How many calories should I eat while on steroids? That’s a common question asked by those who are looking to gain muscle mass. Steroid use is known to promote gains in muscle mass, but the user will also gain fat. This can be a problem because steroids typically carry side effects when not used correctly and therefore it is important for steroid users to follow proper diet guidelines.
What’s a Steroid Diet?
Both classes of medications have severe adverse effects, which might include acne, mood fluctuations, weight gain, and high blood pressure. According to a 2017 research published in Sports Medicine, anabolic androgenic steroids continue to have an impact on reproductive health for weeks or even months after discontinuation. These chemicals lower the levels of testosterone and gonadotropin, which eventually results in hypogonadism. They may cause hepatotoxicity and have negative effects on the liver when used in high amounts.
Your health might also be impacted by corticosteroids like prednisone.
For instance, hydrocortisone has been connected to glaucoma, glaucoma, and intestinal issues. A rise in appetite is reported by about 30% of users. Prednisone frequently causes weight gain and fluid retention as side effects.
A steroid diet can lessen the severity of these symptoms and make it simpler to manage them. Several weeks pass throughout prescription anabolic steroid cycles; without a suitable meal plan, you run the risk of gaining weight and disrupting your hormones once the cycle is over. Former steroid users had borderline low testosterone levels years after quitting, according to a 2016 study that was published in PLOS ONE. Although diet alone may not be sufficient to maintain hormonal balance, it can reduce the harm and enhance overall wellbeing.
How And What You Should Be Eating While Taking Steroids Or Prohormones
It’s likely that you’re attempting to get stronger or want to put on more muscle if you’re thinking about using steroids or prohormones. But, regrettably, many steroid users also experience weight gain. Some individuals claim that this is inevitable, while others think that, with the right diet, it is possible to achieve the fabled trifecta of getting stronger, gaining muscle, and decreasing fat. Regardless of whatever camp you fall into, we steroid/prohormone users could all use some additional guidance on what kind of diets to follow and which ones to avoid. Here is our guidance to what to eat while using prohormones or steroids.
Eating Right While Cycling
The adage “you are what you eat” holds true for people who use steroid and prohormones just as much as it does for everyone else. Many prohormone and steroid users disregard the significance of diets when cycling. The majority of steroids and prohormones come from your body. You may have either powerful, lasting gains or flabby, transient ones, depending on your diet. Either a bulking or reducing cycle is being used. And that’s the first thing you should inquire of yourself. The answer will significantly affect which foods (and how much of each) you should and shouldn’t eat.
When using steroids primarily to “bulk up” (increase muscle mass), you need to be aware of your body fat percentage. Because, if you’re not careful, the extra calories you’re consuming will result in extra fat that you don’t want. Your daily caloric requirements must be carefully calculated, and your fat content must be kept in check. Be warned that you will gain more fat if you consume more carbohydrates and fats. If you want to gain weight while using steroids or prohormones, you must eat more, but you must approach this in the appropriate way.
By far, proteins are the most crucial ingredient for muscle growth and development. Proteins, however, are not all created equal. Lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products should all be sources of your daily protein. Each meal throughout the day must include one of these sources. We advise consuming 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Thus, if you weigh 200 pounds, you need consume at least 300 grams of protein daily.
During a bulking cycle, you should take in roughly 4,500 calories daily. And the breakdown of those calories should be as follows: 20% lipids, 30% protein, and 50% carbohydrates.
You must burn fat if you want to get shredded. And because of this, you will need to consume less calories each day while consuming more protein. You shouldn’t be ingesting a lot of carbohydrates if you’re attempting to lose weight. If you do eat carbs, though, you should do so first thing in the morning when your body starts the catabolic process, then again before a workout to provide energy, and then again after to replace your glycogen stores. Unsaturated fats from foods like fish, almonds, etc. are also crucial for aiding in weight loss. The total quantity of calories you should be ingesting is significantly less than what you should be eating if you’re bulking up if you’re attempting to burn fat or merely add lean muscle mass. In addition, the meal breakdown should be more protein-focused: 50% protein, 25% carbs, and 25% fats. We advise aiming for roughly 2,000–2,500 calories per day.
