SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) are regularly proclaimed to be much more female-friendly than steroids, potentially opening up a whole new world of substances that women can use without those dreaded side effects caused by steroids.
Most importantly, SARMs have a reputation for being a lot less harsh on the body than anabolic steroids, while still giving awesome benefits.
- But how true is all this?
- Are SARMs really a good option for women who want to build some muscle, improve strength, and achieve a toned and defined physique?
- What are the downsides of SARMs for females?
Find out all this and much more as I cover everything you need to know about SARMs for women.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of SARMs.
- SARMs Benefits for Women
- SARMs for Women
- Female SARMs Cycles
- SARMs Stacks for Women
- Post Cycle Recovery for Women
- Risks and Side Effects
- My Conclusion and Recommendation
SARMs Benefits for Women
To understand the potential benefits that SARMs can have for women, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what a SARM is and why it’s different from an anabolic steroid. It’s important to keep in mind that all SARMs are classed as investigational drugs only, with none yet being approved for any type of use.
While there are some similarities to steroids when it comes to the anabolic properties of SARMs, their androgenic activity is much weaker. Anabolic steroids bind to many androgen receptors throughout the body. SARMs, as the name implies, binds only to selected receptors.
This is how we get such a big reduction in androgenic type side effects while still getting benefits like muscle growth. Each SARM is different but most are designed to bind to skeletal muscle tissue receptors.
The biggest benefits of using SARMs for women include:
- Muscle growth: Most SARMs will promote lean muscle tissue growth. This is one of the primary goals of the research of SARMs for medical use for muscle wasting disease, therefore a cycle focused on gaining lean muscle can include just about any SARM and the results will be impressive – provided your diet is designed for gaining mass rather than losing weight.
- Strength: SARMs users will notice a boost to strength, and this is going to enhance your workouts. If your goal is to build muscle, you’ll be able to lift heavier weights and increase your sets and reps; bringing on faster results.
- Fat loss: Some SARMs are commonly used in cutting cycles because they can promote fast and efficient fat loss. The anabolic properties of SARMs supports fat burning, while also helping you retain existing muscle. The best cutting SARMs will encourage the body to burn up fat for energy, instead of burning up muscle or glucose. SARMs can increase your metabolic rate which in turn boosts your body’s ability to lose fat much faster than you naturally could. To get maximum fat loss benefits with SARMs you need to be consuming a calorie deficit diet, combined with regular cardio training.
- Nutritional efficiency: Many SARMs will improve the way the body uses nutrients from your food, meaning your body takes up nutrients better, allowing you to get the most out of every calorie you eat.
- Bone density: Another potential future medical use for SARMs is to treat osteoporosis, and increased bone density is also highly desirable for athletes and bodybuilders to support muscular growth and in term, help protect against osteoporosis.
- Endurance and performance: Some SARMs are specifically favored by athletes for this reason. Increased muscular endurance varies between different SARMs but just about any SARM is going to improve stamina and endurance to some extent. This is particularly useful in a cutting cycle where you’ll find your cardio workouts can be longer and more intense than normal.
We can’t look at the benefits of SARMs for women without also considering how they are superior to steroids when it comes to side effects. The lack of many side effects in itself can be considered one of the big benefits of SARMs, particularly when it comes to female users who have great difficulty in using the majority of steroids due to the severe virilizing side effects they cause.
The lack of virilization effects is a huge plus for women. This is due to SARMs being selective with the androgen receptors they target, unlike steroids. This means with most SARMs women can expect no deepening of the voice or body hair growth, and in general no masculine traits developing.
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SARMs for Women
Some SARMs are better suited to women than others. The below four SARMs are considered the best choice for females when it comes to a balance between positive effects and potential side effects.
Like most SARMs, these are considered pre-clinical substances as there has been little – and sometimes no – study done on their effects (both positive and negative) on humans. Therefore it always comes with some risk of the unknown when using any of these compounds.
Ostarine is excellent at increasing protein synthesis and nitrogen retention. This will assist with muscle gains, as well as retaining muscle while cutting. Ostarine is a useful SARM for both bulking and cutting cycles.
Another benefit of Ostarine is its potential for joint healing and promoting overall joint health (hence its potential use as an osteoarthritis treatment).
Ostarine is a very desirable SARM for women to use because it has some of the positive benefits of steroids, but it will not cause any virilization in females.
Although Ostarine is known as a side effect friendly SARM, at higher doses some users experience heartburn, nausea and stomach upset.
With a 24 hour half life, Ostarine can be taken once daily with good results.
In actual fact Cardarine is not specifically a SARM, but works similarly. Cardarine might be the most used SARM by women, and it’s considered the best cutting or fat loss choice if you want a ripped physique with minimal side effects.
