Prohormones have been popular among bodybuilders over the last few decades, but opinions have remained divided on whether they actually work.
They have some overlapping history with steroids. While so many people have heard of prohormones, quite a number of folks do not know how they work.
We would get a basic understanding of prohormones and how they differ from steroids in this review. The focus would be on whether they actually work. This would lead to discussion in other areas of prohormone supplementation, such as the dynamics benefits, side effects, and other related fields.
- 1 What Are Prohormones?
- 2 How Do Prohormones Works?
- 3 Do Prohormones Work?
- 4 Types Of Prohormones
- 5 Top 4 Legal ProHormones For Cutting & Bulking
- 6 Prohormones - Are They Safe ?
- 7 Prohormones - Pros And Cons:
- 8 The Final Verdict
- 9 Common Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Prohormones?
Prohormones are substances that serve as precursors to the natural or endogenous hormones.
In other words, they are the “raw materials” needed for the body to produce its own hormones or steroids like testosterone, oestrogen, etc.
Prohormones do not directly introduce these hormones into your body. Rather, they are converted within the body.
Their conversion to steroids occurs through a variety of pathways in the liver and peripheral organs. Earlier journal reviews suggested that prohormones had no significant effects in increasing muscles mass or performance.
However, there is enough body of evidence to prove otherwise.
Prohormones are not anabolic steroids. The body simply needs them to produce steroids. Let’s say your car needs some fuel.
Steroids are the fuel while prohormones are the bucks that get you the fuel. So, it directly translates that the more money you have, the more fuel you get.
You can get prohormones over-the-counter or on online stores and most of them are legal, unlike steroids.
This is because regulatory bodies consider them as dietary supplements.
How Do Prohormones Works?
Prohormones from all classes have similar attributes, and this is how they exert their effects on the body.
They act on the body’s hormonal receptors, for instance, the androgenic and oestrogen receptors.
They function as receptor agonists. Thus, they modify the receptors by stimulating certain cellular processes.
Knowledge about this is still advancing, but it culminates in increased availability of endogenous steroids.
Prohormones themselves are inactive, so until they get to the receptor level, their effect is minimal.
The aim of all prohormones generally is to achieve rapid and targeted growth while cutting off useless body fat.
Do Prohormones Work?
Yes. Prohormones work, but this wouldn’t have any meaning without some evidence at least. Amidst the critical approach to state; otherwise, many journals have observed the increase in serum hormonal (steroid) levels after ingestion of a prohormone.
In addition to scientific proofs, reviews from community surveys from further research show the significance of prohormones in the body.
Subjectively, many people who have used one prohormone product or the other have gotten impressive results.
From my experience, prohormones do not only work. Their effects are every bit visible, and it is hard not to notice the changes that come with taking them.
People have added around 10 pounds of muscle in just one bulking cycle with 1-Androsterone.
Prohormones are taken orally and never intravenously; otherwise they would already be prescription drugs.
Once ingested, they undergo the first-pass metabolism by the liver after which they get absorbed into the bloodstream.
Research is still ongoing about the exact pharmacokinetics and dynamics of the drug. However, the part of their effectiveness in guaranteeing results cannot be understated.
Prohormones were basically made to give the benefits of taking steroids but without their medical or legal risks.
Types Of Prohormones
It would make sense to look at the types of prohormones to know exactly what we are dealing with.
Since 1996, different products have come and gone, each with their own effectiveness and critical acclaim. There are thousands of prohormones in the markets.
Prohormones could be methylated or non-methylated. The non-methylated are safer in general since they have fewer side effects.
The most common types include:
Different brands have their own names for these products, but these are the scientific names for them.
The prohormones have their own unique properties. For instance, 5- Androstenediol is less androgenic than its cousin 4- Androstenedione.
Also, the norandros get converted to nortestosterone, unlike the 4-AD, which convert to testosterone.
Top 4 Legal ProHormones For Cutting & Bulking
Each of these products is used depending on the goal. Some are best for adding muscle bulk, others are great for cutting and some for post cycle therapy. Currently, the best ones in the market are:
Androtest is one of the most effective prohormones in circulation today. An estimated 5-6 capsules daily have the potential of a 300-500mg weekly dose of testosterone enanthate.
Often branded as the ultimate prohormone, this supplement has great anabolic effects for lean muscle growth. A common complaint, however, is its bitter taste.
This supplement is popular among beginners, and it is a great anabolic for lean muscle growth. However, it comes with increased water retention, which might worry some people.
This is another popular and effective anabolic. Albeit, it is methylated, so it has considerable side effects.
Other notable mentions include Cynostane, 11-Oxo, Liquidien, Havoc, Epi-andro, and XI-XT.
