Natural Bodybuilding vs. Steroids

The main point of contention among bodybuilding bros is whether or not to use steroids in bodybuilding. Should you strive to compete at the top without using any drugs, or is there no purpose in even trying? Can a natural bodybuilder ever come close to reaching a steroid user’s size? The debate between natural and synthetic hormones seems never-ending.

Science’s view on natural versus synthetic substances

But first, let’s compare steroid use to natural bodybuilding and see what the scientific community has to say about it before we delve further into the dark side of steroid use.

You can certainly find a ton of research discussing the negative effects and risks of steroids if you search Google. A study that contrasts natural with synthetic and considers BOTH SIDES is something you don’t see very frequently.

Fortunately, eleven academics agreed to collaborate and conduct a thorough study to finally put an end to our questions.

The study: 43 average men were divided into 4 groups at random. These were the groups:

  1. Placebo (natural) with no exercise
  2. Testosterone steroid (injection) with no exercise
  3. Placebo (natural) plus exercise
  4. Testosterone steroid (injection) plus exercise

Men were given either actual steroid injections for the entire 10-week experiment or placebo injections, which included no active ingredients. Three times a week, the males in the workout groups would work out. The men underwent a complete physical examination soon before and just after the experiment.

The results: The scientists most likely had to look again once the results were in. This was truly ground-breaking work, I tell ya! In the table that follows, we’ve summarized our key findings:

Steroids vs. Natural

Placebo (natural) with no exercise
Steroid with no exercise
Placebo (natural) with exerciseSteroid with exercise
No changes, of course,
± 7 pounds muscle increase± 4 pounds muscle increase± 13 pounds muscle increase

How Do Steroids Work?

Steroids are man-made compounds that can be taken for short-term goals. They imitate the actions of hormones in the body. Using steroids is frequently prohibited, but there are some exceptions. World Anti-Doping Agency permits athletes to use steroids if they have a medical doctor’s exemption.

Which are preferable, using steroids or natural bodybuilding?

using steroids or natural bodybuilding

Resistance training is a key component of the popular physical fitness discipline known as bodybuilding, which involves developing and enhancing muscles. Using steroids or pursuing natural bodybuilding are the two primary strategies for bodybuilding.

Synthetic compounds known as steroids imitate the effects of the male hormone testosterone. Bodybuilders frequently use them to gain more muscle, get stronger and have more endurance. Steroids have a number of negative side effects and health dangers, including an increased risk of heart disease, liver damage, and infertility, despite the fact that they can produce quick results. Aside from being unlawful without a prescription, using steroids can have serious legal repercussions.

On the other hand, natural bodybuilding focuses on increasing muscle through a healthy and balanced diet, regular exercise, and enough rest. This technique is regarded to be safer because it doesn’t involve any substances that can be hazardous. It is a more sustainable method for long-term muscle building due to the slow and continuous results.

While steroids may offer quick results, the long-term health risks and legal consequences make natural bodybuilding the preferable choice. Pursuing a natural approach to bodybuilding promotes a healthy lifestyle and can lead to sustained muscle growth and overall well-being.

Are natural bodybuilders stronger than steroid users?

natural bodybuilders stronger than steroid users
Whey protein shaker and dumbbells

One of the most contentious and frequently discussed subjects in the bodybuilding scene is this one. Both natural and steroid bodybuilding have long been popular, and each group believes that their approach to bodybuilding is “correct”. Let’s first examine the differences between the two before making a choice as to which is superior.

Natural Bodybuilding 

  • Normally, bodybuilders don’t take any form of artificial steroids or other medicines to increase their muscle growth or lose weight. They solely rely on hefty weightlifting, a balanced diet, and lots of sleep.
  • Although natural bodybuilders may not be able to gain as much muscle growth as those who use steroids, their muscles are more durable and sustainable.
  • In addition to developing muscles that last, they also have a faster metabolism and improved general health.
  • It lowers blood pressure, boosts bone density, and controls cholesterol levels. It increases metabolism, lowers fat percentage, and relieves stress well.

