Let’s face it.
Steroids suck. I’ve told you that before. So I won’t kick that horse to death here.
But let’s say you want the same anabolic, muscle-building, fat-loss or anti-aging effects that hormones and steroid can give you, without the headache, the side effects or the damaged organs. And you don't necessarily want to blast your self with localized cryotherapy biohacking wands, in the way that I am doing in the photo above and describe on my Instagram post here.
SARMs – or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators – are “therapeutic compounds”, according to the USADA, that mimic anabolic agents like steroids and testosterone, without the same side effects. USADA points out that the difference between SARMs and other popularly known anabolic agents is that SARMs have fewer androgenic properties, which permits SARMs to target tissues much more directly and reduce the host of known negative side effects experienced with steroids. Quite simply, SARMS provide the benefit of steroids without the dangerous and annoying mental and physical reactions to steroids.
Anyways, SARMs have been suggested as possessing promising potential to be effective and safe solutions to fight many effects of illnesses, fatigue, and aging, without using pharmaceutical drugs, and also as a fringe, little-known addition or alternative to popular, more well-known nutrition supplements. In other words, this stuff goes far beyond a multi-vitamin creatine, fish oil and greens.
For example, in the last decade, multiple studies on selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) have demonstrated that SARMS improve physical function and bone health with no negative side effects to the prostate and your cardiovascular health, suggesting the potential use of SARMS to fight aging and disease, increase muscle and fight muscle wasting diseases, reduce the effects of cancer cachexia, and prevent or improve osteoporosis symptoms.
But let’s say you don’t have cancer, muscle-wasting or osteoporosis, and you just want to look good naked, build muscle or lose fat. In this case, two of the most studied SARMs, particularly for increasing muscle and reducing body fat, are the ones you should know about. One is called MK-677 and the other, a relatively new kid on the SARMs block, is RAD-140. In this article, I’m going to fill you in on everything you need to know about MK-677 and RAD-140, from the differences between the two to their ability to work together as a one-two combo for amplifying results to dosage recommendations and much more.
Disclaimer: SARMs are absolutely, 100% banned by USADA, WADA and most other global sporting organization for both in-competition and out-of-competition. You should NOT use tehse if you are competing in any such sanctioned sport as it definitely falls under the banned category of a prohibited class of anabolic agents.
What Is MK-677?
Let’s start with MK-677, a SARMs that most users turn to for muscle building goals such as bulk, recovery and improved muscle mitochondrial health. MK-677 is an oral hormone that provides anabolic results without the type of dangerous anabolic side effects that I highlight in detail here.
MK-677, which is also known as “Nutrabol”, is an oral hormone, meaning that doesn’t involve painful subcutaneous or intramuscular injections or topical creams and lotions. MK-677 is a growth hormone secretagogue. What is a secretagogue? A secretagogue is simply a chemical the promotes secretion. So essentially, MK-677 is just a hormone secretion inducing compound. More specifically, MK-677 is a compound that induces the pituitary gland to increase production of human growth hormone.
Growth hormone, (often labeled “GH”), is a hormone you’ve probably heard of before. It is secreted by the pituitary gland and regulates variables such as body weight and composition, muscle growth, bone growth, blood sugar levels, and metabolism. It possesses many metabolic functions, is most active in children and adolescents and naturally, as you age, growth hormone production in your body slows pretty dramatically, bringing along with this growth hormone decrease a multitude of the common side effects of aging.
The effects of a growth hormone deficiency or a decline in growth hormone from aging include:
- Lower bone density
- Increased body fat
- Muscle wasting
- Reduced energy
Maintaining elevated levels of growth hormone has been shown to help curb many of these effects of aging, along with a variety of certain illnesses and disease.
If you’re getting older, or you suffer from an illness or disease that causes muscle wasting or bone mass? If so, your physician may have already recommended growth hormone to you. The benefits of exogenous growth hormone administration in adults has been shown to include:
- Improve exercise endurance and capacity
- Improved muscle mass
- Improved bone density
- Managed body composition
If you get your hands on growth hormone, it is typically prescribed as an injection. The injection goes directly under the skin, often into abdominal tissue, for relatively swift and effective results. But let’s just say you don’t want prescription, needles or hormone injections. Then keep reading.
What Does MK-677 Do?
