MK-677, or Ibutamoren, is another compound that is often grouped in with SARMs but isn’t specifically a SARM. Its main power lies in its ability to boost growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and this comes with a number of important benefits for bodybuilders and athletes.
MK-677 is the developmental code name for this research chemical, and it is also commonly seen by the names of Nutrobal and Ibutamoren. When you come across MK-677 for sale you will more often than not see it marketed as a SARM but it’s important to know that this compound isn’t a SARM and neither is it an anabolic steroid.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of SARMs. I am currently using this legal MK-677 alternative.
In this guide, you'll learn:
What is MK-677 (Ibutamoren)?
Ibutamoren (MK-677) is highly valued by bodybuilders because of its unique ability to increase both human growth hormone and IGF-1; these hormones have many uses and benefits in the body but the main one of concern for us is the potential to boost muscle growth.
MK-677 (Ibutamoren) was originally created as a possible hormone replacement therapy drug, this means it was created from the ground up to specifically provide benefits to GH and IGF-1 and it does this without causing the nasty anabolic steroids side effects.
In addition to muscle growth we can gain significant other benefits from MK-677, particularly in regards to recovery, brain function and sleep quality. This makes it much more than just another muscle gainer.
- Lean growth enhancer
- Promotes rapid lean muscle growth; reduces recovery times
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
MK-677 comes with clear scientific evidence that it can increase the production and release of a IGF-1 and GH and maintain these increases in the blood without bringing about a rise in stress hormones like cortisol which is a catabolic hormone.
As yet there is still no approval for MK-677 to be medically used for humans so it remains classed as an investigational drug and can only be purchased through research companies.
MK-677 Benefits (Effects)
Before you consider using MK-677 you must become familiar with what it does and doesn’t do, so you can decide if it matches your goals. Is it good for bulking, cutting, performance, or all of the above?
This compound is flexible in its benefits and can be used to bulk, cut, strengthen soft tissue and it even has benefits in improving sleep quality.
The ability of MK-677 to increase appetite makes it a compound that’s great for gaining muscle but not for a cutting plan where you want to reduce calories and burn fat.
We know that MK-677 boosts growth hormone levels so it goes without saying that this compound will appeal to you if putting on muscle is your main goal. However, there’s even more to MK-677 than just muscle gains. These are the biggest benefits and effects that it is capable of delivering:
- Muscle Mass Gains – This is without a doubt that main reason most people choose to use MK-677. Because it can so effectively increase both of the hormones that are important for growth, it is an excellent compound for building muscle. Users can expect to see a noticeable increase in size when using it with a quality weight training program and studies show that MK-677 can help with lean muscle gains without increasing total fat.
- Bone Density – Studies have shown that MK-677 can increase bone mineral density in humans, helping reduce the risk of fracture. Bone minerals like calcium and phosphorus need to be present in high quantities to protect the bones from breakage and osteoporosis later in life. As bodybuilders, we can benefit greatly from this increased bone strength by having them support growing muscles and support the regular lifting of heavy weights. Improvements in bone mineral density don’t come overnight so you would need to commit to regular cycles of MK-677 over the longer term to gain the true benefits in this area.
- Strength – Both IGF-1 and growth hormone contribute not only to gaining muscle but also to increasing strength. More strength equals better pumps, longer and more intensive workouts and ultimately faster and bigger gains. Although this won’t be the most powerful strength boosting compound you can use, it will still provide a noticeable improvement.
- Recovery and Sleep – The sleep benefits of MK-677 also contribute to boosting your strength during the day and reducing fatigue. Getting a good night’s sleep every night is critical for your recovery process and MK-677 helps with this because of its positive cognitive effects, and this works both ways because a considerably percentage of GH is released during sleep so not only does MK-677 help stimulate growth hormone directly, but by improving your sleep quality your body is in a prime state to naturally release growth hormone. By sleeping restfully and deeply every night, your recovery is sped up and enhanced and you’ll have more strength and energy for workouts.
