What are prohormones? Are they the same as steroids? Are prohormones legal and what’s the advantage over herbal testosterone boosters?
These are all important questions if you’re thinking about taking your training and supplementation to the next level.
So sit back and enjoy while I blind you with science and knowledge.
What Are Prohormones? Are they the same as Steroids?
What are prohormones? The term ‘prohormone’ is a wide term used to describe a range of different compounds and supplements. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard about prohormones and want to find out more. That’s why your Google search brought to this site, isn’t it?
Here’s a complicated definition for prohormones:
“Prohormones are compounds which are converted via an enzymatic process to anabolic hormones in the body. As such they will cause similar effects in the body to anabolic steroids, inducing rapid muscle and strength gains, but of a lesser magnitude than anabolic steroids, due to the rate limiting effect caused by the enzyme conversion.”
In simpler terms, traditional prohormones are not synthetic hormones (like medical testosterone and other anabolic steroids). Instead they are converted in your body to anabolic hormones by special chemicals called ‘enzymes’.
So when you supplement with prohormones, your body takes these compounds, turns them into anabolic hormones (like testosterone) which your body can then use.
Pro-Tip: The prefix ‘pro’ comes from the Latin meaning ‘before’. So prohormones are ‘before hormones’.
However, it’s not quite as simple as that.
These days, the term ‘Prohormone’ is used to describe a range or supplements and compounds. Some of these come under the traditional meaning of prohormone.
Others are ‘active’ steroids and do not need to be converted to a hormone by the body. These are often called ‘Designer Steroids’.
They have been developed specifically as supplements to improve muscle growth and strength and do not serve any function in medicine. An example of this would be Superdrol (Methasteron).
On this site, you’ll see ‘prohormone’ used to describe both precursor and ‘designer’ steroid. Most people and retailers do the same – the only real difference is the chemical makeup of the compound.
Are Prohormones Legal Where I Live?
That’s a very important question: Are prohormones legal?
Well, are they?
The short answer is ‘It depends’. It depends on where you live. I live in the UK where it’s legal to buy and sell a range of prohormones. In the UK it’s legal to buy prohormones over the counter along with Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) products including estrogen blockers/inhibitors.
The same is the case through many other European countries. However places like the United States, Canada and Australia have tougher laws on prohormone sale and usage. (Check out our guides for the U.S. and India)
Don’t break the law. If you want legal advice you won’t find it here.
Are Natural Testosterone Boosters the same as Prohormones
No they’re not. Natural testosterone boosters like Tribulus terrestrisand Bulbine nanatlensis are herbal supplements. These are believed to increase the amount of ‘free’ testosterone in your body. The evidence to support this comes from anecdotal sources and traditional medicine.
Prohormones are different in that they create ‘new’ testosterone rather than increasing the secretion of testosterone that already exists.
This means that prohormones are much more likely to increase your testosterone levels leading to increased muscle mass and strength – and who doesn’t want that?
What are Prohormones? A Summary
Prohormones have been around for a while (since the 1960’s at least) however it’s only in the last 20 years that they’ve become popular for improving sports performance. Some prohormones convert to steroids in your body while others are already active steroidal hormones and don’t need any conversion.
Prohormones are legal to buy and sell in the UK and other European countries but you should always check to make sure it’s OK to buy them where you live. You should never break the law – it’s just not worth it.