SARMs vs Steroids: Are these two drugs similar?
The term SARMs stands for ‘selective androgen receptor modulators’, and while these performance-enhancing drugs are effective in many different situations, such as building bone and muscle, fighting diseases associated with age, and assisting with other biological functions, they are not totally immune from side effects.
Due to their increasingly prominent popularity among those seeking fast, guaranteed muscle growth and lean body mass results in the fitness and bodybuilding industry and the effects that a person gets from taking them, their comparison to steroids is a natural, easy thing to make.
Many studies have been done on these two drugs, with some comparing the effects. But what’s really the truth of the matter? Anabolic steroids are known to have many negative long term effects on those that use them: from the growth of breast tissue to issues with testicle shrinkage, heart disease and liver damage (or liver toxicity), changes in mood, anger, weight gain, and many others. Do SARMs share any of these side effects? Are they as dangerous as steroids, or so similar as to be the same? Should we even be taking them?
In this article, we’re going to dive into SARMs vs steroids — their effects and side effects, how they work, and their basal levels of similarities and differences.
Are SARMs Steroids? If Not, Why?
When it comes to SARMs vs steroids, let’s answer the main question right away: Are SARMs steroids?
Well, scientifically speaking, they are not the same kind of drug. They don’t have the same chemical makeup, nor is the production process for these drugs the same. Now, the drugs are definitely similar, both in their intended purposes, their beneficial effects as well as some of their known side effects, but that’s where the comparisons end and where the contrasts start.
Anabolic steroids, even in their basest forms, have been around since the 1930s and 1940s when testosterone was first discovered and then synthesised. The anabolic effects from steroids are different from SARMs for many key reasons, but here are some of the reasons why steroids are not the same thing as SARMs. More key differences are listed below in the next section:
- They increase the protein in cells, but are not selective at all about how they do so or in what cells they increase those proteins in. This is why someone on steroids can develop huge muscle mass in a small amount of time, but also experience side effects like growth of breast tissue or the shrinkage of testicles: those side effects come from the imbalance of hormones in the body that steroids cause.
- Steroids, while having some minor positive health effects for some recipients, tend to have much more long-term adverse effects on those who take them. SARMs, while not perfect, are a far more accurate version of what steroids are intended to be, since their androgen receptor modulation is selective.
- Less overall negative health effects tend to come from SARMs. Not only are the side effects not as pronounced in certain shared issues that SARMs and steroids can both sometimes give to users of these drugs, but the lists of these side effects tend to be fairly different. Many of the SARMs’ side effects are temporary in nature, while many issues with steroids will follow a user for life once they’ve used them.
This list, of course, doesn’t cover every difference between steroids and SARMs, but it illustrates some of the major key differences between the drugs and shows why steroids are not SARMs.
What about some other important differences? A more detailed rundown of SARMs versus steroids? Read more about that below.
How are SARMs and Steroids Different?
While the above key differences in the previous section were detailed enough to give you an idea of why SARMs and Steroids are not the same drug, this is designed to give a bigger overall picture. Read the below table to get a better idea of the results of SARMs vs steroids:
|Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMS)||Anabolic steroids or anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS)|
|Selectively binds to androgen receptors in specific tissues of the body||Binds to tissues of the body and increases protein, not very selective in its process|
|Has some negative health side effects (heart issues, some reported night vision issues) but many of the side effects are temporary or dependent on dosage||Has many different health issues (gynecomastia, testicle shrinkage, infertility, heart disease and damage, strokes, various other issues) and much of them are permanent|
|Side effects are dependent on dosage and type of SARM used||Side effects are often temporary and rarely depend on dosage, but more often than not time exposed to the drug|
|Positive bonuses are health-boosting and can often assisting in building stronger bones, decreasing muscle wastage, and increasing lean muscle mass||Can help you build muscle mass, but much of this muscle mass falls away quickly once the drug has stopped being taken. Various other minor benefits may exist, but are less common than SARMs on average|
|Are legal in many different countries, though their legality changes depending on region and country||Are illegal in many different countries without at least a prescription or some kind of paperwork allowing you to possess and use the drug|
|Cheaper than steroids||Steroids tend to be more expensive than SARMs on average|
|Administered mainly in liquid form — must be sold as a research chemical not intended for human consumption, usually||Can be administered in various different ways, including injections|
|Generally doesn’t have as high of a side effect on women that take it||Women that take steroids tend to experience severe negative side|
|Generally does not affect fertility||Can severely affect fertility in both men and women that take the drug|
|Many side effects are anecdotal||Heavy research has been done on steroids|
Do SARMs Affect Your Balls? How Do SARMs Affect Testosterone?
One major side effect of steroids and a bane to many long-time users within the bodybuilding community is the well-known fact that they can cause damage to your testicles. Not only can steroids cause infertility in both men and women, but they can also cause shrinkage of the testicles and a bunch of various other problems.
