When we made the choice to use performance enhancement drugs in order to increase muscle mass and fat loss, we take for granted that we know what’s the best approach for us regarding dieting, as we know, steroids do not work appropriately without a correct nutritional regime. Therefore they shall not be taken as an easy way out to achieve your goals.
In this article I’m going to explain some general nutritional guidelines which aim is to maximise results and reduce the damage from a steroid cycle.
As you may already know, there are certain biological processes that take place with steroids for which they operate their positive and negative effects on our body. One of these major processes is the increase in protein synthesis. With an increase in protein synthesis there’s also an increase in the daily protein requirement. This is one reason for an increase hunger feeling during a steroid cycle, an anabolic state induced by the exogenous hormones drives the body to crave for more nutrients and calories in order to satisfy the muscular repair and recovery process enhanced by the protein synthesis. So, regardless of your goal, it’s recommended to raise the protein intake from your diet.
With an increase an an accelerated muscle repair and recovery process, there will also be an increment in the requirements of those micronutrients involved in those anabolic processes, such as vitamins and minerals. Especially those involved in the metabolism of macronutrients like the vitamin B group.
When altering the anabolic/catabolic balance with exogenous hormones, the human body tends to restore the balance (homeostasis), by increasing the production of catabolic hormones like cortisol. This is usually a process that takes place in a relatively slow time frame (5-8 weeks), after which a rise in cortisol can be noticed. Vitamin C has demonstrated some decent cortisol suppression activity at relatively high doses (above 3000mg per day, fractioned in smaller amounts throughout the day). This is a mildly effective way to counteract the production of cortisol after the first weeks of a cycle and during the whole PCT.
By introducing exogenous androgens, the production of endogenous testosterone will be partially or totally reduced. The natural production of testosterone requires cholesterol, the raw material that gets converted into testosterone by testes. The partial or goal shut down of this process induced by steroids may easily result in an excessive build up of cholesterol in the blood stream, including LDL cholesterol. There are some nutritional considerations that should be adopted in order to contrast this side effect, such as the limitation in saturated fats consumption, the introduction or increase of foods rich in soluble fibres like oats, and the increased consumption in unsaturated fats, especially omega 3, necessary to control LDL cholesterol and safeguard the cardiac activity.
The majority of oral steroids belong to a class of steroids called 17 alpha alkylated steroids. This variation in their molecule puts some particular stress on the liver. For that reason the alcohol consumption and deep fried foods must be heavily reduced or avoided. These items can be both dangerous for your health and hinder your gains at the same time, so make sure you stay away from them while you’re on a cycle!
On another note, there are certain supplements and herbal remedies that can aid and protect your liver function while you’re using oral steroids. Some of those include Liv 52, N-acetyl-cysteine, UDCA and TUDCA, I would rather not include milk thistle or any other product that contains sillymarin, as I will explain on another article why it would hinder your gains. alcuni
With regard to other famous supplements like creatine, they can be useful both on cycle and off cycle or PCT, but make sure you keep cycling it! Creatine is particularly recommended for those users looking to increase their strength, as steroids do cause an increment in phosphocreatine synthesis. It’s definitely a good perk to keep on PCTs, along with arginine and pre workouts in order to contrast the decreased mental focus and performance compared to being on a cycle,
Having a look on testosterone booster supplements, there are some useful ones, worth to introduce in our PCTs. Taurine, for example, has shown its importance protecting the testicular activity preventing a total shut down during a cycle and during a PCT. Other supplements that have demonstrated a discrete testosterone booster activity in low testosterone phases include vitamin D and E, Zinc, D-aspartic acid and carnitine.
If you’re coming off a cutting cycle and a caloric deficit from your diet, it is advisable that you raise your calories back during your PCT, as the anabolic/catabolic ratio, by then it will be definitely be in favour of catabolic, ending up burning more muscle than fat.
These are brief general guidelines. For more detailed information or specific consultations contact me at email@example.com or through the red widget on my website.
Anderson R, Fickl H, Jogessar V, Nieman DC, Peters EM. Vitamin C supplementation attenuates the increases in circulating cortisol, adrenaline and anti-inflammatory polypeptides following ultramarathon running, Int J Sports Med. 2001
Daniel E. Hilleman, PharmDe J. Chris Bradberry, PharmD. Overview of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Therapies,P T. 2013
Beck FW, Brewer GJ, Hess JW, Mantzoros CS, Prasad AS. Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults, Nutrition. 1996