MK-677 (Ibutamoren)

By: Juice

Last updated: is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of professional medical advice.

On paper MK-677 looks like the perfect bodybuilding compound: powerful anabolic effects, no serious side effects, and studies showing that it’s both effective and can potentially be used long term with minimal risk.

MK-677 (Ibutamoren)
MK-677 (Ibutamoren)

We really can’t say all these things about many other substances. But how true are all these aspects when it comes to real world bodybuilding use of MK-677? Is this something that any of us should just assume is totally safe and without risk?

Personally I prefer to take a more cautious approach these days, although that wasn’t the case when I first started using MK-677. And the more I dug around, the more I learned about this very unique performance enhancing compound.

Here I cover everything you need to know about MK-677 so you can make the right decision about whether this is a substance you can confidently use, or if you should be looking elsewhere.

Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of SARMs.

MK-677 History and Overview

MK-677, also commonly called Ibutamoren, is one of the more well researched compounds that bodybuilders use. This is not a SARM, even though it’s often confused as one. MK-677 is a very different type of compound and one that doesn’t act on androgen receptors at all.

Ibutamoren History
MK-677 (Ibutamoren) History

At the moment the FDA has classed MK-677 as an Investigational New Drug. This means MK-677 can gain permission to undertake human clinical trials. MK-677 has so far been put through a few human studies but as yet has no approval for human use.

Research continues into exactly where and how it would be useful in human health, and there are a few promising areas like possible treatment for growth hormone deficiency, and for muscle loss in elderly people.

There are already quite a few trials undertaken with MK-677 which prove that it does what it’s designed to. What the studies don’t and can’t yet show is what potential longer term impacts this compound could have after prolonged use at higher doses.

Despite this, MK-677 is popular among bodybuilders, with many feeling confident enough to use it for very long periods of time compared to almost any other performance enhancing substance.

Chemical Characteristics and Properties

MK-677 is almost a one of a kind compound, at least when it comes to the collection of steroids and SARMs and peptides that are used for performance and bodybuilding. MK-677 doesn’t work by targeting androgen receptors and it doesn’t have anything to do with testosterone or other steroid hormones.

Nutrobal MK-677 Structure
Ibutamoren (MK-677) Structure

MK-677 is a non-peptide growth hormone secretagogues which in effect means it induces the secretion of human growth hormone. It’s also a ghrelin receptor agonist. Ghrelin is a hormone that you naturally have in the body. It works to stimulate growth hormone.

MK-677 effectively mimics this action, resulting in an increase in growth hormone release from the pituitary gland. Growth hormone is very anabolic and is responsible for growth in childhood and young adulthood.

IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1) is also produced as a result of taking MK-677 and this hormone essentially manages what growth hormone does. It is essential for metabolic activity, and unlike growth hormone levels which can go up and down during the day, IGF-1 levels stay stable.

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Effects of MK-677 (MK-677 Benefits)

MK-677 is not what we’d call a one hit wonder. The amount of effects this compound can achieve is quite astounding. But once you understand how growth hormone works and what its benefits are in the body, you begin to see just how MK-677 gains its powerful benefits. After all, it’s actually the growth hormone itself that’s mostly responsible for the effects you experience with MK-677.

MK-677 itself works to stimulate the release of HGH and once that’s done, growth hormone can work its magic and provide you with some of the most beneficial effects that can rival that of some steroids. Here are the main effects you can expect when using Ibutamoren:

Muscle growth

With the increase in growth hormone comes the ability to gain more muscle faster. One study showed that with little or no changes to diet and exercise regimes, participants gained small amounts of muscle mass over 16 weeks on a low dose of Ibutamoren.

This goes to show that with a bodybuilding diet and training program, the amount of muscle gains on MK-677 can be impressive.

However, it won’t be the level of gains you can get from powerful SARMs and anabolic steroids, but gains up to 10lbs on one cycle are possible. You will want to keep any water retention in check to ensure your gains are quality lean muscle.

