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Cytomel is a different type of compound as it is not a steroid, nor is it a SARM or any other category of substance that is commonly used by bodybuilders or athletes. It is a synthetic form of a thyroid hormone called T3, or triiodothyronine, which is produced naturally in the body. The synthetic form is known as Liothyronine Sodium, with Cytomel being the brand name.
This synthetic T3 is very similar to the original triiodothyronine hormone, but not exactly the same. Small variations of the chemical structure have resulted in Cytomel having a high rate of oral absorption and an increased level of potency.
My T3 (Cytomel) cycle guide has been broken down into the following sections:
What is T3 (Cytomel)?
Cytomel (T3) is used as a prescription medication to treat the common health problem of hypothyroidism which is where the thyroid gland is unable to produce enough thyroid hormone for normal functioning of the body’s metabolism.
As the metabolism is largely controlled by the thyroid hormone, hypothyroidism causes a slow metabolism and results in weight gain, fatigue and a range of other health issues.
It’s the effects on the metabolism that made Cytomel appealing to athletes and bodybuilders. Most of all, the potential for accelerated fat loss by boosting the metabolic rate. Only when used with a diet that’s calorie restricted, combined with a proper exercise regime will Cytomel have benefits for losing fat.
Cytomel should not be thought of as a miracle drug for weight loss, but rather an aid to potentially optimize the functioning of the metabolism.
Another similar hormone is T4, however T3 is considered much more powerful. It is available both as a pharmaceutical product and on the black market. It comes most commonly in tablet form, although injectable is also available however is not common or recommended. To legally obtain Cytomel via a pharmacy you require a prescription. Cytomel is not currently listed as a prohibited substance in professional sports, but its lack of performance enhancement effects is unlikely to make this a drug that appeals to athletes for improving performance.
T3 Benefits (Cytomel Effects)
As you might expect, the main benefits of Cytomel relate to its relationship with the metabolism as a thyroid hormone. Regulation of the metabolism is what this thyroid hormone does in the body and when it is not functioning as it should, a person can have great difficulty in losing weight and often finds themself putting on weight without explanation.
This tells us that Cytomel T3 provides positive benefits for promoting an efficient metabolism that is working optimally for fat loss, and this is the main reason you will choose to use this drug. Let’s look at the specific benefits of T3:
This is certainly the main and likely only benefit of interest to those using Cytomel. Its only other purpose is in treating hypothyroidism, so if you are using it for any other reason it will be to encourage fat loss.
By replicating the natural T3 hormone, the metabolic rate is enhanced. This does not directly lead to any noticeable weight loss though; you need to diet and exercise to take advantage of your now more efficiently functioning metabolism. The body will be in a position to burn more fat, and to burn it faster. If the diet is in a calorie deficit this fat burning will be noticeably quicker compared with dieting without Cytomel.
Cytomel comes with great benefits for losing fat, but there’s a catch to be aware of: it has no direct anabolic activity and it’s very likely that you will also lose lean muscle while supplementing with Cytomel. As the higher metabolic rate continues, the body needs more energy to burn and it will not take a preference for burning fat; therefore many users report loss of muscle.
This is a major issue for bodybuilding and athletic users who will not want to be losing muscle tissue. To avoid this problem, the majority of Cytomel users will want to add an anabolic steroid alongside Cytomel to act as a protective anabolic compound to assist with retaining muscle.
Cytomel (T3) Dosage
Many can make the mistake in thinking that you need to substantially increase the dosage of Cytomel for performance enhancement compared to a standard dosage range when it’s being used to treat hypothyroidism, but this is not the case. As long as you’re not suffering a hypothyroidism condition, using the recommended medical dosage will still provide benefits. 25mcg per day is a standard starting dose for medical use of Cytomel.
Cytomel (T3) Dosage for Fat Loss
Fat loss is the only reason for using Cytomel outside of medical use and your dose for fat loss can either remain steady throughout a 6-12 week cycle, or gradually increase and then decrease throughout. In any case it’s wise to start low at 25mcg daily. A dose of 50mcg to 75mcg daily is more than sufficient for the vast majority of users. In rare cases, advanced users might consider increasing this to 100mcg daily, however the increased risk of more serious side effects should not be underestimated at such a dosage.
Female Cytomel (T3) Dosage
Females are not known to require a different dosage level of Cytomel than men. Women can safely use T3 at 25mcg daily and see noticeable results. With overall body mass being the only difference between men and women when it comes to T3 use, women are unlikely to want to exceed 75mcg daily as a maximum dose and few will see the benefit of raising the dosage above that level, with 50mcg daily being sufficient for most users.
Proper Cytomel (T3) Administration and Timing
The maximum length of time to continually use Cytomel should be no longer than 10 weeks. Most users will find that even 6 to 8 weeks provides good results, while others have extended the cycle out to 10 weeks or even 12 weeks; however this carries with it the risk of the thyroid becoming more dependent on this external source of hormone as well as serious side effects, and is not recommended.
