Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are man made compounds. They are similar in structure to testosterone (the male hormone). AAS use has increased significantly since they were first developed in the late 1930's. There are hundreds of AAS on the market at any time and development continues to grow as medical science advances. AAS is always a topic of discussion in sports with some high profile athletes testing positive for a range of substances.
Steroid use has continued to grow since their first production. The foundations of steroids remains the same but with advances in medicine, new derivatives will continue to emerge. Steroids have a therapeutic use and their continual development is important for medical purposes to ensure the successful treatment of certain illnesses.
Humans are always looking to better themselves...it's part of our make up. Since we have competed against each other, humans have always looked at ways to improve performance to give us the edge over our opponents. Steroids were proven to have a positive effect when used in medicinal situations. It is inevitable that someone was going to try them out for performance purposes. This did not take long.
But what are steroids and what is the difference between our natural steroids and the ones athletes use to enhance performance???
Steroids are naturally occurring within the body. You may know them better as hormones and they affect the bodies ability to grow. Everybody has differing levels of steroids that naturally occur in the body. These are here through thousands of years of evolution. No one will know what affect adding extra amounts to the body will have until after it has been tried. This is because everyone reacts differently. By then it may be to late to reverse the effects. Steroids do have a medical purpose and are prescribed by doctors for ailments that affect muscle development etc.
Some people use the term PEDs as a generic term for all drugs that enhance performance and/or body image. This is because some compounds do not come under the anabolic-androgenic banner. An example of this would be Erythropoietin (EPO) which controls red blood cell production. Before you think EPO is a good thing....it's use does increase the chance of you having a stroke!!
Injectable steroids are generally supplied in vials. You should be presented with a small glass container with a metal top. On this metal top a rubber stopper should exist that allow a needle to pass through. Always check the top has not been tampered with or opened. Click here for more information on injecting steroids.
Oral steroids come in tablet form and will either come in a bottle or in a 'strip' similar to paracetamol.
Anabolic-androgenic steroids are man-made chemical compounds. Anabolic refers to the process of growth, this is an Anabolic Effect. The steroid aspect triggers or encourages growth within muscle and other tissues including bone structure as well as reduced body fat. The Androgenic part of AAS refers to the development of male sexual characteristics such as deep voice, chest and facial hair. This is a sought after hormone as it increases strength and development of muscle tissue. But...with this also comes increased aggression. So you could end up a very hairy angry person!
Generally AAS come in three basic forms: