3 Natural Steroid Alternatives
By Christopher Walker
From the desk of: Christopher Walker, creator of The TestShock Program, Master Your T, The Thermo Diet, and How To Eat
In the years I’ve been teaching guys how to increase their testosterone naturally, and in my own personal experience of having many fitness cover model friends, I’ve seen anabolic steroids completely ruin guys’ health, especially their sexual & psychological health. So today I want to talk with you about natural steroid alternatives.
The guys who use steroids need post cycle therapy to hormonally recover from the “false feedback” of the steroids in their system. But most PCT measures are also bad for the body… they’re just the lesser of two evils.
The recommendations I have for you in this article are effective health measures for men who want to cycle off of steroids and restore their hormonal health.
These recommendations are also great for those of you who may be considering using anabolic steroids, or are attracted to their rapid muscle building effects but do not want to completely ruin your endocrine system in pursuit of “gains.”
You can create a highly anabolic hormonal milieu naturally… you don’t need anabolic steroids, instead you can use these natural steroid alternatives to get the results you desire.
Going the all-natural route will only increase your longevity, vitality, and ability to produce higher and higher levels of hormones like T, GH, and DHT over the rest of your life.
This is not a race… it’s a long game.
And those guys who choose to sprint by using anabolic steroids are only shooting themselves in the foot over the long term… and will suffer not only in the near future, but for the rest of their lives as they rely on expensive hormonal treatments, like legal steroid injections and creams to hold an ailing endocrine system together, and taking boner pills just to get hard.
Let’s get down to business.
In today’s article, we are going to break down the following safe and natural steroids:
Table of Contents:
- DHT Optimization
- Phosphatidylserine Supplementation for Heavier Training Loads & Faster Recovery Times
- Creatine 101 For Cheaply Increasing T and DHT Levels
Testosterone and DHT: How DHT Is One Of The Most Powerful Natural Steroid Alternatives:
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the strongest male hormone.
Most experts agree that DHT is even far more androgenic than testosterone itself.
Actually, most of the benefits of having high testosterone come from elevated DHT levels due to an enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which is responsible for converting testosterone molecules into dihydrotestosterone molecules.
The biggest advantage to DHT is that it does not turn into estrogen due to aromatization.
In fact, DHT actually works to prevent aromatization from even occurring.
DHT is responsible for your (hopefully) functioning penis, your body hair, and your muscle mass.
The problem is, DHT gets a bad rap for its role in hair loss.
In reality DHT is not responsible for hair loss.
Here at UMZU we are all about raising androgens the right way – the natural way.
So what can you do to raise your DHT naturally?
First, exercise is a key component for raising DHT levels.
Not only for the actual exercise component, but also because it helps weight loss.
But first let’s look at exercise and its effects on DHT.
Training And DHT
It is a fairly well known fact that training the correct way (neuromuscular training) for men can raise testosterone levels. What less people know is that neuromuscular training also bolsters DHT.
It makes sense when you think about it, because of how intricately connected testosterone and DHT really are.
But when I speak of training the “right way” I am certainly not telling you to do endurance exercise.
There are certain ways to train that can raise testosterone and DHT, and there are also plenty of ways to exercise that lower androgens.
What should you be doing for training?
In short, all of the training programs included in UMZUfit are designed to increase T, GH, and DHT levels through neuromuscular resistance.
Speaking of things you should NOT be doing, you shouldn’t be doing long duration cardio. This is a surefire way to make your DHT levels dip.
Next, let’s look at the effect lowering your body fat has on your DHT levels.
Fat Loss and DHT
When I speak of losing weight here, I am talking about men losing body fat, specifically belly fat.
Being fat is a major blow to your hormones, especially testosterone and DHT levels.
Belly fat increases aromatase activity, which in turn takes your testosterone and converts it into estrogen.
So being fat actually makes you less manly in all hormonal seriousness.
Throughout this process, the fat in turn directly neutralizes DHT.
Just check out this study, which explains how belly fat not only turns testosterone into estradiol, it also turns DHT into completely inactive compounds.
So even without raising your DHT levels, by losing belly fat you can optimize the use of your current DHT levels and make sure the DHT remains active in your body.
Many of the other ways to increase DHT naturally have to do with diet choice. So now that we know the effects of exercise and fat loss on DHT, let’s look at the effects of foods.
Dietary Guidelines For Increasing DHT Naturally
Supplement With Creatine
Creatine is a bodybuilding supplement that actually works.
You can trust creatine for helping you put on more lean muscle mass.
Anyone who is already working out should be supplementing with a bit of creatine, but here are some added advantages to the bodybuilding enhancer.
