Anavar represents one of the most popular oral anabolic steroids of all time, and this is largely due to its well-tolerated nature. This is one of the few anabolic steroids that can be used safely by men and women, and it’s also one of the most side effect friendly. However, in some circles Anavar is greatly underappreciated due to its mild nature, but this is generally due to unrealistic expectations. Many tend to assume all anabolic steroids should yield a set of specific effects at a specific rate of power, but reality tells us varying steroids carry varying results and purposes. Anavar is without question an extremely beneficial anabolic steroid, but in order to appreciate its benefits we must understand it.
Anavar is the popular brand name associated with the dihydrotestosterone derived anabolic steroid Oxandrolone. The Oxandrolone hormone was first released in the early 1960’s under the trade name Anavar by G.D Searle & co. and was touted as carrying numerous therapeutic qualities. However, in 1989 Searle would discontinue the compound; this was largely due to FDA pressure that had tightened its grip on the anabolic steroid market. An important note; Searle also owned the licensing rights to the majority of Oxandrolone products on the global market, which would lead to this steroid nearly disappearing at this time. In 1995 the Oxandrolone hormone would reappear thanks to Bio-Technology General CORP (BTG), now Savient, under the trade name Oxandrin. BTG would hold a monopoly on the product during this time driving its cost through the roof. Thankfully, a few U.S. based pharmacies such as Watson would begin manufacturing generic Oxandrolone in recent years driving the cost down. However, it remains one of the more expensive anabolic steroids on the market, including when purchased from most underground labs. An important note for future purchase; while Anavar remains the common associated name for the Oxandrolone hormone, the Anavar name itself is not used by any human grade pharmaceutical company that manufactures Oxandrolone
Anavar Functions & Traits:
Anavar or Oxandrolone is specifically a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone that has been structurally altered. It is DHT with an added oxygen atom replacing the carbon-2 in the A-ring. This alteration greatly increases the hormone’s anabolic activity, as well as prevents it from being metabolically broken down. Anavar also possesses a second alteration at the 17th carbon position by the addition of a methyl group that allows the hormone to be ingested orally officially classifying Anavar as a C17-aa anabolic steroid.
As a therapeutic agent, Anavar has proven to be effective for numerous treatment plans. The most common reason the steroid is prescribed is for the purpose of weight gain necessitated due to surgery or infection or any type of severe weight loss. Anavar has also been proven to be extremely effective for treating over or prolonged exposure to corticosteroids, as well as for treating osteoporosis by the promotion of bone density. However, such uses are rare in the U.S. currently due to strict laws despite this steroid’s tremendously successful and positive track record. Anavar has also proven to be effective for treating hepatitis, as well as promoting growth and development in children who lack the necessary hormone production.
Anavar is also a very popular anabolic steroid among performance enhancing athletes. By looking at its therapeutic benefits, we should already have an understanding or appreciation as to what such benefits might be. While mild on its surface, Anavar carries a massive anabolic that is 3-6 times stronger than testosterone. Anavar’s anabolic rating is 322-630, while testosterone, a powerfully anabolic hormone carries a rating of 100. This would insinuate the muscle building properties of this steroid are tremendous; however, the rating does not translate into real life action quite like you might think. For the off-season male athlete, this will not be what we’d consider a premier bulking steroid; in fact, we’d call it weak for this purpose. But, its anabolic power will translate tremendously in a cutting cycle, or for the purpose of direct athletic enhancement. We will also find that the androgenicity of this hormone is rather low, making one of the friendliest steroids for female use.
When looking at the direct functions and traits of Anavar, the most important revolve around its ability to increase nitrogen retention in the muscle, decrease SHBG and inhibit glucocorticoid hormones. The increase in nitrogen retention will promote the anabolic atmosphere as reduced levels often lead to a catabolic state. The decrease in SHBG will yield a higher level of free testosterone in the body, not only providing more of an anabolic punch but promoting a free or unbound state of all circulating anabolic steroids. In simple terms, this makes the steroids being used more effective. As for the inhibition of glucocorticoid hormones, these are muscle wasting hormones; cortisol being the most well-known. Such hormones promote fat gain, as well as destroy lean muscle tissue. Anavar is also well-known for promoting increases in red blood cell count, which will enhance muscular endurance. Some studies have even shown this steroid has the ability to promote enhanced cardiovascular endurance. Last but not least, Anavar is one of the only true fat burning steroids. Most all anabolic steroids will enhance the metabolic rate, which will promote fat loss, but Anavar has been shown to directly promote lipolysis. Many attribute this to its ability to firmly bind to the androgen receptor, as well as in its ability to reduce thyroid-binding globulin, as well as increase thyroxine-binding prealbumin. This action results in the triiodothyronine hormone or T3 hormone being utilized to a higher degree. The fat burning results of Anavar are not entirely conclusive; there have been a few studies that produced alternate results as it pertains to fat loss. However, most data strongly supports the Oxandrolone hormone being a strong promoter of lipolysis.
