It is fairly common that using Steroids will cause the shutdown of your natural testosterone levels (1), but there are some SARMs that can also cause side effects that will require you to make use of a PCT (Post Cycle Treatment) to make sure you remain as healthy as possible.
In the next 5 to 10 minutes, I am going to break down what exactly a SARM is, how PCTs work, and why it might be a good idea to use PCT for SARMS after you’ve gotten all swole.
- SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) can suppress natural testosterone levels, similar to steroids, and may require a Post Cycle Treatment (PCT) for health reasons.
- A PCT is designed to address the decrease in LH, FSH, and natural testosterone levels, as well as manage estrogenic side effects that can occur after a cycle of SARMs or steroids.
- SARMs are a safer alternative to steroids because they have fewer androgenic side effects, but some stronger SARMs can still suppress testosterone and may necessitate a PCT.
- Components of a well-designed PCT for SARMs may include SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators), HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin), and organ support products to protect the liver and other organs.
- Starting a PCT for SARMs immediately after completing the cycle is recommended, and the duration of time between SARM cycles should be determined based on blood work and health markers.
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What is a PCT?
A Post Cycle Treatment is a protocol you follow after your cycle of steroids or SARMs to deal with the two main consequences.
Firstly, a decrease in LH (Luteinizing hormone), FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone), and natural testosterone. Two, a well-designed PCT is also needed to control estrogenic side effects.
The reason exogenous testosterone and some SARMS suppress your testosterone is that the body will signal the pituitary gland to stop producing LH and FSH, and as a result, the Leydig cells will stop producing testosterone.
After the exogenous testosterone is removed, Leydig cells take some time before working again, and might need a little boost!
Best PCT Products
What are SARMs?
SARMs or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators are compounds that bind to androgen receptors within the muscles and bones of the human body, acting like an agonist.
Unlike steroids which act upon all tissue, SARMs only act upon the specific receptors they are bound to.
Since SARMs are not hormones themselves, they will not have the stereotypical androgenic side effects associated with steroid use.
SARMs are therefore a safer alternative compared to steroids because not only do they not negatively impact health markers, but they don’t shut down the test factory.
How do PCTs work?
A PCT is designed to do two things:
1. Reactivating Testosterone Production
As you suppress your natural testosterone via steroids or SARMs, your LH and FSH levels will fall, and as a grand bonus, your testicles will shrink.
Goodbye summer speedy! Depending on how harsh and how long your cycle has been, the more these levels will be suppressed, the harder it will be to reactivate them to produce testosterone.
This is something you’ll want to do, as low testosterone has been linked to depression, fat gain, mood swings, loss of libido, and worst of all muscle loss. Then, your cycle was useless in the first place!
2. Managing Estrogen Levels
In case you didn’t know, men have estrogen. Also, they need it. Low estrogen has a wide variety of side effects, ask any man on Letrozole.
However, as you use a steroid or some SARMs, your estrogen will begin to rise slowly. The reason for this is an action aromatization.
Testosterone is converted into estrogen via Aromatase, and elevated estrogen has a host of side effects including moodiness, increase in fat mass, gyno (man boobs), and loss of libido.
As the testosterone in your body increases, so does your estrogen. After your cycle, however, you will still have the elevated estrogen, continuing to cause side effects.
How to build a PCT Protocol for SARMs?
SARMs are not usually known for needing a PCT, since they themselves are not androgenic, it’s unlikely they will cause the suppression of testosterone.
There are some SARMs that are however stronger than others and will require a PCT. They are the following, in order of increasing severity:
Obviously, the severity of the suppression is dosing and timing dependent. But, how do you actually design a PCT – what do you need? Well, a few things.
These SARMs have been linked to suppressing testosterone levels, the latter being more suppressive.
A SERM refers to a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator, which interacts with estrogen receptors in such a manner that it blocks estrogen from attaching and acting upon them – a partial agonist. The two most popular SERMs are Clomid and Nolvadex (Tamoxifen). There is a third called Enclomiphene, but it is still very new in the PCT world.
Having a SERM in your PCT will not only block the elevated estrogen in your body from wrecking havoc on it, but will also stimulate the production of LH and FSH levels. Using both Clomid and Nolvadex will result in a wider cover of the receptors at the Pituitary Gland and the Hypothalamus – resulting in increasing LH, FSH, as well as GnRH (Gonadotropin hormone-releasing hormone).