Creatine has been found to raise both testosterone levels and DHT levels.
In this study, college rugby players were split into two groups. One was loaded up with creatine and the other was loaded with placebo over 7 days. The creatine group was given 25g of creatine and 25g of glucose per day as part of supplementation.
After the 7 days was over, each group went into a 14 day maintenance period. This was 5g creatine per day with 25g of glucose for the experimental group.
After the study was over, there was a DHT increase of 56% after the 7 days and 40% after the 14 days among the experimental group.
Clearly creatine is a powerful supplement for increasing DHT.
Sorghum is a grain that you can ingest in the form of Sorghum flour.
Sorghum works by increasing 5-alpha reductase, which in turn will raise DHT levels.
In this study, it was found that eating sorghum can increase 5-alpha reductase activity by 54%.
That’s quite a jump from one grain.
Avoid These Direct 5-Alpha Inhibitors
There are certain foods that are known for their effects on reducing 5-alpha reductase enzyme activity.
This reduced activity will result in less active DHT.
Here are some examples of the foods you should avoid:
Supplement With Boron
Boron has some very interesting effects on the endocrine system.
Some, but not all, of those include lowering estrogen and increasing your DHT and testosterone levels.
This is most likely due to the decreasing effect boron has on the sexual hormone binding globulin in the blood.
To depict this, in the following study, researchers required subjects to supplement 10mg of boron every morning for 7 days.
After just 7 days, free testosterone levels had risen by 28% and estrogen levels had dropped by 39%
Eat Dietary Fats
There are good fats and bad fats.
When I speak of pro-testosterone dietary fats, I am talking about saturated and monounsaturated fats.
These along with cholesterol are the major building blocks of testosterone production.
Which means that they are also builders of DHT levels.
In this study, researchers looked at the effects of a protein-filled, dietary fat-filled diet along with resistance exercise and found that the two combined greatly increased resting and post exercise DHT and testosterone levels.
Enjoy a Moderate to High-Carb Diet
Restriction of natural starchy carbohydrates causes a drop in testosterone levels.
Higher carbohydrate diets have also been shown in studies to increase DHT.
Low carb diets are hyped up a lot for their effects on short term insulin sensitivity for weight loss, but a low carb diet has long term negative effects on testosterone levels.
To optimize testosterone and DHT levels for long term effects on weight loss, enjoy a moderate to high carb diet with a suggested 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
Eat More Meat
Studies show that men eating regular meaty diets have higher DHT levels than men on vegetarian or vegan diets.
This is because meats contain pro-testosterone ingredients like creatine, protein, saturated fat and cholesterol.
Limit Fiber Intake
Men who limit their fiber intake to around 20 grams a day have been found to enjoy higher DHT levels.
Studies show that men who switch from a low fiber to high fiber diet see a sharp decline in DHT and testosterone levels. So follow these guidelines for diet and exercise to optimize DHT production for a manlier life.
If you want to have a step by step plan for eating in a way that optimizes DHT and testosterone make sure to check out The Thermo Diet here!
Phosphatidylserine Supplementation for Heavier Training Loads & Faster Recovery Times:
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a fat-soluble, amino acid found in the inner side of the cell membranes in the brain which contribute to cognitive functioning by facilitating intercellular communications which are critical to healthy brain functions. Research has shown that high levels of PS are essential in strengthening memory, increasing attention and learning, relieving depression and balancing mood, and maintaining low levels of stress.
Phosphatidylserine, a chemical found in the inner side of the cell membranes belong to a group of fats called phospholipids. It’s main function is facilitating communication and interactions between cells in all parts of the body.
In essence PS is essential in all intercellular communications which are important to overall brain function. Phosphatidylserine (abbreviated Ptd-L-Ser or PS) plays a critical role in cell cycle signaling, specifically in relation to apoptosis.
This amino acid is a critical nutrient for maintaining healthy, lively, high functioning brain cells. With normal levels of PS we are better able to deal with stress, maintain good memory, concentration, focus and learning. We are more coordinated, less moody, less hungry and more motivated to exercise.
When the body slows down production of Phosphatidylserine, which is necessary for effective neurotransmission, the deficiency causes a wide range of mental impairments. Problems associated with PS deficiency range from mood swings and depression to more severe disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia.
PS has been proven in hundreds of research studies to be safe and effective in treating those brain disorders and provide many other benefits such as increased motivation to better ones overall mental and physical health.
Why It Is Important:
Phosphatidylserine is part of the cell structure and is important if not key in cell maintenance and overall cellular function, especially in the brain. PS is critical in repairing cell membranes and sustaining full functionality within the cell cycle.
