Anavar VS Winstrol - Which is Better or Worse?

Anavar VS Winstrol – Which is Better or Worse?

Updated August 18, 2020
This page may reference and describe prescription drugs, steroids, or steroid-like substances that are not available without a prescription from a licensed physician, or sometimes, illegal in the United States. We are not under any circumstances endorsing or recommending you take such substances. We reference such substances for informational purposes or only to compare them with legal nutritional supplements. You can read up on the side effects of steroids to learn more.


When summer arrives, gym-goers are eager to show off a lean and toned physique when they visit the beach.

Some men and women need additional help, in combination with their diet and workouts; Unfortunately, some turn to steroids. Anabolic steroids have the power to reduce a person’s body fat, whilst simultaneously packing on muscle quickly. Consequently, when a gym rat takes off their shirt or puts on their bikini; they can feel confident, with others left admiring their bodies.

Steroids that burn fat and increase muscle definition are known as cutting steroids.

Cutting is the phase when bodybuilders want to reduce their body fat percentage, whilst maintaining their muscle mass. They will typically eat fewer calories, do more cardio (which is actually not needed), and even take cutting steroids to enhance their results. Cutting steroids also have the power to increase muscle growth, even when consuming fewer calories.

Anavar and Winstrol are two of the most popular cutting steroids on the market. Bodybuilders use both compounds to build muscle and burn fat, but what is the differenece?

We’ll list the pros and cons of each steroid, then we’ll give a direct comparison; Ultimately, we recommend against using illegal steroids and choosing a legal alternative or a natural testosterone booster instead.


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Anavar VS Winstrol - Which is Better or Worse?



  • Minimal side effects
  • Enhanced fat loss
  • Muscle gains
  • Strength building
  • Oral
  • Suitable for women


  • Expensive
  • Risk of virilization in women
  • Risk of sterility in men
  • Risk of liver strain in high doses

Anavar Side Effects

Anavar (oxandrolone) remains FDA approved, highlighting its safety (particularly in medical settings). Its properties are so mild that women and children have taken Anavar with great success, helping them increase their lean body mass; without any negative interactions.

However, this isn’t to say that Anavar will never cause side effects. In research, Anavar does have the ability to suppress natural testosterone levels; although this modest reduction will later reverse, with levels recovering post-cycle.

Equally, cholesterol levels and liver enzymes may rise slightly, although this effect is likely to be minimal.

Anavar is an oral steroid, which are notorious for stressing the liver, however, oxandrolone is processed differently; with the kidneys helping to break down the compound (as well as the liver) before it enters the bloodstream. This takes the workload off the liver, and thus causes less hepatic strain, than other orals.

Some men and women who do not wish to take steroids, due to their dangerous effects, may decide to take an Anavar-only cycle, solely because of its safety profile.

Many users will notice zero side effects during a cycle. Generally, notable side effects are only experienced if a person abuses Anavar.

Enhanced Fat Loss

Anavar causes significant fat loss, with it burning fat through several different pathways. Firstly, it has a profound effect on thyroid hormone (T3). It raises T3 levels, which consequently stimulates lipolysis directly and elevates a user’s metabolism significantly.

With Anavar being a form of exogenous testosterone, it will also enhance fat loss, like other anabolic steroids.

Anavar’s fat-burning effects are somewhat different to other steroids, as it also causes a decrease in visceral fat (as well as subcutaneous fat). Other anabolic steroids often cause increases in visceral fat, causing a bloated look. Therefore, if men and women are looking to achieve a small/tight waist, Anavar is a shrewd choice.

Fat loss on Anavar cannot be accurately measured by using scales, as it also causes muscle gain.

Thus, users may want to measure their waist or take before and after pictures instead, to accurately track progress.

Muscle Gains

anavar body
Anavar users will experience dry and full/pumped muscles

The muscle gains on Anavar are modest, yet noticeable. Therefore, if someone wants to gain some muscle, but not a huge amount of mass, Anavar will do just that.