- Fat Loss – While not specifically a fat loss compound, MK-677 can still contribute powerfully to fat loss with its anabolic properties helping to retain your existing muscle while you’re undertaking a fat burning or cutting phase. If you want to use MK-677 for cutting then ideally it will be stacked with another compound like Cardarine for better results with increased endurance that Cardarine brings helping speed up fat burning, while MK-677 plays a critical role in retaining muscle and preventing catabolism.
- Muscle Retention – MK-677 can actively help you retain muscle when on a calorie deficit diet, such as during cutting. It is well known that growth hormone stops the breakdown of skeletal muscle when people are fasting, so you are not going to lose that hard earned muscle while you’re eating less and trying to cut fat. During a period of low calorie input, growth hormone will promote the use of fat as energy thereby directly assisting with fat burning rather than running the risk of muscle loss at this time.
- Skin and Nails – While these are unlikely to be a top priority for you unless you’re a physique model or competitor, a nice bonus of MK-677 is improvements in the appearance of your skin and hair thanks to growth hormone’s ability to stimulate cell production, resulting in improved skin elasticity. HGH is able to stimulate the production of certain collagen types that help to thicken the skin, as well as improving skin tightening and overall appearance. These anti-aging properties of growth hormone can relate to all cells in the body but the hair and skin is where you will notice the most obvious benefits.
MK-677 is very useful for the repair of tendons and connective tissue after you’ve trained hard.
For this reason it’s often paired with SARMs that have a greater muscle strength boosting ability like Ligandrol and Testolone. This helps reduce the risk of injury and is most beneficial for people who are focused on regular heavy weight lifting.
There is no human approval for this drug and it is still under investigation and research. Bodybuilders however have been using it for gaining muscle because this is a compound that was developed to potentially treat muscle wasting conditions, but also obesity and MK-677 is efficient at stimulating fat loss as well making it a quality all round compound that is a true viable alternative to steroids.
You will only need a low dose of Nutrobal to experience its effects at a level suited to performance enhancement. So you can start as low as 15mg daily and expect good results, and for some people this is as high as you might want to go.
With more experience it’s possible to increase the dosage and some people are known to boost right up to 50mg daily, but this isn’t a place to start and you should always start low and gauge your results and the overall effect that Nutrobal is having.
With a 24 hour half life, Nutrobal is taken just once a day so is simple to include in your routine. While this is fine at a lower dose, once you start increasing above 20mg daily (this will differ between individuals), the one large dosage hit can actually bring about a feeling of fatigue so it can be wise to split to dose and take it twice a day.
If you notice tiredness happening even at a low dosage, splitting your intake can provide benefits and help you avoid the downsides that can potentially decrease your workout productivity.
A cycle of 8 weeks is considered the minimum when using Nutrobal but once you are confident using this compound, increasing the cycle length to 12 weeks will yield best results; this should be followed up with another 12 weeks recovery. This three months on, three months off cycle has you using the compound just twice yearly so you can plan your purchases accordingly.
You don’t need high doses of Ibutamoren to get its benefits. Most commonly new users will start at 10mg daily, and look to increase it to no more than 30mg per day. Most people will see awesome benefits at 20mg daily and see no reason to take it further, but this will depend on your goals and any other compounds you’re using at the same time.
Once you’ve got a handle of how your body reacts to MK-677, you can look at increasing the dosage and most users will want to do this during the cycle; starting at a lower dose for the first half of the cycle and increasing it as you go.
The half life of MK-677 is about 24 hours and while this means its more than possible to just take your dose once a day, it starts working quite quickly to boost growth hormone levels and this can bring about some feeling of fatigue later on as that spike wears off – for this reason some people choose to split the dose into twice a day
Typical MK-677 Cycles
Most users will want to use this compound for 12 weeks, although 8 weeks provides a minimum to see good results. There are no known risks to going with a longer cycle length as long as the dosage remains moderate.
