• What are steroids?
• What are steroidal supplements?
• Steroid vs. Supplements
Anabolic steroids" is the familiar name for synthetic substances related to the male sex hormones (androgens). They promote the growth of skeletal muscle (anabolic effects) and the development of male sexual characteristics (androgenic effects) and also have some other effects. The term "anabolic steroids" will be used throughout this report because of its familiarity, although the proper term for these compounds is "anabolic-androgenic" steroids.
Anabolic steroids were developed in the late 1930s , a condition in which the testes do not produce sufficient growth, development, and sexual functioning. The primary medical uses of compounds are to treat delayed puberty, some types of impotence, and wasting of the body .
During the 1930s, scientists discovered that anabolic steroids could facilitate the growth of skeletal muscle in laboratory animals, which led to use of the compounds first by bodybuilders and weightlifters and then by athletes in other sports. Steroid abuse has become so widespread in athletics that it affects the outcome of sports contests.
More than 100 different anabolic steroids have been developed, but they require a prescription to be used legally in the United States. Most steroids that are used illegally are smuggled in from other countries, illegally diverted from U.S. pharmacies, or synthesized in clandestine laboratories.
In the United States, supplements such as dehydroepian-drosterone (DHEA) and androstenedione (street name Andro) can be purchased legally without a prescription through many commercial sources including health food stores. They are often referred to as dietary supplements, although they are not food products. They are often taken because the user believes they have anabolic effects.
Steroidal supplements can be converted into testosterone (an important male sex hormone) or a similar compound in the body. Whether such conversion produces sufficient quantities of testosterone to promote muscle growth or whether the supplements themselves promote muscle growth is unknown. Little is known about the side effects of steroidal supplements, but if large quantities of these compounds substantially increase testosterone levels in the body, they also are likely to produce the same side effects as anabolic steroids.
Why do athletes take steroids? Almost all steroid users are taking steroids because they believe it is the only way to develop muscle and strength. Further more, almost all bodybuilders are taken steroids because they want to get as much strength and size as they possibly can. In our own opinion, society today makes people think that to produce muscle and size, steroid use is mandatory. That is not the case, with hard work and determination, anything is possible, but who wants that when you can pretty much triple your size using steroids. Steroid is a drug, and like other drugs, people take them to escape reality, and they enjoy what the drug does for them. We feel steroid is the same case. Steroid users like what the drug has done for their size and strength, and it has taken them away from their original, smaller body. Anyone caught using steroids, the public sees these people as cheaters and are people who have the lack of doing something "the hard way." Steroid users work hard, they work extremely hard, even as much as any regular athlete that trains. Users take steroids for help, and for steroids to work, the athlete must go through a great deal of weight training.
In today's world, people enjoy entertainment and people want to win. Athlete's are willing to do whatever it takes to win. Sports today has come a long way since the beginning, and records are being broken everyday. Steroids have taken sports to new levels, and it will only continue to be on the rise. Face it, there are several players in the National Football League that got to the NFL using steroids, and several still probably are some how. Teenagers are using steroids more than ever today, and this is becoming a big problem in the world. There are few teenagers that really know enough knowledge on steroids, and there are several teenagers making careless mistakes while taking them. The following is by W. Nathaniel Phillips:
"In my observations, there are two main sub groups of steroid users which can be differentiated primarily by age. Group 1 users fall below the mean age of the steroid using population. They are usually in their tens and twenties. These users typically perceive bodybuilding and steroid use to be a way to attract attention. They are very affixed to the notion that if they obtain one of these incredible physiques, their life will be richer and they will be more popular and successful."
If you told a youth about to take steroids that if he takes steroids he might die at the age of 35 instead of 55, he will probably choose the steroids. What kid would give up the chance to make millions in a pro career doing what they want, but might die a bit earlier than expected? For this reason, it is hard for parents and educators to make a youth turn down steroids.
Group 2 is involving users in their 30's, 40's, and over. Phillips said:
"This group, Group 2, is comprised of individuals with very different motives than Group 1. Group 2's motives for using steroids tend to be much more intra-personal. These users are typically more conscious of health risks and therefore use the drugs more prudently. Many of these users are searching for some type of rejuvenation."
These steroid users usually aren't planning on being as big or as strong as they can, but to improve there physical feature for them self. They usually aren't planning on entering "Mr. Olympia" or even a competitive bodybuilder.
Steroids have been used in bodybuilding since the early 50's and since then have been the common denominator between all the massive guys you see in the magazines and on stage. Big name bodybuilders like Arnold have even admitted to using them, not that it wasn't obvious already. It is with an old pro wrestler named Rick Drason who used to work out with Arnold and some other big name bodybuilders. It isn't uncommon for a pro bodybuilder to use steroids year round and even at doses of over 1000 mgs of testosterone weekly. Most of them, even at this dosage, experience very few side effects.
Bodybuilding is not the only professional sport where steroids are being used consistently. Swimmers, Rugby players, Basketball players and especially pro Football players are often using steroids. Football great Lyle Alzado, who publicly blamed his cancer on steroids and growth hormone, claimed that 90 %+ were using while he was in the game. While this number may seem a little extreme, it is certainly within the realm of reality.