SARMs have grown in popularity considerably over the past few years, and S23 is one of the more powerful SARMs now available; in fact many believe it could be the most effective one yet.
S23 and SARMs generally provide a real alternative to anabolic steroids, with beneficial effects that can often rival steroids but with a much reduced chance of side effects. While S23 comes with more side effect risk than the average SARM, even beginner users will be able to control them effectively with sensible use.
S23 does present some fantastic benefits for the bodybuilder and athlete and although its level of potential side effects are on the higher side when it comes to SARMs, this has not stopped it from being a popular choice and those who learn to use S23 to its highest potential can reap significant rewards.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of SARMs.
What is S23?
S23 is classed as an investigational SARM which means it is still in the research phase. It is being studied to possibly be used as a male contraception drug. Like all SARMs, S23 works by binding to specific androgen receptors.
In the case of S23, due to its aim of acting as a contraceptive in men, it will bring about a suppression of sperm production, with animal studies showing that once S23 stops being taken this returns to normal. S23 is used for gaining lean muscle mass, for increasing strength, boosting stamina and endurance, increasing bone mineral density and bone strength, and for fat loss.
With this vast set of benefits, S23 suits not just bodybuilders, but just about anyone wanting to see great improvements in growth, physique shaping and performance enhancement.
S23 can be taken orally and is thought to have high bioavailability; this means an oral administration is fine and there’s no need to consider injecting this compound in an attempt to get greater results.
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This SARM has wide ranging benefits. For many people though it’s cutting where S23 will provide the greatest value, especially when it’s stacked with other SARMs or compounds that promote fat loss.
There’s a lot more to S23 than just that though; here are all the potential benefits and effects that you can expect when using S23 SARM:
- Mass Gains – Building lean mass is a prime benefit of S23 and the sole reason many people wish to use it. Despite its steroid like effects, S23 does not cause any water retention for most people and this means your gains are going to be clean and free of any bloat. As long as you continue with sensible lifestyle choices after your S23 cycle you should be able to hold on to all the gains you’ve made with none of it hidden behind water retention.
- Strength – Some strength gains can be expected but the greatest benefit in this area is to maintain your strength when on a cutting cycle, where a calorie deficit can start to zap strength and stamina; resulting in weaker workouts and reduction in muscle. S23 helps sustain your strength so you can continue training at a higher intensity.
- Stamina – Many S23 users have noted an increase in endurance, stamina, speed and overall performance when using S23. While it is not fully understood how S23 works to boost stamina, this is a welcome benefit that provides an advantage to anyone doing any type of exercise, whether its wanting to do more sets and reps as a bodybuilder, or increase your cardiovascular workout capacity.
- Muscle Hardening – S23 can be considered a muscle hardener since you’ll be gaining muscle without retaining water. This can make S23 a good choice in a pre-contest stage where you don’t want to turn to steroids like Masteron to achieve a more hardened physique. S23 provides a viable alternative to steroids for physique shaping.
- Fat Loss – S23 may increase thermogenesis and will bring about increased fat loss through the gaining of lean muscle; essentially the body will become more efficient at burning fat. Overall body composition can expect to improve through the cycle. While in a calorie deficit during fat loss, S23 will help prevent catabolism where you lose muscle as well.
- Bone Density and Bone Strength – Early lab studies showed a clear ability of S23 to improve bone mineral density. This means the bone tissues contains a higher volume of essential minerals, strengthening the bones and reducing the risk of fractures.
For most bodybuilders, the most desirable and important benefit is that of gaining lean muscle.
As with everything else concerning the use of S23, we don’t have any concrete data on what dosage is the best to get a balance of awesome results with minimal side effects.
Early users of S23 used trial and error and many have shared their personal experiences with particular doses, so the rest of us can make as informed of a decision as possible.
Starting as a new S23 user it’s ideal to start low at 10mg per day. The highest dose currently recommended for most people is 30mg daily. Whatever your dose is, it’s best taken split up twice a day so you can maintain peak levels in the blood.
S23 has a half life of about 12 hours and it reaches its highest level in the body after about four hours, then decreases from there. So if your chosen dosage is 20mg daily, take 10mg in the morning and another 10mg in the evening for best results.
Whether you’re doing a bulking or a cutting cycle with S23, the standard recommended cycle length is 8 weeks, and this should then be followed up with at least 4 weeks – but up to 8 weeks of PCT.
S23 only cycle
This simple cycle uses S23 on its own so you can evaluate exactly the results you can get, plus its side effects. A standard 8 week cycle of a dose between 10mg and 30mg daily, split in two, will promote lean gains and a boost to stamina and strength. If this is to be a fat loss cycle, expect noticeable hardness of the muscles by the end of the cycle with quality fat loss and the ability to push harder during training whether that be resistance or cardio work.
