DHEA: A Safe Alternative to Anabolic Steroids
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DHEA: A Safe Alternative to Anabolic Steroids
Use DHEA cream to improve workout results

DHEA: A Safe Alternative to Anabolic Steroids

It’s no secret that you can’t get the fitness influencer or Hollywood superhero physique without a little help. And we don’t mean diet, work ethic and an elite personal trainer. Yeah, that’s right. Despite what Hollywood actors and fitness influencers might tell you, eating only chicken and broccoli and a proper fitness program won’t get you perfectly shredded with 6-pack abs while simultaneously building 15 pounds of lean muscle mass. You need one more piece of the formula: anabolic steroids.

As we age past our reproductive prime, it only gets harder to naturally achieve anything close to the steroid physique. Once men reach their late 20s and early 30s, their bodies naturally start to produce less testosterone each year. As a result, it gets more difficult for men to build muscle mass and burn fat. The desire to obtain a superhuman body type or regain their old physique as they age pushes a lot of men to experiment with dangerous anabolic steroids. 

With this experimentation at an all-time high these days, we thought it would be a good idea to educate our readers on what steroids are, how they work, the dangers of taking some of the most popular synthetic steroids and how DHEA can help your body naturally boost testosterone to healthy levels. DHEA, short for dehydroepiandrosterone, is a naturally occurring prohormone.  DHEA is the most abundant prohormone in the human body.

 

Why Do Our Testosterone (T) Levels Drop as We Age?

Once men reach their reproductive prime in their late 20s and early 30s, the body gradually  begins to produce less testosterone. Once men reach their 30s, natural T production drops 1 to 2 percent a year. While this might sound scary, it’s perfectly natural for your T levels to gradually drop as you age. In most cases, you have nothing to worry about and the symptoms are unnoticeable.

However, if your T levels rapidly decline, you may experience the following side effects:

  • Lower sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Low sperm count
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle atrophy and loss of bone density
  • Weight gain

If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s a good idea to speak with a doctor and get your T levels tested. It is a very simple and inexpensive lab test and a rapid decline in T levels could be a warning sign of a more serious condition. Some regimens, such as testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), are actually prescribed by doctors to remedy some of these issues and are perfectly safe as long as you take them under the guidance of a medical professional. Regular testing and proper testosterone replacement is crucial. Dangerous side-effects and problems come when people use synthetic anabolic steroids for bodybuilding to artificially boost lean muscle mass.

 

So What Are Anabolic Steroids and How Does Testosterone Function in the Body?

To understand how steroids work, you first need to understand how testosterone naturally functions in the body. Once you know the basics of how testosterone works, you can start to understand the benefits and serious dangers synthetic (man-made) anabolic steroids pose.

How Testosterone Naturally Functions in the Body

Most cells in the body have specialized protein receptors along the cell membranes called androgen receptors. These receptors are specialized to receive messages from androgenic hormones like testosterone. When a testosterone molecule attaches to an androgen receptor, it’s transported to the nucleus of the cell and alters the cell’s physiology. In simpler terms, testosterone molecules tell the cell to start building muscle.

The human body produces testosterone within a range specific to your body, which means you can only put on so much natural muscle. However, when men want to get a competitive edge in athletics or put on unnatural amounts of muscle, many men seek to artificially elevate their T levels.  Unfortunately the artificial boost in testosterone from synthetic steroids further slows down your body’s natural testosterone production and causes testicular atrophy (or shrinkage).

The good news is DHEA doesn’t reduce natural testosterone production.  DHEA simply gives the body a base hormone precursor to process testosterone in the testicles. Hence the common phrase “Use Twist 25 DHEA cream. Make your own hormones.” We go into more detail about DHEA later on in this article.

How Anabolic Steroids Interact With the Body

If you want to build more muscle than you could naturally, you need to elevate your T levels above their natural range. Anabolic steroids allow you to do this by introducing more testosterone into the body. This helps you build more muscle than you ever could naturally.

While all steroids have different benefits and side effects, at the most basic level, all anabolic steroids are a derivative of testosterone. The major differences in types of steroids are in their chemical structure and how dangerous their side effects are. As a general rule, synthetic anabolic steroids have dangerous side effects and should be avoided or at least taken responsibly. 

So Why Do People Take Steroids?

Unfortunately, there is no way to naturally boost your testosterone levels beyond your body’s natural physiological range, so men turn to steroids to achieve significant muscle growth. Steroids also give you a competitive advantage in professional sports, so some professional athletes risk adverse side effects and break the rules to make more money and win championships.

