Bodybuilding 4 MIN READ 774 VIEWS October 5, 2016

Top 5 Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids

Written By Archana

Are steroids worth the risk? No. Know in detail the top 5 side effects of anabolic steroids and stay away from them, under any circumstance.

Is steroid a reality in bodybuilding or has it been highlighted more than necessary?

Do you think those gigantic muscles are real? Or are they a result of a chemical cocktail, popularly known as steroids? Bodybuilding and anabolic steroids border on the fringes of adulterous relationship: something far off limits but promising enough to lure the bodybuilder into experimenting. Before you fall into the trap of steroids, you should know in detail why anabolic steroids are bad for you. Know in detail what harm is caused by steroids and why you should not take steroids ever?

  1. What are steroids
  2. How steroids affect muscle gain
  3. What steroids do to you
  4. Build your muscles naturally


Steroids are drugs that have been developed for treating inflammatory conditions of blood vessels or muscles. They are often prescribed for arthritis, gout, asthma and help in jumpstarting recovery of the patients. 

The muscle building effects of steroids, anabolic androgenic steroids, in particular, leads to their abuse in bodybuilding. These steroids mimic male hormone testosterone. They make muscles grow faster have harmful side effects are banned in most sports and are illegal without a prescription.  Doctors prescribe these steroids for treating symptoms of delayed puberty.

Colloquially, anabolic steroids are even referred to as Gear, Juice, Roids, and Stackers. Athletes or bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids for improving their performance or fostering muscle growth inject them into their muscles in doses 10 to 100 times higher than prescribed by the doctors. 


When you stress your muscles during a workout by lifting heavier than usual, your muscles suffer microscopic tears. The natural mechanism of your body for defending itself against such injuries is to add bigger cells and build stronger, denser muscles, also known as muscular hypertrophy. The continued repetition of this process results in muscle growth.

Testosterone is the main ingredient in triggering the anabolism process. Anabolic androgenic steroids supplement the natural testosterone level in your body. When it is delivered to the muscle cells, steroid interacts with the cell’s DNA and stimulates protein synthesis that promotes cell growth.

  1. Other than growing your muscles in size and bulk, anabolic steroids block cortisol or the stress hormone secreted after an intense exercise from binding into the muscle cell’s receptor sites, thereby blocking the process of muscle breakdown. Diminished muscle breakdown means less fatigue and tiredness, which helps in quicker turnaround of sore muscles.
  2. Usually, the steroid is injected into the muscles, but patches and gels are also available for topical application. To avoid the negative side effects of steroid abuse, bodybuilders take it for a while and then stop it during their rest period before starting it again, known as cycling.
  3. Users even stack more than one kind of steroid, which is known as stacking. When both cycling and stacking are combined together it is known as pyramiding, where one or more anabolic steroid is taken in a low dose. This is gradually increased to a maximum dose over 6 to 12 weeks. The dosage is then gradually reduced to zero, to give the body a break and the cycle is started again.

Bodybuilders exercise more  to make the most of the heightened level of testosterone in their system. Athletes use steroids in such a way that it flushes out of their system before they are tested for the traces of drugs. 


Bodybuilders in their keenness to grow phenomenally big and muscular ignore the short and long-term health risks of steroid abuse. In the long run, steroid abuse causes permanent health problems such as

  • Kidney problems or failure
  • Liver damage
  • Enlarged heart, high blood pressure, and changes in blood cholesterol, all of which increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, even in young people

Also, sharing of needles is a common practice in steroid users, which puts them at risk of contracting blood-borne infections, like HIV and Hepatitis.

  1. The mild side effects of steroid abuse are restricted to acne, skin concerns and baldness. However, the years of aggressive abuse of anabolic steroids causes extreme and severe bodily transformations, accompanied with many health risks.
  2. In women such a drastic transformation will result in her loss of feminine physical attributes, making her look like a man. Women bodybuilders experience an increase in body hair, acne and swelling of the clitoris.
  3. In men, the Hulk-like bulk is often a tradeoff with masculinity and the symptoms of diminished manliness are reduced sperm count, shrunken testicles as well as  developing of breasts, known as gynecomastia. 8-time Mr. Olympia winner, Ronnie Dean Coleman’s enormous size had a lot to do with anabolic steroids and the proof of the steroid abuse is the growth of man boobs  or gynecomastia on his massive size.
  4. Uncontrolled rage and explosive anger are other significant health consequences of steroid abuse and many times such an outburst leaves an unhappy trail of events.
  5. Moreover, anabolic steroids are not used alone by the professional bodybuilders. Often diuretics, growth hormones compete with steroids, also known as stacking to get that beefy bulk and shrink-wrapped muscle look, which even costs the bodybuilder his life, as it happened with Andreas Munzer, an Austrian bodybuilder with an extremely muscular physique and almost no subcutaneous fat. Munzer died at the age of 31 after his final contest San Jose International. The autopsy report post his death found out that an extreme abuse of drugs had thrown his electrolytes completely out of balance, his heart had grown almost double in size of a normal man and his liver was damaged beyond repair. 


If you are still willing to experiment with steroids, then there are two possibilities. You are either an elite level athlete or a professional bodybuilder with lots of money riding on you. The rule is simple, under any circumstance, steroids are an absolute no. While building your body do not  pump it with synthetic testosterone. Eat clean, workout hard and use natural supplements to build your body. Be wise and look beyond the size. What matters in the long run is your strength, stamina and health. Do not compromise it for anything. 

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