Our brains normally manufacture Phosphatidylserine but as we age our PS levels decrease causing a variety of problems such as memory loss, depression, alzheimer's and the inability to cope with stress. Without the proper levels of PS we slowly lose our ability to effectively deal with stress, remember important information and experiences, the ability to learn efficiently, and properly deal with sad situations which can lead to depression.
Everything starts in the brain so in order for us to live at our full capacity, our brains need to function properly. When our PS levels drop with age or for other reasons, our ability to live happy and thrive decreases as well. Just as in life, communication within our cells is crucial to health and prosperity. Without proper intercellular communication, our cells deteriorate causing our bodies to deteriorate.
What You Should Know:
- Phosphatidylserine should not be confused with Serine
- Phosphatidylserine is non-stimulatory
- Phosphatidylserine goes well with fatty acids
- Does not go well with Fat Blockers
Why We Need Phosphatidylserine And The Benefits:
The benefits of Phosphatidylserine are endless because without normal levels of PS our brain and body do not function properly.
The following are a few of the benefits of normal Phosphatidylserine function in the brain and why including a Phosphatidylserine supplement in your diet is highly beneficial to your overall health.
Phosphatidylserine and Cognition:
Phosphatidylserine enables our brain cells to metabolize glucose and release and bind with neurotransmitters, which are important to many cognitive functions including memory and learning. By increasing intercellular communications, our brain is able to function at a higher capacity which allows us to be more alert, aware, and able to deal with life's stresses.
With normal levels of PS, our brain is able to detect cognitive problems early on and work towards healing whatever systems are broken. When our cellular systems are working efficiently, our cognition is enhanced and protected against decline. Studies have shown that PS restores the brains supply of acetylcholine which is the neurotransmitter that is important to memory. With good memory, our brain is able to handle many things well and reduce stress levels because we are able to utilize our memory to deal with things well.
Because Phosphatidylserine modulates the fluidity of cell membranes which are essential to our brain cells’ ability to send and receive chemical communications, we are more alert. When we are alert, there is a domino effect that happens in our brains because we are quicker and better equipped to deal with things as they come. This ability to tackle things head on gives us a sense of accomplishment rather than guilt for not having the focus to complete needed tasks.
Phosphatidylserine And Fitness:
PS is popular within the fitness world for a variety of reasons, one of which is performance. PS has been shown to not only improve performance, but to also decrease muscle damage. Scientific research has shown it to be effective for withstanding exercise induced stress by stunting the increase in cortisol levels.
For those of you who like to train hard, PS is exceptionally useful because it helps speed up recovery and lowers the negative effects from overtraining. Phosphatidylserine is also highly regarded in the fitness world for its ability to repair damaged muscle cell membranes and relieve soreness. In addition, although exercise has many great benefits, it does increase cortisol levels which is not good.
PS helps regulate the spikes in cortisol levels in people who regularly exercise, making their experience more pleasant which in turn motivates them to exercise more regularly (which in turn helps improve muscle mass). It’s a positive cycle that is beneficial to both the body and the mind.
Phosphatidylserine And Memory:
When we have low levels of Phosphatidylserine in the brain we experience memory loss. In extreme cases, very low levels of PS are associated with major health problems such as Alzheimers disease.
By increasing our PS levels we prevent the decline of memory loss and even restore memory to some degree. PS supplementation has been shown to increased spatial memory and recollection. With continued intake of PS supplements, the brain's ability to process and recall experience improves significantly while preventing decline.
Phosphatidylserine And Stress:
When we are faced with stressful situations, our adrenal cortex releases a steroid hormone called cortisol which initiates our bodies fight or flight response system. Although designed to protect us, high levels of cortisol ramps up our metabolism and elevates our heart rate. That extra bit of cortisol is not good for us which is where PS comes in.
Phosphatidylserine has been shown to alleviate stress by lowering cortisol levels and reducing anxiety. Because it regulates cell metabolism and structural integrity, when there are false spikes in these metabolic processes, PS helps bring those hormone levels back into balance. This correction reduces the cortisol levels helping us deal with stress in a calmer, more effective and less emotional way.
How to take it (recommendations and dosages):
- The standard Phosphatidylserine (PS) dose is 100 mg, taken 3 times a day totalling 300 mg. Based on current research, 300 mg a day seems to effectively prevent cognitive decline and improve cognitive functioning.
- You should not exceed 550 mg a day.
- If you notice any unwanted energy boosts or experience insomnia in the evenings, lower your dose and eliminate any doses in the afternoon.