Effects of Anavar:
The effects of Anavar in a therapeutic capacity are largely understood, to remedy the occurring problem and nothing more. We want to look at the effects of Anavar in a performance enhancing sense, and in doing so you’ll understand when this steroid is most valuable.
 Muscle Growth
Bulking/Off-Season: As the Oxandrolone hormone does not aromatize, any weight gained due to use will be lean muscle mass. Water retention is impossible due to the use of this steroid. However, massive gains often associated with steroid bulking cycles should not be expected with this steroid, it simply isn’t cut out for it. The individual should be able to gain some solid lean tissue and many report Anavar gains are easier to hold onto. But it won’t provide gains similar to well-known mass agents like Anadrol, Dianabol, Nandrolone or Testosterone. Some may find despite moderate gains that is all they want.
While Anavar is not the best off-season bulking steroid for men, when it comes to female use we must make an exception. Women are far more sensitive to Anavar than men, and it can be a very effective off-season agent. Further, most women are not looking for gains in size anywhere near male levels; often a slight increase in muscularity can be transforming.
Regardless of sex, all who use Anavar for off-season mass gaining phases will appreciate its metabolic enhancing traits. Those who supplement with the Oxandrolone hormone will find they gain less off-season body fat than they would have otherwise. Due to the increased levels of free testosterone, individuals will also find other steroids being used to be more potent. It may not be by a lot, but every last bit helps.
Fat Loss: Without question, male or female one of the best times to supplement with Anavar will be during the cutting phase. This will also be the most common purpose of use as the vast majority who use anabolic steroids participate in no competitive sports taking them out of the athletic enhancement category in an official sense. Due to its powerful anabolic nature, Anavar is one of the best steroids on earth for preserving lean tissue during the dieting phase. In order to lose body fat, we must burn more calories than we consume. The key to successful dieting is losing the desired fat while maintaining as much lean tissue as possible; however, muscle loss will occur. It does not matter how well-planned your diet is, some muscle loss will occur if a powerful anabolic agent is not present. Anavar is the agent you need due to the facts discussed above regarding its effects.
Those who supplement with Anavar during the cutting phase will also burn fat at a more efficient rate. Regardless of how powerful the direct lipolysis trait is or isn’t, the metabolic rate will still be greatly enhanced. Once lean, the individual will also find he appears harder and more defined. This is often accompanied by enhanced vascularity, and an overall tighter look.
 Athletic Enhancement:
Anavar is greatly appreciated by many athletes for a few specific reasons. This steroid will increase strength; the total increase will not be as significant as steroids like Dianabol and nowhere near the level of Halotestin, but it will be notable. Strength is one of the primary factors of successful athleticism as it translates into speed and power. Athletes also appreciate Anavar due to the fact that it won’t produce a large buildup in mass. In some cases, added mass might be a hindrance depending on the sport, and in other cases, it will bring about prying eyes that no athlete wants on them. When we further consider this steroid cannot lead to water retention, a possible burden to many athletes, Anavar rest as one of the top athletic choices.
 Enhanced Performance
Priority: Regardless of the purpose of use, all those who supplement with Anavar will find their rate of recovery is enhanced, as well as their muscular endurance. The individual will not tire out as fast, and he will be able to push longer and harder. This does not mean we should increase the duration of our training sessions, which may or may not be the case depending on the situation. However, we will make better use of each training session, we will make better use of our time on the field and all in all more quality work will be done.
Side Effects of Anavar:
Unlike another popular dihydrotestosterone derived anabolic steroid in Anadrol, Anavar is what we’d call a rather side effect friendly anabolic steroid. Side effects are certainly possible, but for the healthy adult they can be minimized. In fact, with responsible use, many will find they experience no negative effects at all. In order to understand the side effects of Anavar, we have broken them down into their separate categories with all the related information you’ll need.
The Oxandrolone hormone does not carry any estrogenic related side effects. It does not aromatize and cannot lead to gynecomastia or water retention due to increases in estrogen levels. It further carries no progestin related activity, which again supports no estrogenic related side effects. Due to water retention being impossible with this steroid, this will decrease the risk of high blood pressure. Excess water retention can promote high blood pressure. Some steroids that do not aromatize can lead to high blood pressure, such as Trenbolone, but Anavar is rarely associated with this trait.
Oxandrolone is not an extremely potent androgenic steroid, but androgenic activity does exist. Such activity can lead to acne, accelerated hair loss in those predisposed to male pattern baldness and body hair growth. However, most will not have an issue with these effects as the total androgenic nature remains very low. An important note; 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are often used to combat androgenic side effects brought on by the use of anabolic steroids. However, this will not have a strong affect when using Anavar as the Oxandrolone hormone is not affected by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for reducing testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, but Oxandrolone is already dihydrotestosterone.
