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Knowing about testosterone detection time is important for anyone who might be tested for taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Most bodybuilders, strength athletes and fitness enthusiasts are not concerned with taking testosterone detection tests.
Up to 90 percent of people who use steroids do it for personal use or sports that don’t require a urine test.
The other 10 or so percent could be subject to significant sanctions if they fail a performance enhancing drug screening.
We’ve all seen the headlines about the consequences that high-profile athletes have suffered.
Perhaps the most disappointing in recent memory was Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt who was denied the Olympic “triple-triple” when the relay team forfeited the Gold because another member tested positive for PEDs.
Understanding Testosterone Detection Times
Can anabolic steroids be detected in urine? Yes.
Testosterone detection time will depend on which type you’re taking:
Sustanon-250: This brand blends 4 types of testosterone, has half life of 18 days and can be detected for up to 4 months.
Testosterone Cypionate: This foundational form of testosterone has a half life of 12 days and may be detected for 3 months.
Testosterone Enanthate: Similar to Cypionate, Enanthate delivers the same type of benefits but has a shorter duration. Its half life stands at 10.5 days and may be detected for 3 months.
Testosterone Propionate: This fast-acting, short-term medication has a half life of 3 days and may be detected for only 3 weeks.
Testosterone Suspension: This no ester synthetic form of testosterone has a half life of only 24 hours and may be detected for only 2 days.
Keep in mind that detection times will differ from person to person, and there is some disagreement on the precise detection times, never mind the fact that technology is improving, which may make drugs detectable for longer in the future.
How Testosterone Tests Work
A routine steroid test compares your testosterone to epitestosterone levels.
The average male consistently generates 4 parts of testosterone to 1 part of epitestosterone.
When people take steroids, the testosterone level increases but the epitestosterone does not.
Basically, if you test for a 6-1 ratio, that prompts additional screenings such as a Carbon-Isotope Ratio test.
Tour de France Champ Floyd Landis was deemed a “doper” in this fashion. Additional testing is generally required because levels can become naturally elevated in some circumstances. Athletes need to pass the first test without issue.
Detection Time of Oral Steroids
Oral anabolic and androgenic synthetic hormones tend to be faster acting than their injectable counterparts.
The potency in the system tends to be shorter lived as well. Following that same logic, they clear detection in the system faster.
In other words, your testosterone detection time will be faster if you take the tablets over the injections.
Here is an overview of several prominent oral steroids.
Anadrol (oxymetholone): Considered the strongest oral on the market, it enjoys a half life of 16 hours and has a potential detection time of approximately 8 weeks.
Anavar (oxandrolone): Known for its lean tissue building quality, it has a half life on 12 hours and detection time of only 3 weeks.
Dianabol (methandrostenolone): This prominent bulking drug has a half life of 8 hours and detection time of 6 weeks.
Primobolan (methenolone): A common cutting drug, it has a half life of 6 hours and detection time of 6 weeks.
Clenbuterol: Not technically a steroid, but still used by athletes, it has a half life of 26 hours and a detection time of 2-6 days.
Nolvadex: Used in post cycle therapy, it has a half life of 5-7 days and is detectable in urine up to 2 months later.
The common denominator among oral steroids may be “fast in, fast out.”
Detection Time of Injectable Steroids
Injectable forms of testosterone comprise the foundation of many performance enhancing steroid cycles.
They are considerably more stable and long lasting.
Injectables generally pose less side effect risk because they do not pass through the liver and digestive system like oral tablets.
In terms of passing a urine test, one way to look at injectable steroids may be “slow in, slow out.” That means you will need to ween off of injectables much sooner than pills to restore your testosterone-epitestosterone ratio to 4-1.
Steroid Detection Times & Half-Life
Here is an overview of the half life and detection times of some of the more widely used synthetic hormones.
Deca Durabolin (nandrolone-decanoate): This prominent tissue building synthetic hormone has a half life of 15 days and can be detected up to 18 months.
Equipoise (boldenone-undecylenate): This veterinary anabolic has a half life of 15 days and may be detected for approximately 5 months.
Masteron (drostanolone-propionate): This relative fast-acting testosterone has a half life of 3 days and detection time of only 3 weeks.
Masteron (drostanolone-enanthate): A slower acting form of drostanolone, it has a half life 8 days and detection time of 3 months.
NPP or Durabolin (testosterone-phenylpropionate): A somewhat less common steroid, it has a half life of 5-6 days and may be detected for 18 months. A lesser known name for the drug is norethandrolone.
Parabolin (trenbolone-hexahydrobenzylcarbonate): Another relatively fast-acting drug, it enjoys a half life of 6 days and may be detected for about 5 weeks.
Trenbolone Acetate: Another powerfully fast-acting injectable, its half life runs 3 days and may be detected for approximately 5 months.
Trenbolone Enanthate: Slightly slower acting, this type of Trenbolone has a half life of 8 days and can be detected for 5 months.
Winstrol Depot (stanozol): This veterinary drug has a half life of 24 hours and may be detected for 9 weeks.
Passing A Urine Test
Unlike other unauthorized substances, testosterone cannot be purged pre-test. The news media reported on several NFL draft candidates that failed drug tests based on a “diluted” urine test sample.
Sometimes athletes can overhydrate the body to flush the system. Steroids cannot be masked in this way.
Long lasting forms of testosterone tend to linger in the system longer than those with a shorter active life.
The best way to pass a test is to calculate the detection time of synthetic hormones and stop taking them with enough time for the body for return to the average 4-1 level. It really comes down to simple math regarding your testosterone detection time.