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Legal vs. illegal steroids: what’s the difference?

Legal vs illegal steroids and gold medal

Legal vs. illegal steroids: what’s the difference?

5 min read


4 Sep 2023

Admin Steroids4U.eu

GRAB YOUR CHEAT SHEETWhat are steroids?What is the difference between legal and illegal steroids?Do legal steroids work and are they safe to use?What are legal steroids made from?Legal steroids are safer than illegal steroids

Steroids are known to increase performance when you’re training. Bodybuilders all over the world use steroids—but they’re notorious—and for good reason.

Generally speaking, steroids are illegal. We’ve seen countless cases where pro athletes have been caught doping (remember the Lance Armstrong and Ben Johnson scandals?)—not to mention the long list of health issues linked to these sometimes murky substances.

If you’re looking to bulk up or get ahead of the pack as an athlete, taking traditional steroids is a dead end street. 

But did you know there are legal, safer alternatives to traditional steroids?

Yes, today’s best legal alternatives offer the body-boosting perks of steroids, but they’re safe, healthy, and widely accepted.

Here we’re going to dive a little deeper into the world of steroids (or ‘roids as they’re also known) and look at the advantages of taking legal alternatives.

Let’s go.


In sports, steroids are substances used to improve training results, especially in bodybuilding.

Very muscular bodybuilder

They aim to improve muscle mass as well as stamina by mimicking or boosting natural hormones. Usually, steroids are made from a concoction of artificial chemicals, but are sometimes developed with natural substances.

Read: Our guide to the signs of steroids use for a deeper dive into the impact of using illegal performance-boosting substances.


As someone who trains for gains regularly, you’re probably aware that legal as well as legal steroids exist. But how much do you know about these substances exactly? Let’s take a look.


These substances are lab-produced hormones that mimic the male sex hormone, testosterone. They’re manufactured as prescription-only drugs for those with hormone deficiencies, including men overcoming testicular disease. These are also called anabolic-androgenic steroids and are illegal to use without a prescription. 

Despite being unlawful and banned from most professional sports, some athletes still succumb to using these substances as performance enhancers. But they can cause severe health issues.

When used with resistance training, as most athletes do, you can experience swelling of the heart muscle, leading to high blood pressure. Other side effects include  liver damage, aggressive behavior, and fertility issues. Not ideal.


Legal alternatives to steroids are basically any supplement used for bodybuilding that are safe, regulated, and above board. In other words, they don’t come with an endless list of health hazards and taking them won’t result in you breaking the law.

These are usually made from natural substances that will boost performance while helping you to gain strength and mass quicker. And, the good news is—using them doesn’t require a prescription.


When considering using any type of supplement to support your training, understanding whether they’re safe to use and whether they’re likely to offer the results you need is essential.

The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition reports that there are plenty of benefits to the use of legal steroid supplements. These include:Better muscular enduranceIncreased bone strength and densityMore stamina and energyImproved red blood cell productionBigger gains and lower body fatFaster recovery periodYou will look and feel darn good

Bodybuilder doing endurance training

There’s also no scientific evidence pointing towards long term health effects. In other words, they’re safe. This makes legal steroids a safer option compared to illegal steroids. 

FYI: For the best possible results, you should use legal steroid alternatives for a maximum of eight weeks at a time.


Now you’re up to speed with the benefits, let’s look at some common ingredients in legal steroids and look at their impact on training while deciding whether they’re safe to use.


Creatine is a natural substance found in muscle tissue. It’s one of the most popular natural steroid supplements in bodybuilding. And, for good reason. 

The International Society of Sports Nutrition discovered that creatine is a highly effective supplement for increasing performance and lean body mass when training. 

As a natural ingredient, our bodies can digest and store creatine easily in our muscles. It has additional benefits, too, like offering a helping hand when it comes to injury prevention. Plus, there’s no research to suggest any short or long term side effects from taking creatine. 


Amino acids are molecules that our bodies use to build protein and produce hormones. Protein is a vital macronutrient for developing and repairing body tissues.

Unsurprisingly, many legal steroid supplements contain protein or amino acid strains to boost muscle growth and hormone production when training. Again, as these are natural ingredients, protein and amino acids are a safe alternative to illegal steroid ingredients. 


Consuming a high amount of caffeine isn’t recommended. But in smaller doses, caffeine can be a great supplement while training. 

It can actually boost performance and stimulate muscle development. For this reason, many supplements contain caffeine to increase training results further.


Even though legal steroids are safe to use, there have been reports of some supplements containing illegal ingredients like Dimethylamylamine (DMAA).

The FDA considers DMAA an ‘unsafe food additive’ and has outlawed the ingredient. Oh, the FDA has also submitted statements warning against its cardiovascular side effects, ranging from shortness of breath to heart attack. A big red flag.

When considering legal steroids, always check the ingredients to ensure they are entirely legal.


The use of anabolic steroids is illegal. And, it can pose significant health risks while ruining your reputation and getting you banned from competitions—for life.

Legal steroids, on the other hand, are an excellent alternative for those wishing to supplement their training.

Weightlifter adding weight to barbell

They’re 100% natural, don’t come with a truckload of health risks, and offer epic training results.

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