Do SARMs also have this side effect? It’s hard to say. In general, the side effects for SARMs are far less common than steroids, and when people do experience side effects, they’re usually far less severe than their counterparts who took steroids. SARMs vs steroids on this issue is a little bit complex.
The biggest reason why it’s hard to say is first of all SARMs haven’t been around for nearly as long as steroids have. Far less time, in fact: SARMs have been around since the 1990’s in some form, whereas steroids have existed since the 1930s. Heavy research has been done on steroids in many different forms and through various studies. SARMs have had studies done on them too, of course, but the results aren’t as conclusive.
Some SARMs users have experienced testicle shrinkage. They’ve also experienced heart disease and damage. An important factor to note about this however is the unfortunate reality that almost half of all SARMs sold are cut or produced illegally and unprofessionally — often laced with other drugs or sold as SARMs while being completely different substances entirely: sometimes even just steroids marketed or advertised as SARMs.
Because of this, it makes it even more difficult to state whether or not SARMs truly cause all of these health conditions to occur. A lack of many modern updated studies, anecdotal evidence, and nearly half of SARMs being illegitimate makes this nearly impossible to actually discern.
Do SARMs have health side effects? Yes. Have some people experienced testicle shrinkage and other issues when on SARMs? Yes. Is this issue widespread — and is it provable? That’s not quite as easy of an answer, nor is it as reliable or reproducible as the side effects that plague steroids.
What Do SARMs do? What Do Steroids Do?
SARMs vs steroids scientifically is a very interesting debate when we consider the role of testosterone. Both SARMs and steroids work how they do by binding androgen receptors, but what does that mean? Binding to the androgen receptor means that they’re essentially boosting the production of testosterone in an artificial way. This is done by triggering the natural of testosterone growth, but obviously this happens from the substance that you put in your body and that part of it isn’t natural at all.
But why is there such a difference between SARMs and steroids, if they both function in essentially the same way? The biggest reason is in the name of SARMs: selective androgen receptor modulators. They selectively choose which tissues to boost this growth in at a cellular level. Steroids have no such limitations or concerns when it comes to how they function: where SARMs are a scalpel, helping you carve a perfect body with far greater accuracy, steroids are like a hammer, just hitting everything at the same time over and over again.
These are where the medical issues begin, because this obviously isn’t a good idea if you have tissues that aren’t supposed to be blasted with excess hormones without warning, such as the reproductive organs as the most glaring example.
Are SARMs or Steroids More Affordable? Which Is More Available?
The question of SARMs vs steroids in terms of price both here in the UK and internationally is a pretty straightforward answer, but we’ll still dive a little bit into the math just to show the reasons why SARMs are not only more affordable than steroids, but more available as well.
Just as a quick check, go ahead and Google the current prices for some of the more popular forms of both SARMs and steroids. A simple search will reveal that on average, SARMs tend to be around £30-60 for a one month supply. Steroids have a similar cost on the bottom end of the range, but can go far higher: sometimes reaching up to £150 or even more! Obviously, between £30-60 and £30-160 or 170, SARMs are clearly much cheaper.
They’re also more easily available to the average person looking to utilize these drugs. Due to the fact that steroids are illegal in many countries and are banned from practically every sporting event known to man, they’re harder to obtain and it’s difficult to get ahold of steroids that are safe to use in the meaning that they haven’t been tampered with at all.
SARMs, meanwhile, are in a strange state. They aren’t outright illegal like steroids are, at all, but they’re still harder to obtain than a drug you can just go in and buy off the shelf from a major retailer or a drug store. SARMs are sold as research chemicals only, marked as not for human consumption: meaning that you should never really see SARMs sold as pills or as some kind of injection. SARMs are meant only to be sold as research chemical liquids, and they cannot be bought as capsules or anything like that. You need to be able to secure the right provider of them to make certain you’re getting clean, clear SARMs that have not been tampered with.
However, overall, SARMs are both cheaper to obtain and easier to obtain as well: at least in most cases they are not illegal in many countries, where steroids are.
Side Effects of SARMs vs Side Effects of Steroids
Another important aspect to discuss when comparing and contrasting SARMs and steroids is side effects. We’ve outlined side effects in a little bit more detail further up, but just how pronounced are SARM side effects vs steroids, and how common are they? Is it something to worry about when taking SARMs? What should the average SARMs user know and be aware of before they begin consuming the drug?
Listed below is a quick common table with many of the side effects for both SARMs and steroids, showing which have which. Afterwards, we’ll cover a few more important details. Note: not every single side effect for either drug is listed here: merely most of the more common ones or more serious issues a user might encounter when consuming the drug.