MK-677 only cycle
Introducing yourself to this compound by using it alone in a cycle for 12 weeks will let you fully evaluate its effects without any additional influences. You should see noticeable gains, strength and improved recovery and sleep.
A 12 week MK-677 only cycle can start at just 10mg for the first two to three weeks, increasing up to 25 mg as the cycle progresses and according to how your body responds to higher doses.
MK-677 bulking cycle
Users wanting some serious bulking results will combine MK-677 with other compounds such as LGD-4033. In this case a 12 week cycle makes use of MK-677 at anywhere from 10mg to 25mg per day for the entire 12 weeks depending on how your body responds.
LGD-4033, also known as Ligandrol, is included at 10 mg per day for the first 8 weeks only. Some PCT will be required in this cycle, starting at week 9 and consisting of Nolvadex and Clomid at 20-50mg daily.
Ibutamoren can be stacked with some SARMs or other compounds depending on your goals. If your main goal is cutting or fat loss, stacking MK-677 with the endurance enhancing Cardarine will be a potent fat burning combination. RAD140 (Testolone) and S23 are two other SARMs which are commonly stacked with MK-677.
Since some SARMs have some testosterone suppressive effects, like RAD140, you can often need to implement PCT when stacking with MK-677. Testolone is a very effective compound to stack with MK-677 as it will contribute to even greater gains in muscle mass and strength, so is a powerful bulking combination.
MK-677 Post Cycle Therapy
MK-677 doesn’t affect your testosterone production so PCT isn’t required if you are using this compound on its own. But if you’re going to stack MK-677 with steroids or with any other type of compound that does cause testosterone suppression, then you’ll need to implement post-cycle therapy.
Even though post cycle therapy isn’t required, the body should be given a break from Ibutamoren and any other compounds. This means stopping use of Ibutamoren completely for a minimum of two months in between cycles.
MK-677 vs HGH Injections vs Peptides
Many bodybuilders consider whether they can use real HGH injections to boost results. But this not realistic for most people, least of all due to the very high cost of legitimate high quality and pure HGH injections.
Even compared with steroids, these injections are too expensive for most guys to seriously consider with potential costs in the thousands per month making HGH injections only a viable option for the most serious of competitors.
Cheaper black market bought HGH comes with too many risks for most people, including the fact you are most likely to get a solution that isn’t even HGH at all. So that only leaves the other more affordable options like MK-677 or peptides.
These options can provide users with a more affordable and accessible way to essentially replicate much of the results you can achieve with HGH injections through substances that while are not directly inputting HGH into your system, are able to stimulate the release of growth hormone – meaning the end outcome is similar to using HGH injections; but you have more money in your pocket at the end of a cycle.
Studies have clearly shown that MK-677 taken daily is able to increase both IGF-I and growth hormone levels significantly in young adults and without any serious side effects.
MK-677 promotes the secretion of both growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1. It is not a growth hormone itself, but instead encourages the body to produce more. HGH injections are a direct injection of growth hormone itself into the body.
Growth hormone releasing peptides are a type of synthetic peptide that can directly stimulate the release of GH, so they work similarly to MK-677. However one of the biggest downsides to using these peptides is that most of the best ones need be taken at least three times a day, and up to six times a day. They also need to be planned carefully around meals so blood glucose isn’t negatively impacted, making it a significant life disruption for most people – especially more casual users.
Peptides also need to be injected, while Ibutamoren is a simple oral administration. Peptides also some with the much higher risk of stimulating the appetite, and this isn’t desirable for all users. This is due to the very fast acting nature of peptide injections which spike quickly. In comparison, MK-677 is longer acting and keeps growth hormone levels more stable over a 24 hour period.
While the results of using peptides can be equally as good, these reasons alone are enough to turn bodybuilders away from peptide and towards an oral compound like MK-677 which you can get away with using once daily, or twice daily at a maximum.
What results can I expect using MK-677?
