Oral anabolic steroids are the most popular choice for bodybuilders and workout enthusiasts who are looking to speed up their progress in the gym. This is partly because they are very simple and easy to take, and partly because they get to work very quickly. They do come with some side effects and should therefore be taken with caution, however they are much safer for female athletes than they are for male athletes.
The aspect of oral steroids that makes them more harmful than their injectable counterparts is that they are what’s known as ‘hepatotoxic.’ This means that they have a negative effect on the liver, due to their having been specifically synthesised to survive their passage through the body. Toxicity levels vary between different oral steroid types, but it’s generally known that the stronger an oral steroid is, the more harmful it will be to your body.
When you first start using oral steroids you should stick to a low dose. This will help your body acclimatise to the new levels of hormones that you will be experiencing, and will also help you to avoid negative side effects in the first instance. Recommended doses of oral steroid for first time users tend to be between 60mg to 80mg. More experienced users will be able to increase their steroid use over time.
Oral steroids have a half-life of several hours and take between three to four weeks to completely disappear from the body. By contrast, injectable steroids can take up to eight months to completely leave the body. This means that oral steroids may be safer to take if you’re planning to engage in relatively short cycles. A cycle refers to the period of time in which steroids are either taken or not taken, with the former being referred to an ‘on cycle’ and the latter being referred to as an ‘off cycle’. Because oral steroids have a shorter half-life, users may find the transition between cycles easier to manage.
What time of day you take your oral steroids can have a direct effect on how well your body is able to respond to them. It’s generally the case that you will need to take more than one pill a day, and not all of your pills will be of the same variety or strength. For the best results, take your pills at even intervals throughout the day with a little food so as to cushion the blow to your liver. Some athletes find that taking one of their doses in the couple of hours before working out provides an additional psychological boost.