Prohormones - Are They Safe ?
Prohormones are generally safe except in certain groups of people such as children, pregnant or nursing mothers, the elderly, and with people who have underlying medical conditions.
It is understandable that there would be safety concerns because of the increase in baseline hormonal levels that come from using prohormones. The fact that they are legal and are under dietary supplements helps to ease some of the worries. So not only are prohormones effective, but they are also safe.
However, an important practice to ensure further safety would be to take them in cycles. This is why prohormones and steroids are taking in cycles. The reason is that you cannot continue to “force” the body to keep producing its own steroids. There is the risk of your body’s own production packing up, leaving one to be depending on the exogenous anabolics for life.
Finally, there are also concerns about liver function since the liver bears the burden of processing the pills. If taken in excess, the liver may show signs of hepatotoxicity, and there might be other systemic side effects.
Prohormones - Pros And Cons:
The pros of prohormones help to illustrate better how effective they are. Though, probably not like the illegal ones, they are highly effective. The advantages are similar to those of steroids, and they include:
- Increase in muscle mass and strength. Because of the increased testosterone made available, you can expect a steroidal increase in muscle bulk.
- Improve physical appearance. Since the prohormones are made available in the bloodstream, the effects are systemic, so one’s overall appearance is much better.
- Increased bone density. Along with a better expression of secondary sexual characteristics, there is an increase in bone tissue mass and density.
- Improved sex drive. As much welcome benefit of prohormones, they enhance your sexual life and leave you re-energized.
- Superior performance. Irrespective of the physical activity engaged in, prohormones improve productivity in a tremendous fashion.
- Faster recovery time. Since the body’s endogenous steroid production has been pushed into overdrive, recovery time becomes faster, and one can train better.
- Less fat. Due to the increased metabolism, one gets a better body fat percentage.
- Improved energy levels. All the effects of prohormones result in increased energy levels and improved mental health. It’s easy to experience an improved mood and confidence.
Other pros of prohormones are associated with their accessibility, and they include:
- Easy to consume. Prohormones come as pills, so they are very convenient to take for most people.
- Good economic value. Prohormones alone are cheap, and most of them are available at less than $100.
- They are readily available. Prohormones are seen everywhere OTC and online making them very easy to assess.
Much of the cons from prohormones come from some of the unfavourable accessibility associated side effects, and they include:
- It is expensive to use prohormones. Prohormones alone are not expensive. However, since they also come with the need for cycle support, precaution against liver toxicity, and the need for a post cycle therapy, we can consider well over a thousand bucks every year.
- Lack of results. Due to misuse or improper use, some people might not get the results that they desire, erroneously misleading them to think that prohormones are ineffective. This isn’t really a con because even the best of “formulas” do not work for everyone.
People experience more of these cons when they stack prohormones in large numbers, combining as many as three to four. Except well regulated, users should not be too keen on stacking.
The Final Verdict
So after all these, do prohormones work? There is a large body of evidence to suggest that prohormones are a very effective alternative to the much-maligned steroids.
From the research we have delved into in this discourse, it is safe to say that prohormones work and they can guarantee steroid-like results and other anabolic effects.
The role of healthy dietary options, regular exercise, and good sleep is crucial to the success of prohormones.
Some lifestyle modifications are needed. For example, when on prohormones, it is advisable to cut down on smoking and alcohol.
The most important factor in determining whether to go for prohormones or not is risk analysis.
This would vary across individuals since everyone has their own goals. However, from research and a medical perspective, the benefits outweigh the risks considerably since most of the cons are not common.
In summary, if you are looking to put on a few pounds of muscle and improve your build, all without the side effects of steroids, prohormones are the way to go.
It is not a walk in the park, and it takes a good level of commitment and dedication to get desired results.
Hopefully, I have been able to debunk some of the myths surrounding prohormones.
Common Frequently Asked Questions
For adults, prohormones do not affect height in any way vertical growth is over in most cases.
The recommended duration to be on prohormone supplements is anywhere between 4 weeks to 8 weeks. This is the duration of a cycle, and it is followed by four weeks of post cycle therapy. Three cycles per year are ideal.
Some prohormones can be taken together by is not usually advisable because of the increase in side effects that could occur. Non-methylated prohormones are better for stacking if need be.
Prohormones are taken orally, and it is best to take them alongside meals. You would find the dosage on the product label.
This might vary across individuals, but on the average, people see significant changes around ten days.
If taken according to the recommendations, prohormones are therapeutically safe. Back in the day, many were banned for safety reasons, but presently, there’s a rich collection of safe prohormones.
Only if abused and taken in excess do prohormones affect testicular function. Also, if one does not follow a post cycle therapy through, testicular dysfunction is a possible complication.