It’s wise to lower your dose for the last week so the thyroid gland has time to adjust and so you don’t suddenly drop into hypothyroidism after stopping Cytomel. The ideal dosage for the final week is 25mcg daily. The dosage can be taken once per day and ideally is taken at a similar time each day so you are maintaining a consistent supply of the hormone.
Typical T3 Cycles
Using Cytomel on its own in a cycle is very simple. If you’re a first time user it’s highly advisable to start at the lowest dose, then increase the dose as the cycle progresses, followed by a decrease back down to a low dose towards the end of the cycle.
This allows you to assess your reaction to T3, including side effects. By decreasing the dose for the final portion of the cycle the body can adjust back to regular thyroid hormone function without the drug. This is not absolutely critical and most people can happily get through a cycle of Cytomel at their chosen higher dose for the entire duration, with an abrupt end.
However, for your first cycle it’s recommended to use this pyramid strategy. An example beginner Cytomel only cycle follows:
- Week 1-2: 25mcg daily
- Week 3-7: 37.5-75mcg daily increased by 12.5-25mcg each time
- Week 8-10: Decrease the dosage back down to 25mcg
This cycle can be run for a shorter period of just 8 weeks with dosages adjusted accordingly. Regardless of your daily dosage, you can take the entire dose in one administration each day as there is no need to split the dose.
If you’re an anabolic steroid user then you stand to gain the most out of Cytomel as you’ll be able to combat its potential muscle loss effects by taking a powerful anabolic compound that will help retain or build muscle while you’re using Cytomel to burn fat.
A Cytomel dosage from 50mcg and above boosts the metabolic rate to a point where muscle loss is likely, and it’s here that a steroid compound included in the cycle provides excellent benefits. Inclusion of a simple testosterone steroid is often enough to provide anabolic protection when using Cytomel, but many users will want to add more powerful anabolic agents. An example cycle is as follows:
- Cytomel (T3): 75mcg to 100mcg per day (first 8 weeks only)
- Testosterone Enanthate: 300mg per week (12 weeks)
- Trenbolone Enanthate: 400mg per week (12 weeks)
The above cycle allows Cytomel to kick in for 8 weeks, while the steroids are able to work for the entire 12 weeks to both protect and build muscle. Note that it is assumed only advanced users will be combining steroids with Cytomel, therefore a gradual pyramid increase and decrease of Cytomel is not required in these cycles as that strategy is more applicable to beginners.
Cytomel Results, What Should I Expect?
If you’re an experienced steroid user and have decided to give Cytomel a go, you should be aware that it obviously won’t be giving you steroid-type results or working in the same way as anabolic steroids.
If you’re adding Cytomel to a steroid stack then you should be noticing some additional benefits on top of those experienced with your steroid compounds. Most of all that will involve not losing valuable muscle tissue, which is one of the great risks of using Cytomel at higher doses.
When it comes to Cytomel results, it is going to very much be a case of getting out exactly what you put in. And that means your results are going to be highly dependent on your exercise and diet program. Cytomel itself won’t be directly burning fat, but it will make it easier for your to burn fat as your metabolic rate will be increased.
The better your diet is, including calorie control, then the quicker and more efficient you will lose fat with Cytomel. You will need to be working out regularly and doing plenty of cardio work to make the most of your increased metabolism as a result of Cytomel’s activity of providing a constant source of thyroid hormone.
The amount of fat you lose on a Cytomel cycle will also depend on your current body condition – there is simply no standard set of results but you can be certain of seeing a positive outcome if you put in the required effort.
When using Cytomel with steroids, the results take on a whole new level and depending which compounds you include you will be seeing not only fat loss, but maintaining of existing muscle rather than any muscle loss, a boost to energy and strength, and the potential for muscle gains if your workouts support that outcome.
Your results with Cytomel will be what you make them, but there is no doubt this drug has the certain potential to make fat burning more efficient.
Cytomel Side Effects
Higher doses of Cytomel will increase the risk of any side effects, as well as the risk of more serious side effects that can become critically dangerous. At moderate doses this is considered a relatively safe drug, but of course it is not designed for performance enhancing purposes so the true safety and risks at performance doses are not fully known.
Because this is a hormone, it will have different effects on each individual. The most commonly reported non-serious side effects include headaches, less tolerance to heat, changes in heartbeat, increased sweating, anxiety, changes to bowel function and menstruation and difficulty sleeping.
Lethargy or fatigue and weakness is sometimes reported, with the potential for more extreme tiredness to occur in some people; especially if higher doses or used or if Cytomel is used for too long without a break in between. Cytomel can cause a reduction in ATP which leads to fatigue and lethargy as well as reduced muscle performance. This can be a serious issue for bodybuilders and athletes and is a main reason why most will want to use an anabolic steroid with Cytomel.
