With so many people who take steroids to improve their bodies, it’s no wonder that there are many alternatives to steroids that are just as effective.
However, many people don’t realize that these natural alternatives to steroids often have even fewer side effects than steroids, as well as all of the health benefits that come with them.
Here are some of the most popular natural alternatives to steroids in the fitness industry today!
Get Enough Sleep
According to a 2007 study, it’s much easier for women to gain muscle when they’re well-rested. So make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night by setting a regular bedtime and sticking to it. It is one of the best alternative to steroids.
Establishing a workout routine or cutting back on exercise will both throw off your natural rhythm, making it harder for you to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. And don’t forget—lack of sleep is also responsible for an increase in cortisol, one of your body’s main stress hormones.
As anyone who has had trouble sleeping can tell you, stress isn’t exactly conducive to weight loss success. Get enough rest so that you can get through each day with energy to spare. This doesn’t mean spending all of your time in bed—getting up and moving around will help keep your body (and mind) functioning at its best.
If you feel like exercise is interfering with your ability to get quality sleep, try doing something low impact like yoga or walking instead. You’ll still give yourself plenty of physical activity while allowing yourself time to rest up before going to bed.
When it comes down to it, getting enough sleep might be one of the most important steps toward losing weight safely.
Eat Plenty of Protein
It’s not uncommon for bodybuilders and athletes—especially those who lift weights—to eat two or three protein-rich meals per day. After all, protein helps build muscles, making it a critical part of any bodybuilder’s diet.
These days, however, there are a ton of fitness gurus and health bloggers who suggest we add more protein to our diets beyond simply eating meat-based sources like steak and chicken.
They claim that a plant-based diet can supply your body with just as much protein as a traditional one. While you might think these claims are farfetched, they’re actually based on sound science. Here’s why: plants contain all of the essential amino acids needed to create proteins—meaning you don’t have to worry about consuming them in specific combinations at specific times during a workout.
Some of these alternative sources include beans, nuts, and soy products such as tofu and tempeh. While some people do experience digestive issues when first switching over from animal-based proteins to vegetable ones, most find their bodies adjust after several weeks on a new diet plan.
The best way to see if plant-based proteins work for you is by giving them a try!
Avoid Sugar as Much as Possible
Sugar, in all its various forms, is generally bad for your health. It makes you feel sluggish, weak and cranky and can cause fat gain around your midsection.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to drop a few pounds of fat (and keep it off), avoid sugar whenever possible. Focus on whole foods instead of processed foods containing high fructose corn syrup or other refined sugars and make sure your diet includes plenty of lean protein like fish or chicken breasts with each meal.
Combine these moves with consistent exercise, good sleep habits and some changes in thinking about food as fuel rather than comfort (good luck!), and you’ll start shedding those unwanted pounds like magic!
Get Plenty of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for bone health and preventing osteoporosis. Low levels of vitamin D are linked with weaker bones, especially in women over age 50. It is one of the best alternatives to steroids.
Vitamin D also decreases inflammation, which can be a contributing factor in many diseases, including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, deficiencies have been linked with increased risk of heart disease.
If you live in a northern climate, it’s hard to get enough vitamin D through natural sources during fall and winter months (due to sun blockage), so you might want to supplement with extra vitamin D or drink fortified milk instead.
Keep your intake between 1,000-2,000 IU per day from foods or supplements if you want stronger bones—and if you are concerned about heart disease or MS risk as well.
Drink Lots of Water
Alternatives to steroids aside from supplements, there are some herbs, nutrients, and vitamins you can take on a daily basis to enhance your workouts and recover more quickly.
For example, L-Carnitine has been shown in studies to help endurance athletes work out longer without tiring as much. A number of B vitamins have also been linked with increased stamina. In addition, when you’re taking a multivitamin consider adding turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties and calcium for muscle health.
If you’re looking for an extra energy boost before hitting the gym, try drinking coffee or green tea. Both have been shown to increase physical performance.
And don’t forget about chugging water! Staying hydrated will not only keep you healthy but it will also help with weight loss since most people mistake thirst for hunger pangs.
Lift Heavy Weights
What many don’t realize is that they can supplement their diet with herbs, nutrients, and vitamins to boost testosterone naturally.
Recent studies show ashwagandha—an adaptogen known as Indian ginseng—may be able to raise both total and free testosterone levels. Of course, there are many other herbal supplements that work in a similar way.
For example, Panax ginseng is another adaptogen you may want to try for its potential benefits on sex drive, erectile function, and athletic performance. Macuna pruriens extract may help boost nitric oxide production within your body.
This can help improve circulation throughout your body so you stay strong and healthy during workouts. Another great herb to consider is fenugreek. Not only does it contain high amounts of antioxidants, but it also helps increase libido and sexual potency in men.
Another herb worth trying is tribulus terrestris, which has been shown to help boost libido levels by increasing luteinizing hormone (LH) production within your body. By increasing LH, you’ll naturally produce more testosterone without taking any additional substances or steroids into your system.
Lifestyle Changes are Important Too
If you’re looking for a quick fix, chances are you’ll be disappointed. Even if you decide to go with natural alternatives to steroids, there’s still some work involved on your part.
You need to make a long-term commitment and lifestyle changes in order for these alternatives to truly work. Focus on diet and exercise first—and then if those fail, consider turning to supplements as an option.
That way, you won’t feel like you need them in order to live an active life—which will encourage continued use once they become more of a habit than a medical necessity.
In addition, it’s important to note that many natural alternatives have little scientific evidence backing their claims or have not been tested on humans. Always do your research before choosing one over another!
Supplement with These Herbs, Nutrients, and Vitamins
Take a walk through a health-food store and you’ll see shelves and shelves of supplements, vitamins, and herbs. For some people, these may seem like miracle solutions.
If you’re taking creatine or Tribulus terrestris for an energy boost, for example, it can be hard to justify spending money on anything else—but maybe your nutritionist could help you get by without those extras.
Talk to your doctor or dietitian before adding more supplements into your regimen; they will know what’s best based on your unique biochemistry.
But if you are looking for natural alternatives to steroids, there are plenty of options out there. Here are just a few: L-Arginine: L-arginine is an amino acid that helps build muscle mass and strength. It also boosts blood flow to muscles, which can improve athletic performance. L-arginine is also believed to have antiaging properties.