Interesting Phosphatidylserine Facts:
- Phosphatidylserine supplements use to be made from cow brains but was replaced with cabbage or soy because there was concern that products made from animals sources might cause infections.
- The very first phospholipid was lecithin found in egg yolk and was discovered by Theodore Nicholas Gobley, a French Chemist and Pharmacist way back in 1847
- Cultures who eat strange foods such as Bovine Brain, Chicken Heart, Pig Spleen and Liver have lower levels of depression because those are all good sources of PS.
If you want to supplement with phosphatidylserine in the exact clinical dose shown to be effective you check out Cortigon here!
Creatine 101: Why This Inexpensive Supplement Is The Key for Naturally Boosting Testosterone And DHT:
Let’s not mince words here: 90% of muscle building supplements are crap.
All the supposed published scientific studies are based on junk science funded by the supplement industry itself.
With that being said, creatine is actually one popular supplement that is legitimate. In fact, creatine increases testosterone, thus helping you achieve maximum output in the gym and reach your desired physique.
What Is Creatine?
Without going into a deep scientific explanation, creatine monohydrate is a substance produced naturally in the body and aids in the production of another naturally occurring substance known as Adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
ATP provides vital energy during muscle contractions and allows the body to perform short bouts of explosive movements. ATP is what allows a weight lifter to execute those heavy barbell squats and deadlifts.
More creatine means more ATP; more ATP means getting in that extra repetition or two when your body is screaming no mas. This, in turn, translates to optimal muscle stimulation and gains.
Creatine Raises Testosterone
In one study, men subjected to rigorous resistance training and administered creatine had higher T levels than from their original baseline. Additionally, they also had higher androgen levels than men who underwent the same training but took a placebo.
In another study conducted in South Africa, rugby players administered 20-grams of creatine monohydrate for seven days saw a 56% increase in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels.
Testosterone has far stronger androgenic properties when converted into DHT. Once a DHT hormone, it cannot convert into estrogen as is the potential case with regular testosterone.
Is Creatine Safe?
As long as you follow dosage recommendations, there is little risk associated with creatine use. This isn’t to say you won’t experience side effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, unwanted symptoms may include:
Low blood pressure
Muscle strains and cramps
Increased risk of heat-related illness, such as heat cramp or heat exhaustion
Excess dosages may also stress the kidneys. Creatine not used by the muscles is converted into a waste product known as creatinine, which the organ has to work overtime to remove.
Remember, though, that creatine is produced naturally in the body, so there’s no reason to believe moderate dosages carry serious health implications.
In a 2003 long-term study, football players were given 5-grams of creatine each day over a 21-month period. The athletes did not exhibit any ill-effects and in fact had fewer episodes of muscle pulls and cramps compared to their non-creatine-using counterparts.
In another study in 2005 consisting of 200 subjects who consumed 10-grams a day, results showed no significant health differences compared to a placebo group.
How To Increase Creatine Levels
Creatine is found naturally in most meat products, such as beef, poultry, pork, and fish. Organ meat is especially chockfull of the stuff. Keep in mind, however, that creatine breaks down under high temperatures, so it’s best to aim for meats that can be safely consumed raw.
Creatine In Supplement Form
Some health enthusiasts are purists and shun anything that comes in the form of a pill or powder. Yes, it’s true that most supplements will do nothing other than flatten your wallet. Creatine, however, is certainly an exception.
It’s also a lot more convenient to acquire creatine in this manner rather than stuffing your fridge with raw fish.
Unlike most other supplements, plain creatine monohydrate is also inexpensive. In most supplement stores, a 1,000-gram container of creatine usually costs no more than $20. An average daily serving is about 5-grams.
This means that a single bottle will last you a little over six months. That, right there, is one hell of a bargain.
How to Take a Creatine Supplement
When taking a creatine supplement for the first time, you have to begin with a loading phase. For the first 5-7 days, take 20-grams per day. Spread the dosage out and preferably take it with a meal. After the loading phase, you can continue on with a maintenance phase of 5 to 10-grams each day.
Creatine is best blended in with a beverage like juice or milk. You can mix it with plain water if you wish, though you’ll have to fight through the grit.
While at it, you also need to drink plenty of water. Creatine increases muscle fullness by driving water into the tissue. This puts you at risk of dehydration, so get used to filling your bellies with good ol’ H2O.
The Best Type of Creatine Supplement
The old adage “you get what you pay for” is simply not true with respects to creatine. Plain creatine monohydrate is the cheapest and also the best. This needs to be pointed out because supplement companies in their snake oil-like demeanor have released different and more expensive versions of creatine that supposedly deliver superior results, with little or poor evidence to support them.