Steroids Vs Natural: 6 Ways to Spot a Fake Natty

steroids vs natural

After the drama that was Liver King, the world is certainly more focused on spotting Fake Natties. That said, it has become increasingly hard to do so, so, today we are going to look at 6 Ways to Spot a Fake Natty. Some of these are going to require a keen eye and a few not so conventional methods.

Warning: The content on and the information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to buying anything, check that it is compliant where you live with your current government laws. We frequently mention research chemicals that are not made for human consumption. Therefore, before purchasing any product for personal use, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first.

Key Takeaways

  • Fake Natties usually have telltale signs that they are using
  • You can look for side effects or try and catch them
  • In the end, it doesn’t matter who is Natty or Not

6 Ways to a Fake Natty

Let us not beat around the bush and bust in guns blazing to find those who want us to believe their 20 inch arms and 30 inch quads were thanks to chicken breasts and egg whites. This list was created by a few of us here at the office, so, you’re not just getting the opinion of one person!

1. They look Enhanced

Have you ever noticed that bodybuilders look big and muscly even in the depths of off season? They look muscular and even with a layer of fat covering them they still have abs and veins everywhere? Well, that’s because of a few reasons:

  • They have an enormous amount of muscle mass so, it is always visible
  • Steroids do increase your metabolic activity so, you will have an easier time staying lean
  • The use of Growth Hormone ensures you remain a lot leaner

The enhanced look is something that takes a while to pick up, but once you use yourself you almost immediately know its characteristics. A certain texture of the muscle and firmness of the skin are dead giveaways. This, again, can be hard to pick up. Here is an example:

2. Look for Side Effects

Most of the side effects of Steroid abuse is on the inside. The person (above, left) is actually undergoing kidney replacement due to Steroid abuse. Other side effects can be seen with eye, such as:

Gynecomastia is the development of breast tissue on males. This happens due to men using Steroids that can aromatize into Estrogen, which can cause bloating, moodiness, and gyno. One thing to note is that most users do manage Estrogen with other products, so, you’re less likely to find someone with this issue.

Steroids Vs Natural
Figure 3: An extreme example of Gyno on a bodybuilder

Site swelling is something I find most people miss. When you use Steroids, you either drink an oral or inject a compound. If you do the latter you need to pin sites such as the shoulders, glutes, or lats. This will leave some swelling and in bad situations some nasty marks.

Hair loss is a common side effect of almost all Steroids. Sure, a lot of hair loss is determined by genetics, but if you find someone is suddenly losing quite a bit of hair then they might be on something.

Steroids Vs Natural: 6 Ways to Spot a Fake Natty
Figure 4: James Hollingshead, an exceptional bodybuilder, has battled with hair loss for some time and found effective treatment methods such as Finasteride and Minoxidill

Other side effects to look out for are puffy ankles (Estrogen), acne, increased blood pressure, and increased body hair.

3. They are exceptionally great at Recovering

One of the things I noticed when I started using for the first time is the amount of recovery that Steroids bring. You’ll notice that those you might suspect of using will be able to recover a lot faster between sessions.

Part of this is due to the Steroids themselves, but part of this is simply due to their ability to eat more than you. More food means more recovery, and as we already discussed, Steroid users (need to) eat more food.

This is harder to pick up as a sign, so, you might want to pay great attention to someone’s actions and words whilst training to pick up on this.

4. Linguistics

This is a point I’m quite proud of because I’m the one who thought of this ‘first’. Let’s face it, Steroid names can be tricky:

  • Boldenone
  • Chlorodehydromethyltestosterone
  • Deca Durabolin
  • Cypionate

What I have noticed over the years is that people who don’t know Steroids, don’t know how to say any of these words. They might end up saying “Sci-po-nate” instead of “Si-pio-nate” (Cypionate).

Now, I’ll admit, this is a stretch, but think about it. If you ask someone to say the following sentence and they nail every single word – that’s a red flag:

“He was using way too much Cypionate compared to the amount of Tamoxifen he was using. The fact that he was also using Parabolin makes matter even worse!”

I once asked someone to say this and they initially thought it was Italian words. Someone who is using this stuff will know exactly how to say everything. Perhaps a moot point, but still ‘counts’.

5. (Certain Steroids) Mental Changes

In case you did not know, there are way more than just one single Steroid. In fact, there is a whole family tree of Steroids that is split up based on defining characteristics.

Steroids Vs Natural: 6 Ways to Spot a Fake Natty
Figure 5: The Steroid Family Tree

The one at the very end, the Nandrolone brothers are quite interesting. These are probably the Steroids that can cause the most amount of side effects, but also the ones that also bring upon mental changes in the users.

Studies [1] have shown that something like Deca Durabolin (a Nandrolone) can actually cause brain fog, memory loss, and jealousy. Another Nandrolone called Trenbolone can cause a massive mental change resulting in less patience, more anxiety, mood changes, and brain damage.

This is an effect that will take some time, or, if the person is using a lot of these compounds the effects will show themselves sooner.

7. Female Users

The amount of female users has been rising recently, and they’re not just using Clenbuterol anymore. Females are using stronger and stronger Steroids, and so, you can expect to see certain signs of this. Signs of Steroid use is much more apparent in women, and some of these include:

  • Deeper voice
  • Facial hair
  • Body hair
  • Enlarged nipples and Clitoris
  • Smaller breasts (less fat)
  • Less overall fat
  • Broader jawline

Is taking Steroids worth it?

The question most people ask at this point is if it is even worth doing the stuff, the sides are so bad that you wouldn’t want this, right? It depends on what your life goals are. There are two types of people using Steroids. Athletes and those who just want to look better.

