What is Ostarine?
Ostarine MK-2866 is another name for SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator), which work in a similar way to anabolic steroids.
Now despite its popularity within the bodybuilding community, it is important to note that this particular SARM is not approved for human use or consumption – anywhere. That’s right! It’s illegal. Yet, it is possible to find it on black market channels.
But what is Ostarine?
Aside from having fewer androgenic properties – meaning it will have less of an influence on the development and balance of male hormones (testosterone) – Ostarine is believed to prevent muscle wasting, and instead encourages muscle growth.
And this is a big positive when compared to anabolic steroids. Because whilst it does the same job of stimulating muscle mass development, it doesn’t come with any of the nasty side effects that accompany steroids (due to the way it affects your body).
Ostarine MK-2866 (also known as enobosarm) directly affects anabolic activity without overloading your body with excessive quantities of hormones. In fact, whilst it works by targeting/stimulating androgen receptors and mimicking testosterone; it differs from steroids because it does not convert them into estrogen. As a result, your body is inflicted with fewer side effects.
Similarly, it is able to target specific tissues (muscles and bones), meaning you don’t have to deal with severe testosterone suppression and increased estrogen.
How does Ostarine work?
Now we’ve touched on Ostarine results briefly in the section above, but there is more to this pill than meets the eye.
You see, SARMs (as a whole) are capable of: targeting specific muscles; increasing anabolic processes (whilst sparing your reproductive organs), and increasing skeletal muscle mass. This helps to encourage muscle growth and development. It is especially good at combating muscle and bone wasting.
In one study on mice, Ostarine was found to be as effective as dihydrotestosterone (an influential androgen) at restoring the size of pelvic floor muscles. It was also revealed to:
- Activate muscle stem cells (satellite cells) that help to remodel, repair and regenerate muscles.
- Stimulate cells in connective tissues (which is essential for successful recovery from muscle injuries).
- Increase activity of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1 gene) which can help to increase muscle growth and strength.
What is it used for?
Ostarine MK-2866 may be best known for its preventative properties in regards to muscle and bone wasting diseases (and their potential treatments). However, if we’re honest, you’re more likely to hear the phrase ‘Ostarine’ at the gym.
This is because of its ability to help with the following common issues experienced by bodybuilders and gym enthusiasts:
1 – Building muscle/muscle growth – Ostarine can do a lot more than prevent muscle loss/muscular dystrophy. It can also help you to gain lean muscle mass and reduce body fat.
Study One: In a phase II trial, it was statistically shown to improve lean muscle mass and physical functions across male and female participants.
Study Two: In a clinical trial of 120 healthy elderly people; when given 3mg of Ostarine daily (for 12 weeks), they saw increased lean muscle mass and fitness.
Study Three: In a study that explored ways to prevent muscle mass loss in cancer patients; when Ostarine was administered to 159 cancer patients (who had already lost muscle prior to the study); they saw gains of 2-3lbs after taking 1mg per day for 4 months.
2 – Lean muscle – whilst bodybuilding with Ostarine, you won’t experience the same amount of weight gain as you would with steroids. Anything you do gain will be solely lean muscle. Similarly, you won’t be prone to water retention weight gain or gynaecomastia (storage of fat in the lower part of your chest).
3 – Muscle recovery – this is particularly important for workouts because the faster you recover; the quicker you’ll be able to get back into the gym.
4 – Joints and tendons – its protective properties – namely its ability to guard your joints, tendons and bone tissues – have made this SARM particularly popular amongst athletes.
5 – Bone health – the loss of bone-protective sex hormones as we age can result in poor bone health and even osteoporosis. Increasing muscle mass can help to reduce the risk of bone fractures and ensure a speedy recovery.
Ostarine helps by mimicking testosterone in your muscles and bones, providing support to your skeletal system and in the healing of fractures. It is also beneficial in the prevention of bone diseases.
