Stanozolol is by far one of the most popular anabolic steroids of all time; in fact, it is one of the few steroids a non-steroid user might be able to name. This is an anabolic steroid that has gained worldwide media attention numerous times. It was the Stanozolol hormone that made headlines during the 1988 Olympics when Ben Johnson was stripped of his medal, and has been linked to the MLB more times than can be counted.
Stanozolol is one of the oldest anabolic steroids we have in existence. While far from the oldest it does date back to the 1950’s. The Stanozolol hormone was first developed by Winthrop Laboratories under the trade name Winstrol. The Stanozolol hormone has since been found under numerous brand names across the globe, but the Winstrol name has remained the most popular and well recognized.
A long standing favorite among athletes and bodybuilders, Stanozolol has also held a significant amount of success in the medical community and is still used fairly regularly today. As with many anabolic steroids Stanozolol is used to treat muscle wasting diseases, burn victims, over exposure to corticosteroids and osteoporosis. It has also been used to aid in healing bone fractures and has even been successfully used in obesity treatment when hormone imbalances exist. Specific forms of breast cancer, treating angioedema and even certain forms of delayed growth treatment in children have all proven successful. And unlike many anabolic steroids in the U.S. Stanozolol has never lost its FDA approval.
Stanozolol Functions & Traits
Stanozolol is a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) based anabolic steroid. Specifically, Stanozolol is a structurally altered form of the DHT hormone, two specific changes to DHT that give us Stanozolol. The first modification is the addition of an attached pyrazol group at the A-ring in place of the 3-keto group. This makes Stanozolol a heterocyclic steroid. The second change is the addition of a methyl group. This change takes places at the 17th carbon position and puts Stanozolol into the 17-alpha alkylated (C17-aa) category.
The structural changes made to DHT that give us Stanozolol reduce the hormone’s androgenicity dramatically and greatly increase its anabolic activity. Stanozolol carries an Anabolic Rating of 320 and an AndrogenicRating of 20 and real life use will match up to these structural ratings very well.
The functions and traits of Stanozolol are numerous and can be best understood by looking at each one individually:
Reduction of SHBG:
Stanozolol has the ability to significantly reduce Sex-Hormone-Binding-Globulin (SHGB). In fact, data has shown Stanozolol can reduce SHBG by as much as 50% making it one of the most effective medications available for such a function. SHBG is one of the primary factors that determine how much testosterone in the body is free or bound; higher SHBG means less free testosterone, which represents our active and usable testosterone. When SHBG is lowered more testosterone is available for use. Equally important for the steroid user is that other steroids that may be used are more effective when SHBG is lower.
Protein synthesis refers to the rate in which cells build proteins, the building block of muscle tissue. With Stanozolol the rate of protein synthesis is increased.
All muscle tissue is comprised of 16% nitrogen and when adequate amounts are not retained we enter into a catabolic (muscle wasting) state. Higher rates of nitrogen retention results in a greater anabolic (muscle building) state.
Red Blood Cells:
Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood. Stanozolol will increase red blood cell count resulting in greater oxygen flow and thereby enhanced muscular endurance.
Glucocorticoids (stress hormones) often referred to as muscle wasting hormones (cortisol is the most well known) promote fat gain and muscle loss. Stanozolol inhibits glucocorticoids. It will not remove all from your body and you do need some for health reasons, but too much can be problematic. The reduction in glucocorticoids by Stanozolol is not as significant as many other anabolic steroids, but it’s still a trait the steroid possesses.
Effects of Stanozolol
Stanozolol is not an anabolic steroid most would label as a “bulking steroid” despite it being used to combat muscle wasting diseases. For the athlete that’s looking to bulk this isn’t a great choice. Some athletes will use it in an off-season bulking phase for the strong reduction in SHBG it can bring so that other hormones are more effective, but this isn’t a very smart practice. Stanozolol isn’t what we’d call the most dangerous steroid by any means, but it’s not the most side effect friendly either. Use is best saved for when the hormone will provide the most advantages.
Important Note: Female off-season use can be more effective than male off-season use as women are more sensitive to the hormone and can get more out of it. However, there are better off-season options for most women and they too will find it better saved for other periods of use.
It’s hard to say if cutting or athletic use is the best use for Stanozolol as it can be very effective for both. This is a steroid that has the ability to significantly increase strength and without a lot of weight gain. This makes it an excellent steroid for many athletes. Strength doesn’t just mean power but can mean both power and speed, and power and speed is the name of the game for many athletes. Stanozolol has also been shown to have a positive impact on tendon strength as well as bone strength (remember it’s used to treat osteoporosis). There are those who complain about achy joints when using Stanozolol and some say those in explosive sports shouldn’t use it for that reason, but proper training, a proper diet and supplementation plan and proper use make this a very easy issue to avoid. If it were such a severe issue this wouldn’t be a steroid that has been and is continually found in nearly every sport across the globe.
Important Note: The joint pain sometimes associated with Stanozolol is most commonly by those who use it in a cutting cycle, particularly bodybuilders and hardcore gym rats. The steroid will most often show up in a cutting cycle at the end of the cycle when the individual is already lean and dryer than normal. When we’re extremely lean and dry it’s not uncommon for our joints to ache, especially when we’re training vigorously. Some bodybuilders and some athletes will use a low dose of Nandrolone to help combat the achy joints during this phase.
We’re then left with cutting use itself. Stanozolol is one of the best choices for a cutting cycle as it will produce a harder and more defined look. This look will not appear if you’re not already lean but will make a lean physique look even better. It’s also a great item for preserving strength that’s often lost when hard dieting is at hand. Hard dieting that is necessarily accompanied by low caloric intake will often result in strength loss and Stanozolol can help reduce this loss. It’s also a great steroid for preserving lean mass that is often lost for the same reasons strength is diminished. We cannot say Stanozolol is the best steroid for this purpose, but it plays a part and is a welcomed addition to an overall cutting plan.