S23 bulking cycle
A bulking stack cycle that combines the effects of S23 with the growth power of MK-677 (Ibutamoren) will give you a double benefit of bone density increasing compounds, plus the combined efforts of both in the area of gaining muscle. MK-677 cycle increases both human growth hormone (HGH) and IGF-1 and when used with S23 it’s going add a new level to your gains, but also to your recovery because of Ibutamoren’s positive impact on sleep and rest.
This 12 week cycle allows enough time for some serious gains to be made, as MK-677 takes some weeks to reach its peak in the body. 10mg to 25mg per day of Ibutamoren and S23 at 20-30mg daily, both having their dosage split to maintain optimal levels, is the recommended dosage. MK-677 does not suppress testosterone so you can follow PCT according to what is required for S23 only.
S23 cutting cycle
A cutting stack making use of S23 combined with Cardarine will deliver superb results, with S23 promoting extra muscle retention and stamina to power your workouts and Cardarine contributing its excellent fat burning effects.
Cardarine at 20mg per day and S23 at 30mg daily (split in two doses) for an 8 week cycle but potentially extended to 10 or 12 weeks if you’re going for more extreme cutting and fat loss such as for a competition. Cardarine does not cause suppression of hormones so PCT protocol can focus solely on S23’s effects.
All of the above S23 cycles will require 4 to 8 weeks of PCT afterwards using common drugs like Nolvadex and Clomid.
S23 vs. Other SARMs vs. Steroids
Among SARMs, S23 is no doubt one of the more potent ones. This means it comes with both excellent benefits but also some harsher side effects than are often seen with other SARMs; in fact some other SARMs don’t have any side effects at all for most people.
S23’s powerful benefits are only rivaled by a couple of other SARMs and this includes RAD 140 and Andarine, with LGD-4033 being another compound with the potential for similar fat loss and muscle gaining benefits as S23. In most cases, S23 users will be stacking it with at least one of these other compounds.
When it comes to steroids, the ones that we can most closely compare with S23 are the powerhouse cutting steroids of Anavar and Winstrol. But these come with considerably greater side effects than S23, and while their fat loss effects are also more powerful, users must weigh this up with the certain downsides of using those steroids.
S23 Post Cycle Therapy
S23 is one of the few SARMs that is highly likely to cause some level of testosterone suppression. That means if you’re running an S23 only cycle you will still probably want to do PCT afterwards. If you’re stacking it with other SARMs that cause suppression or any anabolic steroid then PCT will be a certainty.
PCT not only provides the critical stimulation of your natural hormone function again and prevents a state of low testosterone, but ultimately helps you keep the gains you’ve worked so hard for. When testosterone drops, guys lose muscle and gain fat, so without PCT you run a very high risk of losing most or all of your gains. Not only that, but you will suffer all the effects of low testosterone: lack of energy, no libido, depression and so on.
Nolvadex and Clomid are the standard PCT choices with the length of PCT dependent on how much suppression you’ve experienced and any other compounds you’ve used. For most users, making the length of PCT the same as the length of your S23 cycle is ideal; so an 8 week S23 cycle can be followed up with 8 weeks of PCT. Some people can get away with 4 weeks of PCT. Again this heavily depends on the dosage you’ve used and what you’ve stacked S23 with.
Big improvements to all over body structure are the core benefits of S23. This includes the areas which this SARM targets specifically: muscles and bones in particular.
You can expect to build up bone and muscle strength during a cycle, with muscle gains coming without the concern of water retention that we see with steroids.
This makes S23 a favorite for including as part of a cutting cycle, also due to this SARMs ability to effectively promote fat loss while retaining muscle and strength of the bones.
Bone mineral density improvements ensure that the body’s structure is primed to be able to support your weight lifting goals, and the added muscle you’ll be gaining. Overall this combines to bring about increased strength of the body.
Cutting is where S23 can potentially make the most impact. Adding this SARM to the second half of a cutting cycle can bring great benefits, particularly if muscle hardening is a goal for you.
Its lack of water retention and muscle retaining ability can help you power through the end of a cutting cycle with body fat reduction without losing muscle, and an overall hardening effect as there is fluid build up. Some of the other SARMs that users will choose to stack S23 with to achieve these goals include RAD 140, LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) and MK677 (Ibutamoren).
S23 Side Effects
Compared with anabolic steroids, SARMs are generally considered safer and this is also the case with S23. But as far as SARMs go this is one of the more side effect prone compounds which can potentially bring about some effects that are similar to those seen with steroid use.