What does MK-677 have to do with increasing growth hormone in the human body? As I mentioned, earlier growth hormone release by the pituitary is a natural result of consuming MK-677. When you ingest MK-677 it can kick start the pituitary gland to increase or promote the production of natural HGH in the body. MK-677 is not taken via injections in the way you would take other common SARMs such as GHRP-6 or ipamorelin. You just take it orally, usually via tincture or liquid, or occasionally in a capsule or tablet.
When you take MK-677 orally, it achieves three additional effects: it has the potential to increase actual, endogenous function of growth hormone releasing hormone, reduces levels of a somatostatin in your body that shuts off growth hormone release also inhibits the signaling of somatostatin.
So what’s the research behind this stuff?
Let’s take a look:
In a 1998 study, researchers discovered a therapeutic benefit of MK-677 as something called a “nonpeptide spiropiperidine” in eight healthy male adults. In these subjects, researchers found that MK-677 promoted healthy nitrogen balance when combined with caloric reduction. The researchers found that this positive nitrogen balance was reported between days two and days seven of the study. Nitrogen balance in the body simply means that nitrogen intake is greater than nitrogen loss. There are three basic stages of nitrogen balance.
- Positive nitrogen balance: this is the ideal state for muscle growth and it is a good indicator of the body and muscles’ ability to recover. Positive nitrogen intake with minimal nitrogen output means quicker recovery. A positive nitrogen balance is called an anabolic state. In an anabolic state, the body is not wasting away (catabolism).
- Negative nitrogen balance: this can be a dangerous state for frequently active people to be in, especially bodybuilders, weightlifters, or anyone trying to put on or maintain muscle. If positive nitrogen balance is anabolic, negative nitrogen balance is the complete opposite. Negative nitrogen balance contributes to muscle waste, fatigue, immune system weakness and diminished recovery capabilities. A body depleted of nitrogen inhibits your ability to naturally repair damaged cells.
- Equilibrium: as you probably guessed, this means that the body is consuming just as much nitrogen as it is excreting.
There are a couple ways you can maximize a positive nitrogen balance. One way is with the use of compounds such as MK-677. The other is by increasing either amino acid or protein intake. But you must consume a lot of extra protein to achieve a positive nitrogen balance and sometimes that is difficult to do, especially if you’re restricting calories or fasting.
There is another side to MK-677 that researchers have explored: improved sleep. Side effects of anabolic steroids range anywhere from increased body and facial hair in women to small testes and breast tissue in men. But they also affect the chemicals in the brain, and as a result, can cause psychological disturbances, including sleep disturbances. A range of issues arise from altered brain function, and sleep and sleep quality are a couple such consequences. Any method you use to increase muscle size, an anabolic state, or nitrogen balance should not come with dangerous psychological effects, and it also shouldn’t prevent you from sleeping. Restful sleep, especially REM sleep, is essential for personal and physical health, and using SARMs such as MK-677 replacing anabolic steroids or extremely high calorie intake from excessive protein can improve sleep quality.
For example, in 1997, a study in Neuroendocrinology investigated the use of MK-677 for improved sleep in young and older adults. Young adults took doses of MK-677 in three 7-day-long sleep cycles. They ingested the MK-677 at bedtime. Older adults participated in two 14-day-long treatments. Both groups experienced a 50% increase in REM sleep. The results suggested MK-677 improved not only the quality of sleep but corrected relative hyposomatotropism of senescence, which is basically the body’s decline in growth hormone that occurs when aging.
Are There Side Effects Of Using MK-677?
As with any other compound, correct dosing and usage of MK-677 is the key. In studies that looked at how MK-677 increases muscle mass, the dosage was key. Side effects of MK-677 are usually the result of a handful of two things: improper dosage and extended use. Reported side effects of MK-677 are typically the result of unnaturally high levels of growth hormone in the body from taking too much too often.
- Stagnation in results after extended use
- Increased appetite
- Joint pain if you have previous medical conditions or elevated hormone levels
- Insulin resistance
- Possible increase in prolactin levels, which can be controlled
But when dosed properly, the side effects of MK-677 are minimal to none compared to the results you get from taking it properly. The results from using MK-677 are evident in just a couple of days and with proper dosing and stacking, include:
- Reverse muscle wasting disease
- Promotes muscle cell regeneration
- Promotes nitrogen balance for building muscle
- Improved sleep and recovery
- Beneficial for treating hip ailments and breaks in older adult populations
- Beneficial for treating a GH deficiency
- Promotes cell generation in the tissues
- Fights the effects of aging
So here’s how to use this stuff the right way (and if what you read below in terms of dosing is complete greek to you, then click here to read my first article on SARMs). You can safely take up to 25 mg per day of MK-677, preferably taking 12.5 mg at night and 12.5 mg in the morning. As with anything, there is no need to go overboard and take more MK-677 if you do this right and cycle/stack properly to get the best benefits and avoid side effects.
