Testosterone as PED
Endogenous testosterone is a popular choice for athletes and bodybuilders looking to enhance their performance.
Testosterone has several roles that may be beneficial to athletes. This includes increases in muscle mass following hypertrophy-based strength training. Testosterone increases the rates of muscle protein synthesis post-training, which tends to occur over the long term as testosterone increases the transcription of genes driving increased muscle protein synthesis and, hence, muscle hypertrophy.
In the study published in 1996 , supplemental testosterone had a huge effect on increasing muscle size and strength. The testosterone and exercise group increased muscle size more than 600mm in their quadriceps, compared to a loss of over 100mm for the exercise-only group. They also improved their bench press 1RM by 9kg, while the exercise-only group stayed the same.
There are three main types of endogenous testosterone: testosterone cypionate, testosterone enanthate, and testosterone propionate as injectable. Also there’s Testosterones gels, patchs etc. Testosterone cypionate is the most commonly prescribed form of testosterone treatment in the United States.
Frecless testosterone use may also increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. Testosterone therapy has been associated with an increased risk of death, heart attack, and stroke in men over the age of 65. In addition, testosterone use may increase the risk of prostate cancer, as well as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Testosterone use may also cause increased aggression and mood swings. Finally, testosterone use may disrupt natural hormones and lead to infertility. So testosterone products must be used under supervison of an healthcare provider and in accordance with the prescribing information.
II. Types of Exogenous Testosterone & Administration
A. Available Forms
Testosterone injections are a common form of testosterone replacement therapy. They are administered intramuscularly, meaning they are injected directly into the muscle. The most commonly used injection is an oil-based solution known as an esterified form of testosterone. These esterified forms slow down the release of testosterone and allow for a more gradual release of active hormone into the blood stream. Common esterified forms are testosterone enanthate (commonly referred to as “depo”), testosterone cypionate, and testosterone propionate. Also, Testosterone no ester injections are available as water suspension form of testosterone. Usually preferred by athletes as pre-workout shots for quick effect.
Testosterone patches are a form of transdermal delivery system. The patch is placed directly on the skin and delivers a steady dose of testosterone directly into the bloodstream. The patch is usually changed every 24-48 hours to maintain optimal levels of testosterone in the body. Common patches include Androderm, Testoderm, and Axiron. But patches are not preferred as a performance enhancer by athletes.
Testosterone gels are typically applied directly onto the skin once daily. The gel is absorbed through the skin, providing a steady dose of testosterone into the bloodstream. Common gels are AndroGel, Testim, and Vogelxo.
Each form of exogenous testosterone has its own set of advantages and disadvantages which must be considered when deciding upon a course of treatment.
B. Dosage Guidelines and Recommendations
The most crucial factor is to ensure that you reach and maintain minimum healthy levels of testosterone. The ideal dosage will vary from person to person depending on age, weight, health status, athletic background, and other factors. It is best to consult with your doctor or coach before beginning a cycle of treatment in order to determine the appropriate dosage and to monitor your progress. Generally speaking, the recommended dosage is between 200-800 mg per week, depending on the individual. Advanced athletes are using 1500mg or more but it’s not advised. It is also important to remember that testosterone levels can be monitored through blood tests and dosages may need to be adjusted accordingly.
III. Safety Considerations & Side Effects of Exogenous Testosterone Use
A. Possible Short-term and Long-term Side Effects
Exogenous testosterone use can cause a variety of short-term and long-term side effects. Some of the most common short-term side effects include acne, headaches, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, decreased libido, water retention/bloating, and mood swings. Long-term side effects may include liver damage, elevated cholesterol levels, increased risk of heart attack/stroke, decrease in sperm production, gynecomastia (also called man boobs) and testicular shrinkage.
It is important to note that these side effects can be managed or avoided with proper dosing, monitoring, and lifestyle practices such as regular exercise, healthy nutrition, and adequate rest.
B. Precautionary Measures to Minimize Risk of Adverse Reactions
The most effective way to minimize the risk of adverse reactions is to only use exogenous testosterone under the supervision of a medical professional.
Proper dosage and frequency should be determined by a professional, as well as regular blood tests to monitor testosterone levels. Since testosterone causes aromatization and a peak in estrogen levels, using anti-estrogen medications such as aromatase inhibitors is recommended.
Also HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) helps as a restorative and maintenance agent of testosterone production.
A proper PCT (post-cycle therapy) should be followed once exogenous testosterone use is stopped. Post-cycle therapy helps to restore the body’s natural hormone balance and reduce the risk of the long-term side effects.
It is also essential to use natural supplements such as Nucleotide Complex and Ashwagandha to help support the body’s natural ability to produce testosterone and manage stress levels after steroid usage.
Exogenous testosterone can be an effective performance enhancer for athletes, when used appropriately under the supervision of a medical professional. It is essential to understand the potential risks and side effects associated with exogenous testosterone.