Superdrol: what is it?

Superdrol has been one of the hottest supplements to hit the market for bodybuilders in the last few years. The term “pro hormone” and "legal steroid" have been thrown around to describe this compound. What is superdrol and why the hype?

About superdrol:

Superdrol is the brand name of the original supplement to hit the market, which contained the compound Methasterone ( 2a, 17a-dimethyl-5a-androstane-3-one-17ß-ol). Since then, it has been renamed other brand names, such as testadrol and superdrol NG.

Superdrol has many similiarities to methyl-1-test (17alpha methyl-17beta-hydroxy-androst-1-ene-3-one) the methylated version of 1-testosterone, both now banned by the "pro-hormone ban" legislation in 05. Both superdrol and methyl-1-testosterone compounds are a derivative of dihydrotestosterone (5 alpha reduced steroids), methylated, low androgenic to anabolic ratio, and do not aromoatize to estrogen. You can read more about 1 testosterone, the history of "pro-hormones" and the ban, in a previous article of mine here

Like with methyl-1-testosterone, Superdrol's most noticeable immediate effects are usually quick bloated gains, lethargy, high blood pressure, muscle cramping, dark urine, and changes in cholesterol,liver, and kidney profiles. The diuretic effect and quick bloated gains, is probably due to it being a 17aa steroid like methyl-1-testosterone.

Some may wonder how can superdrol cause massive quick
water retention if it doesn't aromatize to estrogen? 17aa steroids seem to upregulate the glucocorticoid receptor. Glucocorticoid receptor controls sodium retention. In other words, increasing sodium in your diet would probably have a similiar effect as superdrol does in rapidly increasing water retention. This probably also explains why methyl-1-test (as a 17aa) was so much more potent in increasing bodyweight than 1-test. Although methyl-1-test and 1-test was banned, superdrol seems to be a good substitute for it still available on the market.

Is superdrol dangerous?

Superdrol has the same side effects that are possible with any other steroid. Superdrol is in particular more harder on the kidneys and liver, than most other steroids even though it's over the counter. The diuretic effects and increased blood pressure, makes it hard on the kidneys. As a methylated steroid it will also be hard on the liver.

Sure you can reduce salt in your diet and drink more water, but part of the reason for the massive gains in the first place, is due to the salt and water retention. Taking liver supplements like NAC and milk thistle during a cycle, is like putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound.

Don't expect the gains to last long as most of it is temporary weight gain and the upregulation of the glucocorticoid will only make recovery post cycle even more difficult. Given enough time off cycle(it may take months), you probably won't retain any muscle you gained from superdrol cycles. I know this all too well, from my experience with methyl-1-test.

Am I against the use of Superdrol? No, people should be allowed to take what they want if they choose, as long as they are responsible adults and are full aware of the effects.

Does 17-HD work?

Awhile back someone gave me a few packets of some 17-HD from Vyotech Nutritionals. Is this supplement a steroid like supplement or just junk?

What does 17-HD contain

It contains a few herbal supplements(junk), but the main active ingredient behind the supplement is what they call 17-halo methyl-dianadrone. At first look of the name of the compount, it gives the impression of a halo based steroid, like halotestin or halodrol.

Is it a steroid/pro-hormone?

Despite the name of the compound, they market the product as a testosterone booster. To find out if this supplement works you would have to find out more about dianadrone. There is no results for dianadrone, methyl-dianadrone, or halo-methyl dianadrone in pubmed as far as studies. I couldn’t find any any information about this compound with real research studies, anywhere else either. It is nothing, but a fake name branded by this company. I wouldn't trust the studies Vyotech did, as obviously they will be biased. 17-HD looks like nothing but a junk supplement, full of unproven herbs.

What do other bodybuilders report?

Except for a few who probably report placebo gains, the vast majority notice nothing.

Does HMB Work?

HMB supplements were very popular among bodybuilders years ago. Why is it no longer that popular? And are bodybuilders overlooking one of the best non-hormonal supplements on the market?

What is HMB:

HMB is short for Beta-Hydroxy Beta-Methyl Butyrate. It is derived from the amino acid leucine. The body already naturally produces about a half of gram a day from the conversion of leucine. It is also found in small amounts in many foods.

Why do most bodybuilders call it junk?

Bodybuilders often reported no significant muscle gains(or retention) during dieting. It quickly was discounted by most experienced bodybuilders. Once something is labeled junk by a few bodybuilding gurus, it is hard for it to make a comeback.

What does research say?

There is actual valid scientific research studies showing HMB can work in the body. These are not research studies sponsored by the supplement companies either.

In one study done by the department of education in East Tennessee State University 39 men and 36 women were put randomly in a placebo or HMB group for 4 weeks of resistance training. The HMB group took 3 grams daily. After the 4 weeks the HMB group had a 7.5KG strength gain over 5.2kg in the placebo group(5 lb difference). The HMB group increase lean mass by 1.4 kg and reduced bodyfat % by 1.1. The placebo had a .9kg lean mass increase and 0.8% reduction in bodyfat.

If it works in research why don't bodybuilders take it?

The problem with HMB, is most bodybuilders underdose it. This is due to the supplements having low amounts of HMB and recommending low amounts. You won't notice significant results without a high dose. Even then it still won't be "steroid like" gains. Unfortunately, HMB is very expensive inherently due to the manafacturing process.

Most of the studies show significant gains in the range of 3 grams. Most HMB supplements sell for about 25 dollars and offer 200-250mg of HMB per serving. It would cost you 25 dollars in 10 days to get 3 grams a day in these supplements.

How does HMB work?

HMB is able to increase protein synthesis. Due to the repartioning effect of protein, this ultimately leads to more muscle gain and fat loss. HMB also helps against protein catabolism(muscle breakdown). This makes HMB perfect for both, low calorie dieting and bulking.

Is HMB really worth taking?

HMB is unrealistic option for most regular bodybuilders, to take year around. Despite it showing significant results at 3 grams daily, the cost is still high for the actual gains it produces. It would be a good supplement to take if you have a lot of money to spend, or just want to take it for short cycles to break plateaus or during dieting. It is certainly cheaper than a steroid cycle, and it won't have all the nasty side effects either.

Can I take leucine instead to have it convert to HMB?

It is better to take HMB than Leucine because it only converts at a very low percentage. You would have to take many grams of it to get it to convert to HMB. It would wind up being just as costly, inconvenient, and probably cause digestion problems.

Does Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) Work for Fat loss?

Carnitine comes in 4 different forms but only L-carnitine and Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) should be used by bodybuilders. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) passes through the blood brain barrier better than L-carnitine, because it is acetylated. Therefore, it is the preferred form of carnitine. Carnitine is classified as an amino acid only because it is similiar in structure. In the body it is very different. Carnitine is not used as a pre cursor to making skeletal muscle in the body, like with regular amino acids. This makes it more useful, since supplementation won't lead to it being used for protein synthesis instead of fat burning. If there is a deficiency of carnitine in the body, it will be synthesized from the amino acids methionione and lysine.

Does ALCAR help burn fat?

One study was done on 20 rats published J Nutr 2000 Feb;130(2 :152-7. Both groups of rats excercised and ate similiar amount of calories. One group had carnitine, caffeine and choline and the other just had excercise. The results of the study showed no statistically significant difference between the groups. Keep in mind this study was done on rats.

Another study was done on humans, Metabolism. 2004 Aug;53(8 :1002-6. Twelve volunteers took 3grams of carnitine for 10 days on a regular diet. l-carnitine led to a dramatic increase in fat oxidation( Fat burning) while maintaining muscle (no decrease in protein catabolism). Another study was done on elderly men and they had a reduction in bodyfat, increased muscle and lower blood lip levels.

How does ALCAR work on fat loss?

ALCAR helps shuttle free fatty acids into the mitochondria where they are burned off for energy. This is important because normally it is hard for the fatty acids to enter the mitochondria. This ultimately means more fat and less carbohydrates and protein, will be burned for energy in the mitochondria.

Any other uses for ALCAR?

ALCAR also has been shown to have positive effects on mood and health in studies. Some of the results of the study showed improvement in ADHD, increasing fertilitiy, reducing recovery from excercise, reducing fatigue, curing depression, reversing hyperthyroidism, healing cirrhosis of the liver, sexual enhancement, increased cardiovascular health, removing toxins from the body, and many other conditions.

When to take ALCAR:

Many protein rich foods already contain carnitine. ALCAR is probably most effective when on a low calorie or low meat diet, where you won't be getting as much carnitine in your diet. Bodybuilders may choose to take it year around, but just like with the case of glutamine, it may not prove to be very beneficial while bulking and already getting high amounts in your diet. Carnitine has been shown in studies to help reduce recovery and fatigue after excercise, which may be another reason to take it year around.

ALCAR side effects:

Doses of ALCAR beyond 100 to 500mg per day may cause insomnia and hyperactivity.

Can Too Much Protein In Your Diet Kill You?

Bodybuilders hear people asking this question sometimes from bodybuilding newbies and it annoys them. What If I told you, that it actually was possible to overdose on protein? Believe it or not, too much protein in the diet could cause you to die. How is this possible?

I'm sure you heard of the artificial sweetener aspartame and all the warnings about it's health effects on the brain and body. Aspartame is actually aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Phenylalanine isregular amino acid found in all protein at various ratios. It is also lethal at high doses.

Ok, now that I've got you worried, you don't have to be. It actually would take about 1000 grams of protein in order for it to kill you. That would be a eating feat on it's own(but doable). Sometimes you have to lure a person into a topic, in order for them to learn about a "boring" amino acid such as phenylalanine. Really too much of anything could kill you, even drinking too much water!

Phenylalanine benefits:

Phenylalanine is beneficial in healthy ranges. It helps keep us feeling good and our nervous system working at optimum. This is mainly due to phenylalanine conversion to amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine is a pre-cursor to dopamine. epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine in the pituitary gland in the brain. These are important neurotransmitters for the nervous system. Phenylalanine and tyrosine are sometimes supplemented just for their anti-depressant effects.

What are Transdermals?

Transdermals are commonly used among the more hardcore group of bodybuilders. What are they and how did they get started for use among bodybuilders?

Transdermal history:

Transdermals first started with the use of liquid DMSO. While it is used as a solvent in wood production, it was discovered for use in helping to absorb compounds through the skin than when taken orally. DMSO was commonly used years back, mostly for users of the veterinary steroid trenbolone who didn't want to inject. DMSO has a distinct garlic odor and long term use can lead to you smelling like fish/garlic through your skin pores. It is for this reason and possible health effects, companies looked for creating better transdermal formulas.

In 2002 Avant Labs rocked the bodybuilding community, when it developed a transdermal formula specifically for over the counter steroid use, at the time mainly their 1-test and 4-ad over the counter products. 1-test was found to be very painful to inject. Avants transdermal technology was considered more efficient, safer, and had a better odor for absorbing compounds into the skin. Other companies since then starting come out with their own transdermal technology.

Transdermals go beyond their original intentions of just for the fringe steroid users. They are now used to help absorb fat loss products that warrant a topical need, such as Avant Labs LipoDerm-Ultra using the herb Yohimbine.

Why use transdermals?

Transdermals are used by bodybuilders who want increased absorption or targeting of a supplement or drug. Transdermals have about a 30-50% absorption into the blood stream whereas they normally would have in un-methylated form around a 10% absorption rate.

Some bodybuilders use transdermals for over the counter or illegal steroids because they don't want to have to inject or take dangerous methylated oral steroids(which are hard on the liver). Injection has 100% absorption rate and methylated oral steroids have 50%. Transdermals are also used for fat loss supplements because a transdermal allows them to target areas better at a higher dose.

Legality of Transdermals

Transdermals are in a legal grey area. According to FDA, They are legal over the counter, as long as they are not marketed for the purpose of drug delivery.

What are Pro-Hormones?

Bodybuilders throw the term around “pro-hormone” and "legal steroids" as a term for over the counter steroid supplements. But is this really proper terminology and what is the difference between the two terms? And how close to illegal steroids are they really?

What are Pro-Hormones?

Pro-hormones are pre-cursors to anabolic steroids. In other words an enzyme in the body will convert the pro-hormone supplement to an active anabolic steroid. There is no inherent difference between the steroids that pro-hormones convert to and the traditional illegal ones such as Tren and Testosterone. Every steroid has different properties and potencies. Illegality has nothing to do with their potency. Many illegal steroids are weak such as anavar and primobolan, while methyl-1-testosterone which used to be over the counter before the pro-hormone ban in 05, was more potent and toxic than them.

How Pro-hormones work:

Pro-hormones need a body enzyme to convert to the active steroid. As a result there is an "upper limit" on how much can be converted at any given time. Usually the bodies upper limit is fairly high causing significant gains with only a few grams of pro hormones. However, there is research that points to the idea, while not as potent, that pro-hormones themselves also have inherent activity on the androgen receptors. This would make them have dual activity, part pro-hormone and part steroid.

Difference between Legal steroids & Pro-Hormones?

Pro-hormones and Legal steroids are often used interchangeably for these group of compounds. Why is this? Legal steroids are usually used to best describe the over the counter hormones that don't need to convert. Pro-hormones is the term for the ones that need to convert to the active hormone. Since some pro-hormones may have inherent activity and to make it easy to group them under one name, often legal steroids or pro-hormones term is used by bodybuilders to describe the entire group.