Additionally, some of these side effects are combined into one term (e.g For vision, SARMs commonly can cause issues with night vision, whereas steroids can cause issues with glaucoma and several other serious vision issues).
|✅ (less than steroids, usually)||Mood swings||✅|
|✅ (less than steroids, usually)||Acne||✅|
|✅ (less than steroids, usually)||Testicular size decrease||✅|
|❓ (less than steroids, usually)||Heart damage or disease||✅|
|❓ (less than steroids, usually)||Gynecomastia||✅|
|❓ (less than steroids, usually)||Vision problems||✅|
|❌Not commonly reported||Cataracts||✅|
|❌Not commonly reported||Diabetes||✅|
|❌Not commonly reported||Blood pressure||✅|
As you can plainly see above, even in a comparison of side effects — though SARMs don’t come away completely clean — it’s clear that it’s beating out steroids pretty handily. Also take into account that not only do the side effects in SARMs occur less frequently, they are also less severe than those commonly seen in steroids, even if they are the same side effect.
To keep it short: SARMs have less side effects, and the ones that they do have are noticeably less severe and more manageable than steroids, in general.
Which Works Better: SARMs or Steroids?
So we come to the penultimate question: which drug is more efficient, better at doing its job? Nonsteroidal SARMs or steroids? Well, this question is already awkward from the beginning because we have to define what the user is attempting to accomplish. Is it building muscle mass fast? Using steroids for bodybuilding will win that fight because the drug is so dramatic and strong that you pack on muscle without much issue at all.
Is it building up bone quality and bone strength, fighting osteoporosis, which happens to be another side effect of steroids? Then SARMs is much better at that. There has been a noticeable increase to bone density and strength for many SARMs users after taking the drug.
What about building lean muscle? Well, generally SARMs are better at that. Someone who uses SARMs will feel a big increase to their lean muscle that is usually longer-lasting than the dramatic rise and fall of muscles that steroids tend to bring, and then take away, once their use has ceased.
So, as many of these comparisons are, the answer is hard to determine. It all depends on the user and what their goals are for taking the drug. For most people, they’re taking SARMs or steroids so that they can build muscle mass and increase their bulk.
If you’re looking to maintain long-term physique, SARM is better for this. Short term results are gained more commonly from steroids, but once again due to side effects, this often comes at a cost.
Which is Safer? SARMs or Steroids?
This is a bit of an easier question to answer than the others in this article so far. This issue sides fairly heavily on the end of SARMs, because of the fact that steroids usually have more severe side effects that impact its users.
Of course, SARMs, as all drugs are, aren’t entirely safe. Even cough medicine has its side effects, which is why some people still choose to take performance enhancing drugs with the knowledge that side effects aren’t always as severe as listed, nor do they affect everyone. Still, it should be noted that in general, a person taking SARMs versus a person taking steroids will usually be far safer and have less general health effects than the person taking steroids.
The only issue to watch is the SARMs that are often cut with other drugs or products repackaged as SARMs: that is a genuine problem. But that is more towards the issue of distribution, and this problem affects steroids as well.
Above all, if nothing else, remember this: both drugs have their costs when taken, and not just monetary. You will never be 100% safe when you are consuming any kind of performance enhancing drug. You can only limit the consequences and the effects on yourself with careful research and smart consumption.
Conclusions on SARMs vs Steroids
SARMs, overall, are a better drug than steroids for most purposes and in most situations. Only in very rare cases are steroids a better pick, and for most people, the reason that one would take steroids would not come along often at all.
SARM products, on the whole, are more affordable, cleaner, lack as many severe side effects, and have a lot of noticeable health benefits from consuming them such as increased bone density, assistance with building lean muscle mass, and several other important factors. From how they function chemically as drugs, to how they operate when it comes to side effects on the human body, SARMs and steroids are clearly different from one another, even if they are used for similar purposes.
If this article engaged you and you were interested in purchasing SARMs, make certain that you use a reputable seller so that you don’t encounter any issues with illegitimate SARMs and the problems that come from consuming them. How would you find such a seller?
U.K. SARMs has the most common brands of SARMs that anyone could need or want – at the best prices guaranteed on the market. Many different popular brands of SARMs are sold here, and you can buy different brands, combinations (called stacks) or bottles designed for a set number of doses over a short period of time.
This site offers worldwide free shipping that is express, so you can be serviced anywhere by a reputable seller like UK SARMs. Our reviews, range of different products, and the fact that we’re the #1 seller of SARMs in the UK further speaks of our legitimacy. We also boast purity certificates, so you know that all of our products are safe to consume compared to other sellers on the market.
If you’re choosing to use SARMs, now that you’ve been educated, there isn’t a better place to buy these products. Consider trying out a stack intended to help you bulk and build serious muscle mass. If that’s not what you’re looking for, or you want something that’s a little more relaxed, another option would be a more intermediate stack intended to burn fat. Finally, above all else, these smaller doses are also available if you just want to try using SARMs for a short time to see how it makes you feel.
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We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading this guide and are now in a more informed position to make the best possible choice in relation to your own personal choice of performance-enhancing substances.
As always, we strongly recommend consulting a medical professional before commencing any new course of medical or performance-related drug products.