In the world of bodybuilding, two substances – HGH and steroids – stand out when it comes to building and strengthening muscles, boosting strength, and improving overall physical stamina. In fact, many professional athletes and bodybuilders use any one of these substances or sometimes even both. If this is the case, then what is the difference between HGH and steroids?
Human Growth Hormone is a fully synthetic substance that closely resembles the hormone of the same name naturally produced by the pituitary gland up in the base of the human brain. Although it closely resembles the hormone which the pituitary gland produces, its effects are far numerous and widespread. These can include the following.
- Promotes the growth and development of muscles, bones, and cartilage
- Increases the total mass of muscles
- Promotes the more efficient burning or utilization of fat
- Increases the formation or synthesis of structural proteins
- Stimulates the maturation and continuing growth of all organs of the body except the brain
- Reduces the entry of glucose in the liver
- Promotes the conversion of stored glycogen and fat in the liver into glucose
- Helps maintain the optimum functioning of insulin
- Stimulates the proper functioning of the immune system
- Increases the production of thyroid hormones for increased metabolism
These substances are also synthetically produced in laboratories just like HGH. They are also considered to be anabolic – tissue building – just like HGH. However, their functions are somewhat more specific and a bit more limited compared to Human Growth Hormone preparations. Synthetic anabolic steroids increase the levels of circulating testosterone in the human body. Their effects are thus related to the function of testosterone which can include the following.
- Increase the synthesis of proteins by muscle cells
- Enhance muscle development
- Improve physical endurance and strength
- Improve sexual functioning
- Induce the development as well as maintenance of male secondary sex characteristics
- Stimulate the bone marrow
- Stimulate appetite
- Prevent bone loss
- Stimulate lean body mass
The Obvious Difference
Since the function of HGH encompasses not only the muscles of the body but other physiologic processes, we can always argue that it is more versatile than anabolic steroids. It can be used to improve one’s overall health and wellbeing. In the medical profession, HGH can also be used to slow down the effects of aging as well as help certain patients recover from traumatic injuries where different tissues need to be repaired and allowed to regenerate on their own.
Human Growth Hormone preparations have also been shown to be more effective in maintaining lean muscle mass. It is for this reason that HGH is typically included in post-cycle therapy to help in the prevention of muscle tissue loss secondary to using anabolic steroids as a replacement for endogenous testosterone.
On the other hand, steroids are primarily indicated for those who want to focus more on the development of the mass, tone, and strength of the muscle tissues. This can greatly improve overall performance whereby muscle strength is of utmost importance.
It is important to remember, however, that since steroids have masculinizing effects, their use on women can have potentially unwanted effects such as the appearance of male secondary sex characteristics. This is, of course, in addition to the potentially fatal side effects of steroids especially when abused. This is not to say that HGH is completely safe, however. HGH can also have its side effects mostly related to its tissue growth-stimulating effects.
The point is this: if you want a better all-around development that includes exceptional tissue repair and regeneration, continuing growth and maturation of all body organs, and improved functioning of all body systems, then you need HGH. However, if you want an instant boost in all-out athletic performance, you might want steroids. But if the performance and strength can wait, HGH is still the way to go.
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