Peptides vs SARMs

Both Peptides and SARMs are effective tools to help you build muscle and lose fat. Each with its own drawbacks and benefits, which is better, Peptides vs SARMs?

A battle is brooming in your search history. A looming question only a few can answer, and frankly, the forums aren’t a great help.

We are, of course, talking about SARMs vs Peptides! These wonderful compounds have been proven time and time again to be great for the human body – but only if you use them right.

But how does one actually go about using synthetic Peptide derivatives or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators? And which one is better for more muscle tissue?

That is the million dollar question, and today, we’re going to answer that! Hold on to your research chemicals, we’re going in hot.

Warning:Β 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.

What are Research Chemicals?

So, before we get ito the specifics about SARMs and Peptides, we have to discuss the parent group they all belong to. Research chems are incredibly common in the medical world at the momen, and they are simplt chemicals that haven’t been tested enough.

These are emerging compounds that could help to increase bone and muscle mass, give you better strength, or even help with life quality in general.

Research chems differ from Steroids because we know that Steroids are incredibly bad for you, but research chems can still stand to undergo some testing before any final decisions about safety are made.

You can purchase these online from various research chem vendors, however, they cannot be sold as dietary supplements or “for human consumption”. Both Peptides and SARMs fall under this category.

What are Peptides?

Peptides! These wonderful compounds may seem confusing but they are very similar. These are amino acids bound with Peptide bonds – hence the name. Based on the sequence of the amino acids, you can expect to see certain physiological effects:

  • BPC 157 – a Peptide that can help with recovery from injuries, and consists of 15 amino acids [1]
  • HGH Fragment (176-191) – a Peptide that is only 10% of the full Growth Hormone Peptide, and can help with fat loss in obese individuals [2]

There are hundreds of different Peptides that will affect specific tissues. Peptides are known for being very “healthy” compared to other regular PEDs. The side effects of any Peptide will also depend on the particular Peptide, and there are no sides that have been found in all Peptides according to clinical trials.

The Peptides that are most common are Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides – which will (drum roll…) cause the release of more Growth Hormone.

What are SARMs?

SARMs or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators are what were designed to replace Steroids in the medical world. These are Anabolic agents that were designed to have a lot of the same benefits as Steroids do but with far fewer side effects.

These compounds will bind to Androgen receptors and result in a biological change depending on the SARM in question. Essentially, the process will look like this [3]:

Step 1: Steroid Hormone or SARM binds to the Steroid Hormone Receptors

Step 2: Hormone/SARM-Receptor complex enters the Nucleus

Step 3: The complex will bind to the receptor sites on the chromatin

Step 4: This activates mRNA transcription

Step 5: mRNA leaves the nucleus

Step 6: Ribosomes translate mRNA into new proteins

SARMs will act as selective receptor modulators, meaning they predominantly bind to the receptors in muscle and bone tissue. They are mostly used for increased muscle growth or to improve bone health – however, there are one or two that can increase growth hormones as well.

Peptides vs SARMs for Muscle Growth?

Because there are so many different SARMs and Peptides, we will have to look at a few different studies to find comparisons. The amino acid chains of Peptides have never been directly tested against a SARM, so we’re going to be buthering some science here.

IGF-1 DES vs Ligandrol

IGF-1 DES is a version of IGF-1 with the first three amino acids removed, which supposubly could result in greater hormonal signaling for muscle growth. In rat studies [4] it has been shown to increase lean body mass ever so slightly.

Peptides vs SARMs
Figure 1: IGF-1 has some positive link to increased muscle mass (in animals) and in humans as well

Ligandrol on the other hand is a SARM that is fairly common. It is the SARM that has been tested the most and is known to stimulate muscle growth. In a recent study [5], it has been shown to increase lean body mass by a whopping 1.21kg over 3 weeks. Significantly more than IGF-1 DES.

