To answer the question right off the bat, taking steroids can boost your t-level. However, things are not that simple.
As most anabolic steroids mimic the workings of testosterone, your body will experience a spike in levels. This applies to both men and women, but the outcomes of high t-levels are quite different.
This is one of the reasons you should get acquainted with your normal t-levels and how steroids affect your endocrine system. To hint at the potential problem, prolonged anabolic steroid intake might actually lower t-levels and make it hard for you to revert back to normal.
T-levels are measured in ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter).There’s a predetermined range that applies to adult men and women. Men older than 19 usually have between 240ng/dl and 950ng/dl of testosterone in their bloodstream.
The numbers for adult females are between 8ng/dl and 60ng/dl. It’s worth noting that the levels may be a bit higher in late-teens and reach 1,200ng/dl and 75ng/dl for males and females respectively. Nevertheless, these are still normal values and the figures indicate a healthy endocrine system.
When taken orally or injected, steroids that contain synthetic testosterone get metabolised quite quickly. To be exact, the liver is responsible for breaking down the testosterone fast. Due to this, you might not experience t-level spikes right off the bat.
On the other hand, some anabolic steroids are designed for slow metabolisation. Namely, the pharmaceutical laboratories change the hormone’s molecular structure ever so slightly to make it linger in the body for longer. Also, there are testosterone patches that offer timed release over a certain period of time.
Troubles in Paradise
If you were to take the engineered steroids or apply patches, your blood sample would temporarily show higher t-levels. But your body quickly picks up on high testosterone and acts accordingly to prevent damage.
To put the levels back in order, your body may minimise or shut down testosterone production altogether – this is when side effects kick in. Men may experience lower sperm count and motility and their testicles may shrink.
In some cases, the steroid-induced hormonal imbalance may trigger breast growth in men and erectile dysfunction. Not to mention, the t-levels are bound to remain far below the normal rate.
T-Levels and Muscle Mass – Where’s the Link?
Needless to say, steroid users deliberately increase testosterone levels to increase their muscle mass. But the levels themselves may not be key to the lean mean beach-ready body, and the secret lies in how anabolic steroids work.
Once the body metabolises the anabolic steroids, this triggers androgen receptors which are responsible for muscle building. When activated, these receptors expedite muscle creation and promote protein production, but this isn’t the end of the story.
The androgen receptors also minimise the production of glucocorticoids, hormones responsible for immune system response to inflammation. In doing so, androgen receptors help the body produce amino acids and deliver the energy required for boosting muscle mass.
At this point, you may wonder where the testosterone fits in. It’s one of the androgenic hormones that can turn on the receptors and spark the muscle-creation mechanism.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Temporary spikes in t-levels due to steroid intake can boost athletic performance and muscle mass – a 2004 study from the Netherlands confirms this.
The scientists at the Sports Medicine Center and University Hospital in Maastricht examined athletes over a 10-week period. They found that the athletes’ strength increased between 5% and 20%, plus they’ve gained between 4lbs and 11lbs in muscle mass.
While the study is more than 15 years old, the way the human body responds to steroids isn’t subject to change. However, you shouldn’t forget that it has been conducted under strictly monitored conditions and with individuals who are in perfect health.
Important Note: Patients who are under testosterone therapy due to a medical condition may not experience the increase in muscle mass. This is partly because the therapy aims to keep the hormone at normal levels.
Things to Consider
The type and origin of anabolic steroids may significantly affect t-levels and the same goes for the intake pattern. To put things into perspective, some performance-enhancing steroids are up to 100 times more potent than their medicinal counterparts.
As such, they may wreak havoc on a virgin endocrine system and it’s usually tricky to figure out something is wrong until it’s too late. This doesn’t mean you won’t see significant improvements in the gym, plus your body will be able to cope up to a certain extent.
From the get-go, it should metabolise the powerful testosterone boost and turn on the muscle-building receptors fast. But as time goes by, the body may develop steroid tolerance and/or reduce the production of testosterone and other related hormones.
What about Intake Patterns?
Steroid intake patterns such as stacking or cycling aim to amplify the effects of steroids. But they might also be the path to dangerously low or high testosterone levels.
By combining different steroids or taking more than a recommended dose, users test the limits of their endocrine system. And the body’s response can be detrimental to both mental and physical health.
At one point or another, the liver won’t be able to cope with the excess testosterone. In turn, the endocrine system will try to compensate and start shutting off one hormone, receptor, and enzyme after another.
A Masculinity Injection
To reiterate, anabolic steroids do help increase t-levels. But is your aim to have a really high t-level or build muscle? It won’t be wrong to assume that the latter is true. Therefore, you need to approach steroid intake with caution and monitor t-levels if possible.
This way you minimise the chances of adverse effect and long-term damage to your health. So, it is much better to use steroids for sale with utmost caution. To end on a positive note, it’s possible to get t-levels back to normal after steroid abuse but it’s not easy.