Steroids Half-Life Calculator & Detection Times Chart

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What is considered to be the “half-life” of a steroid?

It is the amount of time it takes for the level of steroid in your body to deplete to half of the originally administered amount.

If you understand how steroid half-lives work, you will become familiar with the best way to take steroids safely for the desired effects.

It will affect how frequently you take it and how long the steroid is detectable in your body.

For physique builders, correct timing of anabolic steroid administration requires a thorough understanding of half-life.

Without grasping the concept of half-life, bodybuilders warn that users may not be able to achieve optimal peak blood plasma levels of the drug in the body.

This can result in a wasted money and adverse health outcomes.

Steroids Half-Life

The values vary significantly between steroids.

Take for example 3 commonly sought after steroids.

Q: What is the half life of testosterone enanthate?

A: 8 days

Q: What is the half life of Deca?

A: 6-15 days

Q: What is the half life of Stanozolol?

A: 8 hours

As the steroids half life chart below will show you, the range is quite striking.

Also, there is considerable variation in reported half lives of anabolic steroids between different bodybuilding websites.

The numbers shown were compiled from various sources online, but have not been scientifically verified.

Half-life and detection times will also vary on the individual.

Typically, injectable steroids have a much longer half-life than oral steroids, so we’ve broken the two up into two different charts.

Oral Steroids Half Lives & Detection Times

To avoid needing a steroids half life calculator, here are some of the most common oral steroids.

Injection Half-Life vs Oral Half-Life

Several aspects impact anabolic steroid half-lives, a few of which are: esterification, administration route, and metabolism resistance.

The administration route has a substantial effect an anabolic steroid’s half-life.

There are two main administration routes for anabolic steroids: injectable and oral.

An alternative route would be through gels, transdermal patches, or creams, which are applied topically.

That said, the use of anabolic steroids with the intent of performance and physique improvement is usually accomplished through either injection or oral administration.

There are other approaches of administration like nasal and sublingual applications, as well as implantation pellets, but these aren’t very popular.

The orally administrated steroids come with the briefest steroid half-lives. This is because most oral steroids are not esterified and are taken in their pure and active form.

Since the oral administration route offers no delay of anabolic steroid release to the bloodstream, activation of the hormones occurs right away.

Upon arrival into the bloodstream (once they make the initial pass through the liver), the effects can be quite immediate.

While such oral anabolic steroids undergo an initial pass through the liver, hepatic metabolism by the liver won’t put the brakes on the release of hormones into the bloodstream in most cases.

One reason the half-lives of oral steroids are briefer than the consumable counterpart is their prompt exposure to liver metabolism, which expedites quicker metabolism and purging of the hormone in and out of the body.

Oral anabolic steroid half-lives typically vary between 4 hours to 2 days, based on what anabolic steroid was taken.

There are a couple of different injectable anabolic steroids, the first of which are oil-based injectables.

They create a deposit in the muscle tissue in which they are inserted before being moderately released from the injection site into the bloodstream.

The second kind is water-based injectables called suspensions, where the hormone is frozen in water-based microcrystals.

After water-based suspensions are inserted into muscle tissue, the microcrystals are circulated upon disbursement into the bloodstream.

Usually, injectable steroid half-lives are lengthier than the half-lives of oral anabolic steroids. This is due to the nature of water and oil-based injections, which are developed to form a deposit in the muscle tissue they are inserted into.

The drug is released from the injection site into the bloodstream days or hours after injection. This can substantially prolong the half-lives of steroids.

However, there is an extra property of many injectables that prolongs the steroid’s half-lives further: esterification.

Esterification & Half-Life

Almost every injectable anabolic steroid, particularly oil-based ones, are esterified to prolong their half-life.

This makes them more fat-soluble so that they dissolve in the oil carrying it without any issues.

The exceptions to this are Stanozolol (Winstrol) and Testosterone Suspension, which are injectable anabolic steroids that aren’t esterified.

Half-lives of injectable anabolic steroids can vary between 1 to 15 days based on the type of anabolic steroid taken, if it’s esterified, and what type of ester is binding it.

Esterification is maybe the most influential property in the various half-lives of steroids.

Esterification is a process whereby a carboxylic acid attaches itself to the 17-beta-hydroxyl group of an anabolic steroid. This kind of bonding is called an ester bond (aka esterification).

The carboxylic acids that are esterified to an anabolic steroid are of unique and differing lengths, generally in carbon chain form. The more time the carbon chain of the carboxylic acid needs, the more time the anabolic steroid’s half-life will be prolonged.

