Because it has been barred by many professional sports organizations, growth hormone, or HGH is often called a “steroid.”
First, let’s set the record straight, HGH is not a steroid. HGH and steroids are two very different things.
The source of the confusion, particularly by the media, is that HGH does indeed “improve performance,” and does have “anabolic” properties. The word “anabolic” refers to anything that enhances metabolism and complex chemical synthesis, such as building protein molecules. By this token, amino acids, even certain foods, and a specific class of steroids are “anabolic.” Both steroids and HGH are hormones, and some steroids share this anabolic effect with HGH, and that is where the confusion lies. However, HGH and steroids have many more differences, than they do similarities.
If HGH Is Not a Steroid, Then What Is a Steroid?
There are two types of steroids used therapeutically in medicine. Corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids are powerful drugs that are used to treat swelling and inflammation. Cortisone is probably the most well-known of these corticosteroids. These drugs are synthesized in pharmaceutical labs, but they are all chemically related to the hormone cortisol which is naturally produced by your body. Anabolic steroids on the other hand, are in a class of drugs known as “ergogenic aids,” that are synthesized to most closely resemble male hormones such as testosterone.
Much like testosterone, which they are designed to imitate, anabolic steroids by definition, promote protein synthesis. They also enhance the production of lean muscle, improve strength, stamina and physical ability. This is why they are banned as “performance enhancing drugs” by the Olympics, and most major professional sports organizations.
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Doctors do prescribe anabolic steroids legally, often for teens who may not be growing properly. They are also given to people who are suffering from a variety of muscle destroying diseases, or for men who are not producing enough testosterone on their own. However, they are never prescribed to otherwise healthy men to help them “build muscle,” or “enhance performance,” and that is why they are often used illegally by body-builders and other professional athletes.
HGH: The Hormone
HGH is a hormone. It is the hormone that regulates and stimulates the processes that allow your body to grow from childhood to adulthood. Without adequate HGH production, your bones and muscles would not grow, and you would stay the size you were as a child.
HGH is necessary for you to literally “grow-up.” But once you are an adult, you do not “outgrow” your need for HGH. HGH controls cellular growth throughout your life. As cells become damaged due to injury or age, it is HGH that facilitates their replacement.
The older you get, the less HGH you produce. Your ability to replace and repair cells diminishes, and you experience many of the symptoms of “growing old.” This is why HGH supplementation, is currently being used to help adults over 40 feel younger, stronger, and more vital.
Other Differences Between Growth Hormone and Steroids
One of the reasons why HGH is becoming a preferable option for improving the strength and vitality of ageing adults, is because it tends to be safer, and have less negative side effects than anabolic steroids. That is another major difference between HGH and steroids. Here are a few others:
- HGH is more “bio-available” than steroids. That means it is easier to absorb and better tolerated by your body than steroids.
- Prescription HGH therapy tends to be less expensive than a prescription for steroids.
- Steroids can help build muscle, so can HGH, but HGH also does much more. HGH can also help you burn fat, enhance the appearance of hair and nails, improve bone health, improve sleep patterns, and a whole lot more!
So now that you know the differences between HGH and steroids, why not find out if growth hormone therapy is right for you?