Anavar is one of the most coveted steroids on the market, despite its high market price. Here is why vast amounts of bodybuilders are eager to purchase oxandrolone:
- Muscle gain
- Fat loss
- Mild side effects
- Enhanced athletic performance
- Big pumps
Anavar significantly increases the body’s Triiodothyronine (T3) to thyroxine (T4) ratio (2). T3 is the active thyroid hormone that elevates a person’s metabolism and enhances fat loss (3). Similar to how free testosterone is the most important testosterone score for building muscle mass, T3 is the most important thyroid score, for increased fat-burning.
Anavar increases T3 by dramatically reducing TBG (thyroid-binding globulin), whilst simultaneously spiking TBP (thyroxine-binding prealbumin). This process increases the uptake of T3 at a cellular level.
Fat loss is somewhat noticeable on Anavar, with research showing that a moderate dose of 20mg per day can result in 4lbs of fat loss, over the course of 12 weeks (4). Thus research shows that Anavar’s anabolic effects outweigh its fat-burning properties, with participants in the same study gaining 7lbs of muscle.
Not only does Anavar burn subcutaneous fat, but it also reduces visceral fat. This is different from other anabolic steroids, which typically reduce subcutaneous fat, whilst increasing visceral fat (5). This may be due to Anavar improving insulin sensitivity (6), whilst other steroids can result in a person becoming less sensitive to insulin (7); potentially leading to steroid-induced diabetes.
Anavar (and all anabolic steroids) are essentially forms of exogenous testosterone, thus Anavar will increase muscle mass.
Due to the substitution of a carbon atom, replacing an oxygen atom in the A ring (in the C2 position), this molecular structure makes Anavar resistant to inactivation via the enzyme 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. This explains Anavar’s very high anabolic rating, being: 322-630.
However, its high anabolic rating doesn’t translate into exceptional muscle gains in practical settings. Thus if a user is coveting huge muscle gains, they may opt for other steroids, such as Dianabol, Trenbolone, Anadrol or Testosterone. Or they may decide to stack some of these compounds with Anavar.
One benefit to Anavar is that it produces lean muscle gains. Thus, users won’t gain fat, water weight, or become bloated. This is due to Anavar being 5α-reduced, thus it doesn’t aromatize, meaning estrogen levels will not rise. This is beneficial for bodybuilders wanting to look dry and aesthetic. It is also appealing to athletes, who do not want to be carrying additional water weight when performing.
Women can typically experience better muscle gains compared to men on Anavar, even with a modest dose of 5-10mg per day.
Anavar has a significant impact on strength, which is surprising to some considering it is a mild steroid.
Anavar’s ability to rapidly increase strength is mainly due to it being exogenous testosterone. However, it also has a dramatic effect on ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) production and creatine content inside the muscle cells.
Higher levels of ATP are beneficial for those who want to hit new PR’s when bulking. Or for users cutting, who may otherwise lose strength whilst eating low calories for a prolonged period of time.
Users have reported Anavar significantly increasing strength gains, despite eating low calories.
This is also why powerlifters may take Anavar before a competition, should they want a boost in strength (without much weight gain). Dr. Thomas O’Connor states that top elite powerlifters in the 1970s, whom he has treated, were practically all on Anavar.
Thus, the connotation of it being a ‘girl steroid’ isn’t quite the case, with some of the strongest men in the world taking it too.
Mild Side Effects
Anavar is one of the best steroids on the market, in regards to side effects. Research has shown it to have ‘excellent safety’ in long-term medical settings (9). Due to its mild nature, it is commonly used by beginner bodybuilders looking to build modest amounts of muscle and fat.
A general rule with steroids is: the better the results, the more side effects.
Anavar’s benefits aren’t overly powerful (at least compared to other steroids), but the side effects are very tolerable. Its risk/reward ratio is thus very positive.
Less Liver Toxic
Anavar is a c17-alpha alkylated oral steroid, which is beneficial, as the compound will be fully active after bypassing the liver. However, unlike other oral steroids, Anavar’s not significantly hepatotoxic.
This is due to Anavar being metabolised mainly by the kidneys, instead of the liver. Some of the Anavar will bypass through the liver; however, this is a smaller percentage compared to other C17-aa steroids.
