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6 Things You Should Know About Steroids

dumbell and syringe

Art Wager/iStock

In this Article:

  • Anabolic steroids are illegal unless prescribed by a doctor.
  • Steroids not only affect your brain, but could also affect your military career.
  • Steroids not only affect your brain, but could also affect your military career.

You’ve heard of steroid use or “juicing” as a quick way to bulk up. But did you know that using illegal steroids can be harmful to your health and may impact your military career? Learn the facts about steroid use and how to gain muscle naturally.

1. There Are Two Types of Steroids

Steroids are either corticosteroids or anabolics. Corticosteroids are typically over-the-counter creams and pills used to treat skin irritation and swelling. Anabolics are a synthetic form of testosterone often used to bulk up muscles. They come in the form of injections, gels, pills, and patches.

2. Prescribed Steroids Are Ok

Anabolic steroids are illegal unless prescribed by a medical health professional. For example, a doctor may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy to treat low testosterone levels. If you are prescribed steroids, make sure you don’t share them with anyone. Likewise, never take someone else’s steroids.

3. Diet Supplements Can Be Risky

Beware that some diet supplements contain steroid-like substances. These substances are often not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and may not be safe. If a product contains steroid-like substances, it could cause you to test positive on your next drug test.

Identify which supplements could jeopardize your health or career by downloading Operation Supplement Safety’s High-Risk Supplement List app for Apple or Android. If you still have questions about a supplement, you can ask an expert at the Human Performance Resource Center.

4. Steroids Can Affect Your Brain

Steroids are known to cause mood swings and acne. But anabolic steroids can also cause aggression and hostility in normally calm and happy people. Illegal steroid users may also experience:

  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Delusions

This can lead to “roid rage,” causing steroid users to hurt people they care about.

5. Steroids Can Impact Your Military Career

Unless you’ve been prescribed anabolic steroids (as mentioned above), taking them violates Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 112a. Steroid use while serving in the military can lead to:

  • Losing rank
  • Losing security clearance
  • Being dishonorably discharged
  • Having a criminal record for drug possession and use

6. Protein Is the Perfect Alternative to Steroids

Did you know you can bulk up without juicing? Just get in your daily protein! Protein forms your muscles and repairs your muscle tissue. Nutritionists recommend 56 grams each day for men and 46 grams for women. This equals one serving of protein at each meal.

Your best natural picks for protein are:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Beans
  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts

Check out these other surprising sources of protein.

Talk with your Medical Readiness NCO or medical health professional if you have more questions about steroids.

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