Muscle preservation

This is a lesser thought about benefit but one that makes MK-677 very useful as a compound to use after a SARMs cycle, effectively as a kind of PCT where it can help you retain the gains you made on your cycle.

MK-677’s anabolic effects ensure that you don’t fall into a catabolic state where muscle is lost. Although this is also a useful benefit for cutting cycles, MK-677 is not recommended as a cutting compound for reasons outlined below.

Sleep and Recovery

MK-677’s effects on supporting bone density and improving sleep all contributes to enhancing your recovery.

A lot of MK-677 users have found that we can sleep for only 6 or so hours, yet wake up feeling as rested and refreshed as if 8 hour of sleep was just had. This really changes the energy you have during the day and in my opinion is one of MK-677’s biggest benefits.

It’s a valuable compound to use for healing, repair and general recovery and this is a reason it’s often used post cycle after other harsh compounds, or as an addition to a cycle where you want additional recovery benefits.

At its core this allows you to recover faster after training sessions, which can only boost your results and have you back in the gym for your next session sooner while reducing risk of injury from over training.

Improved skin and hair

While hair and skin usually isn’t high on the list of priorities for bodybuilders, it’s a nice bonus benefit that comes with growth hormone.

Improved skin quality can only help with the appearance of your physique and most users will find that they actually really value this effect once it kicks in.

It’s one of the anti-aging benefits of HGH but will still be valued by younger users of MK-677; particularly those who have seen the opposite effect with some steroids that cause hair thinning and hair loss.

Fat loss

This is far from an ideal weight loss compound. And many of its properties make it one of the most unsuitable cutting agents you could choose to use (for example, water retention and the increased appetite that can be quite substantial).

But despite this, MK-677 does of course have anabolic effects and this translates to being able to burn fat.

Most people using MK-677 will be consuming more calories to bulk up, making fat loss a low priority. However it’s still hand to know that MK-677 can contribute to some loss in fat if that’s going to be part of your goal.

Mental benefits

Many people find their mood improves and that mental focus is better when using MK-677. A more positive outlook combined with increased mental energy (which may be partly as a result of better sleep quality) will contribute substantially to better workouts and increased motivation to undertake your training and stick to the diet that you need to be on to get results.

Appetite stimulation

Although it might be thought of as a side effect for some of us, most bodybuilders using MK-677 to bulk up do appreciate the increased appetite that this compound stimulates.

MK-677 Cycles and Stacks

With a lot of SARMs and similar compounds the cycle length will often be limited to a short time for various reasons, but it’s widely accepted that MK-677 can (and indeed should) be used for four to five months.

Firstly, growth hormone levels take some time to rise and you will not be experiencing the full benefits of this compound if you only use it for a few weeks.

Secondly, MK-677 is generally considered safe to use for this length of time. Of course, its safety can never be assured at any level, but by maintaining a moderate dose most people find they have minimal issues using MK-677 for 20 weeks.

More advanced users are known to keep using MK-677 without any time limit – in some cases this can be measured in years. The negative impacts of doing this are not understood.

When doing a standard MK-677 cycle of any length, a break of at the very last 5 weeks without any MK-677 or SARMs (or any other compounds) should follow your cycle to allow full recovery.

Beginner MK-677 Cycle

First time users to MK-677 are well advised to start at the lowest possible dose and of course to use MK-677 as the sole compound in your cycle. A low dose introduces you to the effects of MK-677, while trying to minimize side effects as much as possible.

There’s nothing wrong with a beginner undertaking a longer cycle of 16 weeks and even longer if desired. In fact, it is recommended so you give your body enough time for the effects of rising growth hormone to take place. A dose of 12.5mg daily produced good MK-677 results in studies, and most beginners will tolerate this dose very well.

Intermediate MK-677 Cycle

Once you’re comfortable with using MK-677 at the lowest dosage, you can consider raising the dose for more pronounced effects; just be aware that this will likely also cause more pronounced side effects.

