SARMs 101: The Complete Guide For Beginners (Updated 2020)
SARMs, otherwise known as selective androgen receptor modulators, have become increasingly popular over the past several years.
Athletes, bodybuilders, and even amateur weightlifters have started taking SARMs, as a way to build muscle, lose fat, and increase strength in the gym.
But—what does the scientific evidence say about SARMs? Are there any long term side effects? How safe are they? How well do they work?
In today’s article, the Nanotech Team will attempt to break down all available research, and present you with the facts.
What Are SARMs?
SARMs, short for “Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators,” are a relatively new class of anabolic compounds, which help users build muscle mass.
They were originally created as a drug to help treat muscle wasting in cancer patients, but bodybuilders and athletes quickly caught on to the potent anabolic effects of these drugs.
SARMs work by binding to androgen receptors in your body, which then signals your muscles to grow, leading to rapid strength gains.
In fact, when compared to other anabolic compounds such as steroids, SARMs work very quickly, and have a relatively short half life.
While many human studies have shown that SARMs are relatively well-tolerated, more research must definitely be done on the long term health effects of taking SARMs, particularly in high doses.
SARMs are so effective at building muscle, that the World Anti-Doping Agency itself has outright banned them from competition. [R]
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators are currently on the WADA list of prohibited substances, meaning athletes are prohibited from using them.
In addition to this, the United States Anti Doping Agency, otherwise known as the USADA, has also banned any athlete from using them.
While the use of SARMs is strictly prohibited in the Olympics, they’re still completely legal to sell for research purposes online.
Currently, selective androgen receptor modulators are not sold as dietary supplements, but rather as “research chemicals” not for human use.
This hasn’t stopped men from buying these products on the internet, however, and using them to gain muscle, grow stronger, and lose fat.
Mechanism of Action
Most anabolic compounds work by binding to androgen receptors in your muscles—this signals them to grow, leading to rapid muscle gains.
What makes SARMs unique, however, is that they are able to selectively target skeletal muscle androgen receptors, which steroids don’t do.
Unlike steroids, which both bind to all androgen receptors AND aromatize in your body, SARMs are much more selective in action.
This means that a user who takes SARMs can expect to achieve effects similar to a low dose of steroids, without common side effects.
This isn’t to say that SARMs don’t have any side effects at all—they clearly do. However, most clinical studies suggest that when used within the recommended dosage, SARMs are relatively safe in most people.
SARMs vs. Steroids
One of the biggest differences between SARMs and steroids is that SARMs don’t aromatize into estrogen, while steroids typically do. [R]
In other words, after taking a steroid such as testosterone enanthate, much of it will be converted into estrogen—which can cause side effects.
SARMs, however, don’t aromatize, meaning that they have steroid-like effects, without the aromatization that comes with most steroids.
The drawback of SARMs, when compared to steroids, is that they tend to put more stress on your liver, as opposed to conventional injectable steroids.
This is why many weight lifters and athletes end up siding with SARMs, in the “SARMs vs. Steroids” debate, after trying just one cycle of SARMs.
Benefits of SARMs
It’s important to understand that there’s many different SARMs, and depending on which SARM you take, you may get slightly different effects.
That being said, the benefits from taking selective androgen receptor modulators are largely the same for everyone—they just vary slightly.
Benefits of taking SARMs include:
- Increased Muscle Mass
- Enhanced Athletic Performance
- Rapid Body Fat Loss
- Improved Strength Gains
- …and more
Most research suggests that SARMs are extremely powerful when it comes to building muscle, hence the hype surrounding these compounds. [R]
Many users report gaining 10, 15, or even 20 pounds of muscle from just one cycle of SARMs, meaning they can completely transform your body.
SARMs For Bodybuilding
Due to the muscle building effects of SARMs, many men are taking them nowadays to get leaner, to lose fat, and to get stronger in the gym.
While SARMs are often marketed as an alternative to steroids, this isn’t quite accurate—SARMs still pose their own unique health risks.
Human studies have shown that SARMs are well tolerated in general, although more research is needed on the long-term health effects.
Regardless, SARMs are still a potent muscle building drug, that are a viable alternative to steroids when it comes to getting stronger and leaner.
As mentioned before, there’s many different types of SARMs. Each of these will have a slightly different effect on your body, although in general, every SARM will help you build muscle and lose fat.
In addition to this, many compounds such as YK-11 and MK-677 are grouped in the “SARMs” category, although they aren’t technically SARMs.
Here’s a list of several popular SARMs on the market right now:
- Ostarine (MK-2866)
- Testolone (RAD-140)
- Ligandrol (LGD-4033)
- Andarine (S4)
- Stenabolic (SR9009)
- …and more
As more testing is done and as dietary organizations begin to fund research on the long term health effects, more SARMs will likely be formulated.