Cardarine directly enhances the body’s fat burning ability by encouraging the burning of fat rather than of glucose. Stress to the liver and digestive upset are possible side effects of Cardarine.
SR9009 is also not technically a SARM, but a class of compounds known as PPAR alpha modifier. It is still often thought of as a SARM and stacked with real SARMs.
Stenabolic will improve metabolic activity which leads to faster fat loss. Stenabolic may also have benefits for recovery and improving sleep. Endurance and stamina will be enhanced with this compound, making it useful for cutting as well as boosting athletic performance.
Stenabolic can cause stomach cramps and digestive upset in some users.
Andarine is an excellent cutting SARM for women. It is efficient at helping get rid of abdominal fat and visceral fat in particular. You can also expect some nice strength gains with Andarine, and a physique that’s lean, toned and defined.
Post workout recovery is improved significantly with Andarine, so you’re ready for your next workout sooner with less muscle pain. Andarine may cause issues with vision in some users.
Female SARMs Cycles
SARMs cycles for females will usually focus on one of three main goals: cutting (fat loss), gaining muscle, or athletic performance. In most cases you will be able to achieve at least two, and sometimes three of these goals within one cycle.
It will be your diet and training that will help you move your results into the direction you want to go. In any case, the SARMs you select to use will make or break your results so it’s critical to plan your cycle properly because as you’ve just seen, not all SARMs are created equal.
Most women will use SARMs for an 8 to 12 week cycle. It is not recommended to run a cycle longer than 12 weeks maximum. You should take a break from all SARMs for at least three months following the end of a cycle.
SARMs Stacks for Women
A single SARM used on its own can deliver some powerful results for women, but combining two together in a stack lets you benefit even more from the complimentary effects.
Because each SARM can bring something different to the table, you can stack compounds that are chosen to specifically target the personal goals you have.
Once finishing a cycle, you should leave a gap of no SARMs use of at least 12 weeks to allow your body to recover fully and help prevent any long term health effects.
Two of the best fat loss or cutting SARMs combined in a stack will supercharge your fat burning results. Cardarine – which is technically a PPAR receptor agonist rather than a SARM is often stacked with SR9009 – a PPAR alpha modifier rather than a SARM – for supercharged results.
An 8 week cycle is sufficient for achieving excellent fat loss results, with a toned, defined and muscular physique achievable over this two month period. Ideally you will begin the cycle at a low dose, gauge your response, then slowly increase the dose throughout the cycle.
You can choose to decrease the dosage gradually back down at the end of the cycle in order to encourage your body to adjust without the SARMs once the cycle ends.
- Cardarine: Take 10mg daily, then increase it gradually to 20mg daily.
- Stenabolic: Take 10mg daily, then increase it gradually to 20mg daily.
Cardarine is a brilliant fat loss compound, and Ostarine is superb at helping you retain muscle. This killer combo is ideal for burning fat and gaining a ripped physique, because the last thing you want happening is falling into a catabolic state where you start losing muscle.
This is a very simple stack to implement which should come with minimal side effects for females. A cycle length of 8 to 12 weeks is sufficient.
- Cardarine: Take 5-10mg daily. Optionally increase the dosage gradually as the cycle progresses, to a maximum of no more than 20mg.
- Ostarine: Start at 10mg daily. Increase the dosage gradually by 2mg per week, with a maximum dose of 20mg per day.
Once again here we combine an excellent fat burner in Andarine, with a muscle preservation compound in Ostarine. This ensures no loss of muscle while you’re in a calorie deficit as you burn off fat. You can expect a lean, dry and hard physique by the end of this cycle with the right diet and workout plan.
- Andarine: start at 12.5mg daily, increase to 25mg maximum daily over an 8 to 12 week cycle.
- Ostarine: Start at 5mg to 10mg per day. Increase the dosage by 2mg each week, with a maximum dose of 20mg daily depending on your response.
Post Cycle Recovery for Women
The purpose of post cycle therapy (PCT) for men who use anabolic steroids is to support and promote the restoration of regular testosterone production that has been curtailed or shut down by the use of steroids. Clearly, this does not apply to females.
Women who use anabolic steroids don’t need to undertake a post cycle therapy protocol afterwards. When it comes to SARMs, abruptly stopping your cycle can potentially cause some issues like lethargy, depression, acne and hair loss in some women. This is due to hormones needing to rebalance.
For this reason, tapering off your dose rather than a sudden stop can help mitigate these effects. While this isn’t a form of PCT, it is a strategy to reduce post-cycle side effects – particularly if you have used SARMs at higher dose.
Maintaining your gains after a SARMs cycle can be another challenge if your goal has been to gain muscle. The best strategy is to keep training well and consume enough calories and protein, be consistent with your diet and training, get enough sleep and make sure your recovery is on track.
