Steroids have long been associated with bodybuilding for their ability to accelerate and retain muscle gains. If you’ve done any research on steroids, you may have come across Oxandrolone or Anavar. In this article, we’ll cover everything Anavar-related, from its science and history to side effects and safety during a cycle.
What is Oxandrolone (Anavar)?
Oxandrolone, commonly referred to by its popular brand name Anavar, is an anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS). Anabolic-androgenic steroids are a type of steroid hormone that promotes anabolism, or the process of synthesizing and growing muscle tissues, over the androgenic effects. Androgenic effects occur in male development characteristics, such as facial hair growth, male pattern baldness, and deepening of the voice. All AAS are derivatives of the hormone testosterone, and many have been molecularly altered to be more anabolic than androgenic. Oxandrolone has an anabolic: androgenic ratio of at least 6:1, with some evidence showing that that ratio may go as high as 10:1. This is especially impressive when compared to the base anabolic: androgenic ratio of testosterone at 1:1.
Anavar was first synthesized in 1962, and since then, doctors have used it to treat many catabolic disorders. Anavar is particularly great, as you can take it orally, and is resistant to the liver metabolizing it. Unlike other steroids, it does not aromatize into estrogen. Its primary use in medicine is to help people regain the weight they’ve lost due to medical conditions, such as surgery, chronic infection, trauma, and prolonged use of corticosteroid medication like prednisone. This steroid prevents the effects of muscle wasting, as in the case of sarcopenia, cachexia, and AIDS-related muscle wasting. Furthermore, it also mitigates the effects of osteoporosis.
As you can see, Anavar is quite a useful drug even when speaking strictly of its medical use. To compound to that, several researchers have studied the effects of oxandrolone in a series of studies.
One research paper was published studying the short-term effects of administering oxandrolone in stimulating net protein synthesis in young men. The study confirmed that the short-term administration of oxandrolone for five days did increase the protein synthesis and transportation of muscle-building amino acids in the test subjects. When combined, these two promote more remarkable muscle building.
Another research studied the effects of oxandrolone on older men. The results of this study showed the same increase in protein synthesis, muscle mass, and fat loss. The only downside the test subjects experienced in this study was that they lost their muscle gains after stopping the oxandrolone cycle. However, not all is lost as they were able to remain relatively lean and muscular.
To summarize, Anavar has been shown to have the following effects:
- A decrease in visceral total body fat
- Increased protein synthesis in skeletal muscles
- Restoration or increase of appetite
- Better nitrogen retention
- High muscle function, growth, strength, and physical activity level
Anavar for bodybuilders
Looking at this steroid on paper, you would understand why many bodybuilders would want to reap its numerous benefits. Not long after oxandrolone was introduced to the US’s medical market, it ended up in gyms all across the country. Bodybuilders from all over couldn’t wait to get their hands on this seemingly magical drug whose anabolic properties outweighed its androgenic ones.
To this day, oxandrolone is still popular among bodybuilders, especially women. It’s because it boasts impressive benefits of:
- Dryness, making veins pop out and muscles more defined
- Fuller pumps long after workouts
- Increased muscle mass (approximately a gain of 8-lbs during a 12-week cycle)
- Boosted strength and agility
- Improved muscle retention
With all these benefits, you might also be tempted to grab a bottle of oxandrolone and start your own cycle, but not so fast. Despite having many upsides, this steroid comes with a ton of potential side effects, not to mention it is illegal.
As with other anabolic steroids, you cannot reap the benefits without experiencing adverse side effects in the long run. There is a price that your body must pay in achieving the gains associated with Anavar. The common and known side effects of Anavar include:
- Loss of libido
- Testicular atrophy
- Oily skin
- Hair loss
- Erectile dysfunction
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Could worsen underlying mood disorders
- May cause or worsen anxiety and depression
- Liver toxicity
As you can see, the potential side effects heavily outweigh the benefits of taking Anavar. While you could see a significant improvement in your body composition and muscle mass, it’s not worth the risk. Anavar or oxandrolone should only be taken by those who are ill and genuinely need it. So should you start an Anavar or oxandrolone cycle? The answer is a big no.