The latter makes less sense to me, personally, however I do understand. In the end it comes down to your decision and needs as an adult.

Are Steroids Safe?

No. I’m not going to try and bullshit you. Steroid use is not only illegal in most countries but it does carry massive health risks, such as:

Hair Loss

Hair loss will occur due to the conversion of Testosterone into DHT, which will negatively impact the hair follicles on your head. If you wish to avoid this, do not use too many of the compounds that do convert into DHT. 

Blood Lipids (Cholesterol) 

All Steroids will increase both LDL (bad) and total Cholesterol, whilst decreasing HDL (good) Cholesterol. There is nothing you can do to avoid this, this will happen with all Steroids. That being said, we can do certain things to help remedy this: 

  • Consume >5000mg of Omega 3 Fatty Acids daily
  • Perform regular cardio, preferably a combination of HIIT and LISS
  • You can utilize slow Niacin as a means to increase good cholesterol
  • Increase dietary fiber to >30g daily, minimum

Blood Pressure

Most Steroids will increase blood pressure to some extent, especially those that are good at increasing red blood cell count, such as Boldenone. Seeing as many of these Steroids are used as an Anemia treatment, this makes complete sense. 

Steroids Vs Natural: 6 Ways to Spot a Fake Natty
Figure 23: While Steroids (in medical doses) can cure Anemia, in sports doses, however, Steroids can lead to high blood pressure

As seen above, having more red blood cells will physically fill up more empty space in the blood vessel. This does increase the oxygen-carrying capacity, which could increase endurance. That being said, it will also lead to the risk of cardiac arrest. Remedies for his are: 

  • Don’t use Boldenone or other Steroids that increase red blood cell levels too high
  • Stay extremely well hydrated and don’t get too fat
  • Keep Estrogen levels in check
  • Follow a diet rich in Omega Fatty Acids and Fiber
  • Make use of Statins

Liver Toxicity

All of the oral Steroids will express some liver toxicity, and even some of the injectables like Trenbolone will do so as well. This is a rather tricky one because it isn’t the worst side effect seeing as the liver can recover from most damage. That being said, you would still want to avoid it. 

While there isn’t much you can do to avoid liver toxicity completely, especially when using Oral Steroids, we can still try do certain things that could take some pressure off the liver: 

  • Manage Blood Pressure and Cholesterol levels
  • Avoid consuming Alcohol
  • Maintain healthy Estrogen levels
  • Make use of Liver health supplements, like Astragalus, N Acetyl Cysteine, Tudca, and IP6 

Kidney Toxicity

Compared to liver damage, Kidney damage should open your eyes wide open. See, the kidneys are unable to recover once they are injured. Once they are, you will not even be able to consume more than 100g of protein per day. 

The simplest way to avoid kidney damage is to live as healthily as possible. This means consuming plenty of water, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, decreasing junk food intake, and doing regular cardio. 

Most Steroids are Renal toxic to some extent due to an increase in blood pressure. You should definitely monitor your blood results: 

  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR)/BUN/creatinine (serum)
  • Albumin (urine)
  • Urea 


Certain Steroids have the ability to interact with the Aromatase enzyme and can then be converted into Estradiol. This happens naturally in male bodies all the time, and while some is rather good, more might actually be better. 

A study published in 1976 showed that Trenbolone + Estrogen produced more Anabolism than pure Trenbolone [28]. Now, not only will Estrogen lead to greater gains (due to inflammation), but Estrogen is also Cardio -, Liver -, Renal -, and Neuroprotective.

That being said, you could potentially have so much Estrogen that you begin developing breast tissue – Gynecomastia. This can be remedied by using a SERM, like Nolvadex or Clomid. These will not only block Estrogen from the Estrogen receptors in breast tissue but will promote Estrogen in the Liver (which is healthy). 

You can also opt to keep Estrogen in check prior to this happening by using an AI such as Arimidex, Aromasin, or Letrozole. These will be incredibly harsh on your blood lipids, however.


Spotting a user is becoming harder and harder, and with the onslaught of Peptides and SARMs it’s even harder still. There are definitely things you can look out for, such as on this list.

That said, it doesn’t matter. So what if someone uses? Unless they are selling something like Liver King did it does not matter! Steroids don’t magically make you so much better and you will still need to work your ass off.


What are 5 common effects of steroids?

Hair loss, cholesterol, blood pressure, acne, and testicular shutdown.

How does steroid make you feel?

In a sense, great. You feel stronger and more capable, and for a lot of users they feel more calm. The misconception of roid rage is pure myth at this point.

How to use Steroids safely for Bodybuilding?

Use smaller amounts, use them for shorter durations, and make sure you use the right tool for the job.

Still Have Questions?

Drop us a comment down below and one of our expert coaches will respond to it. We’ll also be answering questions on our Instagram!

1) Busardò FP, Frati P, Sanzo MD, Napoletano S, Pinchi E, Zaami S, Fineschi V. The impact of nandrolone decanoate on the central nervous system. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2015 Jan;13(1):122-31. doi: 10.2174/1570159X13666141210225822. PMID: 26074747; PMCID: PMC4462037.


Ernst Peibst

Ernst Peibst | Writer

Ernst Peibst is an expert in anabolic steroids and PEDs with over 3,000 hours of research. He's been educating people for 7 years through his articles, written after studying science papers, expert books and consulting top doctors in the field. He is a former bodybuilder and creator of multiple fitness websites.

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Scott Sage
1 year ago

In conclusion.
You my puffy nippled friend are on the sauce.

How do I know this???

Well let’s just say we both get our “natural supps” from the same person.


4 months ago

You must be really dumb to believe that people are dumb enough to believe your crap and ask you for coaching advice.

Ask our coaches a question below!x