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.
Injectable steroids, although reasonably popular, aren’t a convenient method of administering steroids. Firstly they can be painful (depending on the compound) and if done incorrectly can lead to paralysis. Compare this to quickly swallowing a pill and it’s then easy to understand why oral steroids are coveted by so many bodybuilders.
Below we’ll be covering the 7 best oral steroids in bodybuilding, revealing the pros and cons of each compound.
7 Best Oral Steroids
The steroids above have been ranked in order of power and the ability to produce significant gains.
Legal Alternatives Available
Anadrole increases red blood cell production which leads to delayed fatigue and also helps to deliver immense muscle gains.
D-Bal creates the ultimate anabolic state for mega muscle growth, rapid strength gains and increased mass.
Winsol is designed to quickly enhance your strength levels in the gym. It's main ingredients include Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Choline, Wild Yam Root, DMAE, Safflower Oil Powder.
Anvarol improves both strength and energy and is ideal for cutting cycles. It's suitable for both men and women.
Anadrol (oxymetholone) is considered the best oral steroid for bulking up. Strength and mass gains on anadrol are simply phenomenal, causing large amounts of weight gain (even in the first week of a cycle).
Strength gains on anadrol are also tremendous; rivaled by only one other oral steroid, being superdrol.
A 6 week cycle of anadrol can comfortably produce 30+lbs of weight gain. Roughly 60% of this will be muscle mass and the rest will be water.
Anadrol kicks in very fast, due to its short-ester structure; producing dramatic changes in muscle strength and hypertrophy within the 10 days. Anadrol also leaves the body quickly, with a half life as low as 8 hours.
The drawbacks of using anadrol is that it’s one of the worst steroids for side effects.
Anadrol certainly isn’t a mild steroid, causing substantial strain to the liver and heart. Thus, anadrol shouldn’t be cycled regularly or for long periods of time; but rather to bust through a plateau.
Anadrol’s affect on the liver isn’t particularly dangerous unless taken long-term, or in mega high dosages. It will cause significant elevation in AST and ALT liver enzymes, causing some temporary damage; however these levels return to normal (upon discontinuation). The liver generally needs to be severely abused in order to fail, and thus this isn’t the most troublesome side effect for people with healthy livers; who plan on taking anadrol in moderate doses/cycles.
The worse side effect relating to anadrol is cardiovascular strain. If a person’s heart isn’t already in good condition, it would be wise to avoid anadrol. The vast amounts of water retention, combined with its stimulating effects on hepatic lipase in the liver; has a very negative effect on blood pressure.
Blood pressure will become stable once users stop using anadrol, however significant damage to the heart is possible with long-term use.
Gynecomastia and hair loss are also possible on anadrol, with it being highly estrogenic and androgenic.
Testosterone levels will shut down after taking anadrol, thus users may have to wait several months for their endogenous hormone production to come back.
Dianabol is a very popular oral steroid, made famous initially by legendary bodybuilders from the golden era.
Arnold Schwarzenegger are rumored to have taken dianabol tablets to build huge amounts of size and mass. Many users claim dianabol to almost be on a par with anadrol, in regards to muscle and strength gains; but with dbol causing less side effects.
Low doses of dianabol are sometimes used by beginners, in a dbol-only cycle, enabling them to experience huge increases in size. However, moderate to high doses are taken only by experienced steroid-users, with it being a fairly powerful compound.
Dianabol is a very similar steroid to anadrol, however it causes slightly less water retention; and doesn’t cause significant hair loss or acne (compared to a-drol).
Bodybuilders in the 70’s used to pop dianabol tablets like candy, with them being naive to the possible side effects of this oral steroid. Now, some 50 years later, the medical community are more educated in regards to the adverse effects of dbol and it has consequently been banned by the FDA.
Dianabol will spike blood pressure in the same way as anadrol, suppressing HDL cholesterol and causing the body to retain water. These two effects combined make it increasingly difficult for blood to flow to and from the heart.
Dbol being an oral steroid, will also stress the liver. Thus, some users may opt to take a liver support supplement such as Milk thistle or TUDCA.
Gynecomastia is also a potential side effect, due to dianabol’s aromatizing (converting testosterone into estrogen). A SERM or anti estrogen may be used to help combat this.
