February 26, 2019, by Barry Arellano
Originally featured on www.sciencescape.org
Chances are you’ve heard about SARMs, but you’re not quite sure what they are.
SARMs is short for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. The main reason why SARMs were created was to help treat various conditions such as obesity and muscle wasting diseases. Due to their unique properties, they are currently being used by bodybuilders and other athletes.
These compounds have been around for quite a while, but most of them are still being researched to this day to find out what potential they could have in the medical world.
SARMs are considered to be a safer alternative to other performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids and prohormones.
As you might already know, some steroids are prescribed to patients with, for example, muscle wasting diseases.
But the problem with steroids is that they have side effects. You’ve probably heard of people experiencing things such as acne and hair loss from using steroids.
This is not the case with SARMs. They work completely different than most performance enhancers do. The term SARM pretty much speaks for itself, they selectively bind to the androgen receptors. The fact that these compounds are selective in their actions is what makes them so great.
By being selective in everything they do, you won’t be experiencing any horrible side effects. This is why so many athletes are drawn to SARMs, they seem to give great results without any negatives.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SARMS
Before we start talking about the different types of SARMs, I’ll let you guys in on a secret.
GW-501516 (Cardarine), MK-677 (Ibutamoren) and SR-9009 (Stenabolic) do not belong to the SARMs family.
This might be a bit confusing, but it’s because of how vendors market the products. You’ll often see vendors list them as SARMs because it’s convenient.
GW-501516 (Cardarine) is what they call a PPAR Agonist. It’s known for giving enormous endurance and performance boost. By improving cardiovascular performance, Cardarine will also help stimulate fat loss. It’s often referred to as exercise in a bottle. At 10-20mg a day you’ll be able to take your intensity to the next level.
MK-677 (Ibutamoren) is a growth hormone secretagogue. What Ibutamoren does is that it raises growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) levels. What makes MK-677 so special is that it’s one of the very few compounds that is able to give growth hormone levels a boost. Even at a low dosage of 10 to 20mg, you can expect it to increase performance, burn fat and even help build muscle.
Stenabolic (SR-9009) is very comparable to GW-501516 (Cardarine). It’s a Rev-Erba Agonist which makes it a great fat burner. Not only does it help with burning fat, but it’ll also significantly improve endurance just as Cardarine does. The recommended dosage for Stenabolic is anywhere from 10 to 30mg a day, this seems to be the sweet spot for most researchers.
Now that we’ve covered these compounds is time to move on to the ‘legitimate’ SARMs. I’d like to start off with my personal favorite, which is LGD-4033, also known as Ligandrol.
LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) is a very effective SARM when it comes to building lean muscle. It’s able to pack on a significant amount of muscle within a short period of time. This makes Ligandrol perfect for bulking, but it’s also good for cutting. Especially when you are consuming fewer calories it’ll help you preserve muscle and strength. Anecdotal experiences tell us that the recommended dosage is anywhere from 5 to 10mg.
RAD-140 (Testolone) is very comparable to actual steroids. Despite it being a SARM, it’s considered to have steroid-like results. The first things you’ll notice from experimenting with Testolone are increased strength, aggression and muscle mass. It’s recommended to start off with a low dosage of RAD-140, preferably 10mg a day.
Ostarine (MK-2866) can be used for cutting, bulking and recomping. It’s very good at preserving muscle mass and even building muscle. You’ll mainly see people using it during a caloric deficit, Ostarine helps them stay strong despite consuming little calories. It’s the most researched SARM by far and the recommended dosage is anywhere from 10 to 30mg a day.
S23 is by far the strongest SARM around. This compound pretty much blows every other SARM out of the water, but it’s said that it does have some side effects. It’s no wonder though, S23 is said to have a very high anabolic activity which will result in fast muscle and strength gains.
S4 (Andarine) is a potent SARM that has the ability to completely change a physique. The effects of Andarine are very comparable to those of Testolone and Ligandrol. It’s known for packing on muscle and strength quite fast. Based on anecdotal experiences, most researchers seem to go with 50mg a day.
