Post cycle therapy (PCT) is a technique of using drugs which work through several mechanisms in an attempt to stabilize and restore the hormones of a user back to normal after a suppressive anabolic and androgenic (AAS) cycle has been stopped.
A user is usually left in a state where their natural testosterone production has been inhibited, in some cases severely, the moment they have stopped using anabolic and androgenic steroids. Besides, steroids levels are constantly decreasing in their bodies. This leaves the user in an extremely catabolic state post cycle and this may be reflected in their ability to retain muscle mass that they gained in the course of the cycle. That is why it is often suggested that you stimulate natural production and allow your body to return to normal.
When we talk of steroid, we actually mean anabolic steroid. This is an artificial substance that has the same effects to the testosterone in the body and this includes not only augmented muscle growth but also recovery, strength and leanness.
Steroids normally achieve this through many different mechanisms but results in the same thing – increased rates of protein synthesis or a significant reduction in protein degradation rates, or even both – leading to accelerated muscle growth.
The Main Purpose of PCT
The main objective of PCT is to stimulate the natural production of testosterone and enhance or make the whole recovery process shorter. It must be clearly understood that there is no PCT plan in existence that is capable of returning a person’s natural testosterone levels to where they were before steroid use. Also, if there has been improper anabolic steroids supplementation and has led to serious damage to HPTA, there is no known PCT plan that can be of help. Anyway, assuming that the cycle was appropriate, a PCT phase will by design stimulate the pituitary to release additional Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). The testicles will in turn be stimulated for further production of testosterone.
In the absence of such a post cycle therapy plan, it may easily take about a year or more for the body to recover the natural levels, which is not only stressful to it, but it could result into several low testosterone symptoms. Apart from that, it is very unhealthy. On the other hand, when you are applying your PCT treatment, you will reduce your total recovery time considerably. However, there is something that is more important; although your body’s natural levels will not be totally regained you will have made sure that your body has adequate testosterone not only for proper health, but also for it to operate as your natural levels continue to increase naturally.
You can opt to skip such a plan, but you will only be straining your body, yet limiting stress is partly the real definition of effective performance enhancement. In any case, if you are stressing your body after the cycle, it actually means that your steroid supplementation has not been as effective as it could have been.
Post Cycle Therapy Alternatives
Since you know what PCT is, when and why you need to implement it, it is important for you to understand how to implement it as well as the options available. This will be determined by the way in which you cycled your anabolic steroids. . But no matter your steroid use, the PCT plan must include SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator), and Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate) and Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate). These will always be your best options.
Updated – SARMs do Need PCT After All
For years now its been believed that SARMs do not need a PCT once the cycle has finished. This is one of the major reasons why some people prefer SARMs such as Cardarine. But it has come to light that SARMs do suppress natural testosterone levels while on cycle. In these instances its advised to run a PCT to get your levels back to normal as soon as possible to help you retain your new gains and for therapeutic purposes also.