Did you know that a research that sought to develop a suitable treatment/drug for patients with prostate cancer led to the accidental discovery of SARMs in late 1990s?
Well, while this was not the goal of this research, the potentials of these Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators could not be ignored.
This was primarily because, despite not being able to treat prostate cancer, SARMs had a significant impact on muscle growth.
Since then, SARMs have been the point of focus for many scientists and companies that have sought ways to utilize their potentials. Over the years, this has led to the development of a range of SARMs products available in the market.
Nevertheless, SARMs products are sold as ‘research chemicals’ as approvals for medical uses remain pending.
How did SARMs find their way into the fitness world?
A side by side comparison between SARMs and steroids shows that these two products can aid in muscle building, but with significant differences. On the one hand, anabolic steroids are largely testosterone and nor-testosterone derivatives, synthetic hormones that bring about hormonal changes in the body. On the other hand, SARMs are compounds that stimulate muscle growth without causing hormonal changes in the body.
The main reason why SARMs found their way into the fitness world was because of the potentials they had proven to have from the initial clinical tests. They had all the characteristics of a suitable alternative to steroids that promised to deliver good results with minimal side effects.
For bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts, this was an open door that could redefine how they gain muscle and have more power for their training.
Do SARMs delivered good performance results?
Time has proven that SARMs do help in muscle building and are great performance-enhancing agents. They have shown outstanding results in bodybuilders and fitness gurus who want to bulk up, quickly recover from injuries, add bone mass, or have more power. Equally, they have not proven to have the adverse side effects of steroids, making them more rewarding for users.
Note: SARMs are strictly sold as research chemicals and have not been FDA approved for use as a dietary or fitness product. They are equally not natural supplements and must never be confused with such products.
How do SARMs work in humans?
SARMs work by stimulating androgen receptors in specific tissues. They primarily target muscle and bone cells while having little or no effects on other cells in the body, unlike steroids that have more biological targets. This is because they are incredibly selective compounds that will only bind to specific androgen receptors. Most importantly, they only bind to these androgen receptors at the right cellular levels because of how restrictive they are.
Since they avoid organ cell receptors, SARMs minimize the side effects they have on the body, solving one of the biggest hurdles that steroids have always presented to bodybuilders. They also don’t breakdown into unwanted molecules such as DHT and estrogen while in the body. This has been made possible as SARMS are resistant to the enzyme aromatase that converts testosterone into estrogen and 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts androgens into DHT.
SARMs are also highly bioavailable; as such, they are effectively absorbed and utilized in the body. Finally, depending on their chemical structure, SARMs can function as full agonists, partial agonists, or antagonists.
Are SARMs safe?
SARMs are tissue-selective, and many people translate this to mean that they are 100% safe. The truth is that similar to any other category of androgens, they will have an impact on the body. This is because as you introduce androgens into the body, this spike is recognized, and the response is a production of similar hormones. The hormonal imbalance is what always results in the side effects that are witnessed by most people.
Still, SARMs are easier on the body compared to steroids and other alternatives in the market. Therefore, where one could be worried about severe side effects that have long-term impacts from using other products, it takes high doses of SARMs to realize such results. As such, SARMs are not completely free from side effects, only that they tend to be minimal.
It is important to note that there is still a lot of ongoing research about SARMs. Still, the results available show they do not possess the estrogenic and water retention effects of steroids. They are also softer on organs such as the liver and kidney that are often damaged by anabolic supplements.
Types of SARMs
At a time when more companies are focusing on SARMs, it is only expected that they come in different varieties. The most popular ones are:
Ostarine was initially developed to help treat conditions that are caused or worsened by testosterone deficiencies. It, therefore, works by mimicking the action of testosterone. In bodybuilding, it has shown the capacity to enhance physical capacity, improve lean muscle mass, and help shed unwanted fat.
This SARM is used to combat bone and muscle loss, making it a viable choice for bodybuilders who want to kick start muscle gain. It is particularly great for women as they have more common cases of loss of bone density.
This is one of the most potent and extremely selective SARMs. It was developed to treat muscle wasting and breast cancer. In bodybuilding, it is an optimal candidate for mass building.
This selective androgen receptor ranks highly for cutting. It helps in enhanced fat loss and improves muscle mass.
YK-11 has been found to boost follistatin expression, a protein that boosts muscle growth, fertility, and metabolism. It also stands out as it inhibits myostatin, the compound that negatively impacts muscle growth. This makes it a good SARM for rapid muscle gains.
SARMs have provided a pathway for individuals who want to have the benefits of the traditional anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) without as many side effects.
For products with one of the highest anabolic to androgenic ratio (up to 10:1), SARMs can help in muscle building without a lot of negative impact on the body.
In the end, while SARMs are not as strong as steroids, they provide the desired results to individuals who put in the hard work and dedication to their training.