Anavar, also known as oxandrolone, is a synthetic oral steroid, similar to natural testosterone. This drug is mainly used to enhance lean muscle mass in bodybuilders and those who struggle with frailty and muscle wastage due to various health conditions. Usually, after every steroid cycle, PCT or Post Cycle Therapy is required to help your body restore its functions. In simpler terms, PCT consist of taking drugs to help your body bounce back into its normal form. Even though Anavar is one of the mildest steroids, the question of whether or not PCT is mandatory or necessary after Anavar cycles remains the most popular question asked regarding Anavar. In this article, we explore the answer to this question alongside the advantages and disadvantages of Anavar.
What is Post Cycle Therapy (PCT)?
Cycling is a method that consists of consuming multiple doses of steroids over a particular period. The length of the course depends on achieved testosterone levels and varies from person to person. However, external or artificial testosterone production can limit endogenous or natural testosterone, resulting in negative health conditions. A Post Cycle Therapy or PCT is administered after every steroid cycle, to mitigate the potential side effects of steroid cycles. Here, we take other drugs like Clomid and Nolvadex, to help reduce testosterone suppression and other related negative health issues. These drugs cease estrogen conversion, i.e., aromatization, to preserve normal testosterone production.
In the case of Anavar, since it is a mild steroid, a PCT is often deemed nonessential. However, it is vital to note that the Anavar-only cycle is less common. And most times, this steroid is stacked with other stronger androgenic drugs for more enhanced results. In that case, high doses of such steroids will lead to suppression of natural testosterone and further bring about severe side-effects.
Benefits of Anavar: How Does Anavar Work?
Steroids, in general, have got a bad reputation, and that is a fact. On the other hand, Anavar is gentle and safe with a low level of hepatoxicity when compared to other stronger steroids. One of the main objectives behind the creation of this FDA-approved anabolic and androgenic steroid (AAS) is to build muscle mass by being an effective treatment for people suffering from catabolic illnesses, bad burns, various infections, and even those recovering from serious surgeries. Therefore, Anavar is consumed by bodybuilders and medical patients alike, but it serves a different purpose for each user. Some of the benefits of Anavar are as follows:
- Lean Muscle gain- Anavar promotes lean muscle gains. It also means users won’t experience fat gain, water weight gain, or even bloating. Because Anavar is 5a-reduced, it shuts aromatization, stopping the elevation of estrogen levels.
- Decrease total body fat- With Anavar, there is an increase in fat-burn because of the high metabolic rate. It reduces visceral fat and gains lean mass with a regular dosage of around 30-50 mg.
- Build strength and Enhance muscle hardening- Anavar being exogenous testosterone, increases strength in your body, even if you are on a low-calorie diet. This fact is beneficial for athletes and performers as it boosts muscle function, growth, and physical activity level.
- No water retention- With Anavar, water retention is highly unlikely, and this helps bodybuilders to develop a very dry and ripped physique. The reason behind this being the lack of aromatization.
- Low androgenicity- Anavar does not elevate androgenic or male characteristics even though it is a testosterone steroid. The usage will limit the pituitary axis essential to sustain testosterone production.
- Befitting for women- Due to the mild androgenic properties of Anavar, virilization effects such as excessive hair growth, irregular menstrual cycles, etc. are less prominent, thereby keeping a women’s femininity intact.
- Rapid recovery and tolerance- Anavar promotes speedy recovery, especially in burn patients. It also aids in better performance in athletes by increasing endurance and training intensity.
- Enhanced vascularity- Bodybuilders who want to look as big as possible use Anavar to achieve muscle fullness or pumped muscles. It is possible as using Anavar results in intracellular water retention, where water is filled inside the muscle cell, further causing superficial veins to become prominently visible.
- Safe liver- Anavar usage doesn’t affect your liver like other oral steroids. This is because Anavar is predominantly metabolized by kidneys. Therefore, liver damage is discounted.
Usage and Side-effects of Anavar
A general rule of thumb with steroids is greater the results, the greater are the side-effects. Even though Anavar is one of the best and safest steroids in the market today, it does have tolerable side-effects. The rule of thumb with steroids applies here in terms of abuse in a recreational setting. In simpler terms, normal dosage yields little to no side-effects, but higher doses will increase the risk of side-effects. These are some of the side-effects:
- High cholesterol- Anavar negatively impacts LDL cholesterol as it can result in arteriosclerosis, which is the clogging of the arteries. This condition, in turn, leads to high blood pressure as well. If higher doses are consumed, bad cholesterol will spike up resulting in high-risk cardiovascular diseases and even stroke.
- Testosterone suppression- Taking Anavar will enhance testosterone levels rapidly. As a result, our body reduces the production of natural testosterone, to balance the hormones. The shutdown of testosterone level leads to various other issues like delayed puberty in young boys and even affect fertility in some men.
- Damages your kidney- Even though Anavar keeps your liver safe from damage unlike other steroids, predominant metabolism by kidneys can put a strain on them, leading to chronic dysfunction of kidneys.
- Excessive hair loss- If the user is already genetically prone to hair loss, then using Anavar speeds up the process for you. Anavar has DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), a strong androgen that causes hair recession and thinning.
Unadministered usage of Anavar would lead to serious repercussions. Therefore, it is always ideal to understand the appropriate dosage instructions based on your needs. For women, the ideal range would be 5-10 mg administered over a shorter cycle of 4-6 weeks that would result in muscle growth and fat loss. This dosage also keeps women safe from virilization side-effects. As for men, 5-10 mg is common and ideal for beginners. However, athletes and bodybuilders use Anavar around 15-25 mg daily for 6-8 weeks. Many users split up the doses to be taken throughout the day, due to its short life span in your system, which may last 9 to 10 hours maximum.
One of the main aims of PCT after a steroid cycle is to restore natural testosterone production in our body. Does this imply that we require a PCT at all costs? No, it doesn’t. Some people using an Anavar-only cycle may choose not to undertake a PCT and wait for testosterone recovery to occur naturally. This is because Anavar is a mild drug and endogenous testosterone production levels would not cease altogether when consumed independent of other drugs. However, if a person mixes Anavar with other anabolic and androgenic steroids (AAS), then a PCT becomes an essential strategy. The case is the same when a user decides not to wait several months for the natural restoration of testosterone production. Therefore, consult a medical practitioner before making these decisions to ensure the normal functioning of hormones and optimal physical health.