An increase in body temperature is an expected side effect from Cytomel, since metabolism relies on body heat (thermogenesis). In fact, if a temperature increase is not noted then it’s possible the drug isn’t working as expected. The metabolic increase that Cytomel causes will naturally increase the body’s core temperature and this can be measured and compared to both before you started your cycle and then twice daily during the cycle.
The raised temperature should never be substantial and is usually around the one degree mark. Anything higher than a consistent two degree rise in body temperature indicates you dosage should be decreased, or the drug stopped completely.
More serious side effects that are a risk when you take high doses or use Cytomel for long periods of time include:
- Chest pain
- Hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone)
- Heart failure
To avoid the risk of these side effects, never exceed a dosage of 125mcg for any more than a very short time; but ideally such a dosage should be avoided completely and is rarely even necessary in order to obtain benefits from Cytomel. The quality of your Cytomel cycle in terms of diet and exercise will outweigh taking a higher dosage and associated higher risks.
Cytomel is designed to treat hypothyroidism, and new users can question whether using the hormone at higher doses and then stopping will cause the body to become dependent on an external source of T3, resulting in a slow down or halt of natural production of the thyroid hormone.
There is debate on how high of a risk this is or whether it’s even possible at all. Because Cytomel was made for medicinal purposes rather than performance enhancement, studies are only based on medical use of the drug in people with hypothyroidism who should not stop the drug suddenly. However, if you have a healthy thyroid there is no particular evidence that states it is dangerous to stop taking T3. In healthy individuals the thyroid gland will continue to function as normal to produce the thyroid hormone once Cytomel is stopped.
What is Cytomel T3 used for?
Cytomel is used to treat hypothyroidism; a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormone to control the metabolism. This results in weight gain and other health problems. Athletes and bodybuilders use Cytomel to promote fat loss by providing the body with an additional source of the thyroid hormone to stimulate the metabolic rate.
How long does it take for T3 Cytomel to work?
How soon you start noticing the effects of Cytomel can differ wildly between individuals. For some, it can be a couple of weeks, while others will start seeing benefits within just days. People with hypothyroidism who are using T3 as a medication usually take around 6 weeks to start feeling better. For performance enhancing users where doses are often higher and use is limited to around 8 weeks at a time, you can speed up results by sticking to a calorie controlled diet and doing regular cardiovascular and other fat loss related exercise.
What are the side effects of taking T3?
Cytomel’s possible side effects range from nothing, to mild, to very serious but only in rare cases and where high doses are taken for a long time. Some individuals can experience headaches and fatigue, sweating and anxiety, sleeping difficulties, irregular heartbeat and in the most severe cases a risk of heart failure or development of reliance on external T3 with the thyroid gland unable to return to normal afterwards – this can be avoided by limiting the dosage to sensible levels and only using Cytomel for no more than three months at a time maximum.
Does T3 make you lose weight?
The effects of hypothyroidism is a gaining of weight due to the low level of thyroid hormone being reduced which helps regulate the metabolism. By taking T3 your body receives the level of hormone it needs to have the metabolism functioning properly again. Cytomel does not directly lead to loss of weight, but with the presence of the hormone you are much more likely to be able to lose weight when doing regular exercise and eating a sensible diet as the metabolism should now be doing its job correctly.
Does Cytomel give you energy?
Lack of energy and overall fatigue and tiredness is a universal symptom of hypothyroidism which is what Cytomel is designed to treat. Theoretically it should then bring about an increase in energy once the thyroid hormone is elevated to normal levels. For healthy people who already have normal thyroid hormone levels but are using Cytomel for performance enhancement, there is no evidence that it will increase your energy.
Can I take Cytomel at night?
Cytomel is not a fast acting drug so its timing of when you take it is not as critical compared with some of the very short acting anabolic steroids that you might be used to. Studies show that up to 95% of Cytomel is absorbed by the body within 4 hours of taking it, and the biological half life of the drug is about 2.5 days. When used for medical purposes it is usually advised to take the daily dosage in the morning, and it should be taken around the same time everyday for consistency.
Why do bodybuilders use Cytomel?
Bodybuilders and athletes wanting to lose weight take Cytomel to speed up the metabolism so that fat burning becomes faster, easier and more efficient. The metabolic rate rises as thermogenesis (increased body heat) takes place. This causes fats, proteins and carbohydrates to be converted into energy faster.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
Cytomel provides a direct source of thyroid hormone, which is critical for regulating the metabolism. Cytomel itself does not directly cause weight loss. But when enough thyroid hormone is present, the metabolism works at an optimal level resulting in a more efficient use of energy sources which then leads to a loss of fat if the diet is sufficiently calorie controlled and regular cardiovascular exercise is undertaken.