SARMs stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator, which is a special category of drugs that are becoming increasingly popular in the fitness industry.
The body produces hormones called androgens that act as messengers. Androgens help in sending signals to the body for providing masculine traits like Adam’s apple, bigger muscles, deeper voice, etc.
Testosterone is known to be the most common type of selective androgen receptor modulator.
Cells will receive the signal only when there is a receptor. Androgen receptors are present all over the body and are specialized in receiving these signals and forwarding them to specific cells.
Traditional steroids like receptor modulators help in activating these receptors, which could also lead to a series of adverse effects on the cardiovascular system of the body, prostate gland, or liver.
However, with the help of a selective modulator, the body will activate the receptors of the bones and muscles only. Because of this reason, they are so popular in the fitness society and among health-conscious bodybuilders.
How Did SARMs Come into Existence?
SARMs went for clinical trials for treating medical conditions that occur because of aging. The testosterone levels drop significantly with age, which could give rise to fewer erections, a decline in strength and muscle mass, and an accumulation of fat in the body.
It was also meant for allowing a customized response, where only the affected tissue could be targeted instead of all the other tissues, which could end up causing undesirable side effects.
Why is SARMs Better Than Testosterone?
SARMs are easy to use as compared to testosterone. They are oral drugs, which means they don’t have to be injected into the body, unlike testosterone.
SARMs can provide several benefits to the body without resulting in side effects.
It can help in stimulating the growth of lean muscle mass, decrease water retention, and strengthen the bones.
SARMs do not result in water retention in the body. Users also claim that it doesn’t change the way the body tends to store fat.
Therefore, SARMs is a useful tool for cutting, i.e. weight loss. It does that by activating AMPK, a specific mechanism that relates to lipolysis and fat oxidation.
Top SARMs for Bodybuilding
How SARMs will react to the body will differ from one person to the other. Therefore, it will require a certain level of experimentation.
The attributes of each SARM are different from the others. Let’s take a look at the SARMs that are ideal for bodybuilding.
Ostarine MK-2866 – It is the best-known of all SARMs, and is used quite widely. It is cheap, readily available, mild, and offers a good starting point. It helps in preserving muscle mass, and it can also work when your body is calorie deficient.
Therefore, it can be useful for cutting fat. You will have to use a PCT supplement between the cycles as it can suppress the body’s testosterone production level if consumed in longer cycles and/or higher doses. The ideal dosage would be 10-25 mg.
Testolone RAD-140 – It is among the modern SARMs, and is known to aid muscle building immensely. It is an excellent drug for bulking up quickly.
It has the potential to inhibit testosterone for fat loss. Therefore, you need to take a PCT supplement along with it. It has anabolic characteristics that are greater than testosterone. You need to, therefore, take it in low doses.
It is one of the best options for bodybuilding, with a dosage ranging between 4 mg and 12 mg. As the drug has a shorter half-life as compared to other SAMs, people might take two doses of it in a day. However, it is not recommended to do so.
Lingadrol LDD-4033 – Lingadrol is quite similar to Ostarine when it comes to the action mechanism. It helps in cutting fat and can help in losing weight significantly. If you want to bulk up, it can help with that as well. It is considered to be 12 times more powerful and stronger than Ostarine. The doses need to be low, somewhere around 10 mg. If taken in longer cycles and higher doses, it can be quite suppressive.
Nutrobal MK-677 – It is also called Ibutamoren. Not anabolic steroids. It works a little differently as compared to others. It is known to raise the IGF-1 levels while mimicking the action of the body’s hormone that regulates appetite and energy distribution. Therefore, it can help in increasing energy in the body while creating a positive impact on the appetite without causing any side effects.
It can be used for boosting bone density and muscle, so it is an excellent tool for bulking up. The dosage range is 10-25 mg each day.
Andarine S-4 – It is quite useful in building lean muscle mass. It is a modern formulation, and the doses need to be smaller as compared to the other SARMs. It can be taken in doses ranging between 10 mg and 25 mg.
Is SARMs Safe?
Some patients have come out saying that using them helped them with their fitness and performance but many others have also suffered ill effects like skin problems, digestive problems, hair loss, or other side effects of SARMs. Since the effects can be unpredictable, researchers are not sure if SARMs are really safe. It's important to note that while SARMs are legal to buy and sell in the U.S., they are only legal for use by athletes and by people with a prescription from a licensed doctor. There have been no studies yet to show the benefits of using SARMs to boost muscle mass in the general population. Additionally, none of the SARMs have been approved by the FDA and Anti Doping agency as a supplement.
Are SARMs Harmful?
Rice University researchers have found that many of the compounds in the now-banned synthetic testosterone agonist Meldonium are in the anti-aging, muscle-building, and fat-burning supplement SARM-2. The compounds are a mix of steroids and stimulants, and research has suggested that the combination may pose serious health risks.
In another study, researchers examined the effects of the non-SARM compound Ostarine, which is marketed as an athlete's growth-hormone supplement. Ostarine, which many athletes take to increase lean muscle and boost metabolism, was used to strengthen the case that a tainted supplement caused the recent Russian doping scandal. The use of such compounds poses risks, though.
In the end, you will have to choose which drug is better for you. Understand your goals, body type, and needs to make the decision.
Talking to your healthcare professional about the different SARMs could also help in understanding their effect and ultimately choosing one for yourself.
Your previous experience with drugs is also essential in making this decision. However, it is best to remember that these rugs won’t do everything for you. So, it is best to use it in low doses.