Steroids and Nutrition
Some sufferers of chronic pulmonary illness regularly take steroid medications. Prednisone and methylprednisolone are two potent medications that reduce swollen airways. Sadly, they also have a few negative nutritional impacts.
- Steroid therapy has the potential to interfere with the normal absorption and utilization of specific nutrients, including calcium, potassium, sodium, protein, and vitamins C and D.
- A dramatic increase in appetite can occur. Focusing on low calorie foods can prevent extreme weight gain.
- Steroids may irritate the stomach and should not be taken on an empty stomach.
Eating a balanced diet is crucial if you are using steroids to treat a chronic illness. Concerns about your food and specific steroids should be brought up with your doctor or a qualified nutritionist.
Effects of Steroids on Nutrients and How to Compensate
Review the following table to learn how steroids interfere with certain nutrients and how you can compensate for this in your diet.
|Nutrient||Effects of Steroids||Result||How to Compensate|
|Calcium – 99% of this mineral is deposited in your bones and teeth. 1 % is in blood and tissues.||Increased amounts of calcium lost in urine.||Bones lose minerals and may become thin and brittle.||Increase intake of milk products to 3-5 servings per day. Maintain good calcium intake when off steroids to build up bone mass. Take calcium supplement if needed.|
|Potassium – A mineral that regulates muscle contraction.||Increased amount of potassium lost in urine.||Low blood potassium causes irregular contractions in muscle and heart tissue and may cause fatigue.||Eat a well-balanced diet including 2 rich sources of potassium daily, such as orange juice, apricots, banana, cantaloupe, baked potatoes and tomatoes. Do not take potassium supplements unless prescribed by your physician.|
|Sodium – A mineral used in fluid balance and nerve conduction. We generally get too much sodium in our diets.||Causes sodium to be retained instead of excreted.||Leads to fluid retention and possibly high blood pressure.||Limit use of salt and sodium-rich condiments, convenience foods, salted snacks or processed foods.|
|Protein – Used to maintain muscles, blood and antibodies to fight infection.||Breaks down muscle tissue.||Weak muscles, low resistance to infection, and poor wound healing.||Eat a well-balanced diet, including a protein source at each meal (5-7-oz. daily) plus dairy products (3-5 servings).|
How A Steroid Cycle Actually Builds Muscle
The medications will create a hormonal milieu in the body that will enable the body to utilize food and nutrients as effectively as possible.
When operating with a higher level of exogenous anabolic hormone support, nutrient partitioning is significantly improved, as are many other mediators of muscle recovery and growth.
Athletes who use steroids enter a supraphysiological recovery stage, allowing for greater lean muscle gain than natural athletes.
But in the end, if your diet stinks, your steroid cycle won’t help you get anywhere because steroids only function when there are enough nutrients available for the body to actually use.
All Anabolics Mostly Accomplish The Same Thing
There are steroid substances, such as Masteron and Proviron, that really have a negligible impact on overall muscle growth.
They are only employed as pre-contest hardeners or as intermediaries to reduce the body’s SHBG levels.
On the other end of the scale, there are medications that are commonly regarded as essential mass gainers during the offseason, and there are undoubtedly medications that lie somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.
However, anabolic substances often have the same effect on the human body, particularly when it comes to SARMs.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t medications that blatantly increase muscle mass compared to others, but in the majority of cases, provided adequate nutrients are present, they carry out essentially the same functions in the body; the overall body composition may only differ when comparing medications.
Let me go into further detail on it now.
Which SARMs Are The Best For Building Muscle?
The majority of mainstream SARMs are not significantly different from one another, with one being obviously light years superior to the others.
