The verdict on steroids

A number of athletes and bodybuilders will attest to the fact that the level of muscle growth and strength achieved when using steroids is not attainable without them. Therefore, natural muscle growth and fat loss results do not compare to those associated with the use of anabolic drugs.

This issue arises amongst athletes and other competitors in the fitness industry when there is a certain standard to meet. Should one competitor start doping and begins to win all of the races or lifts the heaviest weight and has the best physique in bodybuilding competitions, this becomes the benchmark level to reach, and in turn, beat.

The fitness industry is riddled with athletes taking steroids, and many fitness competitions for bodybuilding for both men and women are not regulated and do not test the athletes for steroid use. The playing field is then open for those wishing to gain a competitive advantage through the use of steroids. The mentality then begins to form amongst said athletes of “short-term gain and long-term reward” when it comes to competing, however, a number of roid users still ignorantly ignore the various long-term side effects of steroids and believe themselves to be immune.

The side effects of steroids are just that, long-term and often only manifest years after the person has taken them.

There have been several cases of professional athletes suffering from heart attacks, liver damage and other conditions later on in their lives, once they have passed their prime. These illnesses have led to their deaths at a younger age than most fit, seemingly healthy people would expect to live to.

Then there’s the matter of not knowing where the steroids are coming from. Any drug that is obtained illegally will not have been prescribed nor monitored by a professional. There have been cases of steroids in circulation that were found to be approved for animal use and not for humans. This creates an uncertainty with regards to ‘what’ you are actually taking. Besides all the known side effects of steroids, more are arising on an ongoing basis as doctors and researchers further explore the detrimental impact that these drugs can have when used illegally.

By taking steroids, we are fighting the natural process of our metabolism and bodily functions, upsetting the balance of hormones and in turn, taking a short cut that denies our body of the natural strength, muscle and growth path that it was genetically designed to take.

We need to get to a point where the fitness industry is regulated for doping more thoroughly and the mindset of getting leaner, stronger, faster and better needs to adapt to a point where we only push ourselves to be the best we can be with regards to our natural genetic makeup. Only then will we be able to compete against fair competitors and not have to suffer from the number of drug induced side effects that are detrimental to the health of our minds and bodies. But, we have to ask, “is this dream achievable in an industry that is led by the unattainable norms of perfection on social media?”

The point of the matter is this, steroids have a number of side effects, some of which are yet to be pinpointed and discovered. It is a huge risk to take for short-term physical gain.

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