More and more bodybuilders are including different types of compounds into traditional anabolic steroids cycles, and at the top of the list are SARMs. Ostarine is is one of the more well known SARMs. You might know it by its other common name: MK2866.
If you’re a steroid user it makes a lot of sense to start including Ostarine in your cycles, instead of adding more steroids that usually have much harsher side effects.
But even if you’ve never used steroids and don’t intend to start, Ostarine is a compound that’s become very appealing to those who want the benefits of steroids but who have always hesitated to use them because of the punishing side effects.
Could Ostarine be a compound that ticks all the boxes for you? What risks come with using this SARM, and is it worth it?
Keep reading to find out all this about Ostarine and much more.
In this guide, you'll learn:
Ostarine History and Overview
Whether it’s called Ostarine, MK2866, Enobosarm or Ostabolic, this SARM (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator) has been in research and development for over 15 years.
We think of SARMs as relatively new compounds, and they are compared to some steroids that have been around for many decades, but despite the amount of time Ostarine has been around it is still (like all SARMs) purely an investigational drug that has no approved medical use.
The pharmaceutical company behind Ostarine, GTx Incorporated, has conducted several clinical trials over the years to determine is Ostarine is effective at treating different medical conditions ranging from improving body mass and physical function in elderly men and postmenopausal women, muscle wasting in lung cancer sufferers, and for stress urinary incontinence in women.
The latter two trials resulted in a failure to see the desired results, while Ostarine did show promising results in improving lean mass in older men and women.
It is this effectiveness at promoting lean mass that is of course what makes this SARM so appealing to bodybuilders and athletes. As a testament to its effectiveness, a number of professional athletes have used and tested positive to Ostarine including at the 2020 Olympic Games.
Ostarine, like all SARMs, is listed as a prohibited substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
OSTA 2866 gives you rapid gains in strength and size without the worry of gaining additional fat.
Chemical Characteristics and Properties
Despite its powerful anabolic properties, Ostarine is structurally very different from anabolic steroids which are normally structurally altered forms of testosterone and DHT.
Ostarine has long been developed by a private pharmaceutical company and because it is still remains in the research phase today, the company has had no need to disclose its detailed chemical structure in the public arena, although it is available in some patent databases and a result, can be found on various other sources.
Importantly, a common error has been to associate the chemical structure of another SARM called S-4 or Andarine with that of Ostarine but they are different compounds.
The last reported clinical trial of Ostarine was back in 2018, so it remains to be seen just where the company will try and take this SARM now. Some SARMs that have little or no success in clinical trials have their research discontinued but remain popular with athletes – whether Ostarine will be added to this list is something we’ll find out in future.
Effects of Ostarine (Ostarine Benefits)
Ostarine is popular with bodybuilders because its two primary benefits are in the areas we are most concerned about: lean muscle gains and fat loss.
Ostarine is an ideal compound for a cycle where you want to build muscle while also losing fat, because it’s excellent at promoting both these processes at the same time. While Ostarine is by no means the most powerful bulking compound around, when using many bulking steroids some gains can also be fat, and you have water weight to content with as well.
Gains with Ostarine, while they will be smaller overall, should be purely muscle. One of the great benefits of Ostarine is its lack of water retention (no estrogen conversion), and this will also make it a lot easier to maintain all of your gains post cycle.
The effects of Ostarine while cutting could be considered it’s most powerful benefit. Not only does it directly help with fat burning, but you’ll end up with a much harder physique with increased definition and vascularity. Ostarine may also potentially assist with nutrient partitioning, which enhances its fat burning capabilities.
If you’re on a hard cutting diet with a great calorie deficit over the course of the cycle, the worst thing that can happen is the loss of muscle mass while fat is being lost. Ostarine steps in and helps with muscle preservation, in fact this could be thought of as its most valuable benefit. It’s not a surprising effect when you consider that one of Ostarine’s main research focuses is on treating muscle wasting conditions.
Ostarine’s anabolic effects ensure you don’t lose muscle, and it also helps maintain strength. Loss of strength while on a calorie deficient diet is a major problem that will lead to decreases in workout capacity.