6 – Heart health – Ostarine has got the potential to help those with heart disease – who regularly suffer from muscle and weight loss as a result of the condition – by causing drops in lipid levels. By keeping your lipids healthy, it can prevent heart disease.
Study One: In a study of 120 healthy, elderly people; those given 1-3mg of Ostarine per day experienced a drop in lipids in their blood (triglyceride, total cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol).
7 – Insulin resistance – Ostarine has been linked to improved insulin resistance and reduced blood glucose levels, meaning it has the potential (with further research) to help anyone who has diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
Despite its illegal status – and the need for more studies – numerous bodybuilders and athletes swear by this SARM and its ability to boost your performance; as it contains few of the risks associated with steroids.
Similarly, the few studies that have been done, have all shown it to be beneficial in the fight against aging (alleviating osteoporosis etc.); muscle dystrophy; breast cancer; heart disease and diabetes.
NOTE: What is most interesting, is that whilst most SARMs have been found to be too toxic; Ostarine is one of the few SARMs that it still being clinically tested. This is because a lot of the existing research has done on Ostarine’s uses for cancer patients and the elderly. Little real research has been performed into its real-life applications in the gym (despite the above studies suggesting it could be helpful).
What are the benefits of Ostarine?
In a bid to not repeat ourselves and spout off the same information listed above; let us just say that a lot of the points listed above could easily fall into this section too. So when considering Ostarine benefits, please bear in the mind the uses we listed earlier.
That being said, Ostarine can potentially help with the following:
1 – Fat burn – one positive Ostarine results is the added weight loss you’ll experience as you burn fat. To lose weight, the amount of calories you burn has to be higher than what you consume. This is typically made harder, as dieting usually results in the loss of muscle as well as fat. Ostarine prevents muscle loss during dieting, whilst still helping you to lose body fat.
2 – Metabolism – your metabolic rate is greatly dependent on your muscle mass. Meaning, if you can successfully diet without losing muscle, then it stands to reason that your body won’t slow down. Ostarine can prevent muscle reduction, enabling your metabolism to stay in peak form and encourage greater fat loss.
3 – Hormones – unlike steroids, there is no risk of hormone imbalances with Ostarine.
4 – Side effects – of the ones reported, there are very few and they are only mild.
Now there are cons – aside from potential side effects…
For instance, Ostarine cannot be used within professional sports; it has not been approved for human use or consumption in any country, and its long term risks are still unknown.
How it is used for bodybuilding? Ostarine Dosages and cycles
During its clinical trials on elderly people and cancer patients, 1mg a day of Ostarine was found to increase total lean muscle mass by more than 3lbs; whilst 3mg a day encouraged 2lb gains in cancer patients (over 3 months). In elderly participants, they only saw muscle gains with 3mg a day.
But what about bodybuilding?
Research suggests an Ostarine cycle can offer bodybuilders 6-8lb muscle mass gains (during bulking) if they take 25mg of Ostarine per day.
But what are realistic Ostarine dosage and cycle patterns? Here are some examples we have found:
- Some bodybuilders use Ostarine as a PCT and use it alongside steroids.
- Others take Ostarine in between cycles (when they have used steroids) to help them maintain their muscle gains. In fact, many bodybuilders celebrate Ostarine more for its maintenance benefits, than its muscle bulking effects. They found with Ostarine that it was easier to protect their gains (after a bulking cycle).
- Most bodybuilders agree that it can offer gains during all phases e.g. bulking, cutting, body re-composition and muscle recovery.
- Female bodybuilders like using Ostarine as it doesn’t trigger facial hair, voice drops or other popular side effects caused by the presence of high androgens.
30mg a day of Ostarine (paired with PCT) is believed to: encourage pure, lean muscle gains; increased protein synthesis; heightened strength, energy, stamina, and endurance; no water retention; maintainable gains of 6-8lbs; no post cycle crashes; no need for pre-cycle support supplements (or liver support supplements), and no increased aggression.
Cutting (fat burn)
Using Ostarine for your cutting cycle is believed to help: maintain muscle mass (by preventing protein breakdown in your muscles during a calorie deficient); increase fat burn/fat loss, and prevent strength loss.
