What is PCT?
Once fed exogenous substances meant to increase or decrease the production of the natural substances (such as prohormones), the human body sets in movement, a series of procedures designed to accommodate itself to the circumstance.
That is exactly what happens, for instance, once an athlete absorbs anabolic steroids –also known as”artificial testosterone”–to prevent from overloading, the human body either reduces or completely shuts down its production of this manly hormone.
The latter could be especially dangerous, because an athlete can’t stay forever on steroids, given its well-known, terrible side effects –impotence, shrunken testicles, painful erections and so on.
What’s more, when endogenous production of testosterone decreases, levels of progesterone and estrogen (feminine hormones, which men have in a 1:100 percentage compared to testosterone) skyrocket.
The impacts of such an increase are bad to a bodybuilder: muscle development reduces and the waist begins to put some fat up; energy levels plummet and there may be signs of depression.
There have even been accounts of men growing breasts.
Also, together with diminished production of testosterone, two additional components come into play: cortisol, and a protein called’sex hormone-binding globulin’ (SHBG).
Cortisol, aside from being dubbed ‘the stress hormone’ for a reason, is harmful to muscles. In the presence of testosterone is really much kept at bay, but with the manly hormone at a very low stage, cortisol is free to do what it loves most: destroy muscle tissue.
SHBG, on the other hand, binds to testosterone and holds it down. There’ll be a lot of SHBG after a steroid cycle, and it will run the show until testosterone production exceeds its limits once again.
Therefore, to sum up: as a means to prevent the body from completely shutting down its testosterone production and producing rather higher levels of female hormones, cortisol, and SHBG, in the late 1980s the bodybuilding industry created the concept of post cycle therapy or PCT.
Rather than letting the body correct by itself that the havocs wreaked by anabolic steroids consumption –which can take around four months, athletes now utilize PCT supplements which reduce the timespan to a mean of fourteen days.
What PCT does is bring hormone production back to its initial levels, in addition to checking that every internal organ is in great shape and health.
Thanks to PCT, athletes may come up from an anabolic steroid cycle and keep their muscles profits, restore testosterone production, and maintain cortisol and other annoying elements at bay.
Why is it that some SARMs need it?
As a means to give fitness enthusiasts with something to help them achieve the results they’re searching for, without the dangerous side effects of anabolic steroids, the pharmaceutical industry has developed selective androgen receptor modulators –also called SARMs.
Anabolic steroids, as mentioned earlier, produce undesirable side effects which could vary from straightforward acne into an enlarged prostate along with an increased possibility of blood clots, which in turn raise the probability of experiencing a heart attack.
On the other hand, SARMs, although not approved by any regulatory body in the United States nor Europe, has examined well on clinical trials as a more powerful way to boost testosterone levels, with the desirable consequences of muscle development, heightened stamina, and quicker recovery intervals, amongst others.
Besides, athletes may find a specific SARM to meet their needs, whether they’re excited about building muscle, enhancing functionality, or increasing endurance.
Rather than synthetically replacing testosterone, as anabolic steroids do, SARMs mimic the effects of the masculine hormone; this is, they open the floodgates and let the body out parts that help out with protein synthesis, muscle growth, and bone wasting prevention.
The beauty of this is that, in the practice of doing this, they do not mess with the endocrine system, that’s the reason that most SARMs when taken in the prescribed dosages, don’t require a PCT.
However, despite SARMs not being nearly as dangerous and competitive as anabolic steroids, a few of them may still desire a PCT.
To begin with, there are two big kinds of SARMs: steroidal and non-steroidal. Remember about SARMs opening the floodgates of some bodily components?
That is exactly what Happens, protein-based SARMs do: they distinguish, they can tell which cells stimulate and which to leave unaffected.
Steroidal SARMs do not, and since they don’t, they may stimulate parts of your DNA unrelated to muscle bone or building enhancement.
Furthermore, SARMs are probably used in sets of three or two.
By way of instance, if you are an innovative SARMs user wanting to the majority, experts suggest that you take 10 milligrams of LGD 4033 (Ligandrol) stacked with 25 milligrams of MK 677 (Ibutamoren) and 10 milligrams of YK 11.
Only in such instances, it might be helpful to implement a short PCT just to return your body’s hormone production amounts to normal by itself.
How can PCT work?
As it’s been stated, a PCT can be extremely helpful at restoring the body’s capacity to produce the most important hormones by itself.
It is compulsory for all those athletes wrapped on anabolic steroids because endogenous testosterone production is decreased or completely shut down after a synthetic substitute has taken over.
On a more sophisticated level, what occurs is that steroid consumption can throw away the balance on your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a title given to some interactions between the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal gland (or suprarenal) glands.
Among many homeostatic systems across the body, the HPA axis regulates the reproductive system, which contains the testicles that, in turn, create the highly sought after testosterone.
That being said, a PCT will want to stimulate the pituitary gland to produce luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which will later foster the production of testosterone by the testicles.
The best method to achieve this is by using a selective estrogen receptor modulator (also known as SERM).
Apart from assisting the body produce testosterone, these compounds will antagonize and deactivate estrogen, so that guys do not suffer from hypogonadism (little testicles) and infertility.
Options include Nolvadex, Clomid, Raloxifene, and Fareston. Experts advise that SERMs shouldn’t, under any circumstance, be left out of a PCT.
Other compounds that could be helpful to get a PCT are aromatase inhibitors (AIs). They work slightly differently than SERMs, though with comparable results.
What they do, as its title explains, is inhibit the aromatase enzyme, responsible for converting androgens to estrogen.
Some AI choices are Aromasin, Arimidex, and Letrozole.
The last substance one can use when confronting a PCT is human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a title for artificial LH.
As has been stated, LH stimulates the invention of testosterone, and this is great. But, HCG has a drawback: it also promotes aromatase activity in men’s testicles, which in turn promotes higher levels of estrogen in the body.
For that reason, experts advise that HCG should be taken together with aromatase inhibitors.
Last but not least, high doses of vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) was shown effective at both increasing controlling and testosterone SHBG levels within the body.
Great news: vitamin D is extremely easy to find –appear! It comes naturally with sunlight, and you can also find it in egg yolks, some mushrooms and fish.
If that is not sufficient, however, you can always resort to supplements.