Anavar will dramatically spike testosterone levels, whilst increasing protein synthesis and nitrogen retention. This shifts the body into an anabolic environment where the body’s muscle-building potential increases.

Anavar is not classed as a bulking steroid for this reason, as its muscle-building effects are inferior to other classic bulking steroids.

Not only will men and women build lean muscle on Anavar, but they will do so in an aesthetic way; having constantly pumped muscles (without any bloat). Other compounds that build muscle often leave users with smooth and puffy-looking muscles. Anavar is able to avoid this by shifting water from outside the muscle cell, to the inside. This creates a dry and full look.

Women are likely to build more muscle than men when taking Anavar, due to females having lower testosterone levels. Thus, when Anavar administers in their system it’s more likely to shock their muscles into growth, due to this sudden surge of exogenous testosterone. 

Strength Building

Bulking steroids are usually the most powerful steroids for increasing strength, with cutting steroids being inferior. However, Anavar is the exception to this rule, displaying powerful strength-building attributes; despite not causing significant weight gain.

This is typical of DHT-derivative steroids, with it being a potent male hormone. Anavar’s capacity to increase strength is believed to be connected to the uptake of ATP and fluid inside the muscle cells.


Anavar is an oral steroid (available in tablet form). Therefore, it is ideal for those who are anxious of needles.

Suitable for Women

Anavar has been nicknamed the ‘girl steroid’ because women tolerate the steroid better than other options. However, this isn’t to say it is only used by women, with several male powerlifters and bodybuilders also using Anavar to good effect.

In women, Anavar still can produce masculinization, such as:

  • Deepened voice
  • Smaller breasts
  • Hair growth
  • Clitoral enlargement

The above side effects are especially common when women take other steroids as well as Anavar.

However, if women take excessive doses for long periods of time, virilization side effects with Anavar alone are still possible.

Thus, women should not take more than 10mg per day, for more than 6 weeks. To reduce the risk of virilization even further, women may opt to start taking Anavar at 5mg and increase their dose gradually.


Another major drawback with Anavar is that it is typically very expensive. In some cases, it can cost men a few hundred dollars for a lengthy cycle.


zac efron winstrol
Zac Efron’s dry and ripped physique when shooting Baywatch, displayed the typical transforming effects of winstrol


  • Builds muscle
  • Burns fat
  • Oral


  • Harsh steroid
  • Liver strain
  • Suppressed natural T
  • Sterility
  • Not female-friendly
  • Raise in blood pressure and cholesterol

Builds Muscle

Winstrol is a potent muscle-builder, although not as powerful as bulking steroids, such as Anadrol or Dbol.

Winstrol increases lean muscle mass, by increasing free testosterone levels. Winstrol produces a dry muscle gains, as it doesn’t aromatize and thus causes no water retention.

Winstrol enables users to maintain or build muscle when cutting. If a person is eating maintenance calories or in a surplus, Winstrol’s ability to add size is more notable.

Burns Fat

Winstrol simultaneously burns fat, as well as increasing muscle mass. It also has diuretic properties, flushing water retention out of the body. This create an even more enhanced look, with increased muscle tone and definition.

The only downside with Winstrol’s diuretic effects, is that the muscles can sometimes look depleted (due to less fluid held inside the muscle cell). Winstrol is one of the best steroids on the market for fat loss.


Winstrol comes in pill form and thus is preferable for those wanting to avoid needles.

Harsh Steroid

The main drawback with Winstrol is its harsh nature. Winstrol is not suitable for beginners because of the severity of side effects that are typically experienced.

These are:

  • Shut down testosterone production
  • Increased (LDL) cholesterol levels
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Joint pain
  • Liver toxic

Winstrol-users will usually suffer from low natural testosterone production for several months post-cycle.

LDL cholesterol levels will almost certainly rise, with HDL levels becoming suppressed. This can lead to a notable increase in blood pressure. Thus, anyone with heart conditions or existing high blood pressure should avoid taking Winstrol.

Joint pain is another common complaint on Winstrol, which occurs due to it reducing fluid that surrounds the joints (acting as cushioning). This side effect may be more severe in older users.

