Prohormones vs SARMs

You’ve been doing your research and narrowed your options down to these two Performance Enhancing Drugs – but which is best?

Is it going to be the one that most people know virtually nothing about – Prohormones? Or is it going to be SARMs, the ones nobody really understands?

What are the benefits of each, and the sides of each? Which is cheaper, and which is best for you?

Fear not, I have some of the answers. So, grab your liver toxicity pills, and let’s get down to the business end of a PED.

Key Takeaways

  • Both Prohormones and SARMs have benefits and side effects
  • Prohormones could potentially mean more lean muscle mass but have more sides
  • SARMs can be used for longer but aren’t quite as strong
  • They can be stacked, however, you need to be very careful

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What are Prohormones?

Prohormones can basically be split into two separate groups – the ones of old, and the current ones. The ones of old were simply a cunning way that supplement companies sold you Steroids. Literally.

Back in the early 2000s, there wasn’t as much control over the fitness and supplement market as there is today. Thus, supplement companies went a bit overboard every now and then.

The one everyone remembers is Superdrol being sold as a supplement, a “Prohormone”. Superdrol is actually just the oral version of the Anabolic Steroid Drostanolone (Masteron).

How this slipped by the FDA I am not sure, but eventually, they caught up, and by early 2005, they were removed from the shelves.

Prohormones vs SARMs
Figure 1: Once removed from the shelves, companies replaced the “real” Prohormones with legal supplements that have similar names, but different ingredients

This was in accordance with the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004. Why were they removed? Well, simply put, they were illegal drugs.

Nowadays, Prohormones are simply supplements that are used to increase Natural Testosterone levels, growth hormone, and other anabolic factors in the body. Some of these are still banned by the World Anti Doping Agency, while others are allowed.

Most of them are completely legal, and they are available online for purchase. They typically have few sides, whereas some of the stronger ones certainly will have side effects.

What are SARMs?

Anabolic Steroids are used in the medical world to help sick individuals gain muscle and bone tissue rapidly. They are really effective at this, however, they bring upon a ton of adverse effects like cholesterol, androgenic side effects, and Testosterone suppression (1, 2).

Prohormones vs SARMs
Figure 2: SARMS were developed to replace Steroids in the medical world. They are massively different, but still work on the same axis – via the Androgen Receptor (AR)

Doctors soon realized that the adverse effects were too much, and they needed to develop something less impactful. Thus, SARMs, or Selective androgen receptor modulators were invented.

The main difference between these and Steroids is the fact that SARMs do not bind to all the Androgen receptors in the human body. This means they have fewer sides, but they are also not as strong either (3).

They can still cause overall body composition changes, specifically in muscle growth and fat loss. That said, it would depend on which ones you use, the quality, and the cycle length as well.

Are SARMs anabolic hormones? Yes. Are they Anabolic Steroids? No.

Prohormones vs SARMs – Overall?

Before we get into the nitty gritty about each factor, which is going to give you more potential benefits, Prohormones or SARMs? If we are talking about the old Prohormones, then the Prohormones win hands down.

Steroids will always be stronger than SARMs, that’s their literal nature. That said, Prohormones are notorious for having some of the most negative side effects.

If you are someone that is looking to avoid significant side effects, then SARMs or the newer Prohormones might be the better option for you to look at. They might not be as strong, but they will certainly not have the same sides – which is good.

Prohormones vs SARMs – Bulking?

When it comes to simply helping you build muscle, you cannot beat what the (old) Prohormones would provide. There are those who would claim that SARMs can increase muscle mass more than Steroids, but those individuals are lying.

Sure, SARMs could help you gain some muscle, however, (old) Prohormones would be far better. One thing to note is that the (old) Prohormones would negatively affect your appetite, something to consider.

The newer Prohormones would lose to SARMs, hands down. OTC supplements would not do anything that SARMs cannot do, and tenfold better. (Old) Prohormones are limited in the view that you cannot use them for a long time before the sides get too severe, so you might prefer SARMs if you are prone to side effects.

Prohormones vs SARMs – Cutting?

Cutting on the other hand is where I believe SARMs have the upper hand. See, there are various SARMs that could help you lose body fat in ways that (old) Prohormones or even the newer ones could not.

Prohormones vs SARMs
Figure 3: A simplified view of how fat loss works. Certain SARMs, like MK 677, can directly increase Lipolysis, thus increasing fat loss

SARMs such as MK-677 would harness the GH axis to increase lipolysis, something neither of the Prohormones would do effectively. Other SARMs like Cardarine would also help with fat loss.

Muscle retention would definitely be aided by SARMs, but again, (old) Prohormones would be better than SARMs when only looking at anabolism. The problem still remains that you have a limited time to be on Prohormones before the sides get to you.

Prohormones vs SARMs – Side Effects?

We’ve mentioned the side effects of Prohormones a few times already, but are they really that bad? Yes, they are. But only for the old Prohormones.

Prohormones vs SARMs
Figure 4: Both SARMs and Prohormones need to go through the first pass to be absorbed. That said, Prohormones are far worse for the liver than most SARMs

Superdrol, the most famous Prohormone, is known to be extremely liver toxic. It is also known to cause severe Androgenic side effects such as acne, hair loss, etc.

Other Prohormones like Methyl-1-Test (methyldihydroboldenone) are also known to be extremely severe when it comes to adverse effects on the body. This one in particular is known to be so severe, most people just avoid it completely. Are Prohormones safe you may ask? For the most part, but again, you need to make sure of what you take and how you take it.

