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That’s a million-dollar question. Why steroid use is on the rise despite all the warnings about their side effects. One of the logical explanation is that they work as expected. And the second reason is perhaps the over exaggeration of side effects, and people understand that.
This is not to say that steroids are safe. However, when used in a planned way, side effects are uncommon or overcome. If medical use of steroids is well studied, there are lack of studies about non-medical use of steroids.
Doctors of sports medicine have developed most of the tips and tricks for the safe use of steroids. So yes, these methods work. Thus professional athletes use steroids in cycles, take enough rest, use post cycle therapy. Professional athletes also use other drugs to minimize the risk of side effects.
Research indicates that almost 10% of athletes or people involved in competitive sports use steroid in one year period. Although, the real numbers may be much higher. It means that only a small amount of sports people are caught using steroids.
So why do so many sports people use steroids? Well, the explanation is simple. Competition in professional sports has become very harsh. Things are further made worse by the fact that many of those who use steroids get an unfair advantage over the others. It means that those not using steroids cannot expect to perform like those on steroids.
Thus many in sports are left with no choice rather start using the steroids. In fact, steroids have wholly changed sports. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to participate in some of the games without using steroids.
Just take an example of NFL players. In the 1920s most massive players weighted around 200 pounds (91kg), whereas, in 2014 some of the bigger players weighted above 300 pounds (136kg)! Isn’t that a big jump in less than a century. Most researchers agree that the systemic use of steroid has played a role in such a change.
Same is true for bodybuilding. In the pre-steroids era, bodybuilders were entirely different. They were well built, ripped, had a fantastic physique. Nonetheless, they were lighter. They also took much longer to achieve success. To understand the difference, you can just look at the pics of some older bodybuilders and the difference is clearly visible.
In modern sports, many specialists think that it is not possible to excel without steroids. That is why in one of the articles published in the BMJ, researchers proposed that steroids must be legalized so that things become fair enough.
Steroids also work for females. That is why those in tough and physically demanding sports use steroids too. However, another reason is the changing definition of beauty. Definition of the beautiful female body has never remained constant. Women have frequently resorted to unhealthy means to achieving an ideal shape like using corset about a century back or being skinny in the 1990s (through dieting).
Nowadays, fitness models are loved by people. Women are expected to have powerful thighs, hips, a ripped abdomen, and so on. All this is achieved faster with the help of steroids.
We all know that humans are living longer. The world is getting older and healthier. Most people want to stay physically active as long as possible. In women hormone replacement therapy is well accepted. However, testosterone replacement therapy in aging men is controversial despite the proven benefits. In older men testosterone replacement therapy improves sexual life, energy levels, mood, physical strength and much more. Therefore, no surprise that many men are using steroids without saying to the doctors.
In short, steroid use is rising, fueled by increased competition in sports, changing definitions of beauty, and higher aspirations of the aging population. Moreover, they seem to be quite safe when used wisely. Most believe that the medical world has exaggerated their side effects.