Research shows that 20mg of oxandrolone causes 72% less BSP (Sulfobromophthalein; a marker of liver stress), compared to an equal dose of fluoxymesterone. Fluoxymesterone is also a C17-aa steroid.
Thus liver enzymes (AST/ALT) are likely to rise on Anavar; however, this will only be a mild increase, compared to oral Dianabol or Anadrol for example. Research shows that elevated enzymes are likely to return to normal, after discontinuing oxandrolone.
Note: Liver damage should not be discounted; however, if very high doses of Anavar are administered for excessive periods of time.
No Gyno or Water Retention
As previously mentioned, Anavar doesn’t aromatize; thus gynecomastia is very unlikely on Anavar.
Progestational activity is also non-existent in Anavar, therefore progesterone-induced gyno also will not occur.
The only incidence of gynecomastia occurring on oxandrolone was in a study done on adolescent boys (12). 33 cases of gyno were reported; however, these findings are contradictory to other research in adults. Thus if Anavar is taken long-term by children during puberty, the risk of gyno seems to increase. However, it’s important to point out that these children were taking moderate doses of Anavar continuously for 6 months to 8 years. The average bodybuilder will run Anavar for a maximum of 8 weeks.
Furthermore, water retention is very unlikely on Anavar, with the compound creating a ‘dry’ and ‘ripped’ look. This diuretic effect is also likely to increase vascularity and muscle striations; whilst contributing to a leaner appearance.
Anavar is already a derivative of dihydrotestosterone, meaning there is no conversion to DHT via the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. As a result, Anavar has mild androgenic properties and side effects. This is reflected in a low androgenic rating of 25.
Therefore, in theory, androgenic side effects should be mild. However, in practical settings; acne, male pattern baldness and prostate enlargement can occur, due to Anavar being a DHT-based steroid.
Note: DHT side effects are determined largely by your genetics, thus some may experience significant hair loss on a low dose of Anavar, whereas others may experience no hair loss on high doses of trenbolone year-round. Furthermore, such androgenic side effects often reverse post-cycle, including hair thinning/loss.
Suitable for Women side effects in women (when taken in low to moderate doses).
Anavar is known to be a female-friendly steroid.
Virilization side effects include:
- Deepening of the voice
- Hair growth (on the body)
- Clitoral enlargement
- More pronounced jaw
- Smaller breasts
- Irregular menstrual cycles
Therefore, because Anavar doesn’t typically cause the above side effects, keeping a woman’s femininity intact; it’s very popular among females looking to build muscle and burn fat.
Note: Masculinization is still possible if doses higher than 10mg a day are taken. Studies have reported girls experiencing virilization effects when taking high doses of 0.125mg per kg continuously for a year. The average age of the girls in this study was 9 years old.
Increased Recovery, Endurance & Speed
Anavar has proven successful in treating burn patients, because of its ability to accelerate recovery. It is this principle as to why athletes also use Anavar. Enhanced recovery enables an athlete to increase training intensity, duration and frequency for better performance. With higher red blood cell count and increased ATP production, muscular endurance will also improve on Anavar.
Although, it is not just strength and endurance athletes that can benefit from Anavar. Sports where speed is rewarded such as: sprinting, swimming or boxing; may also take Anavar in conjunction with other steroids.
Research has shown anabolic steroids to increase sprint speed in rats by up to 29% when using steroids (14). Furthermore, their endurance also improved by 41%.
Anavar causes significant intracellular water retention, resulting in constantly full and pumped muscles throughout the day.
This is beneficial for bodybuilders who want to look as big as possible. Such additional muscle fullness, combined with Anavar’s dry properties, can also result in enhanced vascularity.
This is due to water filling inside the muscle cell, and fluid being expelled outside the muscle cell. This causes superficial veins to become more visible, no longer being obscured by extracellular water.
Note: some Anavar-users report excessively big pumps (usually in the lower back), which can be uncomfortable/painful. This can often feel like a locked, cramping sensation inside the muscle, which lasts for several hours. Consequently, the person may not be able to finish their workout due to severe discomfort. Hence this benefit may become a side effect for some users.