Side Effects of Stanozolol
There are several possible side effects of Stanozolol that must be addressed. This is not what we’d call a horrible steroid in terms of side effects, but it can promote several negative reactions if it is not properly used. Many of the possible side effects, particularly the severity will revolve around genetic response. Some people respond better to certain things than others. This is a genetic fact of life that holds true with Stanozolol and truly anything we put into our body steroid or not. In order for you to understand the side effects of Stanozolol we have broken them down into their respective categories below.
Stanozolol does not aromatize and is not a progestin. Estrogenic side effects like gynecomastia and water retention are impossible with this anabolic steroid.
Androgenic side effects of Stanozolol are possible and highly dependent on genetic predispositions. Stanozolol is well known for promoting hair loss, but can only do so in men predisposed to male pattern baldness. If you are not predisposed you will not lose any hair. If you are predisposed you were going to lose the hair anyway but the use of Stanozolol may speed it up. Acne is another possible side effect of Stanozolol but typically only in those who are acne sensitive to begin with. There are exceptions but they are not common. Acne will most commonly appear on the back, shoulders and chest. If this is an issue for the individual the best thing to do is to stay clean and dry at all times. When you sweat immediately take a shower or at minimum change into a clean, dry shirt and shower when you can.
Important Note: The use of a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor to combat androgenic side effects will not work with Stanozolol. Such inhibitors work by preventing the reduction of testosterone to DHT. In the case of Stanozolol it is already DHT and there is no reduction to inhibit.
The androgenic side effects of Stanozolol can also affect women in terms of virilization symptoms. Virilization symptoms refer to a deepening of the vocal chords, body hair growth and clitoral enlargement. Some women can use low doses of Stanozolol without such symptoms occurring. We can’t call this the most female friendly steroid, but it’s far from the unfriendliest. If it is a steroid that is used and virilization symptoms begin to show, if use is immediately discontinued they will go away. If the symptoms are ignored and use continues there is a very good chance the symptoms may become permanent.
The cardiovascular side effects of Stanozolol are the most likely and carry the greatest risk. Stanozolol is well known for its ability to increase LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and reduce HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). This is something that holds true with most oral anabolic steroids. Stanozolol is available in both oral and injectable form, but in either case it is a C17-aa steroid making the cardiovascular strain equal in both oral and injectable form.
Stanozolol can be used without severe cardiovascular strain but should not be used if you already have cholesterol issues. It is imperative that cholesterol issues are monitored during use and that a cholesterol friendly lifestyle is followed. A healthy diet that is rich in omega fatty acids and low in simple sugars and saturated fats is very important. Equally important is regular cardiovascular activity. If these are things you cannot do you should not use this steroid. It is also recommended that a cholesterol antioxidant supplementbe used.
The use of Stanozolol will suppress natural testosterone production in all men and should only be used in conjunction with exogenous testosterone. Failure to supplement with exogenous testosterone will put the man into a low testosterone state. The form of testosterone is inconsequential.
Once all Stanozolol use is ended and any and all anabolic steroids have cleared the body natural testosterone production will begin again. It will not occur overnight and it is recommended that a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) plan follow use. A PCT plan will aid in recovery. A PCT plan will not complete recovery, this will still take several months, but it will speed up the process and increase the odds of a successful recovery.
Important Note: Women do not need to supplement with testosterone during Stanozolol use.
Important Note: Natural testosterone recovery assumes no damage was done to the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular-Axis (HPTA) during use and that no prior low testosterone condition existed prior to use.
The Stanozolol hormone is toxic to the liver as are all C17-aa anabolic steroids. This is one of the more liver toxic steroids available, far more so than Oxandrolone, but somewhat less than Methandrostenolone.
Use of Stanozolol will cause liver enzymes to increase during use. Increased enzyme levels are a liver stress indicator. This will hold equally true with both oral and injectable Stanozolol. Injectable Stanozolol is one of the very few injectable anabolic steroids that are liver toxic. If you choose to use this steroid it is important that the following is adhered to:
- Stanozolol should not be used if you have liver disease or already suffer from liver damage.
- Heavy alcohol consumption must be avoided. Avoiding all alcohol during use is the best course of action.
- Over the counter medications should be avoided when possible as most carry some level of hepatotoxicity and any additional stress should be avoided.
- Total use should not surpass 8 weeks. No use should take place until liver enzymes have returned to normal.
- A liver detoxifying supplement should be used.
Stanozolol 20mg, commonly sold under the name Winstrol (oral) and Winstrol Depot (intra-muscular).
Unlike most injectable anabolic steroids, Stanozolol is not esterified and is sold as an aqueous suspension, or in oral tablet form. The drug has a large oral bioavailability, due to a C17 α-alkylation which allows the hormone to survive first pass liver metabolism when ingested. It is because of this that Stanozolol is also sold in tablet form.
Stanozolol is usually considered a safer choice for female bodybuilders in that it rewards a great amount of anabolism for a small androgenic effect, however virilization and masculinization are still very common, even at low doses.
Stanozolol has been used on both animal and human patients for a number of conditions. In humans, it has been demonstrated to be successful in treating anaemia and hereditary angioedema. Veterinarians may prescribe the drug to improve muscle growth, red blood cell production, increase bone density and stimulate the appetite of debilitated or weakened animals.
Stanozolol is one of the anabolic steroids commonly used as an ergogenic aid and is banned from use in sports competition under the auspices of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and many other sporting bodies.