Like anadrol, dianabol will also suppress natural testosterone levels; in which users may experience a crash post-cycle affecting mood and energy levels (until their T levels naturally restore).
Superdrol (methasterone) a very powerful oral steroid, that was recently marketed as a prohormone (wrongly).
Superdrol is is not suitable for beginners, due to it being very toxic; with some users describing it as the ‘oral equivalent of trenbolone‘.
Superdrol does not convert into estrogen, and thus doesn’t cause any water retention. Therefore, the mass users gain on superdrol is strictly lean, with the muscles appearing hard, instead of puffy/smooth.
Superdrol is arguably the best oral steroid for strength gains (with anadrol). It enhances strength so much, that users need to be careful of increasing the weight too much, too early on. Failing to be cautious of this can often lead to injury; and thus lifting as heavy as possible on superdrol is not recommended.
Superdrol may add 15lbs of lean muscle mass to users who cycle this oral for the first time. Because it doesn’t aromatize into estrogen, superdrol is considered a more aesthetic steroid, compared to anadrol or dianabol (enabling users to look dry and tight, instead of bloating up like a water balloon).
The side effects on superdrol should be considered harsh (similar to injectable trenbolone).
Firstly, superdrol is an oral steroid and thus will cause notable liver toxicity.
Secondly, with superdrol being an oral and not converting into estrogen; this will cause significant strain on the heart; more so than dianabol. This is because of a drastic reduction in HDL cholesterol and a rise in LDL cholesterol.
Superdrol is a suitable name for this compound, as it causes users to feel ‘super‘ during a cycle. However, the crash is also evident post-cycle; due to a hefty shut down of endogenous testosterone. Test levels will take a few months to recover, with a post cycle therapy shortening this time frame.
Andriol, otherwise known as testosterone undecanoate, is the oral version of testosterone.
Testosterone is predominantly an injectable steroid, however some people decide to take it in pill form, for convenience (or fear of injecting).
Andriol produces similar benefits as injectable testosterone, significantly increasing lean mass and strength. Gains of 15-20lbs are common when taking oral testosterone during a first cycle.
Users will experience gains fast on andriol, with testosterone levels peaking just 6 hours after administration.
Despite oral test doing everything injectable test can, it’s not very popular; due to oral test being extremely expensive.
Andriol’s side effects are mild, thus it’s a suitable steroid for beginners.
Despite being an oral steroid, it doesn’t pass through the liver (but the lymphatic route). Thus, andriol is not liver toxic and won’t raise AST or ALT enzymes.
Andriol also doesn’t cause large shifts in cholesterol, similar to injectable testosterone; thus it’s the safest oral steroid in regards to the heart.
There will be some testosterone suppression and it’s still androgenic, thus some hair thinning (on the scalp) and acne is possible; however it’s largely a well-tolerated oral.
Gyno is also possible as estrogen levels will rise significantly, thus taking an anti-estrogen or a SERM can prevent the onset of any breast tissue forming
Important: Generally steroids are not taken with meals, as dietary fat can greatly reduce their absorption. However, andriol is the exception to this rule and requires dietary fat in order to be absorbed sufficiently. A meal containing 20 grams of fat will be sufficient for increasing its biological value.
Winstrol (stanozolol) is an oral steroid used for moderate increases in lean muscle.
Winstrol is not a bulking steroid, like anadrol, dianabol or test undecanoate; thus strength and size gains will be less. However, users will certainly become more muscular and ripped after taking stanozolol.
Instead, it is typically used in cutting cycles; to increase fat burning, whilst simultaneously building muscle.
This is a time when bodybuilders are at risk of losing muscle, thus taking winstrol during this time can alleviate any anxiety; enabling them to look forward to actually gaining some size when dieting.
Users can gain up to 10lbs of muscle on winstrol, however its ability to burn fat and increase muscle definition is superior compared to other steroids. This is due to winstrol being particularly androgenic.
Androgenic steroids are typically better at burning fat, because androgen receptors play a crucial role in the reduction of adipose tissue mass.
Thus, winstrol should be regarded as the best oral steroid for burning fat.
