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Using peptide hormones in sport isn’t as well known of a practice as boosting performance with anabolic steroids.
In fact, many people have never even heard of them, and don’t understand their relationship with steroids.
But here’s the thing: they’re both hormones.
While compounds like testosterone and estrogen are steroid hormones, those like Human Growth Hormone (HGH) are peptide hormones.
Just like steroids, peptide hormones can be used to increase your gains in the gym and prime your body into an anabolic state that is optimal for bodybuilding.
For those unfamiliar with peptide hormones and their benefits, we’re going to outline them below and the ways that you can use both their synthetic and natural forms to get the physique that you want.
Peptide Hormones in Sport
There are a few peptide hormones that are most commonly used in sport, including the following:
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
Each have their own unique effects on the body, but the end result is often the same: increased athletic performance.
HGH is responsible for initiating cell reproduction, cell growth, and cell regeneration, and is an essential component of human and animal development.
Classified as a 191-amino acid, single-chain polypeptide, it is created, stored, and released by the anterior pituitary gland’s somatotropic cells.
For bodybuilders, its important bodily functions are crucial for putting on muscle mass and cutting body fat.
But how exactly does it accomplish this?
When HGH levels are high, it causes an increase in Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), which is essential for protein synthesis and the creation of muscle.
It also works with HGH to create muscle fibers, and increases nitrogen retention. And since muscles are composed of nitrogen, this is important for bulking.
In terms of cutting, HGH boosts metabolism, leading to an environment conducive to the loss of body fat.
The problem with human growth hormone is that it comes with side effects:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Flu like symptoms
Enlarged feet, hands or jaws
Irritated injection area
HCG & LH
Both HCG, a hormone created by the placenta, and LH, a hormone created by gonadotropic cells located in the anterior pituitary gland, can be used to increase muscle mass in males.
The end result of supplementing with these compounds is the same: an increase in testosterone production and a restoration in testicular mass.
This can offset the shrinkage experienced by some bodybuilders after using anabolic steroids for long periods of time.
aEPO is a glycoprotein that controls red blood cell production.
When working out, your red blood cells transport oxygen to your muscles, giving them the power output needed to work at their peak.
This is the reason that products such as Anadrol, and its natural counterpart Anadrole, are so popular.
But these aren’t the only compounds that can accomplish this: EPO can too.
Using EPO, you can increase the rate of maturation of the red blood cells located in your bone marrow.
What this means is more red blood cells in your blood, and in turn an increase in your body’s ability to bring oxygen into your muscles and other cells that create energy during exercise.
And this is important: more oxygen means less fatigue.
By giving your body more oxygen, you can work out for longer and harder and reduce your muscle fatigue.
However, it also comes with serious side effects including:
Increased blood pressure
Irritated injection area
HGH and EPO are both illegal to use without a prescription, and athletes caught using peptide hormones such as these will be banned.
While LH itself is not illegal, many synthetic anabolic steroids act on the pituitary gland to induce its release and increase testosterone levels.
If your testosterone levels are too high, this could result in you being banned from your sport.
Just like synthetic anabolic steroids, peptide hormones may help you achieve results impossible without using them.
But they also have another thing in common: side effects.
HGH carries a host of potential side effects given its crucial nature for human development, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and abnormal growth.
Using LH can cause abdominal or stomach pain, bloating, chest pain, nausea, and vomiting.
EPO is known for increasing your risk of heart problems and stroke.
Are these potential dangers worth it? That’s really up to you to decide.
But if you’re considering using any of them, it’s worth looking into the available natural alternatives
With such a high demand for anabolic steroids, peptide hormones, and other substances that aim to increase levels of testosterone, red blood cells, and other human processes related to performance, it’s no surprise that natural alternatives are becoming widely available.
Below are some of the best substitutes for the peptide hormones that we explored above.
HGH-X2 works by stimulating your pituitary gland to release HGH into your blood, which translates into fast loss, lean muscle gains, and decreased recovery times.
Testo-Max increases your body’s LH levels, which in turn increases your testosterone levels and primes you for increases in strength, energy, power, muscle size, and performance.
Meanwhile, Anadrole boosts red blood cell production similar to its synthetic counterpart, Anadrol, giving your muscles an increased supply of oxygen, decreasing your fatigue, and allowing you to get those massive muscle gains.
Peptide hormones in sport are becoming more and more common. But with this increase in use is an increase in focus on testing for them.
If you want something to help you get gains without the worry of being banned from your sport, experiencing unwanted side effects, or purchasing illegal products, we recommended the natural alternatives above.