Winstrol, like many other oral steroids, is hepatotoxic and thus causes stress to the liver (1).

Although AST/ALT enzymes will rise, this is unlikely to cause any lasting damage to the liver, due to its self-healing attributes. Thus, a user is only likely to experience serious liver damage if Winstrol is abused and is taken for several months at a time (without cycling off). However, Winstrol should be strictly avoided by people with previous liver problems, or those who drink large amounts of alcohol.

Not Female Friendly

Winstrol is sometimes used by women looking to increase muscle mass, fat burning and endurance.

It is commonly used by athletes because of its positive effects, without any water gains.

However, it often causes virilization side effects, causing women to look and sound more masculine.

This is due to Winstrol increasing free testosterone, with it strongly binding to SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). When free testosterone levels become excessively elevated in women, masculinization follows.

Therefore, Winstrol is not recommended for women. 

Anavar vs Winstrol: Which is Better?

Anavar and Winstrol are fairly similar, with them both being effective oral, cutting steroids.

Both steroids will burn fat and build muscle, without raising estrogen levels. This results in a dry, more ripped looking physique.

Winstrol is the more powerful steroid and results are likely to be a little better; with users building slightly more muscle, compared to Anavar.

Although Winstrol may have an edge on enhancing body composition, its side effects are dramatically worse compared to Anavar. Winstrol certainly isn’t safe and is not suitable for beginners, whereas Anavar is often taken as a first time cycle. This is predominantly why Anavar is a lot more popular than Winstrol.

Winstrol will cause a spike blood pressure, decrease testosterone production, cause stress to the liver, and put extra strain on the joints. Whereas Anavar may cause a decrease in testosterone production alone. Winstrol is also more prone to causing androgenic side effects, such as oily skin and acne breakouts. Hair loss on the scalp may also be accelerated on Winstrol due its androgenic effects. Winstrol has a deceptively low androgenic rating of 30 (2) which doesn’t correlate in real-life situations.

Thus, if someone is going to use Winstrol, they should think about incorporating a strong PCT to help restore their endogenous testosterone production; as well as taking a liver support supplement. TUDCA is commonly taken by bodybuilders to help protect their liver when taking strong orals, with studies showing powerful protective attributes (3). A positive effect can be observed after 1-3 months, thus TUDCA may be taken during and after a cycle. TUDCA may not be needed on Anavar, due to its mild hepatic effect.

In terms of body composition, on Winstrol, users’ muscles are likely to look a little deflated, due to a loss of intracellular water. On Anavar, users’ muscles are going to be very pumped, due to an increase of fluid volume inside the muscle cell. However, due to Winstrol’s superior muscle-building attributes, this difference in glycogen storage may not be noticeable.

Anavar is certainly the better steroid for women, with it having a low risk of virilization. Taking Winstrol in moderate doses will cause a woman to slowly turn into a man. The only exception to this is if a woman took very small doses of Winstrol.

Some people refer to winstrol as a ‘poor-man’s anavar’, because it’s a much cheaper steroid. Thus, if someone doesn’t have a lot of money, and isn’t particularly health conscious; they may opt for winstrol over anavar.

Summary: Winstrol is the superior steroid in terms of raw power. However, when weighing up the pros vs cons,  Anavar is the better steroid.

Important: We do not advise our readers go out and buy Anavar or Winstrol, as doing so is illegal. However, we do recommend you try anvarol or winsol, which are 100% legal, steroid alternatives. Anvarol and winsol are produced to replicate the positive effects of their anabolic steroid counterparts but without any side effects. They are perfectly safe to take and FDA approved. They can also be stacked with other legal steroids for better results. Click on the banner below for more information.


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Image credit: Zoe-Lee Photography

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The author

Ernst Peibst
Ernst Peibst has spent over 3,000 hours researching anabolic steroids and PED’s. He’s also dedicated the last 7 years educating people about their effects, with hundreds of thousands of people reading his articles. He’s studied countless science papers, read several expert books and has consulted some of the finest doctors in the world – on the topic of steroids.

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