Among amateur and semi-professional bodybuilders, steroid use has traditionally been looked at as a double stinging sword. One school of thought eschews the use of carrying out boosting substances, while another has held them upwards as the main element to rapid muscle mass gain.
Many high school physical schooling teachers inform their units on weightlifting with an ominous warning about the dangers of anabolic steroid use. Yet, young athletes see their idols -- from baseball players to body building -- using performance boosting substances. The apparent question is: how much of that fame and achievement comes from the athlete's natural ability -- and how much originated from the aid of performance boosting substances?
The Internet and Steroid Product sales
In 1991, ownership of anabolic steroids without D-Bal a prescription was made a federal felony in the United States. By the mid- to late-1990s, the proliferation of the Web as a global market place meant a proliferation of steroids and steroid alternatives on offer from countries where anabolic steroids were still legal without a prescription.
Proponents of anabolic steroid alternatives claim that a number of substances that are not directly related to synthesized, or anabolic steroid drugs offer many of the benefits associated with anabolic steroids -- an increase in muscular mass and a metabolism goaled at burning fat -- but without detrimental effects of anabolic steroids. A brief set of those negative side results includes hormonal imbalances, liver damage and elevated "bad" cholesterol.
Even so, professional athletes have turned to steroids -- legal or otherwise -- to develop 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 prohibited by regulatory authorities fluctuate between bodybuilding federations. Illegal anabolic steroids and substances known as prohormone and diuretics are believed to be broadly employed by professional bodybuilders and are generally banned by natural bodybuilding organizations.
Another School of Thought
As 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. Frequently, these associations open their competition to related varieties of body aesthetics, such as figure, female physique, jr level and physically questioned categories. Some organizations perform their own drug screening 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 may well not include products known generically as anabolic steroid alternatives.
Steroid alternatives can be found in over-the-counter compounds generally in most 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 to Us 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, " and "TT-40-Xtreme. " The 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 acknowledged as safe and effective. The Administration also says that the items are misbranded because the packaging 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. But the fact that the market exists speaks to a collective desire among athletes to see fast results in muscle mass, strength, and stamina -- a wish that outweighs the hazards.