Speaking of stacking properly, let's move on the SARM that pairs perfectly with MK-677…
What is RAD-140?
If your goal is to increase muscle, chances are you're spending a lot of time in the gym weight training. And if you’re trying to shed weight, you’re likely moving a ton and being careful with what foods you shove into your gaping maw. But as a human being, you have limits. At some point, no matter how often you lift or how dedicated you are to your training, there will be a weight that is simply too heavy for you to lift, or a threshold low number of calories you get to.
To develop muscle beyond these limitations or to overcome a serious fat loss plateau, you often need to find a way to increase your workout performance to be able to push past the limits and continue to build and increase muscle. That's where the SARM RAD-140 , also known as Testolone, comes in as a potent addition for a SARMs protocol.
RAD-140 is a potent, orally bioavailable, nonsteroidal selective androgen receptor modulator, which means it provides similar effects as anabolic steroids but without the negative side effects – primarily because of the selective nature in which it acts on muscle over other bodily tissues. This specific SARM blasts your body with a mild boost of testosterone and interacts with the hormonal receptors in the tissues in the same the way larger doses of testosterone do to generate a magnitude of anabolic effects, but without the estrogenic side effects that plague regular anabolic use, as well as other testosterone related-side effects, including increased risk for heart attack.
On many broscience and bodybuilding forums, RAD-140 has been reported to possess even greater anabolic properties than testosterone, and is often used between cycles of steroids to maintain muscle building or fat loss progress.
So what does this stuff do, exactly?
First, it increases muscle. Not only does RAD-140 increase muscle gain for folks who take it but it does so quickly. For example, many athletes and bodybuilders use RAD-140 to bridge the gap between their steroid cycle or prohormone cycle, since it allows them to use testosterone between anabolic steroid cycles without damaging their livers in the process. So if they used to experience suppression or decreased strength in between steroid cycles, they can take RAD-140 in between these cycles to maintain the strength built while adding bulk, all without the traditional side effects of testosterone.
Second, it increases the anabolic effects of anything you take with it. Many testosterone users will argue that RAD-140 is even better than other prohormones or steroids on the market for its ability to reinforce the effects of testosterone without the side effects. It is often used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy in men with low testosterone levels, without the risks for developing prostate cancer or accelerating the progression of existing prostate cancer. RAD-140 can also be used by men who are sensitive to gynecomastia (man-boobs) since it doesn't create the same estrogenic effects as growth hormone and testosterone. RAD-140 doesn't convert to estrogen in the body, so you won't have to worry about “moobs” (man-boobs) or the water retention that accompanies high estrogens.
Based on this, different groups of people could potentially benefit from the use of RAD-140, including:
- Men with decreased testosterone levels due to abuse of anabolic steroids or general health issues that cause hypogonadism
- People using steroid cycles who are looking to bridge the time between their cycles to maintain results without damaging their organs.
- Athletes and bodybuilders in need of more performance but who desire to avoid potential negative side effects of traditional performance enhancing drugs.
- Men sensitive to gynecomastia side effects when using testosterone.
RAD-140 is still in Phase 1 of trials, so there are only a few studies on this SARM. RAD-140 is currently being prepared for use in patients who are suffering from cancer-related weight loss. The study is using RAD-140 because of its unique ability to select tissue. RAD-140 also appears to be very stable with high bioavailability and as you’ve already learned, is highly anabolic but without the effects of products such as anabolic steroids. The first phase of the study on RAD-140 in humans who suffer from deadly weight loss due to cancer cachexia (which literally means the wasting away of muscle caused by cancer) was initiated after researchers discovered its impressive ability to stimulate muscle weight without anabolic reactions. The study also reports that RAD-140 promotes the stimulation of the seminal vesicles stimulated by testosterone, resulting in more sperm, thank you very much.