What is the correct Ostarine dosage?
- Bulking – during a 3-8 week cycle, men should take 25mg a day and women 10mg a day.
As it has got a long 24-hour half-life, this dose can be taken in one shot; however, most bodybuilders would advise you to split it into 2-3 dosages.
- Cutting – during a 4-8 week cycle, men should take 15-20mg a day and women 10mg a day.
Now, there is technically nothing stopping you from using Ostarine for a full 12-week cycle; however, to minimize the risk of its few side effects, an 8-week cycle is recommended.
In addition, experienced bodybuilders advise taking a break from Ostarine that is equal to the duration of your cycle e.g. after using it for 12 weeks – and doing PCT for 3-4 weeks – they suggest taking a further 12-week break from Ostarine before starting again.
NOTE: a minimum of a 4-week break from all SARMs is recommended at the end of your cycle to help you recover.
How can Ostarine be taken?
Ostarine dosages come in two forms: pills or as a solution.
Is it legal?
Technically, you can legally choose to buy Ostarine online. However, within the professional sporting and competing world, it will always remain illegal.
So, is it banned in sport?
In fact, the World Anti-Doping Agency banned it under the S1 Anabolic Agent category of the Prohibited list in 2008. This means, not only is it illegal for you to take it; you shouldn’t find it in any prescription medications or as an ingredient in dietary supplements.
And the word here is: ‘shouldn’t’.
Sadly, some manufacturers do illegally put SARMs such as Ostarine into their products and sell them as legal steroids or as ‘research only’ chemicals (that is if they are honest enough to put Ostarine on their label).
The harsh reality is – until more studies are done, it won’t become approved for human use or consumption.
What are the dangers and Ostarine side effects?
Based on what can be ascertained by the few studies that are out there; Ostarine appears to not have any notable side effects. Unlike steroids, it won’t be metabolized into steroid hormones; it won’t increase your estrogen levels (it only does it mildly); it won’t affect your heart, blood vessels, liver or prostate, or your sexual and vital organs (despite influencing androgen receptors it won’t affect your androgen levels); it won’t cause hair loss or acne, and it won’t dramatically reduce natural production of testosterone (yes, some testosterone suppression will occur, but it should be minimal e.g. if you take excessive amounts).
However, it is not entirely innocent…
There are some precautions you need to take. For example, you shouldn’t take it at the same time as anti-estrogen as this can cause hormone imbalances. Similarly, it may:
- Interact (minimally) with antibiotics, antifungals, statins, and Celebrex.
- Cause headaches, slight nausea, backache, testicular pain, and joint pain.
- Decrease your sense of wellness, energy, strength, and ability to maintain an erection.
- Disrupt sleep and menstrual cycles.
What are the other safer options for muscle building?
The truth is – Ostarine may look great on paper, but until it is legal for consumption; all you are risking by picking Ostarine is buying a black market, diluted/ poor imitation of Ostarine online that could wreck your athletic or bodybuilding career. Should it be found in your urine, then that’s it – you’re out.
So you’ve got to ask yourself – is it really worth risking your career over, when there are safer, legal and more natural ways to achieve muscle growth? No, it isn’t!
True, it can increase muscle mass, prevent muscle loss (during a calorie deficient) and efficiently be used for bulking and cutting, BUT unless the rules surrounding Ostarine change, the fact is – it is ILLEGAL!
That is why we recommend sticking to natural steroid alternatives, such as the ones offered by CrazyBulk.
CrazyBulk supplies a range of 100% legal bodybuilding supplements that can be safely used to increase lean muscle mass; cut fat; improve muscle recovery; maximize your physical endurance, stamina and strength, and more importantly, help you to successfully complete your bulking and cutting cycles.
Man or woman – they can offer you a safer, more natural way to achieve the body you want, with none of the side effects of steroids. So why wait?
For more information on legal alternatives to steroids, follow our blog.