Upon injection of an anabolic steroid, it is released into the bloodstream from the injection site at a moderate pace. Then, the body’s esterase enzymes will separate the anabolic steroid from its ester once in the bloodstream.

Lengthier ester bonds will warrant more time for such enzymes to liberate the hormone from the ester.

However, after the anabolic steroid hormone is released from the ester, what remains is an active and pure anabolic steroid that is ready to perform in the body.

For instance, un-estered and pure Testosterone displays a half-life of about 4 to 24 hours, while Testosterone Propionate displays a half-life of 4.5 days. Testosterone Enanthate displays an even lengthier half-life of 7 to 10 days in the body.

Esterification was intentionally developed by scientists in the 1930s for the sake of purposefully prolonging the half-life of various anabolic steroids.

Many anabolic steroids, if un-esterified, will display a very minimal half-life, making them useless for clinical or performance use because they warrant way too many injections.

Esterification properly prolongs the half-life of anabolic steroids to durations that would warrant much less injection frequency, and as such, offer more comfortable injection schedules.

How Do Steroids Work?

What causes steroid levels to deplete in the body over time? The three metabolic processes: absorption, degradation, and elimination.

The function of absorption is when the steroid is taken into the system and is working the way it’s supposed to.

Degradation is the breaking down of the steroid’s chemical structure, in preparation to be eliminated from the body.

Elimination is when the steroid remnants leave the body through evacuation.

Steroids Active Life

The active life of a steroid is another important concept to understand.

Besides a half-life, every steroid also has what is called steroids active life.

Confusion often surrounds these terms, as they sound like they might be synonymous. However, they are not.

The half-life is NOT the total amount of time it takes for a steroid to be found active within the body, because it can take multiple half-lives before it is totally inactive.

Instead, the active life is how long the steroid produces the desired effect for the user, because there is still enough of the substance remaining in the system.

Some bodybuilders will use half-life as a reference for active life, since the effectiveness of the drug is greatly reduced at 50% blood levels from the original dosage.

The term “active half-life” is often used in these cases, and while this may incorrectly conflate two different terms, it can also serve as helpful shorthand.

When an active half-life has passed, the drug is still active, but it is not nearly active enough for the purpose of physique and bodybuilding.

Frequently Asked Questions about Half-Life

What is half-life?

The concept of a half-life is important to the comprehension of all substances, drugs, and foods consumed.

The idea of a half-life is not restricted to drugs, like steroids.

This is applicable to just about every science discipline: biology, physics, chemistry, and more. There are numerous descriptions of what a half-life entails, but; they only vary moderately.

The basic idea of a half-life – with regards to pharmacology and biology – is the duration necessary for a drug, substance, or food to be lowered to half of the initial administered dose once taken.

For instance, if 100mg of Testosterone Propionate is injected into someone, and it comes with a half-life of 4.5 days, then in 4.5 days, just 50mg of the compound will be left over in the individual’s body.

The idea of steroid half-lives allows performance the users to comprehend the duration of a specific drug or anabolic steroid’s effects actively lingers in the body once taken.

In bodybuilding communities, it is felt to be key to bettering and planning a steroid cycle properly.

What is peak blood level?

The outcome and gains yielded from anabolic steroids aren’t observed until peak blood levels are accomplished in the body.

The longer the half-life of an anabolic steroid, the more time will be needed for the gains to ‘kick-in’ during the cycle.

Maintaining stable blood plasma levels of the steroid with regular administrations prior to the end of the anabolic steroid’s half-life is felt to help the user create a comfortable cycle without any side effects.

According to experienced PED users, avoiding valleys and peaks in levels of blood plasma means the chances of enduring side effects are reduced.

How does hepatic breakdown influence half-life?

The amount of resistance to the body’s metabolism has an impact on the half-life of a specific anabolic steroid.

For instance, several oral anabolic steroids display a half-life of 4 hours, while others will display a half-life of 24 hours. This is due to several anabolic steroids being substantially more immune to metabolism in the liver (and other areas).

Because they aren’t broken down as fast or easily, the anabolic steroid displays a lengthier half-life in the body.

Overall, though, any medication, food, anabolic steroid, element, and chemical at some point is metabolized and removed from the body – no drug or anabolic steroid will remain active in the body forever.

Should you dose on the last day of the half-life of the steroid?

For therapeutic medical usage, anabolic steroid administration on the final day of its half-life is feasible.

But for physique and performance improvement, the dosage and administration protocol are held to be dramatically different.

The goal at this stage is not for therapeutic use, but instead, for higher performance and/or strength and muscle mass.

By the time the half-life has elapsed, the levels of the drug in the bloodstream will have declined leading to the peak and valley effect that bodybuilders try to avoid.

What is the Half Life of Testosterone?

We covered 3 popular forms of testosterone already, but what about the others?

Testosterone is such a cornerstone steroid that it is worth elaborating on the different half-life associated with its different esters.

The following is a complete list for your reference:

Every single testosterone ester has its unique half-life, which is shown in this chart:

Testosterone Propionate: 2-4.5 days

Testosterone Cypionate 8-12 days

Testosterone Decanoate: 15 days

Testosterone Undecanoate: 16.5 days

Testosterone Isocaproate: 9 days

Testosterone Suspension: 4-24 hours

Testosterone Phenylpropionate: 4-4.5 days

Testosterone Enanthate: 8-10 days

Testosterone Gel: 8-22 hours (not fully known yet)

Omnadren/Sustanon: 15 days

Dosage & When To Take

Since there are individual half-lives for various anabolic steroids out there, not all anabolic steroids can be taken the same way or in the same frequency.

Methandrostenolone (Dianabol), for instance, displays a half-life of about 4 to 6 hours, which may need numerous daily administrations to maintain stable blood levels of the hormone. The same can’t be said for Stanozolol (Winstrol), which comes with a 9-hour half-life in the body.

For physique and performance improvement, regular intake of anabolic steroids helps maintain optimal and stable levels of blood plasma levels of the drug.

Physique builders regularly exceed medically recommended dosages, and engage in a greater injection frequency, to maintain maximum levels of peak blood plasma quantities of the hormone.

Although the body produces endogenous Testosterone in the range of 70mg/week, the Testosterone dosage necessary for performance and physique improvement is believed to sit substantially over that.

Often a minimum dosage falls between 300 – 500mg each week for new users. Experienced and/or intermediate users of anabolic steroids may try even more than that.

Besides the higher bodybuilding dosage, injections are taken more often.

Although TRT patients manage an individual administration of 250 mg Testosterone Enanthate once weekly (or once every other week as clinically applied), a bodybuilder or athlete will normally take 250mg of Testosterone Enanthate two times weekly (for 500mg in total) for the sake of fostering a regular onset of physique and performance improvements.

A regular, steady level of peak blood amounts of the anabolic steroid in the body is required for ongoing biological activity inside the body’s muscle tissue.

Testosterone Enanthate displays a half-life of 7 to 10 days, and acute reductions in blood plasma levels start to happen several days prior to the half-life period’s end.

When physique and performance improvement is the gaol, the dosage administration usually happens more often for the sake of maintaining elevated levels of blood pressure.

For medical reasons like TRT, acute rises, valleys, and peaks in levels of blood plasma can be afforded (while it’s still not ideal) as the patient is merely using Testosterone to acquire regular physiological levels.

The administration of anabolic steroids on a weekly or daily basis is normally divided evenly for each dosage.

For instance, if a person is to take 500mg weekly of 500mg of Testosterone Enanthate via a couple of weekly injections, they would normally take 250mg for each injection.

Someone taking 50mg of Dianabol daily will often take their doses once every 2 to 4 hours.

The following are extra approaches to consider:

Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) half-life: 4 – 6 hours. Typical frequency of administration by steroid users: once every two to four hours

Testosterone Propionate half-life: 4.5 days. Typical frequency of injection by steroid users: daily (every other day at the least)

Trenbolone Acetate half-life: 3 days. Typical frequency of injection by steroid users: daily (every other day at the least)

Testosterone Cypionate half-life: 10 – 12 days. Typical frequency of injection by steroid users: a couple of times weekly; each injection divided evenly between one another (for instance, Tuesday and Friday)

Testosterone Suspension half-life: 4 – 24 hours. Typical frequency of injection by steroid users: several times daily (once per day at the least)

It is not as simple as taking your steroid before you go to work out. Taking a steroid for the first time before lifting weights for the first time is a very bad idea.

For many steroids, eight weeks is usually a good minimum amount of time for the on-cycle, with 12 weeks being a good maximum on-cycle time – but obviously this will depend on the steroid.

The off-cycle should usually be the same amount of time as the on-cycle. On-cycle, of course, is the term for when you are using a steroid on a regular basis, and off-cycle is when you are off the steroid.

Detection time differs greatly from the steroids half-life, of course. Knowing both are important for anyone considering taking them.

Half-lives are ranges and approximations that carry implications for how anabolic steroids are administered.

Half-lives are vulnerable to someone’s unique metabolism, as some people report a metabolizing hormones quickly, while others say they it takes them longer.

For instance, although there is only a 7 to 10-day half-life of Testosterone Enanthate, some people may metabolize the compound within five days, while others may metabolize it within 12.

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