Do ‘Natural Steroid’ Alternatives Work?

Dianabol is one of the most popular anabolic steroids among bodybuilders and athletes looking to bulk up and add lean muscle mass. Unfortunately, it is also highly dangerous and illegal.

Dianobal meanwhile is a supplement from a company called ‘Crazy Mass’ that claims it can do all the same things while being completely legal, natural and safe.

Hmmm.

What Are Natural Steroid Alternatives?

Crazy Mass and Dianobal aren’t the only examples of these ‘natural steroids’ to be fair. You don’t have to look far at all to find examples of companies and products that claim to bring ‘steroid-like’ results without any of the side effects of legal issues.

I find it hard to imagine though that anyone buys into this promise completely. Because surely the logic follows that if you could get ‘steroid results’ without side effects, nobody would be using steroids?

And also, every guy would be covered in thick, powerful muscle?

Despite this though, these products still manage to sell in relatively big quantities and that’s because they’ve done a very good job of explaining how their snake-oil products allegedly work.

Basically, what you have here is a testosterone booster.

That means that it contains things like tribulus terrestris, ZMA and l-arginine. These are all ingredients that have been shown in laboratory settings to be able to increase testosterone production and thereby enhance muscle mass and fat loss.

So the claim then is, that by combining lots of these ingredients together, these products can offer profound effects on testosterone, just the same way that steroids can.

Logical, right?

Why Crazy Mass Products Don’t Work

But the problem with this is that the effects that these individual ingredients have been shown to have are tiny. Normally the studies are on mice, or they’re using extremely high doses and even then, the change in levels of testosterone isn’t anywhere near what you’d really get from using something like Dianabol.

ZMA is just Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6 after all. These are important nutrients sure, but they won’t transform you into the hulk!

In fact, it’s not even conclusive that some of these ingredients do work. One study on tribulus from 2007 found this:

“Twenty-two Australian elite male rugby league players (mean +/- SD; age = 19.8 +/- 2.9 years; weight = 88.0 +/- 9.5 kg) were match-paired and randomly assigned in a double-blind manner to either a T. terrestris (n = 11) or placebo (n = 11) group. All subjects performed structured heavy resistance training as part of the club’s preseason preparations. A T. terrestris extract (450 mg.d(-1)) or placebo capsules were consumed once daily for 5 weeks. Muscular strength, body composition, and the urinary T/E ratio were monitored prior to and after supplementation. After 5 weeks of training, strength and fat free mass increased significantly without any between-group differences. No between-group differences were noted in the urinary T/E ratio. It was concluded that T. terrestris did not produce the large gains in strength or lean muscle mass that many manufacturers claim can be experienced within 5-28 days.”

Just to summarise then, the terrestris had the exact same effect as the placebo in terms of muscle building and had no measurable impact on testosterone in the urine (1).

L-arginine meanwhile is the precursor to nitric oxide, which is correlated with testosterone. But it’s also available in the diet and produced naturally by the body (it’s considered a semi-essential amino acid) and it’s not clear how much you’d have to take in order to see any noticeable effects.

Moreover, nitric oxide isn’t even an entirely good thing. It has actually been implicated in Alzheimer’s and other forms of age-related cognitive decline in fact (2). But you probably don’t have to worry about that either – because consuming tiny amounts of l-arginine isn’t going to make much of a difference.

Prohormone

The other kind of ‘alternative’ to steroids we have are prohormones. Prohormones are simply precursors to hormones, which means that they provide the building blocks that the body uses to create hormones.

In many ways, consuming prohormones isn’t that much different from getting testosterone injections. While the muscle-building effects are significantly milder, the same potential risk applies to natural testosterone production and to the liver. And although there are some prohormones available that you can buy legally, most are now banned anyway.

Conclusion

In short then, you shouldn’t waste your money on products that claim they can naturally produce the same results of steroids. Either these are potent prohormones which aren’t natural or safe and are actually illegal in most cases, or they’re mild ‘testosterone boosters’ that are based on very limited research.

Crazy Mass falls into the latter category. These products aren’t going to cause you any harm but they’re also unlikely to bring about any real changes. Seeing as they’re very expensive, that’s just not a good enough reason to try them.

Forget raising your testosterone to steroid levels then and instead focus on training and eating right. The gains will come!



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Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki is a full time writer who spends most of his time in the coffee shops of London. Adam has a BSc in psychology and is an amateur bodybuilder with a couple of competition wins to his name. His other interests are self improvement, general health, transhumanism and brain training. As well as writing for websites and magazines, he also runs his own sites and has published several books and apps on these topics.

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