Winstrol is not one of the better oral steroids from a health perspective.
LDL cholesterol levels will rise to new heights, causing a significant rise in blood pressure and strain on the heart. Winstrol is also hepatotoxic, causing notable damage to the liver; whilst also shutting down natural testosterone production.
For moderate muscle gains and accelerated fat loss, some users deem winstrol one of the least desirable oral steroids; as its risk vs rewards ratio is not appealing to some bodybuilders. However, winstrol is relatively cheap and the benefits are similar to anavar; thus it can be considered as a cheap (but harsh) alternative.
Anavar (oxandrolone) is one of the safest steroids men and women can take. This is why, despite being an expensive compound, it’s in huge demand by both sexes.
Users typically do not report any notable side effects, yet can build up to 10lbs of muscle; whilst burning significant amounts of fat.
Anavar increases fat burning due to it stimulating T3 (Triiodothyronine), the thyroid hormone that spikes a user’s metabolism.
Anavar also increases muscle definition, due to it having diuretic properties; as it does not convert into estrogen. This creates a hard, dry and toned look; perfect when cutting or during beach season.
Women also don’t need to fear about turning into a man on anavar, as it rarely produces virilization effects. Masculine side effects only start to occur in females who take over 10mg per day or utilize long cycles (over 6 weeks).
Despite being an oral steroid, anavar does not pose any significant liver toxicity, due to its very mild nature and the kidneys also helping to metabolize oxandrolone.
Cholesterol levels are likely to shift marginally which may result in a small increase in blood pressure.
Endogenous testosterone is also likely to drop post-cycle, however this will only be a subtle reduction; instead of testosterone levels being completely shut down. Thus, there won’t be a big crash post-cycle, like other steroids can cause.
Hair thinning/loss on the scalp is possible, although often reversible post-cycle. This can happen due to anavar being a DHT-derivative, the male hormone responsible for causing damage to hair follicles on the scalp.
Primobolan is a very mild oral steroid, like anavar, which is used for fat loss and muscle retention when cutting.
Muscle and strength gains are thought to be mild, however because primo is a very tolerable steroid, it is relatively popular.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was thought to be using primobolan when cutting and getting ripped for competitions.
Unfortunately, like andriol and anavar, primobolan is very expensive and thus not as popular as cheaper cutting steroids, such as winstrol (despite primobolan being safer).
The main side effect associated with primobolan is testosterone suppression, which is likely to be mild to moderate.
Liver toxicity is not an issue with primo, nor are cholesterol levels rising. Cholesterol is likely to change to the same degree as on anavar (small change). Thus, primobolan is thought to increase LDL cholesterol more than some injectable steroids, such as testosterone or deca durabolin; but significantly less than most other orals.
Primobolan does not aromatize, thus muscle gains will be lean and gynecomastia is not a concern.
Oral Steroids vs Injectable Steroids
The downside to orals is many of them are hepatotoxic, causing stress to the liver. This is due to them being c-17 alpha alkylated, with strain enabling the steroid to survive liver metabolism and peak in the blood stream. In contrast, injectable steroids will enter the blood stream immediately, instead of having to pass through the liver and thus are generally less toxic.
Oral steroids are also generally worse for the heart, due to them stimulating hepatic lipase, an enzyme in the liver which decreases HDL cholesterol levels (a good form of cholesterol), which in turn spikes blood pressure.
This is why many bodybuilders speak well of injectable steroids, and not so well of orals.
However, some of the oral steroids on this list are very mild in nature and some of the safest steroids on the market. Therefore, whether someone opts for orals or injectables, which compound they choose is more important, in terms of keeping side effects at bay. For example, trenbolone is predominantly an injectable, yet it produces far worse side effects than testosterone undecanoate (oral).
How To Minimize The Side Effects of Oral Steroids?
There are three main side effects to deal with when taking oral steroids; these are:
- Blood pressure
- Liver toxicity
- Decrease in testosterone
To control blood pressure, users can perform regular cardio to enhance blood flow, to and from the heart.