Experienced users agree that the optimal dose for gaining muscle, enhancing recovery and balancing side effects is in the range of 20mg to 25mg daily. Most intermediate users will be able to comfortable take this dose for a 16 week cycle.

Advanced MK-677 Cycle

A 25mg dosage is standard for MK-677 users who have comfortably used the compound at lower doses with success. Few will argue that dosages above 25mg are required for better results, and this should be the upper limit that even advanced users won’t need to exceed to get maximum gains.

At the advanced level you will benefit more by stacking one or more other compounds, rather than increasing your MK-677 dose above 25mg.

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Stacking MK-677

MK-677 can work well when stacked with some SARMs and other compounds because of the unique benefits it brings. Its benefits for sleep quality and recovery can improve any type of cycle, and it will fit well into any cycle where muscle and strength gains are your main goals.

MK-677 stacks for cutting

Although MK-677 has great benefits for retaining muscle and avoiding catabolism (ensuring you only burn fat, and not muscle) as well as recovery, it’s not a compound most people will want to use in a cutting cycle for one main reason.

Its effect on the appetite can be strong, and when you’re on a strict calorie deficit diet to lose fat, the last thing you want is to take something that makes you feel more hungry than normal. To add to this, the potential for water retention with MK-677 also makes it unfavorable for most cutting goals.

The only reason that anyone would consider using MK-677 for cutting is if there’s no way of obtaining other better suited compounds for muscle preservation, or if you’re extremely strong willed and can resist the powerful appetite simulating effects of MK-677. Due to its unsuitability for a cutting cycle, there are no recommended stacks for using Ibutamoren specifically for a cutting cycle.

MK-677 stacks for bulking

Bulking stacks are where MK-677 will usually be used and you have a good number of stacking options. One of the most popular and effective is a LGD-4033 and MK-677 stack.

Moderate muscle gains can be made on this stack, potentially in the 5-10lbs range. Fat loss will be made easier, strength will be improved, and you get all the individual benefits of MK-677 like better sleep and recovery.

MK-677 and RAD-140 (Testolone) is another powerful bulking stack, combining two compounds that work in very different ways.

RAD-140 is a SARM with properties that are steroid like that provides similar effects to taking testosterone. It is considered a more powerful muscle builder than MK-677, so MK-677 almost takes a secondary role in this stack to act as a recovery enhancer as well as promoting some fat loss.

Many users will be able to get by with no PCT on this stack if the RAD-140 dosage is kept to 10mg for 12 weeks maximum. MK-677 can continue being used at 20mg for a longer term which will greatly assist you in maintaining the gains you made.

MK-677 PCT

MK-677 is one of very substances that won’t require any PCT after your cycle. Male users will be pleased to know that MK-677 doesn’t have any testosterone suppression effects.

However: if you’re stacking it with any compound that causes testosterone suppression then you’ll need to have your PCT plan ready to go. If you’re using MK-677 on its own you won’t experience any low testosterone symptoms, since MK-677 doesn’t affect testosterone in any way.

Quite the opposite in fact.

MK-677 is sometimes used as an actual PCT compound itself. It performs a different role than Nolvadex or Clomid, but can be useful in maintaining your gains after a cycle and it can be used over a longer term with minimal side effects, rather than just the standard 4 week PCT of Nolvadex or Clomid.

MK-677 Dosages and Administration

The way you plan your MK-677 will depend what your main goal is. Different doses will be used for bulking, compared to using MK-677 for recovery, PCT, or anti-aging purposes.

Regardless of your specific goal, it’s now accepted among most people that certain doses are ideal for creating that desirable balance between benefits and side effects, and that there is no known benefit to using excess amounts of MK-677.

Bodybuilding MK-677 Dosage

Bodybuilders will use a range of MK-677 dosages, and many people will find the need to adjust the dose at some point either to try and minimize some side effects or to try and obtain better results.

