Natural Bodybuilders vs Steroids
Despite the well published facts on taking steroids a recent study done on teenagers in America shows that 6.5% of all adolescent boys and 1.9% of adolescent girls reported that they took steroids on a regular basis without using a doctor's prescription.
As disturbing as this might be we still need to clarify what the difference is between developing muscle naturally and developing muscle using steroids. It is clear that when one takes steroids one can increase their lean body mass even if they never train with weights.
Everyone who takes steroids will recuperate faster than someone who does not use steroids. This immediately makes a difference to the results that you can get from working out. But research also tells us that even if the steroid users did not train they would still increase the amount of muscle they have.
When we compare the difference between steroid users and natural bodybuilders the advantages of taking steroids are obvious. However, nothing in life is for free and taking steroids pays a big price even if it for a short 6 week course of steroids, it can have a dramatic and permanent effect on your health.
The major side-effects when taking anabolic steroids have been well studied and include serious liver damage that causes the yellowish pigmentation of the skin. It looks like jaundice and effects the muscle tissue, the skin and body fluids. Steroids also cause fluid retention and the enlargement of the heart.
This results in a radical increase in blood pressure, hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis), elevated cholesterol and kidney disease or renal insufficiency. The risk when taking steroids will improve your chances of suffering from a heart attack, kidney stones, trembling and acne are dramatically improved.
The side effects mentioned above are just a few of the many listed side effects from taking steroids. A few additional side effects in men are the shrinking of the testicles, facial hair in women and decreased fertility in both sexes. Lastly the effect on adolescents is to stop growing because of premature skeletal maturation plus accelerated pubertal changes.
It is unfortunate that steroids work as well as they do because it would be easy to list all the reasons why you should or should not take them. The long-term health reasons for not taking steroids are ignored by younger people who seem convinced they will live forever, but the truth is very different.
Bodybuilding websites are sometimes blamed for the increase in steroid use because they more often than not use models to advertise a supplement or protein pack that obviously uses steroids. The natural bodybuilder then purchases the product advertised and then realizes that he/she will never look like the model used to advertise the product.
From a moral standpoint the use of steroids is obviously not related to health in any way and never will be. From a competitive standpoint it is illegal to take steroids but competitors continue to find innovative ways of hiding the taking of steroids.
The bottom line is that no matter where you stand as a natural athlete you will always have the moral and competitive high-ground but more important is the health aspect of taking steroids. The justification in taking any performance enhancing drug that decreases your health is simply not there.