How do steroids work?

The Internet is full of texts about why steroids harm the body and what exactly they are dangerous. But we want to talk not about this, but about how exactly they work. Are you wondering why steroids – substances of animal or vegetable (less often) origin with extremely high biological activity – make the body muscular? We answer.

In the video, specifically on this subject taken by the BBC Earth Lab, the expert explains that everyone who has ever thought about starting to take them needs to know about anabolic steroids. From a chemical point of view, steroids are an organic molecule, in the skeleton of which there are 17 carbon atoms, forming four articulated rings. Other elements are added to this figure, depending on what type of steroids we are dealing with.

There are many types of steroids that, logically, have a different effect on our body. For example, cholesterol and the male sex hormone testosterone are also steroids. Vitamin D, adrenal hormones and bile acids also have a steroid nature. Interestingly, both natural and synthetic steroids are widely used in medicine as anti-inflammatory, contraceptive, cardiac, or other means.

The Muscle Building Effects Of Steroid Use

As for steroids, which are used to improve fitness, these are mainly molecules that have a structure similar to testosterone and repeat its functions. As you know, the male sex hormone has the ability to join cell receptors and make certain things happen in strictly defined places. Therefore, in particular, men grow a beard, and their muscles and bones are larger in size than women.

However, testosterone, which is naturally produced by the body, has a limiting value. It determines how much muscle you can build without doping. When excessive loads in the muscles breaks up, which causes a person to stop training and spend some time on recovery.

Anabolic steroids activate the protein in the body, allowing the muscles to build up a much larger volume than the maximum that is set by nature. At the same time, as reported by Medical Daily, for steroids to be effective, you must include protein foods in your diet and do the right exercises.


It is important to understand that steroids do not just affect the muscles on which you work hard in the gym, but have a large number of side effects. Thus, studies have shown that too much steroid hormones in the body can lead to acne, high blood pressure, baldness and erectile dysfunction. Moreover, there is evidence that steroids also affect the brain, causing psychological instability and excessive aggression.

Scientists continue to work on ways to reduce the negative effects of taking steroids, but none of the experiments have yet given a positive result.