But MK-677 has no need to be used at excessive doses and is unlikely to produce better results by dosing much about the recommended maximum. First time users would do well to start at 10mg and evaluate any initial side effects.

With so many bodybuilders using MK-677 over the years, it’s widely accepted that a dose of 25mg provides the best balance between results and side effects for the majority of people.

Experiences and some research leans towards there being a higher incidence of unwanted side effects once the dosage exceeds 25mg per day. Anyone wanting more powerful benefits than what can be achieved with 25mg of MK-677 should look at stacking it with other compounds including SARMs.

Female MK-677 Dosage

MK-677 is not a steroid, nor does it have any type of androgenic activity. This means there doesn’t need to be a great adjustment in the dosage for women compared to men. Most women will see excellent results at the 12.5mg to 20mg range.

Starting at the lower dose is always recommended for your first cycle, as it’s not out of the question that some side effects will be more difficult to handle than you expected even at lower doses.

One study on nearly 300 women aged 60+ concluded that bone strength and mineral density was increased when using MK-677 at 25mg daily for 12 months. These additional benefits for bone health will be welcomed by all female users of Ibutamoren.

Proper Administration and Timing

MK-677’s half life is about 24 hours. This makes it easy to take your dose because a once daily administration can work well. Some people will still choose to split the dose into twice daily, but this is just a matter of preference.

Research has shown that a single oral dose of MK-677 results in elevated IGF-1 levels for up to 24 hours. This indicates a once daily dose is very effective, so in most cases modifying the dose into a twice daily administration often comes down to trying to mitigate side effects – in particular the way MK-677 affects sleep and hunger.

To get the most out of MK-677’s effects on improving REM sleep quality, people find taking it in the evening about an hour before bed has the most benefit.

Taking MK-677 in the morning will increase your hunger throughout the day (this may or may not be desirable, depending on your preference).

If you want to balance out the sleep and appetite effects, simply split your dosage and take half in the morning and the other half at night. This is not guaranteed to work but it’s worth a try. It can take some trial error to find the best MK-677 dosage timing that works best for you and not everyone will have the same response.

MK-677 Risks and Side Effects

Even though MK-677 has been put through a few more studies than some of the other non-steroid compounds that we bodybuilders like using, in the grand scheme of things there’s still a whole world of information that isn’t yet known about this compound. Depending whether or not it continues to be researched and put through clinical trials, the risks and longer term MK-677 side effects might never be proven.

In many cases it’s actually the bodybuilding community who builds up their own information base about side effects. And although we can definitely gain a lot of knowledge by hearing about the experiences of others, it doesn’t replace rigorous scientific study.

Water retention is a commonly reported side effect, despite the fact MK-677 doesn’t impact estrogen or testosterone hormones directly. One common reason for fluid retention developing is poor quality MK-677 being taken, resulting in a host of potential side effects. Most users will find any water build up will start subsiding after the first couple of weeks, provided you’re using high purity MK-677.

Other shorter term side effects that are often reported include headaches, lethargy and fatigue, joint pain, and unusual or vivid dreams.

Long term risk factors are the biggest concern and what it comes down to is that we use MK-677 at our own risk because there’s no way of knowing what certain dosages and particular lengths of time using MK-677 will do to the body in the long run. There are a few insights that are worth considering about potential longer term risks of using MK-677.

Changes in insulin sensitivity could be a possible problem with high dose, long term use. MK-677 is likely to increase blood glucose levels, resulting in the development of insulin resistance.

Another area of concern is MK-677’s effects on the brain. Because MK-677 tricks the brain into stimulating more release of growth hormone by mimicking the way the hormone ghrelin works to do just that, MK-677 crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

While this in itself isn’t a cause for alarm (caffeine is another example of a substance that easily crosses the BBB), the fact is that without long term studies we can’t know if there are any risks to the brain from regular use of MK-677. Once again, avoiding higher doses is the best you can do to minimize any risks.