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Figure 2: Ligandrol is a lot more effective at growing superphysiological levels of muscle than IGF-1

MK 677 vs Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone(s)

MK 677 is itself known as a Growth Hormone secretagogue, meaning it will stimulate the release of Growth Hormone [6]. MK 677 can help you decrease fat mass, increase muscle mass, and could almost double IGF-1 levels.

Peptides vs SARMs
Figure 3: Both MK-677 and CJC-1295 (in the figure) are effective at increasing IGF-1 levels

A popular GHRH called CJC-1295 has been studied and resulted in a 1.5 – 3.0 fold increase in IGF-1 levels [7]. So both of these compounds could be effective for muscle gain.


Overall, SARMs would be slightly better for muscle tissue. These are certainly not the most Androgenic hormones available (Steroids) but they do seem to build muscle at a better rate than Peptides.

Peptides vs SARMs for Fat Loss?

Fat loss is mostly going to be determined by your calorie intake, however, these SARMS and Peptides could make a difference.

Cardarine vs HGH

Human Growth Hormone is the most popular Peptide on earth, and has been used as a treatment for obesity – so there is quite a lot of validity to it already.

A study published in 1999 found that even low dose HGH resulted in a 1.6 fold increase in fat loss compared to the placebo [8]. Growth will also have a slight but direct anabolic effect as well, but not nearly as much as Steroid hormones.

There are multiple studies to show that Cardarine can increase fat metabolism and even help with managing cholesterol levels.


Overall, no SARM will ever be as effective for fat loss as pure HGH or even HGH-Frag.

Peptides vs SARMs, Side Effects?

When it comes to side effects, each party has the good and the bad… Difference between SARMs will dictate the sides, and the same goes for Peptides. Here are some of the most common sides you might want to watch out for:

Peptides πŸ’‰SARMs πŸ’Š
Insulin resistanceTestosterone production shutdown
Water retentionBlood lipid complications
High blood pressureBlood lipid complications
Abdominal painEstrogen increase

Overall, the devil will be in the dose and type of compound you run. Most people could get away with a dose to slow the aging process, or to decrease joint pain. SARMs will be slightly harder to manage, however.

Are they Steroids?

No! Neither Peptides or SARMs are Anabolic Steroids. They are massively different from one anothe. Peptides are not even remotely related, and the muscle building qualities Peptides have are based of IGF-1, not the Androgen receptor ligands.

SARMs are similar to Steroid hormones, but still massively different. They were designed as therapeutic compounds to replace Steroids in the medical world, and have far fewer side effects, particularly Androgenic sides.

Both SARMs and Peptides can be used with far more ease than Steroids, and is not likely to cause nearly the same side effects.

Are they Legal?

SARMs and Peptides can be sold as “research chemicals” since they are still being tested. A lot of these substances do not occur naturally, and more research is needed. They cannot be sold for human consumption, so take care when you do purchase these compounds.

Where to get Peptides and SARMs?

There are multiple ways of getting Peptides or SARMs. The easiest way would be to use a reputable vendor such as Amino Asylum, Chemyo, or Pure Rawz. For SARMs, the best option would be Sports Technology Labs, and for Peptides, you’re best off at Amino Asylum or Pure Rawz.

The next option to find synthetic Peptides is to use a clinic. There are various Peptide clinics such as Evolve HRT which prescribe a Peptide based on your blood work. This allows you to use Peptides and avoid any side effects. Sometimes, these TRT, HRT, and Peptide clinics even provide some of the highest quality SARMs.

Peptides vs SARMs – Which is better?

Overall, both have their own benefits and drawbacks. They are both capable of helping you build muscle or lose fat, but for the most part, I believe SARMs are better at muscle building, and Peptides are going to be better at causing fat loss.

Stacking SARMs and Peptides

It is not uncommon to stack compounds with one another. Since neither are Steroid based molecules, you could manage the side effects with a bit of effort. You could create a nice synergy of covering all the fat loss and muscle-building pathways.

What is Peptide Amino Acids?

A peptide is simply a long chain of amino acids bound with Peptide bonds that will result in a certain physiological effect based on the amino acid sequence.