In the meantime, RAD-140 carries the benefits of testosterone injections without the risk. The studied and reported benefits of RAD-140 include:
- Increased stamina during long workouts
- Rapid muscle development and performance
- May be linked to defending the brain against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
- Has the potential to boost cell viability
- Muscle gains are higher and safer than can be achieved with traditional anabolic or prohormone therapies
- Reduced androgenic effects on the prostate to cut the risk and growth of prostate cancer
- Treats muscle deterioration and atrophy
- May impact the body’s capability to decrease muscle fat; therefore, reducing obesity
- Advances bone health and strength
- Targets specific tissues instead of influencing entire biological systems
It is important to note that because this specific SARM is so new, no serious side effects have yet been observed or noted as are usually seen in anabolic steroid users.
How to Use RAD 140
Most RAD-140 comes in an easy-to-use liquid form that you simply drip into your mouth via a glass or plastic dropper. This is perfect for users who want the anabolic effect of testosterone, but who fear painful injections or sticky topical creams or gels. You also don’t have to try to cram a large horse pill down your throat.
When you place RAD-140 liquid in your mouth, make sure you swallow it first and follow it with a full glass of water. It is also important to remember that once you open your RAD-140, you need to use it the same day. That should be easy because you are supposed to take this stuff daily for optimal gain. Researchers suggest that when using RAD-140 at the recommended dosage, at levels between 20 and 30 mg, you don’t need to take RAD 140 for more than a 12-week cycle. Then, after taking a break for 4-12 weeks, you can start it up again.
Stacking and cycling is the best way for optimal gain to fight issues such as muscle wasting, resistance to lean muscle gain, or resistance to fat loss. When stacking MK-677 with anything, you can do so with a supplement that complements the MK-677 compound, and RAD-140 is a very good SARMs for this effect.
Why Not Just Take Testosterone?
So why not just skip the SARMs and take testosterone? Let’s talk about testosterone and its link to prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, shall we? When testosterone users, either men or women, partake in testosterone treatments by either injecting it into their bodies or absorbing it through their skin as a topical cream or gel, dangerous side effects are nearly guaranteed, especially with the higher dosages many physicians now prescribe.
Side effects of testosterone treatments can alter your physical and psychosocial health, and common side effects associate with taking testosterone include but are not limited to:
- Breast tenderness in women and increased breast tissue in men
- Excessive increase in sexual drive or absent sexual desire altogether
- Trembling and numbness in the hands and feet – feels like pins and needles
- Pain, swelling and tenderness at the injection site
- Anxiety and depression
- Significant mood swings
- Facial hair in women
- Increased body hair in men
- Baldness in men
- Sleep apnea
- Shortness of breath, which may be caused by a blood clot in the lungs
- Chest pain and pressure; often feels like a heart attack
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nonstop, painful erections
Shall I continue? And these are just the symptoms you can see or feel.
Excessive testosterone use can also increase calcium in the blood, cause liver damage, and cause yellowing of the skin. I should also mention that your performance in bed won’t be impressive either, because testosterone can cause premature ejaculation or the inability to orgasm altogether.
Recent studies have also revealed some pretty concerning issues with respect to the long-term effects of testosterone use. For example, physicians are now studying testosterone treatments and the risk to your health as you age, and have linked exogenous testosterone dosing to diseases such as Alzheimer's and prostate cancer.
In 2014, a study was conducted to look at the risks for testosterone treatments to develop or accelerate prostate cancer in men. The study looked at traditional, more dangerous testosterone treatments as well as safer alternative forms of therapeutic treatments such as (you guessed it) the SARM RAD0140. The study determined that using SARMs was just as beneficial at preserving neural health and protecting men from neurodegenerative diseases. The same study confirmed that a SARM is effective in addressing diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, both of which can be aggravated by low testosterone levels.
The study also looked at the prostate health. Not only do many men lose the ability to get solid erections as their natural testosterone levels take a nosedive during the normal aging process, but their risk for prostate cancer grows significantly as well. Testosterone treatments and injections only make this worse, and I welcome SARMs as a safer alternative that doesn’t bring on the same risk of cancer.
So yeah: needles full of testosterone up the right butt cheek or a tincture of SARM’s under your tongue? I’d personally choose the latter.
Taking MK-677 or RAD-140 individually will give you results, but for even better body composition, muscle gain, anti-aging and fat loss results, you can cycle MK-677 with RAD-140 together by taking 25 mg per day of MK-677 and 20 mg per day of RAD 140 for 12 weeks. Then, after taking a break for 4-12 weeks, you can start it up again.
Enjoy, and let me know in the comments section below how your body responds, and anything else you’ve found to work well in combination with these SARMs.
I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever.