What are Prohormones?
Some people get tired of the standard supplements and look for something more…extreme. So, whenever we’re asked the question “What are prohormones and their side effects?” we answer the simplest way we know how. Basically, think of prohormones as steroids, one step removed. What do we mean by that? The easiest way to look at prohormones is that a prohormone by itself outside of your body is not a steroid. However, when you ingest the supplement, your body will turn it into a steroid like compound when it combines with certain enzymes in your body.
Prohormones are designed to mimic steroids in that they cause an anabolic hormone release, initiating the anabolic responses that you would get from injecting steroids. Many people wrongly assume prohormones are somehow safer than anabolic steroids because they are often legal to buy. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Although prohormones are not normally as strong as most anabolic steroids, they will manipulate your hormone levels and increase muscle mass and strength pretty noticeably. The safety and validity of these supplements is controversial at best and sketchy at worst. Many “all natural” bodybuilders believe that they can take prohormones because they’re technically not steroids…until it enters your blood stream. In our opinion, whether you take anabolic steroids or prohormones – you are NOT a natural bodybuilder.
1. Long Term Effects
Frankly, we have no idea what the long term side effects of prohormones are. They only date back about 15-20 years, so we don’t have enough data to come to an educated conclusion. That being said, it’s important to remember that whenever someone is manipulating a hormone in the human body for long periods of time, there is almost always a price to pay.
2. Mental Approach to Training
The promise that these supplements make is that taking prohormones will help you gain muscle mass and increase strength much faster than usual. Before even discussing how well they work, let’s look at how this will affect your state of mind. When you eventually have to cycle off of your prohormones, you will not feel as powerful while training and chances are you’ll lose some muscle mass. This has a major psychological effect on many people – they can’t seem to get over the mental issue of having to gaining muscle mass without these supplements.
It’s not unheard of for people to become obsessed with how they look and feel while on such powerful supplements. Aside from the severe health risks you might experience (kidney trouble being one of them), you might experience depression, feelings of insecurity and even violent mood swings.
3. Testosterone Output
Just like with regular steroid use, dangerously high levels of artificial testosterone and other anabolic hormones can signal to your body to stop producing natural testosterone. Basically, you’ve manipulated your body’s testosterone output so drastically that your body thinks it doesn’t need to produce it naturally anymore. This becomes a major issue when you finally cycle off of your prohormones and your testosterone levels go from more than 100% to close to 0%.
When someone asks “what are prohormones and their side effects?”, they’re usually interested in their effectiveness. While they are effective (to some degree) it’s important to remember that one of the most dangerous side effects of anabolic drug abuse is how it messes with your body’s natural output of these crucial hormones. Everybody’s body reacts to these drugs differently, but risking your long term health goes against the entire idea of what it means to work out and be healthy.
*NOTE* – If you decide to take prohormones (something we’d strongly recommend against at this point), please make sure you educate yourself on the proper PCT (Post Cycle Therapy) required to help restore your body’s natural hormone levels. If you do not understand PCT and take strong prohormones for an extended period of time, there’s a good chance you’ll screw up your body’s hormones and almost definitely cause long term damage.