MK-677 vs. HGH

Taking HGH directly is an option more bodybuilders are turning to. In fact HGH has been a long used “secret” by plenty of bodybuilders, but it’s not often talked about as much as anabolic steroids despite it being just as powerful in many ways.

HGH injections come with high risks when its being done for bodybuilding purposes. Too much growth hormone can cause irreversible health problems. It’s not only at high doses that risks exist either. Lower doses can still put users at risk of diabetes or heart disease.

Remember: when taking HGH injections you are directly putting HGH into the body. When using MK-677, you are encouraging the normal process of growth hormone release from the pituitary gland.

Other differences you should know about between using HGH and MK-677 are:

  • HGH requires injections, while MK-677 is taken orally.
  • HGH is extremely expensive and can be difficult to get without a prescription. MK-677 is usually much cheaper.
  • MK-677 gives you a more gradual rise of growth hormone over time, but HGH injections result in a spike of growth hormone levels.
  • MK-677 can be used long term and is considered relatively safe, but HGH is rarely used more than 6 weeks at a time.
  • MK-677 comes with some unique side effects that you won’t get with HGH, like vivid dreams.
  • HGH comes with higher risk of raising growth hormone levels too high, resulting in enlargement of body parts and organs, increased heart disease risk and growth of cancerous tumors.

So is MK-677 better and safer to use than direct HGH injections? It’s certainly the lower cost option and for a lot of people that will be the only determining factor.

Overall MK-677 is a less harsh substance and puts you at low risk of elevating growth hormone to dangerous levels. It also does away with the need for injections which themselves can cause pain, irritation and potentially infection. Both substances come with their benefits, but both also have their risks when they are misused or abused.

MK-677 for Sale

Choosing where to buy your Ibutamoren will make or break your experience and your results. Because this is a drug still under investigation and with no approval for human use, it is not manufactured pharmaceutically.

The only way to purchase MK-677 is as a research chemical. So many of the problems that people have with using MK-677 doesn’t actually come down to the substance itself, but is a result of purchasing poor quality MK-677.

In some cases it might not even be MK-677 at all. This can cause your results to be nothing like you expected, and also bring about severe side effects. It really is critical that you only buy MK-677 that is high quality and high purity, otherwise you are simple wasting your money and time.

Underground Lab MK-677 for Sale

Underground or research labs are the main way you can purchase MK-677, and unfortunately these sources are highly variable in the quality of products they offer.

Buying from a research lab relies on a loophole that exists in a legal grey area; the chemical MK-677 should only be sold for research purposes however there is little enforcement or regulation and most buyers and sellers won’t come under scrutiny from authorities.

We should always keep in mind that the risk is there however. More so, the risk of buying poor quality MK-677 from underground and research lab sources is concerning. The result of low purity or contaminated MK-677 means poor results, but also increased health risks and the development of unexpected side effects.

Typical Pricing

Most liquid MK-677 will come in bottles with a concentration of 25mg/ml. A 30ml bottle will cost anywhere from $60 to $90, sometimes more. Depending on your dose, a bottle of that size could last as little as one month.

So although MK-677 is relatively low priced compared to a lot of steroids, since it is often used for many months – and in some cases for a year or more – you’re likely looking at spending at least several hundred dollars for your MK-677 cycle.

While this is cheaper than comparable HGH injections, buyers of MK-677 do run a risk of purchasing low quality or low purity products on the underground market, and if you intend to purchase a six or twelve month supply then you will want to be very confident that what you’re buying is the highest possible quality of MK-677.

Buy MK-677 Online

Buying MK-677 is the only way most of us will be able to obtain it, unless of course you have a local contact who sources SARMs and other compounds – but be prepared to pay a premium if you go down that path.

No matter where you choose to buy your MK-677, risks of low quality are high and this means poor results and possible development of unexpected and potentially serious side effects.

