A Guide to SARMs and Their Legality

A muscular, shirtless man holds a bottle of supplements, illustrating the effects of SARMs.

SARMs are known for building muscle, accelerating recovery from injuries, and enhancing performance, which has caused them to gain popularity in recent years. Those who are unfamiliar with these cutting-edge substances, may have some questions about how they work and whether they are safe and legal within the United States, however. This guide will help you understand more about them and their legality in the U.S. 

SARMs stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. Their mechanism of action in muscles is similar to steroids, and they are being researched for the treatment of myriad diseases. Weightlifters and bodybuilders often use them illegally for muscle growth and enhancement in spite of the fact that they are legal for laboratory use only. Both steroids and SARMs work by binding to the androgen receptors, which triggers muscle growth, but steroids can cause issues and side effects in other areas of the body, such as hair loss, prostate problems, and acne. 

SARMs, on the other hand, are tissue-selective, affecting only muscle, bone, and connective tissue growth without causing these types of side effects and issues. These are also orally bioavailable, so users do not need to inject them like steroids. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about SARMs.

3 Key Factors to Keep in Mind About SARMs

There are a few things to know when participating in clinical research with SARMs. Data shows that they may enhance muscle growth, boost endurance, and even increase energy. Many people, however, wonder about the legalities and whether or not they are safe. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are thinking about participating in clinical research with SARMs:

1. SARMs Are Legal to Buy in the U.S.

SARMs are technically approved for laboratory research NOT recreational or athletic consumption and they are NOT dietary supplements. In more recent years, many sports leagues have banned SARMs as performance-enhancing substances, even though they are non-steroidal. Here is a partial list of the sports leagues that have prohibited the consumption of SARMs:

  • The National Football League (NFL)
  • Major League and Minor League Baseball (MLB and MiLB)
  • All Divisions of the NCAA

Any league following the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines will also consider SARMS a banned substance. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has provided a comprehensive prohibited list for athletes and provides an explanatory article on what athletes should know about taking SARMs as well. The USADA prohibits the use of SARMs at all times for all athletes. It’s fair to say that any athlete competing in organized sports should steer clear of SARMs.

2. How SARMs Were Created

Those interested in participating in research with SARMs to see their benefits on performance on muscle growth may be wondering how they originated. Scientists created them by accident in the early 1990’s – while seeking treatments for prostate cancer, they identified a SARM molecule known as Andarine (S4), also known as S4. 

It was ineffective as a treatment for prostate cancer, but Andarine did substantially affect muscle growth. The original Andarine molecule was later refined and created into what is known as Ostarine. This helped reduce fat and increase lean muscle mass in vitro, and thus SARMs were born. 

3. Benefits Associated With SARMs

Research into the uses of SARMs is ongoing, and many test subjects have experienced benefits from taking them. Researchers continue to study them for their strength-building benefits.

Their ability to trigger molecular changes in DNA can significantly affect muscle tissue. SARMs are proven to enhance performance, cut fat, build lean muscle mass, and increase endurance and recovery. While they are ONLY approved for laboratory use at this time,  if SARMs one day become approved for human use, they may have the potential to provide a significant boost for people suffering from chronic diseases as well as bodybuilders, weightlifters, or anyone needing to add muscle for a physically demanding job.

A Few Common SARMs

The effectiveness of SARMs on muscle growth and enhancement is undeniable. There are various options for those interested in participating in their research. Here is more information on a few of the most popular:

Liquid Testolone (RAD140)

Liquid Testolone exerts its actions by binding to the androgen receptors without the full range of androgenic effects that steroids often produce. RAD140 was initially developed to treat osteoporosis, then scientists discovered that it works as a muscle enhancer. Research suggests that RAD-140 may:

  • Increase lean muscle mass
  • Increase endurance
  • Improve fat loss
  • Have neuroprotective benefits

Research on Testolone is ongoing, but it has shown excellent results as an alternative to other steroidal muscle-building options. 

Stenabolic (SR9009)

Liquid Stenabolic is not technically a SARM, but rather an agonist to the REV-ERB protein, found in various parts of the body, including the skeletomuscular system and the liver. This protein’s job is to help regulate the body’s circadian rhythms and act on fat-storing cells. SR9009 was found to benefit these areas and to be highly effective in increasing metabolic activity when tested in in-Vitro studies. Research suggests that Stenabolic may:

  • Increase resting metabolic rate
  • Increase recovery rates of connective tissue
  • Enhance wakefulness
  • Potentially decrease atherosclerosis and arterial buildup
  • Enhance endurance
  • Improve fat loss

Stenabolic is effective in that it burns fat without the harmful side effects of stimulants, and does not affect endogenous testosterone levels like some other performance enhancing products. Research on it is ongoing, like other SARMs, but it has shown promise in promoting weight loss and endurance while preserving muscle mass. 

Cardarine (GW501516)

Cardarine may be an effective alternative option for increasing endurance as well as for fat loss, because it does not affect androgen receptors or change testosterone levels and does not have the same side effects as stimulants. As demonstrated in research, this selective PPAR6 and AMP-K modulator is particularly advanced due to its ability to enhance specific processes including:

  • Burning fatty acids 
  • Promoting fat loss
  • Increasing endurance
  • Increasing insulin sensitivity
  • Improving HDL/LDL cholesterol 
  • Reducing exercise recovery time

Research on SARMs suggests that they are effective for muscle growth, fat loss, endurance, recovery, and a series of other health benefits. These muscle-enhancing drugs are legal to buy for laboratory research, but it’s essential to be aware that some suppliers have been found to sell options that are mislabeled and potentially dangerous. Keep in mind that:

  • In one study, only 52% of products marketed and sold as SARMs actually contained SARMS. An additional 39% contained other unapproved drugs and growth hormones and 10% contained no active ingredient at all. 
  • Some providers even counterfeit their certificates of analysis, further complicating production and research.
  • Those who want to participate in clinical research with them for fat loss, for muscle growth, or accelerated recovery from injury  should be careful to purchase legal, accurately labeled SARMs from a reliable source with quality testing. 

Sports Technology Labs sells SARMs tested by American third-party laboratories for at least 98% purity – the same standard used by universities and chemical suppliers worldwide. This ensures the highest quality products to provide researchers with an effective alternative to more dangerous steroidal options. It’s crucial to purchase SARMs from a reputable company for the highest-quality compounds and substances to achieve your desired results.

A Guide to SARMs and Their Legality

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