One popular muscle-building and fat-burning prohormone is androsterone or 1-Andro. Studies suggest that this metabolite of 1-DHEA can promote muscle growth, but the side effects may outweigh the potential benefits.
Building lean muscle is the primary goal for most men and women each year. Even if you want to burn fat and lose weight, you most likely want to replace that fat with lean muscle tissue. For anyone who has sought extra muscle-building help in the form of supplements but didn’t want to get involved in steroids, prohormones may have seemed like an obvious first choice.
Androsterone is a popular muscle-building prohormone that promises huge gains in muscle size and strength, but are these claims warranted? Can 1-androsterone really help you build lean muscle and achieve your physique goals?
Let’s look at what androsterone is, potential benefits of 1-andro, and androsterone side effects you’ll want to avoid.
What is 1-Androsterone?
Androsterone (1-androstene 3b-ol, 17-one), more commonly known as 1-androsterone or 1-andro, is a metabolite of 1-DHEA, a powerful designer steroid.
Despite its relationship to 1-DHEA, androsterone is classified as a type of dietary supplement called a prohormone.
Like steroids, a prohormone is used to achieve physique goals, namely muscle growth and fat burning, but some strength-based athletes also use prohormones in the hopes that it will increase personal bests.
How Does it Work?
Once ingested, androsterone needs to be processed by the liver. It is here that it will receive the enzyme it requires to become a steroidal compound and promote anabolic benefits. This is why some prohormones can escape the illegal status of designer steroids: prohormones don’t become active until they pass through the liver. In contrast, anabolic steroids are immediately effective and require no additional enzyme to influence your testosterone and androgenic hormone levels.
Benefits of 1-Androsterone
When used as a part of a healthy diet and training program, 1-andro may promote the following benefits:
Muscle Growth: Studies show that androsterone was successful in promoting lean muscle gains. Subjects taking 330 mg per day of 1-andro while completing a 4-week training program showed significant improvements in body composition, but researchers caution that the damage done to the body far outweighed the gains the subjects experienced.
Fat Loss: While many prohormone users need to supplement with a bulking and cutting supplement, androsterone seems to negate the need for the separation. Many users claim that they burn a great deal of body fat while building lean muscle tissue. Studies seem to back this up as researchers suggest that the anabolic environment primes the body for fat burning and protein synthesis.
Strength Gains: The study above found that subjects taking androsterone improved their back squat and overall workload in total. While the strength levels of the subjects did increase, it’s not clear whether or not these gains were able to be maintained. What’s more, the adverse effects from 1-andro made the limited strength gains seem irrelevant.
While many companies claim that prohormones are safer than designer steroids, studies suggest otherwise.
One research review found that all of the claims made by several big-name prohormone manufacturers, including gains in muscle size without the risk of side effects, were completely false. In fact, researchers found that prohormones promoted several side effects with the most apparent being a significant increase in estrogen levels.
Since your body becomes dependent on the prohormone to elevate its testosterone, the natural production of testosterone in your body stops. Once your cycle ends, your body’s estrogen levels will increase to match the elevated testosterone levels. The problem is that since your body isn’t pumping out its own testosterone when this happens, you’re left with high levels of estrogen and low testosterone. This is the foundation of gynecomastia or developing man boobs.
Other potential androsterone side effects include the following:
How to Take 1-Androsterone
A typical cycle of androsterone should last 4 weeks, but there are anecdotal reports of experienced users being able to take it for up to 8 weeks.
A starting dosage for beginners is 300 mg per day, and the maximum dosage is said to be 1,000 mg per day, but this is for those users who have completed several cycles of 1-andro.
If you’ve never used a prohormone before, it’s highly recommended to start with a very low dosage and slowly increase it each week. Here’s a breakdown of a beginner-friendly dosage schedule of 1- androsterone:
What is 1-Andro?
Despite popular belief, there is no difference between androsterone, 1-androsterone, and 1-andro. They are all the same compound. However, there is a brand called “1-Andro” that is based on 1-DHEA and claims to provide the same benefits of muscle building and fat loss.
Why is 1-Andro Used by Bodybuilders?
Manufacturers claim that using 1-Andro is safer than using anabolic steroids because it is non-methylated. When androgenic steroids are processed in the body, they often contain methylated compounds that can harm the liver and kidneys.
While 1-Andro may be a non-methylated prohormone supplement, it still presents a number of risks for liver health as well as a list of side effects.
How is 1-Andro Taken?
1-Andro is taken in the same way that is described above. A starting cycle is 4 weeks while more experienced users can take the prohormone for 8 weeks.
If you’re a beginner, you want to start with a 300 mg dosage. Experienced users should slowly increase the dosage until you find one that promotes muscle building, but not severe side effects.
A good rule of thumb is a 100 mg increase for each new cycle. Remember that these suggestions are from anecdotal reports and not confirmed studies.
Side Effects of 1-Andro
Although the label claims otherwise, the side effects of 1-Andro (the brand) are identical to those of androsterone (the compound), with an emphasis on hair loss and estrogen dominance.
The increase in the androgenic hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), can help to increase muscle size due to its anabolic properties, but it’s the androgenic side effects that you have to worry about. Studies show that DHT has been found to promote hair loss. So regardless of what the 1-Andro label says, you can expect hair loss to happen if you take it.
Safer Ways to Build Muscle
Why risk these horror story side effects when you can achieve comparable gains with natural muscle building supplements? Natural steroid alternatives are created with scientifically-proven ingredients for muscle building and strength gains. Here are a few supplements we recommend:
D-Bal: Modelled after the famous steroid, Dianabol, D-Bal helps to promote an anabolic environment in the body for optimal muscle recovery and protein synthesis, the key to building mass.
Trenorol: Trenorol is an ideal steroid alternative to use for bulking or cutting because it focuses on keeping nitrogen levels high. In turn, this protects current levels of muscle tissue while promoting new growth.
Anvarol: Another steroid alternative that is great for all types of physique goals, Anvarol is designed to dramatically increase adenosine triphosphate or ATP levels. This will ensure that your muscles have the fuel they need to crush it in the gym for each workout.
What’s the best thing about these steroid alternatives? Not only do they work, but they won’t promote any of the side effects associated with androsterone. That means you can successfully build muscle and burn fat without the hair loss or plummeting testosterone levels.
While prohormones like androsterone or 1-andro may make big promises of muscle growth that rival designer steroids, the truth is that the gains you may see quickly fade away after the cycle ends. What you are left with is a laundry list of side effects that could potentially require medical intervention.
Why take the risk? Opt for steroid alternatives or natural muscle building supplements and pair them with a comprehensive workout program and dietary plan.