Steroids are one of the most widely used drugs in today’s world that is booming with new medical and lifestyle trends. Steroids are biologically synthesized by the body via hormones like cortisol, testosterone, and estrogen secreted by the gonads. Steroids may also be administered artificially in the form of anabolic steroids and corticosteroids. While the anabolic types are taken by athletes to build muscle mass and fasten recovery process post-training, corticosteroids that contain synthetic compounds resembling cortisol treat various ailments like asthma, lupus, ulcerative colitis, and arthritis. However, steroids are body composition altering drugs that can lead to many health conditions from weight gain, acne, high blood pressure to adverse extremities like hypogonadism, poor reproductive health, hepatotoxicity, osteoporosis, and glaucoma.
Hence, thorough knowledge about the kind of foods to eat while on a steroid cycle is absolutely essential to minimize side effects, reduce damage and enhance overall health.
Consume protein-rich food
USA and Canada are known to have popularized the use of anabolic steroids. The main function of anabolic steroids Canada is to increase protein synthesis to enable rapid muscle building and repair. To make up for the quick soaking of the proteins, carbohydrates and other nutrients from the food by the muscles it is mandatory to incorporate high protein foods in your diet.
Fish like salmon, eggs, lean meat, cottage cheese, tofu, and low-fat dairy should be included in every meal to prevent bone loss and cut down the damage.
Since steroids directly affect the liver, foods like processed and red must be avoided as they are detrimental to the liver. Further, processed meats due to their high trans fat content increase the levels of cholesterol in the blood, in turn, heightening the risk of heart diseases. Anabolic steroids are also known to increase the bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol which is why trans fat dense foods must be completely eliminated and replaced with a protein abundant meal plan.
Eat whole grains for wholesome gains
Anabolic steroids work on improving endurance, stamina and core strength thereby enhancing your workout experience. However, this puts pressure on your central nervous system. Thus carbs must be consumed to ensure muscle restoration and replenishment of glycogen in the liver. Complex carbs help boost your energy levels, speed up recovery and prevent excessive damage to vital organs.
But, it’s important to remember only complex carbs must be consumed owing to the fact that refined carbs and synthetic sugars are as dangerous as trans fats. So it is wise to choose only food grains like oats, brown rice, ragi, quinoa which allow the slow and effective breakdown of complex carbs into the bloodstream. On the other hand, processed carbohydrates from white bread, cakes, pizzas, etc are sure disease inviters.
If you followed a ketogenic diet in the past, it is not advisable to continue it when on a steroid cycle, as carbohydrates are absolutely essential to make up for the complications that may occur later.
Let your liver live
As mentioned earlier steroids negatively impact the liver causing disorders like chronic viral hepatitis, hepatic enlargement, and acute liver injuries. Therefore, the only recommended solution to this is to incorporate liver friendly foods into your diet.
Beta glucan is a fiber that is inevitable for the healthy functioning of the liver. Plant-based food groups like yeast, oats, barley are full of this fiber and helpful in protecting the liver from damage and oxidative stress. Grapefruit, grapes, and berries possess loads of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity properties making them apt fruits for improving liver health. Garlic, due to its hepatoprotective nature should be used on a daily basis.
Fatty foods, refined sugars, and junk foods are a strict no-no. More salads and unsweetened fruit juices should be consumed. Use cooking alternatives like baking, grilling, and steam instead of frying.
Alcohol usage should be stopped completely as they cause liver inflammation and weight gain.
Greeny leafy vegetables that come packed with fibers, vitamins, and minerals are lifesavers for any condition. They mainly contain water, making them extremely low in calories, thus one can have plenty and still stay lean. They accentuate your steroid cycle efforts by supporting the goal of building mass and losing fat.
Veggies like spinach, kale, watercress with their power-packed nutrition are known to suppress hunger and keep you full for a longer time. They are great for the heart as they contain chemicals like flavonoids and phenolic that benefit cardiovascular health.
Although these greens have only about 20 to 30 calories per cup they come bursting with large amounts of vitamin A, K, and C to fulfill your daily requirements. You don’t have to take any supplements to prevent vitamin deficiencies.
You may be on steroids for various reasons, but protecting your body against its ill effects should be your primary concern. With adequate care, you can avoid the cons of steroids and enjoy only the pros. Never forget to eat healthily, stay fit and live life to the fullest.