How do Androgen Receptors work?

As we grow up, these receptors are vital for having Androgens do their jobs like causing muscle growth or male development. As adults, we can utilize them by activating them with certain compounds to cause muscle growth.

Do Peptides work like Steroids?

No, not at all! Peptides do not bind to the androgen receptors whereas anabolic Steroids do. Most Peptides will lead to an increase in IGF-1 levels in the body which has various benefits such as greater muscle growth and even better skin and hair.

What Peptides are Anabolic?


SARMs vs Steroids

SARMs have far fewer side effects compared to Steroids, and will also have a weaker effect on the androgen and estrogen receptor. They will be less anabolic, but can still cause a decent amount of muscle growth.

Still Have Questions?

Drop us a comment down below and one of our expert coaches will respond to it, you can also email is at

1) Chang CH, Tsai WC, Lin MS, Hsu YH, Pang JH. The promoting effect of pentadecapeptide BPC 157 on tendon healing involves tendon outgrowth, cell survival, and cell migration. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2011 Mar;110(3):774-80. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00945.2010. Epub 2010 Oct 28. PMID: 21030672.

2) Heffernan M, Summers RJ, Thorburn A, Ogru E, Gianello R, Jiang WJ, Ng FM. The effects of human GH and its lipolytic fragment (AOD9604) on lipid metabolism following chronic treatment in obese mice and beta(3)-AR knock-out mice. Endocrinology. 2001 Dec;142(12):5182-9. doi: 10.1210/endo.142.12.8522. PMID: 11713213.

3) Bhasin S. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators as Function Promoting Therapies. J Frailty Aging. 2015;4(3):121-2. doi: 10.14283/jfa.2015.65. PMID: 27030938; PMCID: PMC6039107.

4) Elis S, Wu Y, Courtland HW, Cannata D, Sun H, Beth-On M, Liu C, Jasper H, DomenΓ© H, Karabatas L, Guida C, Basta-Pljakic J, Cardoso L, Rosen CJ, Frystyk J, Yakar S. Unbound (bioavailable) IGF1 enhances somatic growth. Dis Model Mech. 2011 Sep;4(5):649-58. doi: 10.1242/dmm.006775. Epub 2011 May 31. PMID: 21628395; PMCID: PMC3180229.

5) Basaria S, Collins L, Dillon EL, Orwoll K, Storer TW, Miciek R, Ulloor J, Zhang A, Eder R, Zientek H, Gordon G, Kazmi S, Sheffield-Moore M, Bhasin S. The safety, pharmacokinetics, and effects of LGD-4033, a novel nonsteroidal oral, selective androgen receptor modulator, in healthy young men. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013 Jan;68(1):87-95. doi: 10.1093/gerona/gls078. Epub 2012 Mar 28. PMID: 22459616; PMCID: PMC4111291.

6) Nass R, Pezzoli SS, Oliveri MC, Patrie JT, Harrell FE Jr, Clasey JL, Heymsfield SB, Bach MA, Vance ML, Thorner MO. Effects of an oral ghrelin mimetic on body composition and clinical outcomes in healthy older adults: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2008 Nov 4;149(9):601-11. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-149-9-200811040-00003. PMID: 18981485; PMCID: PMC2757071.

7) Teichman SL, Neale A, Lawrence B, Gagnon C, Castaigne JP, Frohman LA. Prolonged stimulation of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I secretion by CJC-1295, a long-acting analog of GH-releasing hormone, in healthy adults. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Mar;91(3):799-805. doi: 10.1210/jc.2005-1536. Epub 2005 Dec 13. PMID: 16352683.

Daniel Louwrens BSc PT

Hi there! My name is Daniel Louwrens, and I have more than 10 years of experience in the bodybuilding & fitness world. I have graduated with a degree in Chemistry, and my aim with helping people is to educate people who have questions about anything and everything fitness: Training, Nutrition, Recovery, and PED's.
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