Anabolic steroids (AS) are a group of synthetic hormones, usually derived from testosterone. They are consumed as they aid in protein synthesis, muscle mass, strength, appetite and bone growth.
Steroids used in sports are usually anabolic in nature. Ideally, anabolic steroids are drugs that closely resemble androgenic hormones and are synthetically derived from the male hormones called the testosterone. The widespread use of anabolic steroids among athletes is precisely to achieve strength, weight gain, speed, endurance against pain and fatigue, and aggressiveness. They are most commonly used by athletes involved in track and field sports, particularly the throwing events, weight lifting, football and baseball. Despite their prolific usage by the sports fraternity, the research literature still reveals debate on whether anabolic steroids can really enhance one’s performance or not. However, almost all athletes who have administered these substances have affirmed to the benefits caused by these. In fact many athletes have also asserted that they would not have been as successful without consuming them.
Some common steroids employed by the sports fraternity include:
- Primobolan (Methenolone) - Primobolan can be administered in the body by either injecting it or consuming it in a tablet form. This steroid is highly popular among athletes because it builds muscle power without adding to its bulk. Also this steroid does not have many negative side effects like other ones and hence remains high in demand.
- Clenbuterol - Clenbuterol or Clen as it is popularly called is a selective beta-2 antagonist and a bronchodilator which is also medically prescribed for obstructive pulmonary diseases at times. Amongst athletes, it basic function lies in increasing lean muscle mass but it should be administered only in small qualities.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) - Dehydroepiandrosterone is a steroid prohormone which is naturally produced by the adrenal glands. After its synthesis the body converts the DHEA into both male and female sex hormones i.e. estrogen and testosterone respectively. DHEA are extremely popular because they are considered to be anti-aging supplements. However research on its this very property is still going on. DHEA supplements were taken off the shelves of U.S. markets in 1985 and were made available only by prescription then. However, in 1994, it was reintroduced as a nutritional supplement after the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was passed.
Though not all anabolic steroids pose as a threat to the athletes, some of them have been banned by a few sport’s organization which include the Olympics, NBA, NHL and NFL.
However, a few other steroids which find popular use among the athletes include oral ones like Anadrol (oxymetholone), Oxandrin (oxandrolone), Dianabol (methandrostenolone) and Winstrol (stanozolol). The injectable steroids include Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate), Durabolin (nandrolone phenpropionate), Depo-Testosterone (testosterone cypionate) and Equipoise (boldenone undecylenate).