A long-term clinical study found that on average over a 10-week period, men using steroids put on a whopping 13.5lbs of lean muscle mass, which is 1.3 pounds a week. For reference, a natural bodybuilder with incredible genetics could only put on half of that in a year.

Negative Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids

So anabolic steroids clearly work, but are they worth the risks? Different steroids have different health risks and side effects associated with them. We’d strongly advise against taking synthetic anabolic steroids, but if you’re going to, we advise consulting a medical professional to fully understand the risks associated with steroids.

No matter what steroids you take, unnaturally elevated levels of testosterone will shrink your testicles and, over a long enough period of time, will cause testicular atrophy (testicular shrinkage and death). Your body’s response to high levels of testosterone is to shrink your testicles to lower natural testosterone production to get T levels back to normal levels. The other major side effect of all steroids is that the body converts excess testosterone into estrogen through the process of aromatization. As a result, men who use steroids tend to develop breasts. Along with these side effects, each steroid comes with its own risks.

Trenbolone (Tren)

Trenbolone, commonly referred to as Tren, is one of the most popular and most dangerous anabolic steroids. Tren was originally developed for livestock production because it increases muscle mass and appetite in animals, which helped get the animals to a good size for slaughter faster. Despite Tren only being approved for animals, many bodybuilders and fitness influencers take it because it’s three times more powerful than testosterone and allows you to put on mass, burn fat, and gain strength incredibly quickly. Tren also has the added benefit of not converting testosterone into estrogen, which prevents the development of breasts. Tren works synergistically with testosterone and other steroids to help individuals put on a ton of lean muscle really quickly.

While the benefits of Tren might sound really appealing, it’s an incredibly dangerous synthetic steroid designed for livestock, not humans. Below is an abbreviated list of the side effects and risks associated with taking Tren.

Side Effects of Tren:

  •  Prevents natural testosterone production
  • Testicular shrinkage & testicular atrophy
  • Tren cough
  • Acne, particularly “bacne”
  • Baldness
  •  Excessive facial hair & body hair growth   
  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats
  • High blood pressure
  • ED
  • Infertility
  •  Increased aggression (roid rage)
  •  Loss of endurance
  •  Increased risk of prostate, brain, and breast cancer
  •  Increased risk of heart disease
  •  Insulin resistance
  •  Nose bleeds

Nandrolone Decanoate

Nandrolone decanoate is a slow-acting anabolic steroid made from synthetic testosterone. Nandrolone is designed to increase muscle mass by promoting nitrogen retention in muscle, which increases muscle size. Another benefit of nandrolone is that it relieves joint pain by promoting collagen synthesis and enhancing bone mineralization.

Unlike Tren, nandrolone decanoate is actually designed for human consumption and, under a medical professional’s guidance, can be safe to consume. Nandrolone is prescribed to treat various illnesses and injuries such as: (i) bad burns, (ii) severe allergic reactions, (iii) cornea injuries, (iv) osteoporosis, (v) body-wasting disease, (vi) anemia caused by cancer, and (vii) prostate or breast cancer. While nandrolone is perfectly safe to use when prescribed by a doctor, you run into trouble when you abuse it for bodybuilding.

Side Effects of Nandrolone Decanoate:

  •  Women develop masculine characteristics
  • Priapism (prolonged erection)
  •  Acne
  •  Prostate cancer
  •  High levels of blood calcium
  • Enlarged prostate
  •  Visible water retention
  •  Leg cramps
  •  Insomnia
  •  Chills
  •  Diarrhea
  •  Bloating
  •  Loss of sex drive
  •  Liver cancer
  •  Excessive fat in blood
  •  Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  •  Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Liver tissue death
  •  Low sperm count
  • Yellowing of eyes or skin
  • Overexcitement
  • Depression
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Feelings of hostility
  • Problems with menstrual cycle
  • Darkening of skin
  • Low energy
  • Decreased appetite
  • Irritability

Masteron

Masteron is one of the most popular synthetic anabolic steroids for cosmetic purposes because of its strong DHT structure. Unlike the other steroids on this list, Masteron does not help you put on mass; rather, it’s used to get your body shredded or “ripped.” Masteron is considered a relatively safe steroid, but the keyword here is “relatively.” There still are some very serious health risks associated with taking it.