HCG has been common place in almost every PCT ever – although it really depends on how intense your cycle was. For SARMs, a SERM might be all that’s necessary – but if you massively overshot your dosages or time then HCG might help. HCG acts like LH and stimulates the production of testosterone – especially ITT (Intratesticular testosterone) which is great for producing sperm and making babies.
It is commonly known that some oral products will be harsher on your organs, specifically your liver and kidneys. And if you didn’t know, steroid orals are harsh on your liver and kidneys because they have been methylated to be more bioavailable as an oral – all oral steroid orals are liver toxic.
SARMs on the other hand, due to lack of research, are a bit more complicated:
|Ostarine||Yes||Elevated Alt and AST levels (2)|
|Ligandrol||Possibly||Not at low doses, might be at higher doses|
|Rad 140||No||Little to none|
|Andarine||No||Little to none|
|YK-11||Yes||It contains a methylated group, making it very liver toxic|
|S 23||Unsure||A very strong SARM, be careful|
|MK 677||No||Little to none|
|Cardarine||Yes||Increases liver fibrosis (3)|
|Stenabolic||No||Might even decrease liver fibrosis (6)|
Good organ support will not only help your liver recover but will also help your kidneys, blood pressure, cholesterol, and other organs as needed, such as Off Cycle Organ Cleanser from Behemoth Labz which has been designed for exactly this task.
Now that we’ve covered what needs to be in your PCT, we might want to take a look at the dosage of these individual components, based on the severity of your cycle:
Organ Support Protocol
|Clomid – None||HCG – None||Organ Support – Use if more harmful SARMs were used|
|Nolvadex – 20mg Daily, for 28 days|
|Clomid – 50mg Daily for 30 days and then 25 mg daily for 15 days||HCG – None||Organ Support – Definitely advisable|
|Nolvadex – 20mg Daily, for 28 days|
|Clomid – 50mg Daily for 30 days and then 25 mg daily for 15 days||HCG – 500 IU daily, for 10 days||Organ Support – A must|
|Nolvadex – 20mg Daily, for 28 days|
This is a very comprehensive cover for PCT. You can adjust these doses as needed, obviously regarding side effects, personal experience, etc.
PCT Side Effects
Clomid is well known to have intense emotional side effects, causing depression, mood swings, and other mental-related issues.
Nolvadex on the other hand has a few gastric side effects like an upset stomach, some people complain about headaches, and some people experience hot flushes as well.
HCG has the typical injectable side effects, pain, and swelling around the site of injection. Other side effects include more gastric distress and an increase in libido.
Do I need a PCT for SARMs?
Yeah, it does seem that way. When it comes to SARMs and steroids, playing it safe is always going to be best really.
Making use of a well-constructed PCT will not only save your glorious gains, but will also keep you sexually healthy, perhaps keep you fertile, and in certain cases help your organs recover from the strenuous few weeks of the cycle.
There are limited drawbacks to this.
When should I start my PCT?
As soon as you finish your SARM cycle. In stark contrast, a PCT after a steroid cycle should only begin around 2 weeks after the last dose has been administered.
Quick tip, because life sometimes gets in the way, I recommend having your PCT ready as you begin your cycle.
Don’t wanna be shrugging your shoulders to your girl and saying “Shipping delay” when she’s ready to hot girl summer, and you aren’t…
How long should I take between SARM cycles?
There is no real answer to this other than, to go get your blood work checked. Have a doctor look at your hormonal levels, your liver values, and other health markers before making a decision.
The next best thing people suggest is “Time on, Time off” – meaning if you had an 8-week cycle and a 4-week PCT, that means 12 weeks off before jumping on again.
Mm… One does seem more scientific, doesn’t it? Yeah, check your blood markers.
What is the best over-the-counter PCT for SARMs?
Over-the-counter PCT products are plentiful. They’re mostly going to be focused on the same three ideas, increasing testosterone production, managing estrogen, and healing your organs.
Another nice side effect of some SARMs and almost all steroids is that the androgenic activity of those products accelerates the growth of both normal and cancerous Prostate cells. Thus, taking something like Prostate Support + from Nuzena is going to work perfectly to undo the damage done by your cycle.
So I really do need a PCT for SARMs?
Yeah it does seem that way. When it comes to SARMs and steroids, playing it safe is always going to be best really. Making use of a well constructed PCT will not only save your glorious gains, but will also keep you sexually healthy, perhaps keep you fertile, and in certain cases help your organs recover from the strenuous few weeks of cycle. There are limited drawbacks to this.