Many side effects people report from a MK-677 cycle are likely coming (at least in part) from the fact they are using terrible quality MK-677 because that’s what’s being sold in this unregulated market.

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IBUTA 677 delivers great results and gives me the the peace of mind that I’m not wasting my money or risking my health.

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MK-677 FAQs

What is Ibutamoren used for?

MK-677 is used for gaining muscle, losing fat, enhancing recovery, improving sleep quality, and for anti-aging benefits such as healing and improving skin quality.

Is Ibutamoren a SARM?

MK-677 is not a SARM. It is in a class of drugs called growth hormone secretagogues. Its main function is to stimulate the releases of growth hormone.

Is MK-677 a steroid?

MK-677 is not a steroid and does not have androgenic activity or cause changes in testosterone. It stimulates release of growth hormone that results in some similar anabolic effects to steroids, including increased lean mass.

What are the side effects of taking MK-677?

Mild to moderate side effects are experienced by many MK-677 users including muscle cramps, increased appetite, headache, fatigue and water retention. Some users will see more serious side effects like reduced insulin sensitivity and increased blood pressure.

How long does it take for MK-677 to kick in?

MK-677 is a slow acting compound that needs to be taken for several months at least, in order to get the most benefits. It takes time for growth hormone levels to build up, which is why many people will use MK-677 for six months, twelve months, and even longer.

Ibutamoren is not legal to use in sports or bodybuilding, and is listed as a Prohibited Substance on the WADA 2021 Prohibited List due to its powerful anabolic and performance effects.

Is MK-677 FDA approved?

MK-677 has no FDA approval for any medical use, and it has no approval by medical authorities in any other country either. MK-677 is purely an investigational drug at the moment and the FDA categorizes it in its Investigational New Drug (IND) program. More research and clinical trials are needed until it can be considered for approval to be used to treat any medical conditions.

What should I stack with MK-677?

Most people stack MK-677 with SARMs for more powerful results, especially for bulking cycles. For a potent stack to boost strength, muscle gains and recovery, one of the best stacks is to combine MK-677 and LGD-4033. Another powerful stack is MK-677 and RAD-140.

Does MK-677 need a PCT?

You do not need to do post cycle therapy after a MK-677. This compound has no suppressive qualities at all and your testosterone levels will not be impacted.

Does MK-677 raise blood sugar?

It is known that MK-677 has effects on insulin sensitivity and a study has shown that fasting blood sugar levels were significantly increased after four weeks of use. Those with existing health conditions involving blood sugar or diabetes should rethink any use of MK-677.

Final Thoughts

I won’t deny that MK-677 comes with a nice bunch of advantages:

  • Great gains that come slow and steady and should easy to maintain long term.
  • Muscle retention if you do decide to do a cutting cycle
  • Fat loss is made easier with its anabolic effects
  • Bone density is increased to reduce risk of breakage and injury
  • Recovery improves substantially
  • Bonus improvements to your skin, hair and nails
  • A nice boost to your mood, motivation and mental focus

These are some nice benefits that extend beyond just your standard bodybuilding compound.

Who could ignore those alarming downsides though? Some of them are barely understood right now and personally I don’t want to wait around to find out that using MK-677 was a big mistake.

Things like changes to insulin sensitivity and sleeping issues (despite the fact that MK-677 technically should help you sleep better; it doesn’t always work out that way).

These are all things that started to really concern me as time went on.

Do I really want to be using MK-677 for six months or longer every year to get results? Not really. Especially when finding high quality MK-677 is so difficult. Imagine wasting months taking this substance, only to find you had an inferior product all along. This happens more than we can ever know.

About the Author
Juice Lewis, Author of
Juice Lewis

Real-life Experience, not Theory

I don't claim to know everything; what I talk about here is something I've done. From anabolic steroids to HGH, to peptides, insulin, and supplements, I've done it at some point in my life, and I can relate.