The Fall of a Legend
It was a witch hunt with no perceived end in sight. Late last year, exhausted from the protracted fight, Lance Armstrong declared he would no longer fight doping allegations. He was promptly stripped of his Tour de France titles and banned from cycling.
That was the end of that right? All that remained was speculation and conjecture. Then the Oprah interview happened. Not only did Armstrong confess to doping, his PED cocktails contained two of the most abused substances in sports.
Steroids and HGH are the best known and least understood performance enhancers in popular culture. Are the rewards so great they outweigh potential side effects and consequences?
Often used interchangeably, steroids and HGH are completely different compounds that have distinct effects on the body, each one carrying an array of advantages and disadvantages.
How Is An Anabolic Steroid Different From HGH?
The term anabolic steroid is often a misnomer used by the uninformed to describe dietary supplements that boost performance and recovery. To be considered an anabolic steroid, however, a substance must increase testosterone and/or dihydrotestosterone significantly higher than their base levels.
Testosterone can be injected directly into muscle tissue, skyrocketing levels beyond what the body is capable of producing. This increases protein synthesis and nitrogen retention, resulting in quick gains to strength and muscle mass. Testosterone injections are typically what people refer to when they use the word “steroids.”
HGH, on the other hand stands for human growth hormone. HGH is a powerful hormone regulated by the pituitary gland and is responsible for the growth of everything from bone and muscle tissue to organs. Increasing growth hormone leads to the development of new muscle cells, altering genetic possibilities for muscle growth.
One of its only similarities to testosterone, synthetic HGH is administered via injection, and only available through prescription. HGH injections are reserved by doctors for rare cases of growth hormone deficiency, or people that suffer from tumors or other pituitary complications.
Steroid Side Effects vs HGH Side Effects
Most people are familiar with the side effects from abusing an anabolic steroid. This includes gynecomastia (man boobs), liver damage, acne, hair loss and shrunken testicles. Injecting hormones through a syringe causes huge hormone spikes that your body often can’t handle. When you come off a steroid, you run the risk of permanently damaging your body’s hormones.
For men, abuse of synthetic HGH can result in gynecomastia just like steroids. However, HGH side effects can also include edema, (tissue swelling) carpal tunnel syndrome and joint pain.
Because synthetic HGH and steroids are only available through a prescription, many people obtain them through “the black market.” This is usually through either a website or local dealer at the gym. With the right lab equipment and knowledge, manufacturing something like synthetic HGH or testosterone can be done (illegally) by almost anyone.
This manufacturing anonymity poses the greatest side effect risk for synthetic HGH forms. For this reason, many people turn to natural HGH supplements. This HGH form cuts out nearly every side effect risk.
Although it’s illegal and arguably dangerous to artificially increase testosterone or HGH via injections, there’s an increasingly large selection of safe and natural HGH and testosterone boosting supplements.
Natural HGH Supplements
As you age, growth hormone levels begin to decline. This is why so many people are interested in HGH supplementation as a way to slow aging. HGH supplements naturally increases growth hormone production.
Most HGH supplements have amino acids which flood the area surrounding the pituitary gland, mimicking the body’s own signals for HGH production. This gives you more HGH without giving your body more HGH than it knows what to do with.
Natural HGH supplements are safe, and available without a prescription. Not only does this eliminate the risk for potential side effects, but is the only legal way to use HGH.
Since the majority of growth hormone is released at night, it is recommended to take the supplements half an hour to an hour before bedtime. By maximizing sleep, you enhance both fat loss and muscle building.
When looking for an HGH supplement, scout the label for proven ingredients like arginine, L-dopa, alpha GPC and branch chain amino acids. As long as you buy a natural HGH supplement from a reputable company, it is a safe and effective way to increase growth hormone.
Natural Testosterone Supplements
Natural testosterone levels are constantly suppressed by everything from poor nutrition to stress hormones such as cortisol. Natural testosterone boosters compensate for this loss, stimulating the pituitary gland to replenish testosterone and bring it back to normal levels.
Compounds such as fenugreek and tribulus increase luteinizing hormone, signaling the testes to produce more testosterone.
Steroids and HGH: Risk vs. Reward
Supplements that naturally increase testosterone and HGH are safe and effective ways to turn back the clock. They boost confidence in the bedroom, restoring vitally and increasing libido. Your ability to recovery from a workout will also be better, allowing you to cultivate greater muscle mass and torch body fat.
By avoiding artificial steroids and HGH you avoid the pain of having to go through hormone replacement therapy, gynecomastia or organ damage. Many are so anxious to build muscle, burn fat and increase strength that they either ignore side effects until it is too late.
Building muscle naturally might take a little bit longer, but it is worth it to not have to worry about permanently damaging your body. HGH supplements are slowly replacing dangerous steroids that can have extreme, but ghastly results.
About the Author
Jake Gates is a freelance writer for http://www.besthgh.com, in the field of health and fitness. He specializes in healthy living and nutrition. Jake is passionate about contributing to his community and coaches a local high school lacrosse team. Jake resides in Salt Lake City.