrogen.
Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) like Arimidex help to stop the formation of an enzyme called aromatase. The aromatase creates estrogen, so without aromatase, there is no estrogen. Although some of the anabolics available today do not aromatize, most do.
Be sure to do your research and purchase enough Arimidex ahead of time to last through your entire cycle. Other AIs that you may find on the market include Aromasin and Letrozole, and while these are quite effective at blocking the aromatase enzyme, bear in mind that they are quite harsh.
This is true of Letrozole, especially, which usually does not find its way into an athlete’s cycle unless he has developed the symptoms of gynecomastia. At relatively high doses, Letrozole can reverse these signs.
Most of the orals, including Dianabol and Anadrol, are incredibly hepatotoxic. This means that they can cause significant liver damage when used at high doses or for long periods of time. Nonetheless, these are some of the most powerful bulking agents on the face of the earth.
When you utilize one of these, you should also take a liver protection supplement. Most bodybuilders and athletes turn to an all-natural product called milk thistle; this plant prevents and repairs damage to the liver from toxic medications. A few studies suggest that milk thistle is successful in preventing the buildup of harmful liver enzymes, but studies are ongoing.
Along those same lines, it’s vital that you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This will improve your overall liver health. What’s more, avoiding things like alcohol and acetaminophen while using is also important. Combining these things can lead to significant liver damage. Each one is known for being hard on the liver alone, and these effects multiply when they are combined.
Finally, you will need SERMs, or selective estrogen receptor modulators, for your post-cycle therapy. Now, you might wonder why you need another estrogen blocker if you used an aromatase inhibitor during your cycle. An AI can only block the production of estrogen, but a SERM can help stimulate your pituitary gland to produce LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) to get your natural testosterone production back on track.
You should never start a steroid cycle unless you have SERMs to use for at least four to six weeks after your cycle. A SERM is also important for avoiding the effects of estrogen for one very important reason.
Post-cycle, there’s very little testosterone in your body, so estrogen has more of an opportunity to “take over”. SERMs will block some of the effects of estrogen without blocking others, which is important to maintaining a proper balance of hormones in your body. In fact, SERMs like Clomid and Nolvadex are easy enough to find and use, and you should never start a cycle without them.
Some are notorious for providing killer ‘pumps’. While some people enjoy the feeling, they can be painful (particularly during lower back exercises). Luckily, they can be somewhat counteracted by supplementing with taurine.
Individuals concerned with energy and strength while using may incorporate creatine, as well, which helps produce more of the muscles’ main energy source. Additionally, usage often result in higher blood pressure which is just one of the reasons blood work is important before, during and after cycles.
Never start a steroid cycle with high blood pressure. Even so, those on cycle sometimes choose to supplement with various juices such as beet juice, grapefruit and grape juice to help manage it.
Optional Supplements to Boost Your Progress
Of course, not all supplements you can take are necessary. If you go into any nutrition store, you’ll find a variety of products geared toward enhancing performance, gaining lean mass, and even shedding pounds. Some of these can certainly help, and others are a waste of money. The chart below shows some of the helpful options, their doses, and some information about how to use them.
Supplement Dose What it Does
None of these supplements are absolutely necessary, but using them can certainly help you reap the benefits of your diet and exercise program more quickly. You can find each of these in just about any nutrition store, and many common department and drug stores carry them, too. Price varies, as does quality, so be sure to do your research and choose brands with reputable names.
This way, you will receive a high-quality product that will benefit you throughout your cycles – including PCT. Nearly all of the aforementioned products are necessities, though a very few may not aromatize or cause liver damage. Please take the time to research your steroid and obtain all of the required supplements before you start your cycle.