Liver toxicity can be controlled by keeping cycles short and making sure ALT and AST levels don’t become excessively elevated. Thus, it’s recommended to have regular check ups with a doctor during a cycle to check for liver inflammation/damage. However, users may also choose to take an effective supplement to protect the liver, such as TUDCA. Bodybuilders often take TUDCA throughout and after a cycle, to minimize damage and promote healing.
Decreased endogenous testosterone levels are a certainty when taking any steroid (oral or injectable). The only way to treat this is post-cycle (when a user stops taking all steroids). A post cycle therapy involving hCG, Nolvadex or Clomid can be used to stimulate natural testosterone levels back to where they were pre-cycle. This can result in T levels coming back several weeks or months earlier, than if a PCT wasn’t implemented.
What Is the Best Oral Steroid?
This will depend on a person’s goals. For bulking, the best oral steroid for significant muscle gains is anadrol or dianabol. However, both of these can cause harsh side effects for users.
The safest oral steroid for bulking is testosterone undecanoate (andriol); which still has the power to add lots of size and mass. However, test undecanoate is certainly not a cheap compound to buy.
The best oral steroid for cutting is winstrol, however it is a harsh compound on the heart and liver. The safest oral steroid for cutting is anavar, which will produce the same benefits as winstrol (but is slightly less powerful).
Can I Stack Oral Steroids Together?
This generally isn’t a good idea due to excessive strain to the heart and liver. Thus, it’s more common for an oral steroid to be stacked with an injectable. For example, dianabol (oral) is often cycled with deca durabolin (injectable).
Or, anadrol (oral) is often stacked with trenbolone or testosterone (injectables).
If a user stacked dianabol and anadrol together for example, wanting massive increases in muscle and strength; this would cause very large spikes in blood pressure; as well as damaging the liver substantially. The liver will likely heal itself post-cycle, but too many of these cycles will significantly increase the chances of having a heart attack.
However, there are oral steroids that are reasonably safe, even by the FDA’s standards. Thus, stacking anavar and primobolan is likely to produce few side effects, although testosterone suppression post-cycle will be notable.
Testosterone undecanoate and anavar are two orals that can be stacked together for significant muscle gains and fat loss; without posing any obvious risk to heart or liver.
What Are the Best Oral Steroids For Beginners?
The safest and least toxic orals are suitable for beginners. Thus, testosterone undecanoate (andriol), anavar and primobolan are good options. Injectable test is a standard beginner cycle, but if someone is completely against using needles, oral test can be used instead.
Beginners should avoid using anadrol, superdrol and winstrol as they are too harsh to take so soon. Low doses of dianabol are commonly taken by beginners.
What Are the Best Injectable Steroids?
- Deca durabolin
Trenbolone is very harsh on the system and should be taken with extreme caution. However, tren is also one of the best steroids for building lean muscle and reducing a user’s body fat; which is why so many take it.
Injectable testosterone replicates the same effects as test undecanoate (oral testosterone), building large amounts of lean muscle and strength. However, injectable test is a lot cheaper and thus more popular. Test enanthate and cypionate are the most common forms of injectable test.
Deca durabolin is another injectable which is effective for adding muscle size when stacked with other bulking compounds.
The 7 best oral steroids are: anadrol, dianabol, superdrol, andriol, winstrol, anavar and primobolan.
These steroids are NOT legal to buy for bodybuilding purposes and we do not recommend buying or selling of such compounds on the black market (due to common counterfeiting).
Safe, legal alternatives are now available for bodybuilders, which can be bought from Crazy Bulk online. Not only are they designed to mimic the positive effects of oral steroids, but also injectable steroids. Such steroid alternatives do not pose any side effects to users, hence how the FDA have approved them for human use.
Here is a list of Crazy Bulk’s product range:
- D-Bal (dianabol)
- Anadrole (anadrol)
- Decaduro (deca durabolin)
- Testo-Max (testosterone)
- Trenorol (trenbolone)
- Winsol (winstrol)
- Anvarol (anavar)
- Clenbutrol (clenbuterol)
None of the products above cause testosterone suppression, increase cholesterol values, hair loss, acne, water retention or cause liver strain. Thus, multiple steroid alternatives can be stacked together safely for maximum results. Legal steroid alternatives can also be cycled for long periods of time, without experiencing any harsh effects.
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