Risks and Side Effects
The full range and severity of possible side effects from SARMs is not understood. Some SARMs are less researched and less used than others. Most known side effects come from personal experiences that SARMs users report. This means you could potentially have adverse effects that haven’t been reported by anyone else, or you could use SARMs and not experience the side effects that some other people have.
The relatively unknown nature of SARMs makes each person’s individual experience an experiment in itself – and it’s up to you if you choose to take that risk. What is generally accepted is that SARMs have milder side effects than anabolic steroids, and that some side effects caused by steroids don’t occur at all with SARMs, or are otherwise mild.
Most of the regularly talked about SARMs side effects concern their use by men, and this revolves around the reduction in testosterone levels that some of the more powerful SARMs. This isn’t an issue for female users, but there are other possible side effects you should be ready to deal with as a female SARMs user.
These side effects can be avoided somewhat by keeping your SARMs dose at the lowest level. As you might expect, the higher your dosage, the more likely it is that you will experience some or all of the side effects associated with the particular SARMs you’re using.
- Menstrual cycle changes
- Increased appetite
Some individual SARMs can come with some unique side effects. For example, Andarine when used at higher doses can bring about a yellow tinge to the vision in some people. You can minimize the risk of this happening by keeping your Andarine dose well below 50mg daily. Light sensitivity is another potential side effect of Andarine, but it is not known what causes this and it will usually disappear once you stop using the SARM.
More serious possible side effects that can come about from longer term use, or by using high doses of SARMs can include stress and damage to the liver, and a number of cardiovascular related problems ranging from blood clots to heart attacks in the most serious circumstances.
What are SARMs?
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators are compounds that bind only to selected androgen receptors, particularly skeletal muscle.
SARMs have some anabolic properties in common with steroids but come with considerably less androgenic activity due to this advanced method of selective receptor binding, rather than the widespread androgen receptor binding activity of anabolic steroids.
SARMs are able to stimulate the growth of tissue including muscle and bone and are being researched for potential use as treatments for muscle wasting and osteoporosis.
Are SARMs legal?
SARMs have no legal approval for use as a drug for any purpose – they are considered investigative compounds only. Due to their potential performance enhancing ability, all SARMs are listed as a prohibited substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency which makes them illegal to use in sports or competitions at any level.
Do SARMs affect bones?
Some SARMs are under investigation for possible treatments for osteoporosis because of the selective androgen binding in skeletal muscle that can possibly increase bone strength and bone density, without causing the side effects that come from other hormonal therapies. With increased bone mineral density comes less likelihood of bone breakage.
Which SARMs are best for women?
Some SARMs can cause more serious side effects in women, so it’s best for females to stick to a few that are known to be more mild. These include Ostarine, Cardarine, Andarine, and Stenabolic.
Ostarine and Cardarine may be the most commonly used SARMs stack for women as it is an excellent fat burning and physique enhancing combination that cause minimal side effects in most females.
Are SARMs safe?
All SARMs are still investigational drugs so there is no hard scientific data available about their potential short and long term risks, and whether they are safe or not. Using SARMs comes at your own risk for this very reason. Authorities like the FDA have warned that some SARMs can come with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Do dietary supplements contain SARMs?
It has been found that some supplements contain SARMs. In some cases this could possibly be intentional, while in others it may be a matter of unintentional contamination. It is not legal to sell or purchase supplements that contain one or more SARMs as an ingredient. Some supplement companies have been charged and prosecuted for selling products containing SARMs in the US.
Are SARMs as good as steroids?
Steroids have many benefits, but in some areas SARMs can be considered a better choice because they are focused on skeletal muscle tissue while not interfering with androgen receptors elsewhere – so you get desirable benefits and many less side effects compared to steroids.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
SARMs are an appealing option for women who want to avoid all use of anabolic steroids. While the unknowns and the possible serious health risks can not be ignored, many people are using SARMs with minimal side effects. That does not mean they are safe however. We simply don’t yet know all the risks involved with long term use of SARMs.
Then we have the legal issues to consider, especially if you’re a competing athlete or involved in any performance where you may potentially be drug tested.
In these cases it is critical that you keep the following in mind: SARMs are not legally approved for any type of medical or other use. They are investigational or experimental drugs only at this stage, with much more research needed to determine what they can do, and the risks they may pose.
SARMs are still a prohibited substance and therefore it is illegal to use them for bodybuilding, athletics or any other purpose. If you are caught out using SARMs, you could face the same legal consequences as if you were using steroids which in many countries can be quite severe.
So the question to ask yourself is this: is using one or more SARMs going to be worth the risk to your health? Is it going to be worth the legal risk?
If you decide the risks are too great, there are always SARM-free natural and legal alternatives that can provide similar results for women. If you decide to go ahead with a SARMs cycle, you will see excellent results but you’ll also need to be on alert for adverse effects that may negatively impact both your results and your health.