Beauty standards have been changing throughout history but, muscular and fit bodies are always in trend. Today you can see on social networks all kinds of people showing their contoured and perfectly cared for bodies. Also, we find extreme and rigorous diets, exercise routines, endless types of supplements, and medications to lose weight and increase muscle mass.
Is there a method to increase muscular mass easily?
According to scientific evidence, several factors influence muscle development and fat loss. But, in the end, there is no magic recipe or substance that only offers advantages. Unfortunately, there are athletes and non-athletes who consume substances that promise to increase muscle growth, even though they all have several negative side effects.
Anabolic steroids (AS)
Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the male sex hormone testosterone. Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are primarily used to treat androgen deficient disorders and, more recently, catabolic conditions such as AIDS-related wasting. Moreover, Anabolic steroids are widely utilized to gain muscle mass and strength.
Anabolic steroids are fat-soluble, allowing them to penetrate the cell membrane and influence the cell nucleus. The use of anabolic steroids has two main effects:
- First, they increase the production of proteins for muscle development and inhibition of stress hormones such as cortisol and glucocorticoids that break down muscle.
- Second, they increase the basal metabolic rate, which leads to higher consumption of body fat.
Anabolic steroids administration can be as oral pills, injections, creams or topical gels, and skin patches. Lamentably, its consumption is not regulated in all countries which causes many people to consume it indiscriminately.
As a consequence, these medications can produce diverse side effects, including reproductive and metabolic disorders, psychological issues, cardiovascular disease, and renal and hepatic disorders.
Growth hormone (GH)
This hormone regulates physiological processes including skeletal and organ growth, calcium homeostasis, lipolysis, and lean body mass regulation. Moreover, growth hormone is currently often used in the muscle-building and anti-aging industry.
Particularly, the human growth hormone boosts muscle mass by increasing muscle tissue cell size, raising protein synthesis, and promoting fat breakdown. Nonetheless, several studies show that synthetic HGH injected into the body does not have the same effect as naturally generated growth hormone throughout adolescence.
On the other hand, because it is frequently used in conjunction with other medicines and at larger doses, misuse may be linked to unknown adverse effects. In animals, an elevation in the normal dosages of growth hormone cause an increase in the size of several organs, most notably enlargement of the heart. Additionally, growth hormone administration has also been linked to edema, orthostatic hypotension, inflammation of the muscles, carpal tunnel syndrome, and an increase in the amount of breast gland tissue in boys or men.
In addition to these hormones, there is another class of substances that are also used to enhance performance, including erythropoietin, beta-blockers, stimulants, and diuretics.
What motivates people to use these drugs?
Consumers of performance-enhancing drugs state that they use these substances for multiple reasons, including improving their physical performance, aesthetic reasons, and improving their health.
How are Performance-enhancing drugs detected?
A variety of techniques may be used to detect the presence of stimulants in the body. Urine testing is the most common way to test for stimulants, though blood (serum) and saliva can also be examined.
In summary, although these substances can improve and increase muscle mass, the indiscriminate use of these substances can have serious health repercussions. Thus, it is crucial to visit a specialist who can provide specialized advice that is suited to individual requirements and goals.
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