The androgenic nature, although slight, can also promote virilization symptoms in women. Virilization symptoms include body hair growth, a deepening of the vocal chords and clitoral enlargement. Thankfully the virilization rating of Anavar is extremely low; most women can supplement without falling to such effects as long as they supplement responsibly. There will always be the issue of individual response to contend with, but the Oxandrolone hormone continues to represent the safest anabolic steroid for female use. If virilization symptoms do occur for any reason, you are encouraged to discontinue use immediately and they will fade away. If the symptoms are ignored, they may become permanent.
Of the possible side effects of Anavar the most concerning will surround cholesterol. The Oxandrolone hormone is well-known for suppressing HDL cholesterol, as well as increasing LDL cholesterol. Standard male therapeutic doses can suppress HDL cholesterol by as much as 30% with performance doses suppressing HDL by as much as 50%. Performance doses may also increase LDL cholesterol by as much as 30%. Due to the potential negative affect Oxandrolone can have on cholesterol you should not supplement with this steroid if you suffer from any cholesterol issues. If you are healthy enough for use, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will be imperative. This should include a cholesterol friendly diet rich in omega fatty acids, as well as plenty of cardiovascular activity. All who supplement with Anavar are encouraged to limit saturated fats and simple sugars, consider a cholesterol antioxidant supplement and to keep a close eye on their levels.
The use of anabolic steroids will suppress natural testosterone production; however, the rate of suppression varies from one steroid to the next. Anavar is one of the milder suppressive steroids on the market, but most men are typically encouraged to include exogenous testosterone into their supplementation plan. Failure to do so could result in a low testosterone condition and the bothersome symptoms associated. It is, however, possible to supplement with Anavar without falling into a low testosterone state; high end performance doses will suppress total serum levels by approximately 50%, but even with a 50% reduction some men may find they’re still in a healthy range. This will be highly dependent on the individual’s natural levels, but most men will still find exogenous testosterone therapy to be warranted.
As with all anabolic steroids, once use is discontinued and all exogenous steroidal hormones have cleared the body, natural testosterone production will begin again. Natural recovery assumes no prior low level state, as well as no severe damage to the HPTA through improper supplementation practices. Recovery will not occur overnight, it will take time. For this reason, most men are encouraged to implement a post cycle therapy (PCT) plan once all steroid use is complete. PCT plans should include a SERM such as Nolvadex or Clomid, and often benefit from the use of HCG. Combining all three will provide the most efficient recovery.
As a C17-aa anabolic steroid, Anavar is toxic to the liver. Liver enzyme values will typically increase with use, however, of all C17-aa steroids Oxandrolone carries a minimal hepatic nature. Data has shown therapeutic doses may not increase liver enzyme values significantly. Performance doses are another story, but the hepatotoxic nature will still be significantly less than most C17-aa anabolic steroids. It is also important to keep in mind increases in liver enzyme values does not equate to liver damage but rather stress that can lead to damage. For this reason, it is imperative proper procedures are followed:
You should not supplement with Anavar or any C17-aa anabolic steroid if you already suffer from any type of liver issue.
You should avoid excess alcohol consumption when using a C17-aa anabolic steroid as this will burden the liver tremendously. In fact, most will be best served by avoiding all alcohol if for no other reason than its anti-performance effects.
You should limit the use of over the counter medications to when only absolutely necessary. Many over the counter medications carry a hepatotoxic nature; in some cases, greater than many anabolic steroids.
You should limit your total use of Oxandrolone to 8 weeks max and should not supplement with any C17-aa steroid until again until liver enzyme values have normalized.
You should incorporate a liver detoxifier into your plan during the use of Oxandrolone or any C17-aa anabolic steroid.
Standard Anavar doses for therapeutic treatment will normally fall in the 5-10mg per day range with 20mg per day normally being the maximum dose. Such use will normally last 2-4 weeks with a small break after use before implementing the next 2-4 week cycle. Such use will continue as long as deemed necessary.
For the male performance enhancing athlete, a 20-30mg per day dosing will provide athletic enhancement, but most will find 40-50mg per day to be far more efficient. 80mg per day is not uncommon, but this will increase the risk of side effects. Standard male Anavar cycles will last 6-8 weeks.
For the female performance enhancing athlete, regardless of the purpose of use, 5-10mg per day is normally the perfect dose. Very few women will need more than 10mg per day. If more is desired and 10mg per day has been well-tolerated, 15mg per day can be attempted the next go around. However, every increase in dosing will increase the risk of virilization. Doses of 20mg per day will strongly increase the risk with doses above this mark all but guaranteeing some level of virilization. Standard female Anavar cycles will last 6-8 weeks.