Prohormones: Side Effects & Best Alternatives
Prohormones are inexpensive. You only have to do a little bit of web surfing to find a bottle that sells for around $30-35. And for your thirty smackerolas, you get a one month cycle. Not a bad deal, eh?
Before I address this question, and provide you with a shocking answer, I want to get something straight. Prohormones ARE steroids. Yes they are, ladies and gentlemen. Prohormones are steroids.
Once they enter your body, and are processed by the liver, you are no longer a natural lifter. And, oh by the way, did you catch the are processed by the liver part? Prohormones are oral steroids. They are hepatoxic, meaning they can damage the liver. Some much more then others.
Now, back to the question: are prohormones a good deal?
Heck, they’re cheap. And they sometimes work. They don’t work as good as their real deal, illegal counterparts. But they work good enough to be swallowed by mass-building wannabees.
So, for thirty dollars, you can add on a couple (or more) pounds of muscle. Sounds easy, and cheap. But wait. There are hidden costs. Let me explain why.
Because prohormones are steroids, they require cycle support, and post cycle therapy. These terms may or may not be foreign to you. Let me explain them.
As I mentioned, prohormones are hepatoxic (liver damaging). They also can, and most likely will, mess up your lipid panel. For those of you that are medically challenged, prohormones raise bad cholesterol levels, cause an increase in blood pressure, can cause headaches, hypertensions, dizziness, etc. Because of the side effects, you need to take cycle support supplements.
Cycle Support Supplements
Cycle support supplements help protect the liver, and fight high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You might be saying to yourself: self, I don’t need cycle support supplements. I’m young and healthy.
Wrong! This is 100% pure lunacy.
Prohormones affect each individual differently. For some, the side effects are severe. And for some, mild. But even when the side effects are mild, they are still there. If you still don’t believe that cycle support is needed, head to any training forum where prohormone talk is allowed. Now post the following: I am young and healthy, and do NOT need cycle support supplements during my prohormone cycle.
Next, wait approximately 60 seconds, and refresh your browser. You will find that there are now 10 responses to your post, all calling you an idiot. Getting the picture yet?
The following cycle support supplements are staples:
Milk thistle is the must have liver protection supplement. You should also consider using NAC, ALA, Curcumin, L-Carnitine, Taurine, Rhodiola, Green Tea and Lecithin.
Lipid Panel/Other Side Effects
Other highly recommended cycle support supplements are hawthorne berries (extract) to battle heart, blood pressure and circulation issues, celery seed extract to fight high blood pressure and anxiety, red yeast rice for lowering blood lipids, cholesterol and triglycerides, CoQ10 as an anti-oxidant, and joint support supplements for the aches and pains that often come with prohormome use.
There are more supplements that could be added to this list. But these are the basics. The minimum recommendations. Get your checkbook or debit card ready. The cost for these cycle support supplements adds up quickly.
Expect to spend somewhere in the ballpark of $50 a month for cycle support supplements. And remember, you need to take these supplements after your month of prohormones is finished. A 4 week prohormone cycle requires two months off cycle.
If you plan on using prohormones again, it’s best to stay on cycle support supplements year round. This is a hidden cost of over $600 per year.
Post Cycle Support (Or PCT – Post Cycle Therapy)
In addition to the long list of supplements you’ve already added to your shopping cart, you also need to take post-cycle support supplements for at least a month following your prohormone cycle.
Here’s the deal. When you take prohormones (steroids), you are adding synthetic testosterone to your body. You are artificially jacking up your testosterone levels. Because of this, your body produces far less natural testosterone. This is not an issue when you’re on a prohormone cycle.
But when you finish your prohormone cycle, you’re in trouble. Your body is used to the artificial testosterone, and isn’t producing much natural testosterone on its own. Your testosterone to estrogen ratios are out of whack, which opens you up to all sorts of unwanted side effects.
Ever heard of bitch tits? Ah, yes, my friend – bitch tits are a side effect of prohormone use. You start to grow breasts! You will experience a noticeable swelling around the nipple…one that can be highly visible through any t-shirt.
There are other nasty side effects that can come after your prohormone cycle is finished. Your sex drive will take a dive, and you may not be able to get it up. And when it is up, you may find that it’s no longer a diamond cutter. Sorry if I sound crude, but we’re all adults, and these topics need to be discussed.
You will also feel a crash. A post-cycle crash comes from a dramatic decrease in the body’s testosterone levels. You will feel like crap. And oh, by the way, you will most likely lose ALL size and strength gains from your prohormone cycle. Why? Low bodily testosterone levels.
So, let’s recap. After your prohormone cycle is finished, you will crash, lose size and strength, and can also grow breasts and lose your sexual drive.
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it!
Recommended Post-Cycle Support Supplements
To fight these side effects, you need a full battery of post-cycle support products/supplements. Generally, the following is recommended:
SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators)
“SERM” stands for selective estrogen receptor modulators. Sounds like something out of a 1950’s sci-fi movie. Simply put, SERMs battle estrogen related side effects. Most recommended and effective SERMs are illegal substances.
Why would you take a legal steroid (prohormones), only to get involved with illegal post cycle products? If you ask me, it’s flat-out insanity. There are, of course, over the counter SERM supplements available. They are less effective as their illegal counterparts. Bottom line, to retain most of your gains, you need illegal SERMs.
AI (Aromatase Inhibitor)
“AI” stands for aromatase inhibitor. An aromatase inhibitor blocks the synthesis of estrogen, helping to balance the body’s testosterone/estrogen levels. As with SERMs, some AI products are illegal, and some are not.
This is the third necessity on your post-cycle grocery list. You NEED to boost your body’s natural testosterone production. To do this, any number of supplements are used, from horny goat weed to tribulus terrestris.
Generally, a proprietary testosterone boosting product is used during PCT. This product generally contains multiple supplements known for their ability to raise natural bodily testosterone levels.
Post cycle therapy products (SERM, AI, test booster) are generally taken for a month following a prohormone cycle. At minimum, you can expect to spend $60 during this month. It is not uncommon to see prohormone users spending $75 to $100 or more on PCT products.
If you continue to cycle prohormones throughout the year, your PCT products/supplements will have a hidden cost of $300.
Prohormones – The “Real” Cost
It is recommended that after a one month prohormone cycle, you spend 2 months off cycle. This means you can perform 4 complete prohormone cycles each year. Here’s the total cost:
- $130 to $150 – Prohormones. 4 bottles.
- $600 to $700 – Cycle support supplements.
- $240 to $400 – Post Cycle Therapy products and supplements.
And the grand total is…$970 to $1,250 per year. Don’t forget, once you come completely off prohormones, you will lose almost all of your gains.
Prohormones aren’t worth it. The cost is expensive, the health risks are numerous, and the gains don’t last. And once you begin “experimenting”, you are far more likely to be tempted into spending money on illegal products.