As always, the higher your dosage of S23 the higher risk you will have of these side effects, and the more severe they could possibly be. If you do start experiencing some concerning effects in your S23 cycle, lower the dosage and monitor performance from thee; and adjust as necessary for the rest of the cycle.
Here are the main potential side effects you could see with S23:
- Testosterone Suppression – S23 works to stop production of sperm. While this isn’t a direct suppression of testosterone, S23 is about as close as we get to the effects of steroids in this area and users of S23 will want to be aware that testosterone suppression is a likelihood with this SARM; more so than just about every other SARM currently out there. Testicle shrinkage is another effect of S23’s impact on testosterone, but this will also subside after stopping use. Some users will find they need to add a testosterone compound to an S23 cycle to combat this, while others won’t see the need. Once again it mostly depends on your dose and how you react as an individual. In any case this is a SARM that virtually users will want to follow up with PCT.
- Mood Changes – Some people might notice themselves having a shorter temper or being more aggressive. While this isn’t to the same degree as the famous “roid rage” that can come with some steroids, for guys who normally have a shorter fuse this is a side effect to watch out for as it does not only impact you, but the people around you as well.
- Urine Color – A non-serious but possibly alarming side effect if you didn’t expect it is a darkening of the urine color. Like the other side effects, this will dissipate once you stop using S23.
- Hair Loss – S23 has relatively strong androgenic activity and some users have reported hair loss, but this is not thought to be a widespread side effect and possibly only occurs in guys who have a strong genetic affinity to male pattern baldness.
S23 is not known to have a negative impact on the liver when used at low and moderate doses for short periods of time with a break in between cycles.
Since there are no human studies at all with S23, all side effects are reported anecdotally from people who have used this SARM. This means that you may or may not experience some or all of the above effects, and you could possibly experience some side effects that no one else has reported – this is the risk that comes with using an investigational SARM like S23.
S23 SARM FAQs
How much S23 should I take?
The recommended dosage range to strike a balance between benefits and side effects is between 10mg daily, up to 30mg daily. Most new S23 users will want to start low and then monitor results and side effects, then increase the dosage throughout the cycle if needed. S23 is effective even at low doses and its effects are best maintained for a cycle when you split your dose into twice daily administration – ideally morning and evening.
Is S23 a steroid?
S23 is not an anabolic steroid, even though it has some of the same beneficial effects and even some similar side effects as steroids. It is a SARM which means it only binds to selective tissues, allowing S23 to target more specific activity in the body; unlike steroids which directly affect hormones.
Is S23 legal?
S23 is considered a performance enhancing drug so is not legal to use, and it is banned by WADA so if it shows in a drug test you can be banned from the sport you are competing in. S23 is not approved or manufactured for human use, so it can not legally be bought from anywhere besides from chemical research companies.
Is S23 the strongest SARM?
Many people consider S23 to be the strongest SARM. While we can’t prove that it’s the absolute strongest, it is certainly one of the most powerful SARMs you can use for building mass and strength, but this power comes with the downside of greater side effects compared with most other SARMs.
How long does S23 take to work?
Most users can expect to see noticeable results within about a month. The ideal cycle length for S23 is 8 weeks, so by week 4 you should be noticing positive benefits. Those who are not seeing expected changes by that point can consider increasing the dosage, but ideally not beyond the upper limit of 30mg per day. Results will also greatly depend on how intense your workouts are and the quality of your diet, as well as your rest and recovery.
Does S23 need PCT?
S23 is one of the few SARMs that will more than likely require post cycle therapy for most users. It will bring about some testosterone suppression to the point that many people pair it with a testosterone compound during the cycle. Post cycle therapy should be carried out similarly to when using steroids, with the goals of restoring normal testosterone function and maintaining all the gains you’ve made.
Is S23 liver toxic?
Due to the lack of human studies, it’s not known whether S23 can cause short or long term liver toxicity or damage. Users rarely report effects on the liver, but unless tests are undertaken kit is possible to be unaware of mild liver stress. To minimize stress to the liver, S23 like all substances should be used sensibly and at no greater dosage than the recommended maximum, for a limited cycle length and with a suitable period of time between cycles to allow the liver to fully recover.
My Advice and Recommendation
S23 is a research SARM which has become popular with bodybuilders because of its ability to promote lean muscle gains, fat loss, increased strength and stamina, and improved bone strength. This is a powerful SARM that specifically targets receptors in the bones and muscles and it can provide quality mass gains without fluid retention, making it useful for bulking and cutting.