So how much muscle could you gain with Ostarine? It depends whether you’re using it alone, or with steroids or other compounds, and what your food intake is like. Reports of up to 10lbs gained in a cycle aren’t uncommon. Aiming for a 5lbs gain is realistic, especially if you’re going to be focused on shredding fat as well.
Ostarine is a popular SARM for a reason: it’s a viable alternative for both bulking and cutting compared to harsher steroids. As long as your expectations are realistic (you won’t be able to gain 30lbs in a cycle, for example), most users will find that the benefits and effects of Ostarine are satisfactory.
The benefits of Ostarine must also be considered in light of its relatively mild side effect profile, when compared to anabolic steroids. While some Ostarine users (especially at high doses) can experience mild side effects as an individual response, overall this is a compound that will allow most users to fully focus on performance and results.
When using steroids, a heavy focus is often on mitigating side effects. The lack of virilizing effects in female Ostarine users is also a major benefit of this SARM. Women who have previously been hesitant to use steroids due to the development of masculine traits can now experience similar results without those debilitating adverse effects.
Ostarine Cycles and Stacks
No matter what your experience level and prior use of steroids or any other SARMs, the widespread recommendation is that Ostarine cycles run for no longer than 8 weeks. The main reason for this is the more severe amount of testosterone suppression that will occur with prolonged use. It’s also a precaution for any other possible impacts that longer term use could have.
Many Ostarine users will limit cycles to just 5 weeks, making it a compound you can include as just one part of a longer cycle with steroids or other SARMs.
Beginner Ostarine Cycle
If it’s your very first time using Ostarine then it’s best to use this SARM on its own so you can evaluate its effects and your response, without the influence of any other substances. You will want to start at a low dose, but not so low that you don’t see much effect.
10-15mg daily is a good starting point for a beginner Ostarine cycle. You should run this for 6-8 weeks depending on your response. Male users may still need PCT after this cycle despite the low dose.
Take a break from all SARMs for at least 4 weeks following this cycle.
Intermediate Ostarine Cycle
The next step in your Ostarine journey is to increase the dosage if you had no problems at the low dose, and also optionally add in one or more other compounds. At this point, keeping it simple with just one other SARM is wise otherwise you can find it hard to work out just which effects and side effects are coming from which compound if there are too many in the mix.
Good options for this cycle are either Andarine or Cardarine, both of which are excellent choices for a cutting stack when combined with Ostarine. Maintaining a moderate dose of Ostarine in this cycle is ideal since you’ll also be balancing the effects of the other SARM in the stack and possible increased testosterone suppression and other side effects.
Two examples of this 8 week cycle could be:
- Ostarine – 15mg daily
- Cardarine – 10mg daily
- Ostarine – 15mg daily
- Andarine (S4) – 50mg daily
Follow up with PCT (if you’re male) and then a minimum 4 week break from all SARMs to allow for complete recovery.
Advanced Ostarine Cycle
Once you’re very confident using Ostarine you will probably want to start increasing the dosage to the maximum recommended level – this is generally 25-30mg. It’s definitely not unheard of for guys to go to 40mg and even higher but this is strongly discouraged.
You will be dealing with some serious testosterone suppression and other possible unknown side effects. To add to this, it’s not thought there’s any additional benefit at doses above 30mg to make it worthwhile.
An advanced Ostarine-only cycle is simply a dose of 25mg to 30mg daily for up to 8 weeks. This will give you the maximum effects of Ostarine, but you should already be comfortable using it at lower doses with no ill effects.
PCT will certainly be required after this cycle, and a break of at least 4 weeks with no SARMs use.
Ostarine is very often stacked with one or more other SARMs or other compounds, including steroids like Testosterone. When stacking Ostarine, the dose should not exceed 25mg, remembering that you’ll also have the positive and negative effects of other compounds playing a role.
Testosterone suppression in particular needs to be considered, but if your going to stack Ostarine with any anabolic steroid at performance doses, the suppressive effects of the steroid will dominate those of Ostarine.
There are countless options for stacking Ostarine, and many different cycle plans and options. Whether you’re cutting, bulking or undertaking a recomp cycle, Ostarine can play a useful role.
One example of a body recomposition stack is below. This is a cycle where your Ostarine dose will still be at the moderate level, but now with the inclusion of some of the more advanced and potent SARMs that each come with their own side effect profile that you need to be familiar with before giving this a go.
This is an advanced recomp stack that will promote the simultaneous building of muscle mass and fat loss and can be run for 8 weeks. PCT will be required afterwards and a minimum 4 week break from all compounds.
- Ostarine – 15mg daily
- Ligandrol – 10mg daily
- Testolone – 10mg daily
If bulking is your main aim, the inclusion of testosterone will dramatically increase your gains, while Ostarine and Cardarine taken only in the last 5 weeks will promote a hard and defined physique that can also make this stack suitable for contest preparation. This stack does use higher doses of the SARMs, which can be reduced if you are prone to any side effects.
- Testosterone Cypionate – 500mg weekly for 12 weeks
- Ostarine – 20mg daily for the final 5 weeks only
- Cardarine – 15mg daily for the final 5 weeks only
Ostarine/Cardarine stack for cutting
You’d be hard pressed to find a better SARMs combination for cutting than Ostarine and Cardarine. Both have powerful fat loss effects and Ostarine is an excellent muscle preserver while you’re dieting.
This is a very simple stack to administer. It should run for 8 weeks maximum and the dosages should be moderate. There is no need to increase your Ostarine dosage to the higher levels.
You won’t get faster or better results by upping the dose. With this stack you can expect a significant amount of body fat loss. It will depend on what your current body composition is, but body fat reduction between 5-10% is possible with this cycle. Importantly, most muscle will be retained even on the strictest of cutting diets.
- Ostarine 15mg per day
- Cardarine 10mg per day
Ostarine/Ligandrol/Ibutamoren stack for bulking
Ostarine has its place in a hardcore bulking cycle and its effects when combined with other powerful SARMs and similar compounds are impressive. Two excellent compounds to stack Ostarine with are Ligandrol and Ibutamoren.
Ibutamoren is not a SARM. It is in a class of drugs called growth hormone secretagogues. Ibutamoren can induce the stimulation of growth hormone. As IGF-1 levels rise, your capacity to build muscle rises. Ibutamoren is also known to increase your appetite.
Ligandrol or LGD-4033 is another very widely used SARM. It is a good muscle building SARM and a step up from Ostarine when it comes to promoting lean gains. It may also contribute to an overall broader physique. This SARM essentially mimics the anabolic effects of testosterone, without the androgenic activity.
Ligandrol is also an excellent performance enhancer and will contribute significantly to improving your workout performance and capacity with increased energy, strength and stamina. Ligandrol is a more powerful SARM than Ostarine and thus, your dosage should be lower than that normally used for Ostarine. Ligandrol will suppress natural testosterone.
This stack will first and foremost promote muscle gains well beyond what you could achieve with Ostarine alone. Potentially in the 10-15lbs range of lean gains. Fat burning will be improved, you should notice better recovery, increased bone density and of course, much improved strength and other performance factors.
You should experiment with dosages depending on your response to each of these compounds, and ideally you would have previously used each one separately prior to this stack.
A starting point can be the example cycle below that runs for 8 weeks:
- Ostarine 10-20mg per day
- Ligandrol 4-10mg per day
- Ibutamoren 10mg-25mg per day
With both Ostarine and Ligandrol being testosterone suppressive SARMs (Ibutamoren is not thought to cause any suppression), PCT will be a necessity after this cycle regardless of your dosage and cycle length. A break of all SARMs and other compounds is essential after this cycle, with 4 weeks being the bare minimum break time.
This cycle is likely to be too harsh for most female SARMs users, unless very low doses are utilized.
Males who use Ostarine will almost always need to do post cycle therapy when: the cycle is longer than 5 weeks, and/or your dosage is about 25mg per day.
Some guys will still want to do PCT even when these scenarios aren’t met, but it fully depends on your personal response and whether you’ve either noticed suppressive effects or had it confirmed through testing.
Female Ostarine users won’t require any form of post cycle therapy and can just simply stop using the SARM at the end of the cycle.
Whether male or female, a break of at least one month at the bare minimum in between SARMs cycles is a necessity to allow time for a full recovery.
Ostarine Dosages and Administration
Ostarine is used within a fairly narrow dosage range, simply because there are not thought to be any great benefits in increasing the dose above a certain level. What an excessive dose does do is increase risks of side effects, and this will almost always outweigh any benefit.
It’s all about striking a balance between results and negative effects, and it’s good to know that Ostarine DOES work very well at the doses that have come to be the recommendations as a result of Ostarine being a popular SARM that has been in use by thousands of people for a good number of years now.
Bodybuilding Ostarine Dosage
Ostarine will never be the most powerful muscle gainer for a male. If you want huge gains, there are countless other compounds to use. But if you’re a male bodybuilder wanting increased definition and hardness with some moderate gains in the 5-10lbs range (and a 10 pound gain would be considered quite high), Ostarine is a good choice and the ideal dosage is 20mg-25mg per day.
Men who choose to use more than 25mg per day and certainly at 30mg or more are very likely to see more severe testosterone suppression. Besides that unwanted side effect, it’s not thought to be beneficial to take any higher than 25mg daily unless you are a particularly heavy guy already.
The majority of male bodybuilders tend to settle on 25mg of Ostarine and if more substantial results are desired, you can stack Ostarine with other compounds including steroids, rather than increasing Ostarine’s dose to undesirable levels.
Female Ostarine Dosage
Although Ostarine doesn’t come with the risk of androgenic side effects that cause virilization in women, females will still almost always keep the dosage at the lower level. For a first timer, 10-15mg per day is ideal.
Women will find the response to Ostarine to be exceptional at this dosage level, with Ostarine’s anabolic effects being more prominent in women. This translates into excellent lean muscle gains and body fat reduction. Few women would ever see the need to take 20mg or more of Ostarine.
Proper Administration and Timing
With a half life of just 24 hours, Ostarine can be taken once daily and it’s not overly important at what time of day you take it, but you should aim to take your daily dose at a similar time. The exception is that it’s not recommended taking Ostarine right before a workout. Most people will take Ostarine first thing in the morning. If that’s not possible, take it after a workout.
Taking your dose at a similar time every day ensures the best concentration of Ostarine in the bloodstream. Letting it go beyond the 24 hour mark when your next dose is due won’t be detrimental to your health, but it won’t have you getting the maximum effect from Ostarine.
There are no known benefits to splitting the dose, but it’s not unheard of that people do this. Often these are people who are used to using steroids with very short half lives and have become accustomed to splitting the dose – it is simply not necessary with Ostarine unless you have a very specific need to do so.
Ostarine Risks and Side Effects
Even though Ostarine has some scientific research behind it, unlike many other SARMs, there is still minimal knowledge about its true risks to both your short and long term health.
Yes, a lot of people are using Ostarine and this can lead you to feeling confident that there will be minimal risks. But the truth is we simply do not know the full story yet – and without further study on Ostarine which might or might not happen in future, using it is at your own personal risk.
What we can do is take in the experiences of the countless people who are using Ostarine and over time this has allowed a picture to form as far as the side effects people are experiencing.
The good news is that Ostarine side effects reported while taking it are generally mild, with the key factor being the avoidance of high doses.
Some of the reported temporary side effects that some Ostarine users (including both males and females) include stomach upset and pain, constipation or diarrhea, headaches and nausea.
It’s well understood that higher doses of Ostarine will be especially detrimental to male users as the suppression of endogenous production will be more severe the higher your dose.
In the few studies that Ostarine has been put through with humans, one showed that patients given a low dose starting at just 1mg, both serum testosterone levels and Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG) were reduced.
Much more research is needed, but one of then more concerning effects of Ostarine in a study on humans was a high reduction (just under 30%) of HDL cholesterol levels (that’s the good form of cholesterol). The participants took only 3mg each day, which is a dose much lower than any performance dose.
The study went for 12 weeks, so whether or not this risk decreases in the 6-8 week cycle that is recommended for bodybuilders is difficult to say. Only testing of your cholesterol during a cycle will reveal whether Ostarine is negatively impacting it.
Another find in a study was fluctuations in one particular liver enzyme when patients received 3mg daily or less of Ostarine. Liver enzymes were found to return to normal once Ostarine was stopped. It is not known if the effects on the liver would be more pronounced when Ostarine is taken at the much higher doses that bodybuilders and athletes normally consume.
These small but important studies give us a good indication that Ostarine definitely has an effect on both testosterone and the liver, and while these might be mild compared with anabolic steroids, shows that SARMs like Ostarine don’t come with zero risks to your health.
Ostarine for Sale
Because Ostarine is still an investigative drug (like all SARMs are), and it has no approval for any medical use, it is not manufactured by any pharmaceutical companies. It is only available for research purposes, and researchers must buy it from research labs.
This results in what we could call a loophole in the interests of bodybuilders and other athletes who want to get their hands on Ostarine. You’re probably not a scientific researcher, but it’s still possible to obtain Ostarine via this method.
The main reason for this is that the research chemical trade is only minimally enforced or regulated. So while it’s not legal to use Ostarine in sporting competitions and events due to it being listed as a prohibited substance, actually buying and using it for personal purposes does put you in a legal gray area that most people are willing to risk due to the low chance of coming to the attention of authorities.
Underground Lab Ostarine for Sale
Underground or research labs are the only places you can find Ostarine for sale. While Ostarine is widely available through these kinds of sources, it is a mostly unregulated market which means there’s no guarantee of receiving a genuine or high quality product. Research labs sell Ostarine as a liquid and its intention is for it to be used for research – so consuming Ostarine from these source is completely at your own risk.
Some of the risks include contamination or addition of chemicals that are not Ostarine, under-dosing (either intentionally or due to lack of quality control), and completely fake or counterfeit Ostarine that contains none of the ingredient at all. This is why, if you’ve decided to purchase Ostarine from a research lab or underground lab, you will want to be sure your chosen source has a good reputation.
Ostarine is not difficult to find for purchase. It is not the most expensive compound you’ll ever use, but probably not the cheapest either. Prices can vary across the research labs who sell Ostarine, and so will the quality. Do your research before selecting a lab or other source. Word of mouth from local users can be the best way to find a reliable supplier.
Ostarine is usually sold as a liquid and the most common concentration is 25mg/ml. The standard bottle size is 30ml. You will find variable prices per bottle, starting at just $80 from some sources and up to $150 from others. Is more expensive always better? Not necessarily. Many times you just won’t know until you’ve tried it, but once you find a good source and can use Ostarine at its maximum purity and concentration, you would notice a world of difference between a lower quality product.
Buy Ostarine Online
Buying Ostarine online requires finding a research lab who is willing to sell the research chemical to someone who is not necessarily a researcher. As mentioned, this is a very gray area for both buyer and seller. Not all labs will be willing to sell if you don’t have a legitimate research need for Ostarine. There’s also no guarantee that you won’t be caught out by authorities buying Ostarine for performance enhancement use.
The other alternative is to forget online buying and try to source your Ostarine from a local contact, such as someone at your gym. This will likely increase the cost as that person will add their own markup as a middle man.
What you can do instead is buy a legal Ostarine alternative. This does away with all legal risks, and it does away with the risk of receiving a poor quality, under-dosed product that won’t deliver your expected results, and also put you at higher risk of unexpected side effects.
The Ostarine alternative that I am currently using with great success is OSTA 2866.
What does OSTA 2866 do exactly? You will find that it’s designed to mimic the effects of Ostarine. It may even be more powerful, especially when it comes to helping you break through a wall or plateau. OSTA 2866 excels at promoting muscle growth, lean muscle preservation and also increasing natural testosterone levels to boost your anabolic activity even more.
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Does Ostarine make you vascular?
Yes, increased vascularity is a benefit of Ostarine. As you lose body fat and increase definition, veins become more prominent during an Ostarine cycle. There is no water retention with Ostarine which means your hard and vascular physique is greatly enhanced.
Can you bulk with Ostarine?
Ostarine is not the most potent SARM for bulking but you can still gain some lean mass. As long as you’re eating enough calories to support muscle growth, gains of up to 10lbs in a standard Ostarine cycle are possible.
Does Ostarine increase estrogen?
It’s possible that Ostarine can cause some increase in estrogen levels even thought this doesn’t happen through conversion and the reason for it – and its possible effects – are not yet fully understood. For people using Ostarine at low to moderate doses, this is not likely to become an issue.
Does Ostarine suppress testosterone?
At higher doses Ostarine can cause some testosterone suppression, and male users are advised to implement PCT following an Ostarine cycle to restore normal function. You will be at higher risk of testosterone suppression when using Ostarine for long cycles – 8 weeks is the recommended maximum cycle length.
What should I stack with Ostarine?
Ostarine is often stacked with other SARMs to get more substantial results. Andarine and Cardarine are commonly selected for stacking, resulting in enhanced fat burning, increased performance and endurance, and maintaining muscle and strength while cutting. If bulking, stacking Ostarine with Ibutamoren and Ligandrol will provide some substantial muscle gains and performance boost.
Is Ostarine safe?
Minimal studies have been undertaken with Ostarine, and none were conducted long term so it’s not possible to say whether Ostarine is going to be safe for you or not. The FDA does issue a general warning that SARMs can put you at risk of serious health conditions including liver damage and heart attack; but it is simply not known whether these risks apply to Ostarine.
How long should an Ostarine cycle be?
You should use Ostarine for no longer than 8 weeks at the most. Many users can get good results with just 5-6 weeks of Ostarine use. Testosterone suppression in males is likely to be more severe the longer your cycle goes on, especially at doses above 25mg per day.
Why do athletes take Ostarine?
The main reason athletes use Ostarine is for the anabolic effects that are similar to some steroids. These come with significantly less androgenic effects, making Ostarine a compound that causes much less side effect risk for athletes and bodybuilders.
Does Ostarine affect cholesterol levels?
One study showed a decrease in HDL cholesterol over 12 weeks on just 3mg per day. Therefore it is possible that Ostarine will impact cholesterol levels, especially at high doses or long cycles. Stacking Ostarine with any cholesterol unfriendly steroids will further magnify this risk.
What is the best Ostarine alternative?
OSTA 2866 is the best alternative to Ostarine. OSTA 2866 is legal, causes no side effects, and doesn’t cause any suppression of testosterone. OSTA 2866 delivers very similar anabolic effects as Ostarine for both cutting and bulking cycles and can be used by both males and females.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
Few people would be game to argue that Ostarine isn’t a very good SARM. It is one of the more effective SARMs for general purpose bodybuilding and recomposition purposes, and its side effect profile is attractive to anyone who has used just about any anabolic steroid. But what it all comes down to is that Ostarine is a chemical that is basically still an experiment.
Thousands of these chemicals are developed in labs every year in the hope they’ll become a medical treatment, and most fail and disappear. Ostarine could very well fall off the radar and have all research on it halted; this can and does happen when a drug is found to cause serious side effects that weren’t apparent in the early research stage.
Is this a risk we need to be taking by using Ostarine? We already know from just one study that it causes liver changes at low doses, and its effects on testosterone in men can’t be ignored. Most concerning is the complete lack of data about long term adverse health effects.
All of this is what lead me to find a safe, legal alternative. No more underground lab chemical concoctions. OSTA 2866 is the premier alternative to Ostarine. Developed with only natural, safe, transparent ingredients to deliver the same benefits as Ostarine. What it doesn’t come with are the side effects and the worry about long term complications.
OSTA 2866 is my top pick for a completely safe and totally legal Ostarine alternative that you can buy over the counter today!
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