What are Prohormones?
If you read our Prohormones 101 Guide, you should have some idea of what prohormones are. Essentially, they contain the chemical building blocks of the hormones that our bodies use to build muscle, fortify our bones and increase our strength overall. Prohormones turn into anabolic hormones like dihydrotestosterone (DHT) while blocking the production of others, like estrogen, to give you the massive gains you’re looking for.
The biggest benefit of prohormone bodybuilding supplements is that they’re about as close as you can get to anabolic steroids with far fewer risks. Steroids have proven to be damaging at best and deadly at worst — not to mention, they’re illegal. With prohormones, it’s much easier to determine which hormones work best and the amount you want to take, which leads to far fewer negative side effects than steroids. At the very least, the side effects will not be as severe.
There are a number of other benefits that prohormones have to offer as well:
- Increased strength
- Decreased recovery time
- Greater, faster muscle gains
- Higher rate of fat burn
- More endurance and stamina
Even though prohormones are leaps and bounds better than steroids, they still carry some side effects to watch out for:
- Liver toxicity
- Decreased libido
- Hair loss
- Gynecomastia (in extreme cases)
You can combat these side effects by sticking to a strict on/off cycling schedule, during which you will take prohormones for a few weeks, followed by a few weeks off. On the off weeks, you should take post cycle therapy (PCT) supplements to help you recover and prepare for the next round.
Taking prohormone stacks is another great way to ward off some of the side effects. Some of the best prohormone stacks at Icon Supplements include ingredients to help balance your hormones, protect your liver and other organs and ensure that you achieve the best results possible. And if you’re still uncertain about which prohormone supplement or stack is right for you, you can always consult with your physician before getting started.
What are SARMs?
We’ve also covered what SARMs are at Icon Supplements before, but if you need a refresher, they are chemical compounds that target and stimulate certain androgen receptors to unleash your body’s full potential for muscle growth. SARMs stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators — they were originally developed to try to stop or slow the progression of diseases like osteoporosis and HIV/AIDs that eat away at bones and muscles. But bodybuilders took notice when it was revealed how effective they were at kickstarting muscle gains!
SARMs are the mildest of the bodybuilding supplements you can take, having even fewer side effects than prohormones while still giving you incredible results. That’s because the best SARMs are so good at targeting only your androgen receptors and leaving the rest of your body alone. You may not see any negative side effects at all if you’re only taking one, or a very low dosage, while still seeing great results.
The main benefits of SARMs are:
- Lean muscle growth
- Greater fat burn
- Increased strength
- Stronger bones and joints
- Muscle mass gains
Even the best SARMs can still have some drawbacks, especially if you take them in excess or stack too many of them at a time. When taking a large quantity of SARMs, you could begin to see side effects such as:
- High blood pressure
- Hair loss or hair growth (women)
- Lower sperm count
- Liver toxicity
Because SARMs are milder than prohormones, it may also take a bit longer to see the big results you’re after. However, this can be worth it if you’re just starting out with bodybuilding supplements and want to ease your way in with something that generally has milder side effects. As always, you can consult with a physician before starting to see what would be best for your goals and your unique body chemistry. And remember to pick up PCT supplements to minimize these drawbacks!
Prohormones vs. SARMs
The moment you’ve been waiting for! When considering prohormones vs. SARMs, it can be tricky to figure out what might be best for you. Ultimately, it comes down to your fitness goals, timeline and the amount of side effects you might be willing to endure. SARMs typically have fewer, and less prominent, side effects than prohormones; on the other hand, prohormones give you more significant results in less time. Prohormones have also spent a bit more time in the world of bodybuilding, so experts are more familiar with their side effects and the results they can give you than they are with SARMs.
What about stacking SARMs with prohormones to get the best of both worlds? In most cases, it’s better to stick with one or the other to minimize any side effects that may occur. You can absolutely take advantage of the best prohormone stacks or SARMs stacks to maximize your results while mitigating the drawbacks.