SARMs are dominating the bodybuilding world thanks to their anecdotal research that they can preserve muscle mass while losing weight. This is one of the biggest struggles of a bodybuilder, as you need the lean muscle mass to give you the shredded look. But how do SARMs work and are they safe?
Here is everything you need to know about SARMs.
What Are SARMs?
SARMs, which are scientifically referred to as selective androgen receptor modulators, are compounds that are meant to increase the amount of testosterone in the body. They do this by binding to the androgen receptors that are found throughout the body and tell the body to increase the amount of testosterone to produce.
While this sounds like a steroid, steroids turn into testosterone in the body, versus signaling to increase testosterone production. The thought process behind SARMs is since they don’t have the same adverse effects that steroids or pro-hormones do, that they’re safer to use.
SARMs are still relatively new, so they don’t have the same research to understand their effects. The original SARMs were created in the 1990s as a way to possibly battle prostate cancer. But it seemed to have little effect on cancer and a lot of effect on the muscle mass of the individuals that took it.
What Are the Different Types of SARMs?
Since the 90s, the SARMs community has developed different compounds to either strengthen or weaken the effects of SARMs. The most common type of SARM that is used by the community is Ostarine.
Ostarine is meant to increase the amount of muscle mass that you retain while you’re in a cutting cycle. A cutting cycle refers to the process of cutting down your weight by being in a caloric deficit.
Other SARMs like Testolone and Ligandrol are meant to be more potent than Ostarine. Therefore, their extra potency leads to a gain in muscle mass while someone is bulking. A bulking cycle refers to the process of being in a caloric surplus for the purpose of putting on more muscle.
Because of the nature of strong SARMs like Testolone and Ligandrol, they can still have the adverse effects that are associated with steroids and pro-hormones. These adverse effects usually relate to the issues associated with too much estrogen. This can include mood swings and even gynecomastia.
Are SARMs Legal?
Currently, SARMs are not legal by any anti-doping organization. This means if you compete in sports or an organization that utilizes the World Anti Doping Association (WADA), using any substance that falls into the SARMs category will cause you to get suspended and fined.
SARMs are not considered legal for human consumption because of their lack of research. You still can buy SARMs for research purposes, however. The FDA requires that drugs or supplements be deemed safe for usage before they can even have doctors prescribe them for trials.
Are SARMs Safe?
SARMs are still undergoing research to determine if they are safe or not for human consumption. Ostarine, in particular, is going through trials to understand its effects on muscle wasting and the benefits it could provide for people with diseases like osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s.
The other problem is the lack of regulation and safety that can go into the SARMs distribution process. Often, companies will utilize other ingredients like steroids or useless ingredients that either improve or hinder the results of the product.
Companies will do this to increase profits one way or another. If they put ingredients that help, you’re more likely to come back and buy the product again and tell others about it. If they put cheap useless products, chances are that they paid so little that they made more money than if you came back for the real thing.
SARMs do claim to be safer than steroids, but should still be cycled off just like any other drug or supplement. Most users will use SARMs for anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the SARM and its purpose.
Compounds That Are Not SARMs
There are two compounds that get grouped into the SARMs category but are not necessarily SARMs. These two would be Cardarine and Ibutamoren. Both are selective tissue modulators, but they don’t target the androgen receptors, meaning that they won’t play an impact on your testosterone levels.
Ibutamoren focused on the ghrelin receptors, which are responsible for helping regulate growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Because it does not fall into the SARMs category, users will often pair Ibutamoren with SARMs to see an increase in recovery as well as increasing muscle mass. Though this is all anecdotal research versus science.
Cardarine focuses on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. These receptors are in charge of regulating the metabolism, so users associate Cardarine with weight loss. The scientific nature supports that it can help with insulin usage, but there is still more research required to verify this claim.
If you’re looking for SARMs for weight loss, be sure to check out the link.
Who Should Use SARMs?
SARMs can be used by anyone that wants to experiment with the compounds, but should also understand the risk associated with taking them. They’re still experimental and you should have a good understanding of what each SARM is and how to take it.
Those that play sports should stay away from SARMs, as they can lead to suspension or termination. Those that are pregnant or dealing with medical issues should consult a doctor to understand the risks associated with taking SARMs.
How Do SARMs Work: Key Takeaways
SARMs work by targeting the androgen receptors, which can be promising when it comes to helping the body produce more testosterone. Just be sure to be aware of the risks and regulations that come with SARMs. Once you understand those, you’ll be one step closer to answering “how do SARMs work”?
If you want to learn more about supplements, drugs, and other ways nature can help us, be sure to check out the rest of our blog. Know someone interested in taking SARMs? Be sure to share this article with them.