Difference Between Steroids and Supplements (With Table)

Our health is probably our biggest asset, and maintaining good health is important. There are many methods an individual can opt for the purpose of having strong muscles, power, and endurance. Good diet and exercise being two of them. However, there are other methods, such as consuming steroids or supplements as well. 

Steroids vs Supplements

The difference between Steroids and Supplements is that the consumption of steroids can lead to various adverse effects on an individual’s not only physical but also mental and emotional health. Whereas the consumption of supplements is safe. There are other differences between the two in reference to their intention, derivatives, and restrictions. 

Steroids are substances that are made from a male hormone which is called testosterone. Their consumption helps in building muscles and providing energy in less time. It is popularly used by bodybuilders and athletes for enhancing their appearance and gaining strength. This has proven to be harmful and thus should be used with caution.

Supplements are substances that are made from plants, vegetables, and fruits. These are mostly natural. Their consumption helps in providing the essential vitamins and minerals to the individual’s body. Mostly consumed when the nutrition from food is insufficient. As they are made from natural products, they are safe for consumption.

Comparison Table Between Steroids and Supplements

Parameters of ComparisonSteroids Supplements
Root wordThe root word for the term Steroids is ‘sterol’.The root word for the term Supplements is the Latin ‘supplementum’.
IntentionThe intention is to increase testosterone supply, muscles, and enhance the body’s appearance.The intention is to provide necessary nutrients to the body in case of deficiencies, that is not fulfilled by food. 
DerivativesThey are derived from the masculine hormone known as testosterone.They are derived from natural ingredients like plants, fruits, and vegetables.
EffectsThey may have adverse effects on the individual’s physical, mental, and emotional health.They are mostly safe and do not have side effects.
RestrictionsTheir consumption for the purpose of bodybuilding, athletics, and beauty pageants is illegal in many countries. Consumption is strictly based on medical prescriptions.As they are safe for an individual’s overall health, their consumption is not illegal. However, it is advised to consult doctors before consumption.

What are Steroids?

Steroids refer to the substances that have been manufactured with the help of the male hormone testosterone. These substances are their artificial variants. They were originally manufactured for the purpose of treating musculoskeletal growth, inflammation, as well as reproductive dysfunction. They can be taken orally, topically, or injected into the body. They have contributed a lot to the research and development in medicine.

However, it has also been abused in many ways. Bodybuilders use these substances for growing muscle mass and enhancing the appearance of their bodies. Along with the increased muscles and enhanced looks, it also helps in increasing the strength of the body. This is due to its distinctive protein synthesis capacity. Now there are restrictions on the usage of this product for bodybuilding. They are also used by athletes- runners, cricket, and football players for a similar purpose of increasing muscle mass and strength.

Now the consumption of steroids is banned before such events. If an athlete is proved to have consumed them, they can be subjected to even a lifetime ban for the selected sport. It has been proven that consumption of these substances can lead to various disorders having long-term effects. Some include liver damage, cancer, aggression, depression, and so on. This is why it is necessary to be cautious while consuming them.  

What are Supplements?

The term supplement has been derived from the Latin word ‘supplementum’. This means something which is supplied for deficiency. Supplements refer to a substance of nutrients along with natural ingredients. These are used for the purpose of increasing compound levels. In several cases, the food that we eat is not sufficient for providing our body with the optimum level of nutrients. In such a case, the individual can consume certain supplements that help in procuring the required level of nutrients.

Body-building supplements work in a similar way to anabolic steroids. However, they have fewer adverse effects. Supplements are found in various forms, such as tablets, liquids, powders, and capsules. They also vary depending on the various nutrients. Different supplements are targeted towards different goals. These are mostly naturally derived.

They are safe to consume, and many can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription. But it is advised to consult a doctor before consuming any supplements. Taking supplements alone does not help in increasing strength. Regular exercise, yoga, and a healthy lifestyle are also suggested for overall good health. It is also suggested that instead of taking supplements, people should start making changes in their diet. 

Main Differences Between Steroids and Supplements

  1. The root word for the term Steroids is ‘sterol’. The root word for the term Supplements is the Latin ‘supplementum’.
  2. The basic intention of steroid consumption is to increase testosterone supply, muscles, and enhance the body’s appearance. The basic intention of supplement consumption is to provide necessary nutrients to the body in case of deficiency that is not fulfilled by food.
  3. Steroids are derived from the masculine hormone known as testosterone. Supplements are derived from natural ingredients like plants, fruits, and vegetables.
  4. Steroids may have adverse effects on the individual’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Supplements are mostly safe and do not have side effects.
  5. Steroid consumption for the purpose of bodybuilding, athletics, and beauty pageants is illegal in many countries. Supplement consumption is strictly based on medical prescriptions. As they are safe for an individual’s overall health, their consumption is not illegal. However, it is advised to consult doctors before consumption.

Conclusion

Steroids and supplements are some of the most popularly known methods for gaining strength and muscle. Steroids help in the rapid growth of muscle mass, speed, and endurance. Supplements may take more time than steroids. Steroids are intended mainly for enhancing the body. Whereas supplements help in achieving the required level of nutrients.

Steroids are derived from testosterone and supplements from natural products. Consumption of steroids has proven to be harmful and has many restrictions. Whereas consumption of supplements is mostly safe and does not have many restrictions. Both these substances should be taken only if necessary, and it is best to consult with the doctor first. 

References

  1. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-2004-819955
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2005.00442.x
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