Burn extra fat! Recover from injuries/exertion faster! Put on more muscle!
You see a lot of advertisements for miracle drugs that make dubious claims – At Walgreens, they sold green tea diet pills that claimed to help burn fat faster. They had a shelf dedicated to these diet pills – I deemed it the snake oil section. What’s crazy to me is how much bullshit gets hawked as legitimate, when such miracle drugs actually exist – they’re called steroids. Steroids, are, of course, a controlled substance and therefore illegal to own in the US without the right prescription.
Of course, steroid is a vague description for a wide variety of substances that provide various benefits to the body. Hydrocortisone is a commonly available over the counter steroid that can help with skin problems. But when people refer to steroids in the taboo sense, they’re typically talking about anabolic steroids, which can provide many varying benefits, including but not limited to:
- Muscle growth
- Faster recovery from workouts
- Increased endurance
- Lose fat faster
So if the established benefits of anabolic steroids (now referred to as steroids) is so great, why aren’t they more commonplace?
I’d wager it’s mostly due to the huge stigma against steroids in the US. Here are some typical associations:
- Steroid rage
- Gym bros
- Impossible bodybuilder physiques (Not in impressive way, either, though you do have the bodybuilder association with steroids. I think a lot of people imagine the crazy blown up synthol arms when they think of steroid usage)
- Needles in asses
- A multitude of health complications, biggest being possible death (RIP Zyzz)
The thing is, there’s no such thing as a free meal. Of course steroid usage has consequences, but like all drugs, careful usage and moderation can mitigate most of the harmful effects. From what I’ve gathered of steroid usage, the biggest issues stem from steroid abuse: multiple cycles where you start getting careless with mixing different types and dosages.
I read that some people get addicted as well – they see the easy, constant gains from steroid use and keep using to the point of going overboard, maybe in terms of physique or devastating side effects.
You can also get contaminated gear – after all, it’s still a controlled substance and illegal to own in the US. Meaning if you want sick gains you have to find a dealer. Unless you buy it from a known source, you don’t really know what you’ll be getting.
I feel like this is a problem that’s largely comparable with the recreational drug epidemic in the US today. Ignorance to the problem and a heavy handed approach to users has greater side effects than education and rehabilitative methods. Instead of demonizing steroid usage, why don’t we look into steroid usage more, educate the populace on safe usage, and have controlled methods for dosing patients? Shit, if we have steroids that help burn fat with literally no extra work needed, why don’t we open this up to obese people instead of selling them snake oil and fat shaming them?
I mean, obviously it’s putting a band aid on the problem instead of actually solving it, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be a component in a true weight loss regimen. Side effects? Unless it kills you, I don’t see how the side effects would be worse than the results of carrying 300+ extra pounds of fat on your body. Of course, it’d help to be administered in a controlled setting with careful monitoring by a medical practitioner, as I could see the same problem of abuse cropping up for obese patients who get addicted to the easy win and fluctuate between cutting and bulking up again.
Of course, I’m talking out of my ass here – I have no experience with steroids and have no desire to in their current state. I’m relatively risk averse, and don’t feel comfortable using drugs with no oversight on production, as well as lack of guidance from medical professionals. Maybe when safe usage methods are disseminated into the mainstream.
To sum: Legalize it!