History of Pro-Hormone use:

Androstenidione was the first pro-hormone to hit the market back in 96. It was the supplement infamously found in Mark McGwire's locker. Androstenidione was marketed as a pre-cursor to testosterone, but bodybuilders found it to be a poor prohormone. Studies showed it didn't help muscle gain, but converted to high levels of estrogen instead of mainly testosterone.

Eventually some stronger pro-hormones came out that were better such as 4-AD. Another called 1-AD by ergopharm, became an overnight success for providing significant muscle gains. While it had some negative side effects it was the most potent mass builder available at the time. Eventually this led to research into modern transdermal formulas using the active hormone (dubbed 1-testosterone) that 1-AD converted to. 1-testosterone was not on the steroid controlled list(passed originally in 89) at the time and therefore was able to legally stay on the market. Through some weak scientific evidence, they argued it was found in nature and therefore could be sold as a supplement over the counter.

In 2003 Legal Gear(Now called legal sciences) first marketed methylated orals for 1-testosterone called Methyl 1-testosterone (M-1T). Methylated orals allowed the hormones to be taken orally and to bypass the livers breakdown, just like traditional methylated illegal steroids such as d-bol and anadrol.

Pro-Hormone ban:

With supplement companies pushing the envelop and letting everything on the market, in 2005 Bush signed the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 outlawing dozens of these prohormones and active steroids(including 1-testosterone and m-1t and 4-ad). The legislation made them controlled substances and punishable by law. It made it also possible for the attorney general to have an easy time banning new hormones sold over the counter.

Did the pro-hormone ban work?

Not really. While some of the more milder "pro-hormones" are coming out such as 11-OXO, many of the "legal steroids" today are highly toxic methylated steroids. Many are even more dangerous than most of the ones from a few years ago that are now banned. One of these post-ban compounds is Superdrol.

Many of these companies producing these new compounds, are operating in a legal grey area with the risk of it being added to a ban list. A lot of these companies making these compounds, are "shell companies" so they can dissolve quickly, when necessary.

Legal steroids scams:

Many online pharmacy and supplement stores use the term "legal steroids" to try and trick newbies. They often use names close to traditional illegal steroids. Don't fall for these online scams. These are different from the group we have been talking about in this article. These sites purposely give the impression of selling illegal steroids by using similiar names and by the design and word choice of the website.

To keep up to date on this everchanging group of Pro-hormones, one must ask questions in a bodybuilding forum, to get the latest on pro-hormones, pro-hormone scams, and any possible side effects.

Does Calcium Pyruvate Work?

Calcium Pyruvate supplements have never really gained much popularity among the bodybuilding community for fat loss. Is Calcium pyruvate a valid fat loss agent or just another junk supplement?

There have been multiple studies done on Calcium Pyruvate and most have shown good results. The dosages were between 6g to as high as 40 grams in some studies. Keep in mind that 30g and more often leads to digestive problems. The problem with pyruvate is not that it doesn't work, but it's impractical. It requires a high dosage that can get expensive and inconvenient to take. You also have to worry about the digestive side effects when trying to get a very high dosage. There is plenty of other supplements out there that are proven to effectively aid in fat loss, without the problems of Calcium Pyruvate. Save your money.

Does Methoxyisoflavone Work?

Methoxyisoflavone is one of those supplements that you see on the market being sold by reputable(or supposedly) supplement companies and you wonder why? Methoxy patent goes back all the way since 1977. Yet, no bodybuilder can honestly claim that he has gotten steroid like gains (or any muscle gains for that matter) like the ads claim. There have been "studies", but they were either sponsored by nutritional companies who were making the product or shady hungarian studies done decades ago.

You would think that after all these years of no one getting any results that supplement companies would stop selling it. I guess the hype of the supplement companies and stores and the naiveness of some people allows this vicious circle to continue on.

Taurine Supplementation With Ephedrine & Clenbuterol

Taurine an amino acid, is often advocated to be taken with ephedrine, clenbuterol, yohimbe, synephrine, and other beta-andregeneric agonists. They base this on the research that taurine levels are reduced with ephedrine and clenbuterol and that adding it will make the said stimulants more potent. I believe even the old ephedra supplements years back used add taurine to the pills.

While Taurine may very well increase the potency of the stimulants, part of the fat loss effects are due to the lowering of taurine. Research shows that Taurine actually reduces insulin sensitivity. This is bad for those trying to lose weight because insulin tolerance leads to more fat gain long term. Taurine also has been shown to lower the thyroid hormone levels, which results in slowing of metabolism. When you reach a fat loss plateau often the thyroid plays a major role in causing it, due to a slowing of metabolism.

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