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The steroids that stand out in this category are methenolone (Primobolan), oxandrolone (Anavar), mesterolone (Proviron), and boldenone-undecylenate (Equipoise).
Testosterone is worth mentioning here too, as it is well-tolerated and effective.
While it does have the potential to elicit significant side effects, methods to minimize them are well known.
To avoid serious side effects entirely, non-steroidal supplements are the best compromise for many people.
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The top five steroids with the least side effects for bodybuilders are:
They are considered some of the safest steroids to take, but this does not mean they have no side effects.
Especially for bodybuilders who tend to take extremely high doses that exceed medical recommendations.
Primobolan (often called “primo”) is a brand name for methenolone, a derivative of dihydrotestosterone.
Its side effects are among the mildest of any anabolic steroid.
It works by binding readily with androgen receptors and is easily utilized by the body. It encourages solid lean tissue growth and protects against catabolism.
Because Primobolan does not aromatize to estrogen, it does not cause side effects such as gynecomastia.
Its side effects are androgen-related (hair loss, acne, and body hair growth) and cardiovascular (lowered HDL and increased LDL).
Primobolan is a form of DHT, so 5?-reductase inhibitors (used to block conversion of testosterone to DHT and therefore DHT-driven side effects) are not effective.
Importantly, the oral form (methenolone acetate) is not hepatotoxic like many other oral steroids, which is one of the reasons it is considered one of the steroids with little side effects.
Anavar, a brand name for oxandrolone, is a DHT-derived 17?-alkylated (C17-aa) oral steroid that is three to six times more anabolic than testosterone.
It helps users increase lean tissue via several mechanisms, and has a reputation for promoting fat burning.
Like most other members of the C17-aa family, oxandrolone is hepatotoxic, although to a lesser degree than many other oral steroids. It does not cause estrogenic side effects (gynecomastia, water retention, etc.).
It can cause androgenic side effects including male pattern baldness, acne, body hair growth, and suppressed testosterone production.
Women taking oxandrolone may experience virilization, including voice deepening, body hair growth, and menstrual abnormalities.Check out the best bulking cycles here.
Proviron, a trade name for mesterolone, is another dihydrotestosterone-derived steroid.
It increases the amount of free testosterone in circulation, enhancing the potency of other steroids being used with it.
It also promotes fat loss and lean tissue retention.
Mesterolone is highly androgenic, so virilization in females should be expected.
Other side effects include significant negative impacts on HDL and LDL levels, and the typical androgenic effects (male pattern baldness, body hair growth, acne).
Mesterolone is actually anti-estrogenic, so it does not elicit any estrogenic side effects. Mesterolone is not hepatotoxic
Equipoise, a popular trade name for boldenone-undecylenate, was developed for veterinary use. “Equi”, or “EQ”, is much more anabolic than androgenic (anabolic androgenic ration 100:50).
The attachment of a long undecylenate ester results in a long, steady release.
Boldenone is known to increase nitrogen retention, protein synthesis, and stamina via increased red blood cell count. There is a body of anecdotal evidence suggesting that it increases appetite.
Both the anabolic activity and side effects of boldenone are milder than most other steroids. It is not hepatotoxic.
Boldenone aromatizes to estrogen at a much lower rate than testosterone, so the likelihood of estrogenic side effects is low.
Many women are able to use it at low doses without virilization occurring. Boldenone can suppress HDL as well as natural testosterone production.
For bulking, testosterone is often cited as essential for its effectiveness. It is almost universally well-tolerated by healthy adult males, and can be employed safely with proper planning.
It’s found in oral tablet form or an injectable form.
While it does elicit side effects, there is a body of knowledge that addresses managing and minimizing them.
Non-steroid supplements boast even fewer side effects than steroids. Because they are not hormone-based, they do not cause the serious side effects that steroids do.
Importantly, non-steroid supplements are legal in many places where steroids are not. This makes them easier to purchase and means that consumers can buy consistently dosed, high quality product.
Companies such as CrazyBulk offer non-steroid supplements formulated to mimic (to the degree possible) different steroids. This makes it possible to select supplements based on the effect desired from a specific steroid.
CrazyBulk has some of the best legal steroids without side effects.
Both oxandrolone (Anavar) and methenolone (Primobolan) have lower androgenic ratings and are less likely to cause virility in females. They exhibit mild but not insignificant anabolic efficacy.
This combination of effectiveness and low incidence of side effects make them popular steroid choices for female athletes.
Methenolone (Primobolan) is an effective oral steroid with few side effects.
It is not estrogenic or hepatotoxic (like most other oral steroids), and its mild cardiovascular and androgenic side effects can be managed through careful planning, monitoring, and supplementation.
Most individuals will experience favorable results and few, mild side effects when using methenolone.
If an individual’s top priority is to incur the lowest incidence of side effects, it is possible to use Primobolan for bulking, although results will not be as pronounced as with testosterone.
Primobolan is noted for stimulating solid muscle growth with little water retention.
Both methenolone (Primobolan) and oxandrolone (Anavar) can be used by beginners, who will appreciate their mild side effects.
They are easy to administer, and their mild anabolic and androgenic effects allow beginners to learn how their bodies react to steroids. Methenolone stands out as slightly safer because it is not hepatotoxic.
Other choices include boldenone (Equipoise) and mesterolone (Proviron). Both of these steroids elicit fewer and milder side effects than most other steroids. They are injections, however, which does add the risk of injection site pain and infection.
Be very careful when taking these drugs for performance enhancement. Just because they are the steroids with the least side effects, does not mean they are safe to take for purposes other than medical uses.