Among amateur and semi-professional bodybuilders, steroid use has traditionally been looked at as a double edged sword. One school of thought eschews the use of performing boosting substances, while another has held them up as the important thing to fast muscle mass gain.
Many high school physical education teachers inform their models on weightlifting with an ominous warning about the risks of anabolic steroid use. Yet, young athletes see their idols -- from baseball players to weight lifters -- using performance boosting substances. The evident question is: how much of that fame and success stems from the athlete's natural ability -- and how much originated in the aid of performance improving substances?
The Internet and Anabolic steroid Revenue
In 1991, control of anabolic steroids with no prescription was made a federal felony in the United States. By the mid- to late-1990s, the proliferation of the World wide D-Bal web as a global market meant a proliferation of steroids and steroid options on offer from nations where anabolic steroids were still legal without a prescription.
Proponents of anabolic steroid alternatives claim that several of substances that are not directly related to synthesized, or anabolic steroids offer many of the great things about anabolic steroids -- an increase in muscle tissue and a metabolism geared toward burning fat -- but without detrimental effects of anabolic steroids. A short set of those negative side effects includes hormonal imbalances, liver damage and elevated "bad" cholesterol.
Even so, professional athletes have turned to steroids -- legal or otherwise -- to create muscle and attain a competitive edge. And the world watches.
There is no worldwide standard on what qualifies as an "illegal" substance in the sports activity of competitive bodybuilding, for example. Instead, substances forbidden by regulatory authorities vary between bodybuilding federations. Unlawful steroids and substances known as prohormone and diuretics are believed to be widely utilized by professional bodybuilders and are generally banned by natural bodybuilding organizations.
One more School of Thought
Because the name implies, natural bodybuilding associations give attention to physical fitness and nutrition in order to achieve a level playing field for body shaping enthusiasts. Often, these associations open their competition to related types of body aesthetics, such as figure, female physique, younger level and physically questioned categories. Some organizations carry out their own drug testing regimen for participants. Within an effort to make their policies clear, many of these federations choose to include a set of banned substances on their Web pages. These may or might not include products known generically as steroid alternatives.
Steroid alternatives can be found in over-the-counter compounds in many health and drug stores. Yet they are not all labeled -- or created -- alike. The products the U. S. Food and Drug Administration listed in its Warning Letter to United states Cellular Laboratories Inc., in the summer of 2009 include "TREN-Xtreme, " "MASS Xtreme, " "ESTRO Xtreme, " "AH-89-Xtreme, " "HMG Xtreme, " "MMA-3 Xtreme, " "VNS-9 Xtreme, inch and "TT-40-Xtreme. " The particular FDA states that these products claim to contain steroid-like ingredients but in reality contain synthetic steroid substances that are unapproved since they are not generally recognized as safe and effective. The Administration also says that the products are misbranded because the label is misleading and does not provide sufficient directions for use.
Products in the steroid alternative category are not without their own risks. And they will likely come under increased scrutiny by federal regulators as individual products send up red flags. Yet the fact that the market industry exists speaks to a collective desire among sportsmen to see fast results in muscle mass, strength, and stamina -- a desire that outweighs the risks.