Let’s get the obvious out of the way first…
If your goal is to build a substantial amount of muscle in the shortest amount of time, then steroids will trump all-natural test boosters combined, all day, any day.
I’m not going to feed you a bunch of BS and tell you that natural testosterone boosters work better than steroids. They do not. Not even close!
You’re probably thinking ‘That was a short, quick answer…so what is this post really about?’
Here’s what you’ll learn in this post…
- The real difference between test boosters and steroids (this is for newbies, but still worth reading if you’re seasoned)
- How natural test boosters work
- How steroids work
- Pros and cons of natural test boosters
- Pros and cons of taking steroids
- True comparison of natural test boosters vs steroids
Differences Between Natural Test Boosters and Anabolic Steroids
It’s evident that there are some major differences between test boosters you can buy over the counter and steroids. But what exactly are they?
Natural testosterone boosters are typically herbal-based formulas. The majority of them are built on formulas containing vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that work together to support healthy hormones.
You may also find some forms of amino acids and other substances that are naturally found in your body, in some testosterone boosters.
Steroids, or rather anabolic steroids, are synthetic versions of your hormones, as defined at medlineplus.gov. Even though your body produces testosterone, anabolic steroids are an unnatural source.
How Natural Test Boosters Work
Let’s dig into how natural test boosters work. And it’s actually quite interesting.
Testosterone boosters have one simple job: to replace deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that your body needs to produce its own testosterone.
As explained above, the goal is to balance hormones by replenishing micronutrient deficiencies that men are prone to have as they get older.
Some common deficiencies that impact testosterone are:
- Vitamin D
- B Vitamins
It’s important to know that natural testosterone boosters do not work well on their own. To benefit, they require effort on your part.
The idea of providing your body with sufficient amounts of these micronutrients is so that you can work out harder, gain muscle, and lose body fat. All of these things work in conjunction, and the test booster will further enhance your results.
**You can read more details about how these supplements work in my post: How Does Testosterone Help Build Muscle?
How Anabolic Steroids Work
It’s important to note that anabolic steroids are illegal without a doctor’s prescription in most countries. And only a small percentage of anabolic steroids are approved for the purposes of medical treatment, per cesar.umd.edu.
These types of steroids are used primarily to gain muscle mass and to gain a performance edge. They work by helping your muscles recover faster from workouts.
They also help you work out harder and more often. The effect is, as you guessed, bigger muscles.
People are often misguided into thinking that they can take steroids and magically look like The Incredible Hulk overnight.
Steroids do work, and they work quite well, but your results are determined by the effort you put into your workouts, as mentioned on the website healthy.ny.gov. In other words, you can’t just stick a needle in your rear and expect to automatically get jacked.
Pros and Cons of Over the Counter Test Boosters
In this section, you and I are going to dive deeper into the pros and cons of taking a natural testosterone booster. And we’ll do the same with steroids after this.
Remember, natural test boosters are supplements you can buy over the counter or online without prescription, at places like Amazon, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, etc.
**Sometimes test boosters at brick and mortar stores will be in a special section, and often locked (just a heads up). I think this is sort of a marketing scam to make the supplements look more prestigious and desirable.
Pros of Natural Test Boosters
- Does not include synthetic or unnatural ingredients
- Ensures you’re getting adequate micronutrients
- Will gradually help you build muscle and burn fat
- You’re likely to keep all of your gains when you cycle off (read my post about cycle test boosters here)
- Great for overall health, in general
- Helps balance and maintain healthy hormone levels
- Known to truly increase libido and drive
- In most cases, there are no negative side effects
- Extremely safe
- Relatively inexpensive
Cons of Natural Test Boosters
- Can take several weeks to start noticing the effects
- Results are not substantial
- Some may not respond at all (as far as muscle growth)
- Difficult to measure whether it truly increases testosterone levels
Pros and Cons of Taking Steroids
Now let’s take a deep look at the pros and cons of anabolic steroids. The information below does not suggest that you should take any illegal substances. But some people will choose to take that risk.
This can be a temptation to weight lifters or anyone who cares about how they look. So it’s important to know the full spectrum of both the good and bad (sometimes we just look at the benefits without knowing all the risks involved).
Pros of Anabolic Steroids
- Gives your body the ability to build muscle faster
- Helps you work out harder and more intense
- You can workout more because of the shorter recovery time
- Bottom line, they work for muscle gains
Cons of Anabolic Steroids
- Temporarily shuts down your natural testosterone production
- Can have cosmetic side effects (acne, balding)
- The higher the dose, the greater the potential health risks such as liver and kidney disease, and potential tumors and cysts (per drugs.com)
- Some claim they can cause aggressive behavior
- You must cycle off at some point
- You will likely lose most of your gains when you cycle off
- You’ll be required to take post cycle therapy (PCT)
- Very expensive (whether you get them from a doctor or not)
- If you’re not getting it from a doctor, it can be difficult and risky to find (and you won’t really know what you’re putting into your body)
- Possible legal implications
Natural Test Boosters VS Steroids
You can see that taking steroids is more promising when it comes to muscle gains. However, there could be a hefty price tag attached. And you really don’t want to take risks when it comes to your health.
You may not experience fast or substantial gains with natural test boosters. But if you’re in it for the long game, it’s a much safer route.
Also, over time, natural testosterone boosters could actually be considered more effective than steroids in some cases.
Think if you were to take one or the other for an entire year…
With a natural test booster, you can technically stay on it that entire time. If you’re training hard and eating the right types of foods, you can expect to make some decent gains.
Best of all, if you stop taking that test booster, you’ll keep the majority of your gains. And because of the high macronutrient profile, you’ll be in better health.
With anabolic steroids, first of all, you can’t take them that long with cycling off (or at least you shouldn’t). One you do cycle off, you can expect to lose a lot of your gains. There’s also no nutrient profile with steroids, not to mention there are the health risks of taking them.
So think long term, both in muscle gains and with your health!
**If you’d like to read about my recommend test booster, click here.