WHAT IS 1-ANDROSTERONE (1-ANDRO)?
1-Androsterone (1-Andro) is a steroid hormone, used to increase the body’s production of the hormone testosterone. Increased testosterone production, in turn, can enhance athletic performance, increase energy levels, improve and enhance recovery and growth through training, keep red blood cells healthy and improve sexual performance.
1-Androsterone has gained popularity in recent years as a go-to supplement for many high performing professional athletes. However, in the United States, the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 reclassified 1-Andro from being a dietary supplement to being an anabolic steroid. This makes it a schedule III-controlled substance and has caused supply of it to the market to greatly diminish.
Prohormones are precursors to hormones, such as a steroid that is turned into an active hormone by peripheral metabolism.
An androgen prohormone (or pro-androgen) is a prohormone of an anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS). Androgen prohormones can be prohormones of testosterone or of synthetic AAS.
After 1-Androsterone is ingested, it is turned into hormones, some of which will be very similar to testosterone. Testosterone is what gives the results mentioned above – it can aid in hypertrophy and performance, though it can also come with some dangerous side effects which I will go into below.
Over the last couple of decades, bodybuilders, athletes and non-medical users of AAS have been making use of prohormones, alongside other substances expected to convert active hormones in the body (these other substances are often grouped under the same name, so that ‘prohormone’ can refer to them all. A steroid with modifications away from testosterone in one or several molecular areas is commonly called a ‘prohormone.’)
The idea is to make use of the benefits of taking anabolic-androgenic steroids without some of the associated risks of AAS, whose side effects are becoming increasingly well-known and shied away from.
Many compounds like this are legal to manufacture, possess, sell and take, thus circumnavigating the legal issues surrounding AAS products.
ARE PROHORMONES SAFE?
Prohormones offer an alternative to steroids and there is on-going debate whether they are safer than steroids. They can enhance lean muscle mass and improve strength, but there are some longer-term health risks that you can expect with sustained use, including:
- Liver and kidney damage
- Infertility and baldness in the long-term for men as testosterone production is damaged with prolonged use. It can also lead to excessive estrogen production which can bring about the enlargement of breast tissue (gynecomastia)
- Acne on the body and face. Though this may seem superficial, it can lead to lasting discomfort and skin tissue scarring
- For women, testosterone production may be increased. With it, facial hair growth and a deepening of the voice can occur. Menstrual issues are also quite common for women who take prohormones
- Mood swings, with aggressive behaviour and depression accompanying them
- Loss of libido
However, it is highly important to avoid taking prohormones if you are under the age of 18. If you want to use a prohormone, it’s recommended that you use a Post Cycle Therapy.
SARMS VS PROHORMONES
SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) are intended to have a similar effect to androgenic drugs, and so are often compared to prohormones in discussions of efficacy and outcome. Anybody looking into this debate will likely be looking for the best alternatives to anabolic steroids available. Therefore, it’s important to know the differences between SARMs and prohormones, and the pros and cons of each.
Obviously, prohormones are a schedule III-controlled substance in the US. Some of them – like the well-known Superdrol – are still available, but these will usually be in the underground steroid network and will be dangerously unregulated. SARMs, meanwhile, are available in a reasonably well-regulated marketplace as research chemicals. You will be able to find many more legitimate vendors of SARMs than you will of prohormones, with SARMs-23 being a well-liked, highly recommended alternative to most prohormones.
Whilst prohormones act as chemical precursors, acting like more traditional steroids (though with some nasty side effects- see below), the science behind SARMs is entirely different. They stimulate androgen receptors specifically in muscle and bone cells. This, obviously, greatly assists with muscle and bone growth.
SARMs are being touted as superior to prohormones- and are gaining in popularity- because of how few and minor their side effects are.
You should expect significant hypertrophy – muscle building- from using 1-Androsterone. The gains will be immediate and fast and should last you after the end of a cycle. A four-week cycle of typical 1-Andro supplementation can lead to gains in the area of 20lbs of muscle (with an additional gain of perhaps 5-10lbs in fat and water retention.)
You should also expect a fair degree of fluctuation to your libido and energy levels. Heightened, quite significant libidos are common, especially in the first couple of weeks of a cycle. These will often go hand in hand with your biggest gains, with the second week peeking in both hypertrophy and libido.
The third week of your cycle will also likely see some significant muscle and strength gains, though this is where your libido and energy levels will start to taper. Your sex drive will diminish, and you may find yourself becoming increasingly lethargic.
After this, gains will probably stall and the lethargy may become a problem, signalling the end of the cycle and the need for a rest period of several months before 1-Androsterone becomes relevant again.
1-ANDRO SIDE EFFECTS
As with all anabolic hormones, there are side effects of using 1-Andro:
- Skin complaints, including acne
- Bloating with excess water weight
- Greasy hair and increased body odour
- Abdominal and pelvic pains and cramps
- High blood pressure
- Lethargy as the cycle progresses
According to WebMD, 1-Andro can be dangerous when taken by mouth. Early research shows that taking 1-Andro might cause liver and kidney damage and increase cholesterol level in blood.
1-Andro by Steel Supplements
A Steel Supplements Andro cycle represents a potent force, for several reasons. They are specifically formulated for those looking to build muscle, burn fat, reduce inflammation and improve both mood and libido.
Steel use something called liposomal encapsulation technology. Essentially, they encapsulate their products in lipids- fats- which allow their andro supplements to be absorbed more quickly and efficiently. It is an expensive technology which many other companies are loathe to use, so that they create products with far less efficient absorption.
Users can expect an increase in muscle mass, couple with dramatically improved strength and power gains, when using Steel’s andro supplements, with just a single cycle proving enough to illicit such benefits.
They claim that the usual side effects that I mentioned above- acne, hair loss, gynecomastia and liver toxicity, amongst others- are not a concern with many of their Andro products. I would caution against taking this for granted. They also produce their Andro-3 supplement (a potent api-andro) with a mandatory post-cycle therapy phase with PCT supplements (PCT helps keep your gains, normalize your hormone levels, boost your testosterone levels back up to normal and rejuvenate your liver- necessary after any Andro usage, no matter what the producer or retailer say.) There will always be an element of risk involved in taking these products, and it’s always recommended to consult with a qualified medical practitioner when considering such drastic supplementation.