Unlike steroids, which have pretty large variations in anabolic to androgenic ratios across the range, they all share the same mechanism of action and are made to be as selective for muscle to prostate as feasible.
For instance, if someone is trying to decide whether LGD-4033 or RAD140 will complement their Ostarine more well, that decision is not one that will make a significant difference in the long run.
Instead of deciding between RAD140 and LGD-4033, what will make a significant impact is eating consistently in excess and training with progressive overload once a week, consistently, for weeks on end without fail.
That is ultimately what determines whether the outcome is fantastic or not.
The 4 Best Types of Foods to Eat While on Steroid Cycle
Eat High-Protein Foods
Anabolic drugs enhance muscle development and repair by increasing protein synthesis.
Your muscles take in the protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients you eat like a sponge. Because of this, it’s crucial to give high-protein foods top priority in your meal plan when using steroids.
Consume plenty of fish, lean meat, eggs, cottage cheese, and low-fat dairy products.
Avoid eating processed and red meat to safeguard your liver. These meals, insulin resistance, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are all strongly linked, according to a recent study that was published in the Journal of Hepatology in 2018.
Due to its high trans fat content, processed beef may also boost your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of developing heart disease. An increased risk of cardiovascular events results from anabolic steroids’ reduction of good cholesterol and elevation of bad cholesterol.
Corticosteroids may also alter the amount of lipids in the serum. Trans fat-heavy diets simply make matters worse.
Whole Grains Fuel Your Gains
Your strength and endurance are increased thanks to anabolic steroids, enabling you to exercise harder for longer. Even if you aren’t immediately aware of it, this exerts stress on your body and nervous system. Carbs fuel your performance by replenishing liver and muscle glycogen stores. A high-carb diet gives you more energy and enables you to recover from activity more quickly.
However, not all carbohydrates are made equal.
Refined carbohydrates and simple sugars can be just as hazardous as trans fats. According to a review from 2016 that was published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, high-sugar diets may triple the risk of dying from heart disease and have an impact on blood lipid levels.
Rather than simple and added sugars, choose complex carbohydrates.
Oats, barley, brown rice, and wheat are examples of whole grains that are rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates that are delivered gradually into the bloodstream. The risk of coronary heart disease is lower thanks to these meals’ ability to lower triglyceride and bad cholesterol levels. Oats appear to be the most advantageous.
Fill Up on Greens
Bodybuilders and fitness models eat a lot of greens at meals for a reason.
Being slender is made simpler by the low calorie content and high water content of these vegetables.
When using steroids, you want to increase muscle mass while minimizing fat growth. Due to their high fiber content, vegetables like watercress, kale, arugula, and other greens help you feel fuller for longer and reduce hunger.
These foods are also beneficial to your heart. For instance, dill and kale have cholesterol-lowering qualities. They promote cardiovascular health since they are abundant in flavonoids and phenolic acids.
Since most veggies are low in calories, you can eat a lot of them without feeling bad. Only 33.5 calories per cup, but 206 percent of the daily value (DV) for vitamin A and 684 percent for vitamin K are found in a cup of kale. In addition to providing more than half of the daily required dose of vitamin C, cabbage has 22 calories per cup. The identical amount of iceberg lettuce contains only 10 calories, which is quite little.
Keep Your Liver Healthy
As was already established, both AAS and corticosteroids have the potential to harm the liver over time.
The National Institutes of Health note that methylprednisolone and other corticosteroids, particularly when used in high dosages, may cause acute liver injury, aggravate chronic viral hepatitis, and enlarge the liver. Also not safer are anabolic steroids.
Given this information, it makes reasonable to consume foods that promote liver health.
Yeast, barley, oats, and other plant-based foods naturally contain beta-glucan, a fiber that guards your liver from oxidative stress and may lessen liver damage.
Black garlic is high in hepatoprotective, anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant organosulfur compounds. According to the World Journal of Gastroenterology, grapefruit, grapes, and berries also have hepatoprotective properties.