SARMs also have their fair share of side effects. There is a large range of SARMs, much greater than the range of Prohormones. For the most part, the side effects are not as severe. That said, some of the stronger SARMs such as YK-11 will have sides you might want to pay attention to.

Overall, SARMs get off the W here. But you still need to do your own research…

Prohormones vs SARMs – Costs?

When it comes to using PEDs, people always seem to forget about the costs associated. Popular SARMs are reasonably affordable, but they still fetch a pretty penny – depending on where you buy, of course.

To get quality SARMs, you might spend a few hundred dollars per month for a full cycle. Then you might also need a post cycle therapy, and that might cost you a few bucks too.

Prohormones are usually slightly more cost-effective, however, you do lose some of that saving when looking at the fact that your PCT will have to be quite a lot stronger.

SARMs vs Prohormones in this category will really depend on the different SARMs and Prohormones used. At lower doses, the SARMs would lose because you are limited in time when looking at Prohormones. Something like MK-677 can be run for a long time before you actually start seeing side effects.

Prohormones vs SARMs – Legality?

Flat-out, (old) Prohormones are illegal. These are Steroids that are just sold under another name, and how companies still get away with this, I do not know. Even looking at the black market, they’re completely illegal.

Popular Prohormones of the new kind (supplements) are completely legal. They might not all be legal when looking at professional sports (WADA), but they are legal to purchase.

SARMs on the other hand have never really been cleared for human consumption. Technically, these fall under research chemicals. You can purchase these legally online, however, they need to be sold as research chemicals and cannot be sold for human consumption.

Prohormones vs SARMs – Both?

Stacking Prohormones with SARMs, is it something you’d even want to do? IDK, how crazy are you? The reality is you could probably stack these two, however, there are some key factors you need to consider:

  • Similar side effects (such as liver issues, cholesterol, etc)
  • If both will increase Estrogen, you might need an AI
  • Increased risk of Testosterone suppression

These are things you need to consider. So, take great care and do your research on all the compounds you intend to stack. Follow the recommended cycle length and recommended dosages, or face the consequences.

This could be a highly suppressive mix of compounds, so, be careful.

Where can I buy SARMs?

When looking at buying SARMs (and quality cycle support) your best bet would be a place that does frequent testing, like Sports Technology Labs. Each batch of their products is tested to make sure you get the best quality.

Prohormones vs SARMs
Figure 5: Sports Technology Labs appears to be the best source of SARMs and Peptides when taking quality and price into consideration

They are reasonably priced for what you are getting, however, you get what you pay for. They even have Peptides, something that is worth stacking SARMs with because the side effects are not really similar.

Where can I buy Prohormones?

As mentioned, there are two versions of Prohormones on the market. Finding a retailer that has both is properly hard, but Amino Asylum is known for having great quality at a reasonable price.

Their range is up to par, but could certainly be more. That said, they have a great number of other products such as PCT supplies, SARMs, Peptides, etc.

Amino Asylum is a giant in the world of research chemicals and they sponsor a wide variety of athletes and influencers. They are trusted and their products work.

Prohormones vs SARMs – Conclusion

Which would target receptors best? Which is right for you? Which is best for muscle building?

The answer is simple. Are you willing to suffer the side effect? If yes, then Prohormones would give you better results in every aspect except for fat loss. They have way more side effects, like acne breakout oily skin, high blood pressure hepatotoxicity, and so much more.

SARMs also have side effects, and they can certainly help with lean muscle mass and bone density, however, they are not at strong as the (old) Prohormones.

Which is stronger SARMs or Prohormones?

SARMs are stronger than the “supplements” sold as Prohormones today. When looking at the Prohormones that were on the market in the early 2000s, SARMs don’t really stand a chance. They were developed to have fewer sides than their Steroidal counterparts, at the expense of not being as strong.

Since the early Prohormones were rebranded Steroids, neither SARMs nor modern Prohormones stand a chance.

Do Prohormones really work?

The old ones do because they are Steroids. The new ones can work, however like with other supplements, you’re not going to have the effects that SARMs or old Prohormones would.

Modern Prohormones are just very experimental supplements, but they can help you lose fat or build muscle, sure.

Best SARMs for beginners

For beginners, the best SARMs you can get would have to be MK-677 and Cardarine. Technically, neither of these are SARMs and the side effects are really minimal. For more experienced folk, something like Ligandrol would work, and for those who really know what they are doing, YK-11 could work.

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 coaching@muscleandbrawn.com.

1) NIDA. 2021, April 12. What is the history of anabolic steroid use?. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/steroids-other-appearance-performance-enhancing-drugs-apeds/what-history-anabolic-steroid-use on 2022, December 17

2) NIDA. 2021, April 12. What are the side effects of anabolic steroid misuse?. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/steroids-other-appearance-performance-enhancing-drugs-apeds/what-are-side-effects-anabolic-steroid-misuse on 2022, December 17

3) Solomon ZJ, Mirabal JR, Mazur DJ, Kohn TP, Lipshultz LI, Pastuszak AW. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators: Current Knowledge and Clinical Applications. Sex Med Rev. 2019 Jan;7(1):84-94. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2018.09.006. Epub 2018 Nov 30. PMID: 30503797; PMCID: PMC6326857.

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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