Muscle is vital for the human body. In fact, researchers have concluded that strong muscle is key to ‘improved health, independence, and functionality’. The problem? Muscles in the body don’t always grow as much as many of us would like them to.
Why don’t muscles keep growing?
There’s a natural protein in the body known as Growth Differentiation Factor-8, or Myostatin (MSTN). The primary role of Myostatin is simple: to limit the growth of skeletal muscle and prevent it from becoming too large. While no one knows for sure exactly why Myostatin is needed, it’s widely accepted that, because building muscle is a highly energy-intensive process, Myostatin is needed to conserve energy, ensuring that there’s enough to fuel other critical biological functions in the body.
However, it can be detrimental in cases where muscle growth is the desired result.
To combat this, some bodybuilders have started experimenting with selective androgen receptor modulators, or SARMs, which bind to specific receptors in the body, instructing these muscles to continue growing in response to exercise. They have a similar profile to anabolic steroids, yet with fewer unwanted side effects.
SARMs: Impact on muscle growth
SARMs were developed specifically to open up new doors for potential treatments for muscle wasting conditions, and secondary muscle weakness caused by diseases such as cancer. Therefore, while more research is needed, it is understood that all SARMs – and SARM-like substances – will have a positive impact on muscle growth.
However, each SARM has a different chemical composition, meaning different substances will have a different effect on the muscles. Some are best for bulking, for example, and some for cutting. Some for fat loss, and some for muscle growth.
So what is the best SARM for muscle growth? Here are two effective options:
- YK-11 Myostine
Myostine is considered to be one of the best SARMs for cutting and muscle growth, because it’s classified as a myostatin inhibitor. This means it reduces the amount of Myostatin that’s released by the body. With lower Myostatin levels, the protein is less capable of limiting muscle growth, allowing the muscles to grow larger in size. Myostine has demonstrated an ability to ‘enhance muscle mass’ in mice, and researchers theorise that it could treat many muscle degenerative diseases.
ACP-105 is a SARM that was developed in 2013, having first been conceptualised back in 2008. There are two reasons why ACP-105 is considered to be one of the best SARMs for muscle growth. Firstly, its potency. ACP-105 is understood to be one of the most potent SARMs available today, offering maximum impact. Secondly, its likeness to testosterone. Studies have found that ACP-105 ‘has anabolic effects similar to testosterone on muscle mass while having less effects on the prostate’.
Enhancing the effects
As each SARM has different properties and different effects on the body, it is possible to stack SARMs. This is when multiple SARMs are taken simultaneously to benefit from each chemical’s unique characteristics. For example, bodybuilders may use ACP-105 or YK-11 alongside others to reduce fat , boost strength, or build lean mass in addition to growing the size of the muscles. Other recognised SARMs include Ostarine MK-2866, Cardarine GW-501516, Andarine S4, and Testolone RAD-140.
Should sarms be used for muscle growth?
SARMs are legal to purchase in the UK as they are considered to be research chemicals. However, it’s important to note that no SARM is currently approved by either the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and there may be side effects in relation to human consumption. Therefore, the decision to buy SARMs or other unapproved drugs should be made carefully.