YK11 is similar to RAD-140 because it’s also a very powerful SARM. There isn’t a lot of information available on this compound so it’s less popular than the other SARMs.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
Because SARMs are considered research chemicals, the industry isn’t regulated.
This means that there are a lot of fake and low-quality products around. The dangers of fake products are that you don’t know what they contain, they might be harmful.
It’s important that you are purchasing these products from a known and legitimate source. Make sure they have third-party results available, this way you’ll know that you are purchasing real Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators.
COMPARING SARMS VS STEROIDS
You will often see people compare Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) vs Anabolic Androgenic Steroids. Compounds such as Testosterone and Trenbolone are known for increasing muscle mass very rapidly, but they also carry a lot of side effects.
SARMs have a different mechanism than steroids do. This allows them to build muscle in a similar way but without horrible side effects.
Don’t get me wrong, these compounds are not 100% side effect free. You can definitely experience things like suppressed hormone levels and nausea but it’s nothing compared to the side effects of steroids.
A few selective androgen receptor modulators, in particular, are said to actually mimic the anabolic effects of steroids. Testolone and S-23 are hands down the closest thing to actual steroids.
Some users even choose to stack SARMs and Steroids together. You will often see people run Testolone and Ligandrol along their steroid cycle. Mainly as a Kickstarter for the cycle.
It is said they are also much easier to recover from.
When you look at SARMs vs Steroids, the impact from compounds such as Testosterone will be much bigger than with a SARM like Ostarine.
SARMS VS PROHORMONES
You’ve probably heard of Prohormones such as Epistane and Halodrol. They used to be quite popular back in the day, kind of what SARMs are right now.
Most prohormones will convert to estrogen which can result in side effects such as gynecomastia. With Selective androgen receptor modulators, this isn’t the case as they don’t convert into estrogen.
When it comes down to which compound is more effective it is quite difficult to say. For example, Epistane is a very effective compound but so is RAD140 (Testolone).
I’m pretty sure SARMs are the better choice since they don’t aromatize.
WHICH SARMS ARE THE STRONGEST?
There are a lot of different opinions on which SARM is the strongest. I personally think S23, RAD-140 and perhaps YK-11 are the strongest ones.
They all have a very high anabolic activity which will result in great results.
They barely have any side effects at all. At most, you’ll experience some suppression of your natural hormone production. Again, this is just temporarily.
Especially with compounds such as LGD-4033, MK-2866, RAD-140, S-23 and YK-11 you’ll experience suppression. When using these compounds it’s always recommended to have a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) on hand.
It’s worth mentioning that not everybody experiences hormone suppression. Everybody is different and the dosage and cycle length also play a big role in whether you will be suppressed or not.
MK-2866 can also be suppressive but it’s not really common. For Ostarine I would suggest going with a natural testosterone booster, just to be safe.
It’s also worth mentioning that S-4 (Andarine) might cause vision problems. This is caused by the fact that Andarine binds to the receptors in the eye. You’ll be extra sensitive to light and it might cause a yellow tint.
WHERE SHOULD YOU BUY SARMS?
Because there are a lot of fake and underdosed products around you should only buy SARMs from reputable sources.
A recent study has shown us that, in which researchers bought 44 SARM products from 21 vendors.
Only 52% of the products actually contained SARMs, which is very alarming.
Now you might understand how important it is to have a legitimate source for these products.
MY OPINION ON SARMS
Having tried multiple SARMs I am definitely convinced they work.
They gave me great results and I didn’t have any side effects.
I think there is a lot of incorrect information about these compounds. They aren’t 100% side effect free, but it’s nowhere near as bad as with other performance-enhancers.
You can get great results with selective androgen receptor modulators but there isn’t any information available on the long-term side effects. You should keep this in the back of your mind if you are considering using them.
With that being said, I’m a big fan of SARMs and I will definitely be doing more research on them.
SARMs: Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators Full Guide