Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) are a synthetic alternative to steroids. These supplements replicate the characteristics of the male hormone testosterone by attaching to androgen receptors. Although they work like steroids, some studies indicate that SARMs hardly affect other tissues and parts of the body.

Since their debut on the market, SARMs have numerous subtypes, each having specific benefits. SARMs support lean muscle mass growth, bone health, and faster recovery. They positively affect muscles and bones, making them very popular among bodybuilders, runners, and weightlifters.

There are always debates on SARMs as they are not FDA recognized since they are still under research. However, SARMs have a lot of benefits and some cons that will help a user decide if these supplements are the right choice.

Different Types Of SARMs

Many types of SARMs can help you achieve different things. There are six common types of SARMs that are widely popular, with each providing different benefits.

 They are:
  • Ostarine (MK-2866): This is one of the most studied SARM and is milder compared to others. It is best for beginners who want to cut stubborn fat. Ostarine is also affordable.
  • Testolone (RAD-140): This SARM is best for building lean muscle mass and increasing endurance. Read more about Rad 140.
  • Ligandrol (LGD-4033): It is one of the potent SARMs, which is usually stacked with Ostarine to accelerate its weight-loss effects and growth of lean muscle.
  • Andarine (S-4): Best for cutting weight as it reduces water retention and bloating.
  • Ibutamoren (MK-677): This is best for promoting muscle growth and bone density. It also increases energy and appetite, making it apt for those who are bulking.
  • Cardarine (GW-501516): This is actually not a SARM, however, it is in this group because it has the same effect on the body. It’s beneficial in building lean muscle by enhancing protein receptors.

It is advised to take a PCT (post cycle therapy) after a cycle of SARMs to help the body’s natural testosterone production return to normal.

The Benefits of SARMs

  • Health Benefits

SARMs are powerful agents for building muscle mass, which leads to more muscle strength and bone density. This results in the prevention of common injuries while doing physical activities, such as sprains, strains, and fractures.

These supplements can also help with shorter recovery periods as they can repair tissues. Some SARMs are actually created for specific conditions, such as LGD-1033, which is a potential clinical solution for muscle-wasting and osteoporosis.

SARMs can also provide the same effects as anabolic or androgenic steroids, such as testosterone. It promotes fat loss without losing muscle mass and isn’t toxic like normal steroids.

  • Minimal Side Effects

SARMs provide the same effects as anabolic steroids, but they do not produce such harmful side effects. This is because SARMs only bind with muscles and bones, so they do not affect other parts of the body.

Male users don’t experience feminine features, such as enlargement of the breasts and reduced impact on the prostate. Female users will also not experience masculine effects such as abnormal hair growth and a deeper voice.

  • Stacking Abilities

Since SARMs are not toxic, they can provide more effects when combined with other SARMs. Where one SARM lacks, another can fill the gap. This makes it effective in cutting, faster recovery, increased muscle growth, and better endurance. The effect you want will depend on the SARMs you’re combining. You can stack 3 to 4 SARMs, for 8-week cycles.

Additionally, SARMs can be bought in online stores, making them widely available. However, users must always purchase from a reputable source that discloses their ingredients.

Are There Any Disadvantages to SARMs?

  • Limited Ability of SARMs

Certain SARMs have to be stacked with others to be effective in their intended function. In some cases, one particular type of SARM might not work for fat loss alone and would have to be taken with 2 to 3 others. If these SARMs have side effects, then stacking doubles the risk of experiencing them.

  • No FDA and WADA Recognition

Certain SARMs have to be stacked with others to be effective in their intended function. In some cases, one particular type of SARM might not work for fat loss alone and would have to be taken with 2 to 3 others. If these SARMs have side effects, then stacking doubles the risk of experiencing them.

  • Might Affect Other Organs

Although SARMs only attach to bone and muscle tissue, they can contribute to liver damage if used incorrectly. Some may also increase the risk of a stroke.

  • Shortage Of Supply

These supplements are not available in physical stores. SARMs can be bought online, however, they are not always in stock. This may lead to users opting for other brands or sources that may have harmful ingredients.

Are SARMs Safe?

The SARMs that have been developed are aimed to overcome the negative effects of normal steroids. This is done by selectively attaching to androgen receptors in muscle and bone tissue. These supplements are not like steroids, which means they are not affected by certain enzymes.

There are certain enzymes that convert testosterone into DHT, however, SARMs are not affected by this. This means that they do not present unwanted side effects like steroids would, as they are more selective in boosting muscle growth.

However, it doesn’t mean that SARMs have no side effects. Users can experience side effects such as mood swings and acne, but 90% of users felt an improvement in muscle mass growth and strength.

Although SARMs are not properly researched, many believe that it is an effective alternative to steroids without the discomfort.

About the author 

Simon Courtney

Simon has been involved in the healthcare industry for over 20 years. He has served on the board of several healthcare non-profits and has written numerous articles on health and wellness. He is passionate about helping people improve their health and lives. Simon currently resides in New York City with his wife and two children.

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