MK-677 can give you results that extend far outside your standard bodybuilding goals. Make no mistake: it will cover your core goals of mass gaining and increased strength, but there are bonus results you will experience which will be welcome to almost anyone using this compound.
Growth hormone plays an important role in metabolism management so it helps the body more efficiently and convert energy and use energy. This is the basis for all your muscle growth and fat loss goals.
First and foremost your results are going to include some impressive gains in lean muscle mass thanks to the heightened levels of growth hormone and IGF-1 that will be circulating in the body. Protein synthesis will be boosted and increased strength is going to provide more power for your workouts, allowing you to lift heavier and ultimately speeding up those muscle gains. For many people using MK-677, this is going to be the highest priority as far as results go.
But there’s a lot more to Ibutamoren that you can expect from your results.
Fat loss is going to be easier when using MK-677. It’s possible that this compound can positively impact the metabolism, and importantly the effects of greater growth hormone secretion is the encouragement of the body to burn up subcutaneous fat plus visceral fat, which is the fat that is stored in the abdominal cavity and can be stored in arteries if not burned.
This targeting of specific fat to burn as energy makes MK-677 highly useful both for serious cutting purposes for those who are already quite lean, while also being ideal for general fat loss or weight loss.
Thanks to MK-677’s ability to prevent muscle wasting and the loss of protein, your fat loss results can come without the concerning loss of lean muscle tissue which can often occur when you’re on a lower calorie diet and performing more intensive calorie burning cardiovascular exercise activity.
Improved sleep is going to be a noticeable part of your results when using MK-677. You should notice yourself waking feeling more energized and rested, as your deep sleep quality will be improved.
The clear benefits of a restful night’s sleep will be felt in the gym as well as in daily life, as you will be able to stave off fatigue for longer and work at a higher physical and mental capacity.
Growth hormone itself is also regulated by sleep processes as it is when you’re sleeping deeply that natural production of HGH happens – interrupted sleep can bring about disruptions to HGH release. This is a big reason why it’s often recommended to take all or at least half your daily dosage of Ibutamoren shortly before you sleep at night.
MK-677 Side Effects
Although not necessarily a negative if you’re wanting to bulk up, MK-677 is known for giving your appetite a major boost as I’ve mentioned. You might feel hungry all the time, but if you want to gain mass then this is going to be benefit rather than a side effect – as long as you make the most of the hunger by eating high quality food.
For those people who aren’t looking to increase food intake much, then the boost to the appetite the MK-677 causes could be considered a negative side effect but users of this SARM will be on a mass building cycle and the extra incentive to eat (and eat well) will be welcomed but this will certainly be a downside if you choose to address your increased appetite with junk calories instead of quality.
Any serious side effects of MK-677 are still not known but one concern is its potential affect on mental health because this compound is able to cross the blood-brain barrier which could cause over stimulation of particular brain receptors (including that which causes hunger). Repeatedly stimulating this part of the brain may cause as yet unknown short and long term effects on the brain.
The amazing thing about MK-677 is that we can reap these benefits with virtually no serious side effects to worry about. Steroid users who are familiar with estrogen related side effects like gyno and water retention will be pleased to see that MK-677 has no complications in these areas.
Compared with steroids, MK-677 is a very mild compound and is well tolerated by most users. That doesn’t mean that there are no possible side effects to watch out for. These can include:
- Fatigue or Lethargy – The initial spike in GH after taking MK-677 can later result in feeling fatigued or lethargic. Taking your dosage at night can help with this, as can splitting the daily dosage into two separate administrations throughout the day. Most users will find that this adverse effect subsides after the first couple of weeks.
- Increased Appetite – This can be a positive effect if you’re bulking up, but if you’re planning on cutting while using MK-677 then wanting to eat more can play havoc with your eating plan. Once again this is an effect that will normally fade after the first two or so weeks of a cycle.
- Headaches – A highly individual effect, some will experience no headaches while others might have some particularly painful headaches in the first few days of use, potentially coupled with nausea. If headaches occur, consider lowering your dose and gradually increasing it as you become more tolerant of the effects.
Those who are diabetic should note that high doses of MK-677 can increase insulin resistance, so diabetics should exercise caution when considering the use of MK-677.
As with any compound, the higher your dose the greater risk you will put yourself at for side effects. To minimize the risk of adverse effects as much as possible, simply start at the lowest recommended dose and evaluate how your body reacts to MK-677 before increasing the dosage.
Is MK-677 (Ibutamoren) legal?
Ibutamoren is listed as an illegal substance in most countries. In Australia for example, Ibutamoren is not legal for supplement makers to include in their products, and people can’t buy or possess Ibutamoren without a prescription.
In the US, Ibutamoren is listed as an Investigational New Drug (IND) which makes it possible for athletes to buy it through research labs, but it is still not legal to use in sports and will show up in drug testing because it boosts growth hormone. Ibutamoren is considered similarly to SARMs which are completely banned by WADA.
Is MK-677 dangerous?
Healthy people using MK-677 are at a very low risk of side effects. It does not cause aromatizing or suppress testosterone like steroids. Some minor side effects can include muscle cramps at high doses, and increased appetite; however those wanting to gain mass are likely to see a boosted appetite as a benefit rather than a negative.
Is MK-677 bad for your liver?
Only in extremely high doses and long term consistent use can MK-677 pose a risk to the liver and other organs. When excessive doses are used and growth hormone levels become extremely high, excess growth of organs can occur amid other symptoms of gigantism. Using MK-677 at moderate doses does not pose these risks.
Should you take MK-677 on an empty stomach?
It is best taken on an empty stomach, and if you’re splitting your dose then the best times are to take it before breakfast, then before dinner. This helps increase the oxidation of fat, while also assisting in sleep quality as growth hormone is naturally produced while sleeping.
How long does it take MK-677 to start working?
This compound will start working quickly, but it will take some time for peak performance and results to be seen as growth hormone levels rise and stabilize. Increased strength and noticeable muscle gains of up to and beyond 6 to 8 pounds are achievable within as little as 6 weeks, if your workouts are intensive and consistent combined with a good diet.
Does MK-677 make you hungry?
MK-677 can increase the appetite and the extent of this is highly dependent on the individual. If you are wanting muscle gains then this appetite boost is likely to be welcome and will assist you in eating more food – but it has to be quality protein and carbs for there to be any benefit. Those wanting primarily fat loss and cutting will need to monitor the MK-677 dose and lower it if excessive appetite becomes a problem.
How long can you run MK-677?
8 to 12 weeks is the recommended cycle length for MK-677, although it’s possible and generally considered safe to continue past 12 weeks so you can keep reaping the benefits of growth hormone over a longer period. Longer cycles should be carefully dosed, maintaining a low to moderate dosage of about 15mg daily.
What is the half life of MK-677?
24 hours is the half life of MK-677. This makes it possible to administer your entire dosage just once per day. But many people will choose to split it in two, taking half the dose first thing in the morning before food, and the second before eating dinner at night.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
MK-677 is useful for gaining mass through the stimulation of growth hormone, and as a real alternative to HGH injections and peptides. It can deliver similar results but at a lower cost and with a very low risk of serious side effects.
- Lean growth enhancer
- Promotes rapid lean muscle growth; reduces recovery times
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
MK-677 also has a significant number of additional benefits ranging from improving quality of sleep, enhancing recovery, boosting bone mineral density, anti-aging benefits like improving hair and skin quality, and encouraging fat loss. This makes MK-677 suited for a wide range of users and goals.
Including in a SARMs stack, especially one that is taken by heavy weight lifters, will help improve recovery and guard against injury so there’s less chance that you’ll be sidelined from a serious injury. This is an excellent addition to a bulking cycle stack for this reason and is perfect for stacking with compounds like RAD-140 and LGD-4033.