Side Effects of Masteron

  • Pituitary gland suppression
  • Acne
  • Headaches
  • Balding
  • Cottonmouth
  • Body hair growth
  • Uncontrollable mood swings
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Voice changes
  • Increased sex drive
  • Reduced levels of healthy cholesterol

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

Testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, is by far the safest steroid we discuss on this list. TRT is primarily used to treat low T associated with aging and other medical conditions. In recent years, TRT has become very popular for non-medical reasons, such as improving sexual performance, increasing energy levels and building muscle mass.

TRT is typically prescribed to treat hypogonadism, which occurs when the testes don’t produce enough testosterone. When taken correctly, TRT should be used to restore testosterone levels to your body’s natural levels. This helps people who are 30-plus with weight loss, energy, an increased sex drive, increased endurance and muscle mass.

TRT is perfectly safe when taken under a doctor’s orders and administered as directed, but like with all steroids, you start to run into issues when it’s used for bodybuilding or as a performance-enhancing drug. When TRT is taken at levels higher than replacement level, you can experience the following side effects and health risks.

Side Effects of TRT

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Speech difficulties
  • Low sperm count
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Low HDL (lowered good cholesterol)
  • Heart attack
  • Swelling in hands and legs
  • Stroke
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Sleep apnea
  • Acne
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary embolism

While TRT is a lot safer than other steroids, unless regularly tested and prescribed by a doctor, it’s safer and healthier to focus on naturally increasing testosterone levels. While you may not be able to increase testosterone beyond your natural range, there are plenty of ways to naturally keep your testosterone levels up as you age.

Natural Ways To Boost Testosterone

Studies have shown that exercise and lifting weights naturally boost testosterone levels in men. So as you age, it’s very important to continue exercising and lifting weights to keep your T levels up. It’s also important to eat a balanced diet that incorporates a lot of whole foods. Studies show that what you eat has a major impact on your hormone levels, so make sure you eat a healthy diet with an appropriate macro split to keep your testosterone up as you age.

Studies also suggest that stress and increased cortisol levels can negatively impact your natural testosterone production. Research shows that long-term stress can elevate cortisol (the stress hormone), which can quickly decrease your T levels. There is a direct relationship between the two: As one goes up, the other goes down. In addition to reducing stress, it’s important to get plenty of quality sleep. Besides playing a vital role in leading a healthy lifestyle, studies suggest that the amount of sleep you get in a night is directly correlated to testosterone levels. One clinical study suggests that people who only get four hours of sleep a night were borderline testosterone deficient, and for each additional hour of sleep after, there was about a 15% increase in testosterone production.

 

How Can DHEA Naturally Boost Testosterone Production?

While TRT is a relatively safe method for boosting your testosterone levels (with doctor supervision), DHEA works as a TRT alternative by naturally boosting testosterone levels without the dangerous side effects of synthetic steroids. 

DHEA is the most abundant naturally occurring hormone in the human body and plays a key role in sex hormone production (testosterone and estrogen). From birth until around age 25, DHEA production increases at a consistent rate; after 25, DHEA production starts to decline at a rate of about 2% a year. The natural decline in DHEA production as we age coincides with the decline in testosterone production. It’s perfectly natural for DHEA and testosterone production to decline; it’s all a part of aging. But taking a quality DHEA supplement can help boost testosterone production.

DHEA naturally restores your testosterone production to a healthy range rather than over-doing it. As with all things: moderation is key. DHEA can help improve muscle growth for men as they age because it restores T levels to the natural range that existed when they were in their prime. Unlike TRT and other synthetic anabolic steroids, it maintains natural T levels, so you don’t have to worry about excessive T levels causing testicular shrinkage or atrophy, and there is no risk of developing breasts from excess T getting converted into estrogen. While DHEA might not give you a superhero physique, it does give your body enough of an athletic edge that it is actually a banned substance by the IOC and NFL.

DHEA does give you an advantage; but Hey – after age 35-40, as long as you’re not competing in professional sports or the Olympics, who doesn’t want a little advantage to maintain great health? DHEA also has been shown to combat the negative effects of cortisol. In addition to aiding in natural testosterone production, DHEA has been shown to directly combat the negative effects of stress and cortisol, such as low T. If you want to learn more about how DHEA combats cortisol, check out this blog! In addition to combating cortisol, DHEA has been clinically shown to improve deep sleep, which is essential for testosterone production and leading a healthy lifestyle. If you want to learn more about how DHEA improves sleep, check out this blog.

Before you take anabolic steroids or TRT to artificially boost your testosterone levels, we’d suggest trying DHEA cream Twist 25. It’s a safer, natural alternative to anabolic steroids without all the negative side effects.  Twist 25 DHEA cream has no dangerous side-effects.

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