Regardless, let’s present a brief overview of several existing SARMs, the effects you can expect from them, and the clinical research backing them.
Ostarine (MK 2866)
Ostarine, otherwise known as enobosarm or MK-2866, is perhaps one of the most popular and well-researched SARMs in existence. In fact, one study found that even taking 3mg of Ostarine per day leads to big results.
Sixty elderly men were put on various Ostarine dosages for 3 months, and it was found that simply taking 3mg of Ostarine per day led to an increase in muscle mass by 1.4 kg or 3 lbs. [R]
To put this into perspective, many users take up to 50 mg of Ostarine per day, in conjunction with other SARMs, so I’m sure you can only imagine how powerful a SARM like this would be when taken in that dose range.
Testolone (RAD 140)
Another popular SARM, known as RAD 140 shows promising results when it comes to helping users build muscle mass and strength rapidly.
RAD 140, often known by its bro-science “slang” name Testolone, is a serious contender for the strongest SARM on the market right now.
In fact, according to research, RAD 140 is so effective at helping users pack on muscle mass, it’s being considered as treatment for cancer patients suffering from cachexia, or rapid weight loss. [R]
Most of the RAD 140 results that writers and bodybuilders independently report rival a low dose of testosterone enanthate in their effects. In other words, RAD 140 is likely the most potent SARM in existence.
Ligandrol (LGD 4033)
Ligandrol, otherwise known as LGD-4033, was first synthesized by a company known as Ligand Pharmaceuticals, but has since been licensed to a company called Viking Therapeutics, under the name of VK5211. [R]
Otherwise known as LGD4033, Ligandrol is a potent, orally available SARM that helps users gain muscle mass very rapidly, and shred fat just as fast.
The dosage for Ligandrol is typically 10 mg per day, and clinical studies have shown that it’s safe in dosages as high as 20 milligrams per day.
Nutrabol (MK 677)
Nutrabol, sometimes referred to as MK-677, is a growth hormone secretagogue, so is technically not a SARM by mechanism of action.
That being said, this research chemical is often paired with SARMs, as it leads to rapid gains in muscle mass, and increases in growth hormone.
In fact, in a study done in 2001, researchers stated that short-term administration of Nutrabol can increase GH, IGF-1, and IGFBP-3 levels. [R]
Where to Buy SARMs
With so many vendors having SARMs for sale, it’s often difficult to tell where the best place to buy SARMs online would be.
Here at Nanotech, we recommend Science Bio above all other companies, due to the fact that their SARMs are 3rd party verified.
In other words, when you buy SARMs from Science Bio, you can rest assured that they’re at least 99% pure, verified by a laboratory.
If you’re a beginner, we recommend you start off with an Ostarine cycle, perhaps taking one full dropper per day, for 8-12 weeks.
3rd Party Testing
Both the FDA and USADA have warned about SARMs being marketed as dietary supplements, when in fact, they’re laced with prohormones.
Most SARMs products being sold online either have very low doses, or are fake altogether. This is why 3rd party testing is so important.
If you’re going to buy SARMs online, be sure that you get them from a source that uses 3rd party testing, so you know they’re 99% pure.
Most SARMs labeled as dietary supplements are fake, as was exposed in a recent investigation published by the medical journal JAMA. [R]
So, if you do decide to purchase SARMs products online, be sure that the company you purchase from has every batch 3rd party verified.
Side Effects & Safety
While SARMs are largely safe, and while most users who take SARMs experience very manageable side effects, there’s still precautions to take.
Most SARMs will slightly suppress your natural testosterone production, so using a post cycle therapy is definitely recommended.
On cycle therapy isn’t needed by most, unless you decide to take higher dosages of SARMs, in which case an aromatase inhibitor would be useful.
Users taking SARMs may experience the following side effects:
- Mild Back Acne
- Testosterone Suppression
- Decreased HDL Cholesterol
- Mild Liver Toxicity
Again, it’s important to note that most users who take SARMs experience very few negative side effects, as has been verified by research. [R]
This being said, we the Nanotech Team still recommends taking a post cycle therapy at minimum, and potentially an on cycle therapy, as well.
In conclusion, SARMs are a fascinating new class of research chemicals, which when used responsibly, can yield massive muscle gains.
SARMs such as Ostarine, Testolone, and Ligandrol all present phenomenal opportunities to help users transform their physiques quite rapidly.
If you’re interested in buying SARMs online, then look no further than Science Bio—every batch is at least 99% pure, and 3rd party tested.
We hope that you enjoyed our article on SARMs. Always be sure to consult with a medical healthcare professional before trying any new routine.