Steroid Bodybuilding

  • The anabolic-androgenic steroids that these bodybuilders use. These substances, which are a synthetic variant of the male hormone testosterone, are injected into the body for immediate results but are prohibited in most sporting events.
  • Steroids may give you the pump you need to train harder than you otherwise could. Your recuperation time would be quicker, you could train longer, and you would gain more muscle mass, but all of these benefits come with a number of drawbacks and could be dangerous in the long run!
  • The following are a few severe adverse effects of using steroids for bodybuilding:
  • Hormonal Imbalances: Reduced Production of Testosterone
  • Gynecomastia, testicular atrophy, reduced libido, and infertility (breast tissue growth in a man)
  • Quicker hair loss
  • Skin problems: acne and greasy skin
  • Faster heart rate
  • Increased risk of hypertension, stroke/heart attack, and LDL cholesterol
  • Liver Toxicity
  • Renal impairment, fluid retention
  • Mood swings, insomnia, and mental health problems
  • Risk of premature death increased

Are natural bodybuilding preferable?

natural bodybuilding preferable

Natural bodybuilding encourages leading a healthy lifestyle because it involves selecting nutritious foods, engaging in regular exercise, obtaining enough sleep, and abstaining from harmful and illicit substances. Better physical and emotional health and well-being can result from this.

Because of its sustainability, safety, and health advantages, natural bodybuilding is better than alternative approaches, such as the usage of drugs. Individuals can encourage a healthy lifestyle, accomplish long-term muscular growth, and improve their general well-being by pursuing a natural bodybuilding strategy.

What Is Natural Bodybuilding, Exactly?

The natural bodybuilding approach developed in response to traditional bodybuilding. The focus is still on gaining muscle, but only naturally, without the use of any drugs that would improve performance, such as anabolic steroids.

One of the main contributors to muscle growth is testosterone, a male sex hormone that is synthesized to make anabolic steroids.

According to the German organization (GNBF) in the International Natural Bodybuilding Association, the sport is built on a holistic approach with four pillars:

  • Training
  • Nutrition
  • Recovery
  • Positive thinking

Organic Bodybuilders

Natural bodybuilders are those who do not add muscle bulk or lose weight by taking synthetic steroids or other medicines. They only rely on lifting huge weights, eating well, and getting plenty of rest.

While natural bodybuilders may not be able to bulk out as much as steroid users, their muscles do get stronger with time. They also build muscles that last longer and have greater general health and metabolism.

Bodybuilding in this manner decreases blood pressure, boosts bone density, and controls cholesterol levels. It increases metabolism, reduces fat percentage, and works wonders for stress relief.

Steroid Bodybuilding

These athletes utilize anabolic-androgenic steroids to build muscle. These medications, which are a synthetic variant of the male hormone testosterone, are injected into the body for immediate results but are prohibited in most sporting events.

Steroids may give you the pump you need to train harder than you otherwise could. Your recuperation time will be quicker, you’ll be able to train longer, and you’ll gain more muscle mass, but all of this has a number of negative side effects and could eventually be deadly.

Natural vs Steroids Bodybuilder

Undoubtedly, it is clear why choosing a natural path is preferable. Natural bodybuilding is the way to go if someone wants to enhance their physical appearance and general health without experiencing any harmful side effects.

The greatest approach to staying healthy and keeping a muscular body for a very long time is to find techniques to raise natural testosterone production as opposed to relying on steroids, which have significant health hazards and eventually lead to muscle loss. People are most likely to succeed in their goals without using any artificial or synthetic medications if they are willing to work hard in training and adhere to a sound plan.


In conclusion, the use of steroids in bodybuilding has been a controversial topic. A study of 43 average men showed that steroid use increased muscle mass by 7 pounds compared to a natural placebo, while a natural placebo plus exercise increased muscle mass by 4 pounds. Steroids can speed up recovery times, boost strength and muscle mass, and aid in muscle definition and fat removal, but also have potentially negative effects such as mood changes, psychosis, and acne outbreaks. The use of steroids is often prohibited but can be used with a doctor’s exemption.

Whether to use steroids or natural bodybuilding methods is a personal choice that should be based on weighing the benefits and risks. Consuming more protein and reducing high-carbohydrate food intake are also important for overall fitness.

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