Anavar (oxandrolone) is used by some MMA fighters to gain an advantage, with Alexander Shlemenko being one of the most famous recent examples — with the steroid being detected in his urine.

The benefits of using Anavar are often spoken about such as:

    • Increased muscle mass
    • Increased strength
    • Increased speed
    • Decrease in body fat
    • Less water retention
    • Suitable for women

Anavar often produces a jacked and chiseled physique with no bloating or smooth-look to the
muscles. You can read more about Anavar’s benefits here – . But what about the side effects? After all, no steroid is 100% safe; thus oxandrolone must come with some complications, right?

Anavar is a Mild Compound

Firstly, Anavar is one of the mildest steroids available. Thus, if you could consider any steroid as ‘safe’ — Anavar would be it. However, Anavar is not legal for recreational use and thus is a banned substance (without a
prescription from a doctor/for medical purposes).

Anavar is so mild that even women take it — and you’d be surprised how many do. Many of those feminine-looking Instagram models you follow may be on Anavar (or taken it in the past). The reason women can get away with cycling this steroid (without looking and sounding like a man) is because Anavar is a very female-friendly compound — at least in small to moderate doses.

Thus, women can take it and remain looking very feminine. Whereas with other steroids they may experience: clitoral enlargement, a deepened voice, excess hair growth, balding (on the scalp) and more.

Why Athletes Take Anavar

Firstly, it’s not wise to take any banned substances as an athlete as you’re always risking being caught and suspended. However, people still do — but why?

Anavar will make a person quicker, stronger, bigger, leaner and have more stamina. These are all desirable traits for a MMA fighter. Anavar does not aromatize and convert into estrogen. Thus, users do not retain any water whilst on it. This is ideal as excess water retention can slow a person down and sap a person’s energy, making them lethargic.

Anavar, despite not increasing a person’s weight much, significantly enhances a person’s strength. It does this by increasing ATP production inside the muscle cells, an important energy molecule. Consequently, the person is now able to lift heavier weights, train for longer periods of time (without getting tired) and recover quicker. This means a fighter can train at higher intensities without burning out.

Anavar Side Effects

Although some people may not fall ill from taking Anavar — it certainly isn’t free from side effects. Despite being an oral steroid it doesn’t pose much strain on the liver. Equally, women can take it in small doses and not experience masculinization.

However, what users almost certainly will experience is an increase in blood pressure. This might not be to the degree of other oral steroids such as oxymetholone, however, it will be noticeable due to an elevation in LDL cholesterol. Testosterone suppression is also a certainty. Although not severe enough to shrink your testicles to tiny peas — but it is moderate and thus may take several weeks to a couple of months for your endogenous testosterone to return to optimal levels again. Some hair loss and acne are also possible, however these side effects are more specific to the person, depending on their individual genetic code.

Therefore, although Anavar’s effects are a lot more subtle compared to harsher steroids — it certainly wouldn’t be a wise idea for someone with high blood pressure to start taking this compound. Also if someone previously had liver disease or currently has low testosterone levels; taking Anavar will only exacerbate those problems.

Also, it’s worth noting that anabolic steroids including Anavar are very addictive. So although Anavar may be well tolerated in its ordinary doses, there’s no guarantee that it won’t be abused. Abusing steroids is extremely destructive to a person’s health and could result in major complications over the long-term. If overdosing on water can kill you — how much more dangerous is it to overdose on already banned substances.
The truth is some athletes will continue to take banned substances to gain an edge on their
competition, however, they’ll also have to endure some of the complications that will inevitably
come as a result of going down that path.

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