In recent years, SARMs have been gaining popularity around the world due to their steroid-like gains without side effects. Needless to say, the possibility of getting access to the benefits of anabolic steroids without their harms is extremely appealing to bodybuilders and athletes who want to increase their strength.
On the other hand, SARMs are prohibited by WADA for competition use, and they are also illegal to sell in most of the world, including in the United States and the United Kingdom.
So on one hand, you have a set of substances that have very promising benefits. On the other, SARMs aren’t approved by the FDA and other equivalent government bodies – at least, in developed countries.
With that, are SARMs actually safe for consumption? Do they truly have zero side effects? And finally, should you use SARMs to enhance your performance and gain an edge when gaining muscle or cutting?
Read on to find the answers to these questions, and not only!
Are SARMs Safe for Consumption?
Research into SARMs is relatively limited – however, they have so far been associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, or liver damage. Aside from that, the fitness and bodybuilding community is aware that week-long courses of SARMs are likely to lower testosterone levels in the body. With that, post-cycle therapy is necessary to restore testosterone levels and maintain hormonal balance while preserving muscle mass and strength gains.
SARMs may be safer when consumed in small amounts, but there is not enough research to draw decisive conclusions on their safety. With that, keep in mind that if you are consuming SARMs recreationally to help with bulking, cutting, or strength, you are doing everything at your own risk.
What are the Side Effects of SARMs?
Unfortunately, because research into SARMs is quite limited, evidence on side effects is mainly anecdotal. Still, if you were to surf online forums, you would catch mentions of side effects such as:
- Skin rashes.
- High blood pressure.
- Problems with eyesight.
What you should also keep in mind is that the feedback on SARMs you will find online may be biased. Sellers and those who are using SARMs are obviously going to attempt to convince you that SARMs are completely safe. And for them, that perhaps is indeed true.
However, because there is so little information on SARMs available, it’s difficult to research them and draw objective conclusions. The lack of research is one of the main obstacles to the approval of SARMs around the globe.
SARMs are Illegal Around the World
Another thing that you should keep in mind is that SARMs are illegal in many locations around the globe. Most notably, the United States’ FDA hasn’t approved SARMs for consumer use and even advises against using them for bodybuilding.
According to the FDA, SARMs may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke, as well as lead to liver damage.
The FDA is continually struggling against the illegal sales of SARMs – in 2017, for example, the FDA issued warning letters to 3 companies for distributing SARMs-containing products. These particular companies were distributing products labeled as dietary supplements while not actually being such.
We think that the fact that the FDA and equivalent bodies in other countries haven’t yet approved SARMs show the high risks of using them for bodybuilding.
In reality, SARMs may not be as dangerous as government bodies or existing research is telling us. However, since research into SARMs at a large scale is extremely limited, it’s very difficult to tell how SARMs will affect your body.
Aside from that, let’s not forget that the effect of SARMs may be individual and vary from user to user. In some people, it may bring the desired results without any harm, while others may experience headaches or other side effects.
Using SARMs May Get You Banned from Competition
SARMs are on WADA’s list of prohibited substances, so if you are caught using them, you are definitely going to have problems.
If you are competing at a professional level, then keep in mind that using SARMs may get you banned from competition. Depending on your sport and whether or not this is a repeated offense, you may be banned from your sport for life.
Think about it – do the benefits of SARMs outweigh the risks?
For some people, the answer is obviously going to be “yes”. However, not everybody is willing to put their entire career at stake in order to cut 0.05 seconds from their sprint time or lift 10 more kilograms on the platform.
Wait for More Research and Possible Approval of SARMs
If you are worried about your health and safety more than about gains, then you may want to hold your horses and wait until SARMs are better researched. Aside from that, perhaps after some polishing and trials, SARMs could one day become safe and reliable enough for the FDA and other structures around the world to approve them.
But right now, it is up to you to decide whether the gains are worth the risks.
If you’ve ever used anabolic steroids, then you probably aren’t worried that much about the possible side effects of SARMs. Steroids also cannot be considered healthy, so that kind of risk is familiar to their users.
Final Words on SARM Safety
In the end, you should decide what’s more important to you – short-term gains or your long-term well-being.
Arguably, if taking the risk will bring you considerable material benefits in the long term, SARMs and steroids are a great investment. However, you have to be really sure that the use of SARMs or steroids is going to bring you financial benefit – otherwise, using them is unreasonable.
That’s our take on SARMs. Remember that SARMs aren’t yet that well-researched and that they are illegal around the world. The rest is up to you.