Steroids and Alcohol
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Steroids and Alcohol

The topic of steroids and alcohol is something that I hold dearly to myself – while I have consumed alcohol while on a steroid cycle, I would never advise anyone to do the same. And despite my pleas of warnings to my close gym friends, sometimes it seems like people have to learn the hard way about the dangers of using alcohol in conjunction with steroids. Let me explain with a brief story:

I’ve had two friends who were both taking a heavy cycle of anadrol and testosterone and went out on a college bender one night. One of them managed the gym I worked out at and I walked into the gym early on a Sunday morning and found them passed out in the locker room. They eventually woke up and puked a few times and looked like hell. One of them later told me that he knew it was a bad idea, but got caught up in the fun and made a mistake. His training suffered for a day or two, but he was young at the time and his body healed quickly.

Now, although my friends did survive that night of debauchery, only god knows what long term damage was done to their bodies….Keep in mind that this occurred in the early 90’s and getting blood tests was not the norm.

I mentioned that story to make a point…..Can you drink on cycle and survive? Yes. Of course, but your age, your current medical health, the types and quantities of steroids being used are all relevant factors to the effects alcohol will have on your body and more importantly your liver.

Oral Steroids, Injectible steroids and your liver

Oral steroids can adversely affect the liver through several mechanisms. For example, they interfere with the function of certain liver enzymes. Anabolic steroids are known to increase the activity of some liver enzymes while downgrading that of others. One enzyme that’s increased with oral anabolic steroid use is hepatic triglyceride lipase, which degrades high-density lipoprotein (HDL), a beneficial cholesterol carrier in the blood. A lowered HDL level is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Athletes who use oral anabolic steroids nearly always show depressed HDL levels. Thebuildup of 17-AA oral anabolic steroids in the liver leads to a type of toxic or chemical hepatitis. Hepatitis, by the way, is a general word for an inflammation of the liver and can be caused by various factors, such as drug use and viruses. Oral steroids cause liver inflammation by promoting an increase in the size of liver cells, which leads to a congestion of bile flow through ducts in the liver that empty into the gallbladder, where bile is stored.

Physicians often warn about elevated liver enzyme levels due to oral anabolic steroid use. One visible early sign of liver inflammation due to oral steroid use is jaundice, which is characterized by retention of bile in the body, leading to a yellow discoloration in the skin and whites of the eyes. Anyone using oral anabolic steroids should stop using the immediately if such symptoms occur. If you ignore the symptoms, you’re at risk for a more serious liver complication.

Of course not all orals are as toxic on your liver as others. Anavar and turanibol are examples of orals which put low stress on the liver at low doses.  Regardless of the type of oral steroid, higher doses will cause higher liver toxicity.

Trenbolone is an injectable steroid that is generally not considered to be hepatotoxic although, severe liver toxicity has been noted in bodybuilders abusing trenbolone. Although unlikely, hepatotoxicity cannot be completely excluded, especially with high doses of Trenbolone.

Alcohol and the body:

  • Alcohol inhibits protein synthesis (which translated to less gains), along with putting extra stress on the liver.
  • Alcohol also makes inhibits your ability to clear estrogen from the blood stream, by acting as a central system depressant and by decreasing zinc levels.
  • Alcohol can dehydrate the body and produce a hangover that’s not very conducive to a productive workout.
  • Ideally you want to have everything absolutely perfect when running a cycle if you want optimal results. I don’t drink while on cycle and don’t recommend it either. In my opinion, the progress you make will be worth the sacrifice.
  • That being said, if you do partake while on cycle, keep a close eye on your blood work and keep your drinking it to a minimum.