What should I know about Post Cycle Therapy?
Post cycle therapy (PCT) is a combination of nutrition products and sports supplements that are predominantly used in bodybuilding to minimize the side effects of steroid hormones or prohormones. This therapy is essential when using high doses of hormones or after combined therapy of two or more anabolic drugs.
PCT literally means additional therapy after a steroid cycle. Post cycle therapy helps restore natural hormonal levels, prevent feminization (gynecomastia), prevent testicular atrophy and oligospermia, and reduce other side effects.
Nevertheless, you should understand that although PCT is known as the therapy after a steroid cycle, it is recommended to start taking the necessary supplements during the cycle. In general, you need to understand that the main goal of PCT is to restore hormonal systems (hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis), normalize the ratio of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), block cortisol secretion and prevent abnormalities in liver function.
Post cycle therapy goals
- PCT helps restore normal hormonal balance and maintain muscle mass;
- PCT helps prevent withdrawal phenomenon;
- PCT helps prevent adverse effects after the steroid cycle (gynecomastia, testicular atrophy, low sexual desire, other male sexual problems).
Post cycle therapy products
Antiestrogens - these medications help prevent gynecomastia during the entire steroid cycle and during the post cycle therapy.
Aromatase inhibitors - these drugs are taken during the post cycle therapy to reduce the effects of estrogen in the body.
Boosters - these additives increase the production of testosterone. They should be taken for 2-3 weeks after the steroid cycle.
Estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) - they are taken after the steroid cycle to support and restore natural testosterone production.
Hepatoprotective drugs - these medications protect the liver from toxic effect of anabolic steroids. They should be taken starting from the second week of the steroid cycle, and within 3 weeks during the post cycle therapy.
Chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) - this hormone aims to prevent atrophy of the sexual glands. It should be taken starting from the second week of the steroid cycle and for 1-2 weeks during the post cycle therapy.
Omega-3 fatty acids - these agents help protect the heart and blood vessels from excess cholesterol. They should be taken during the whole steroid cycle and within 2 weeks during the post cycle therapy.
Cortisol blockers - they will help stop the production of cortisol. These agents should be taken within 3-4 weeks during the post cycle therapy.
Supplements - a variety of products and vitamins that may help prevent catabolism. These include arginine, zinc, vitamin E, and other powerful drugs that reduce catabolism. They can be started at any time, since these agents play a supportive role during post cycle therapy.
In addition, in some cases you can use growth hormone (HGH) and peptides. This will help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as weaken the symptoms of cardiovascular complications after anabolic steroids.
All of these substances and supplements are compatible.
Using vitamins during PCT
There’s no doubt it is very important to use vitamins during PCT (only after consultation with your doctor). Athletes often use L-carnitine supplements aimed at restoring normal sexual function. Like many other additives, L-carnitine helps effectively improve sperm quality. You may also use other vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins:
- Vitamin B6 can improve sperm motility. Moreover, it helps you build a strong immune system and reduce kidney stone incidence.
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid) helps the circulatory system function better. It is also used to strengthen the immune system.
Vitamins A, C, E stimulate the production of sperm and strengthen your immunity. In addition, vitamins A and C have been shown to have anticancer effect. Vitamin C and E are useful in cardiovascular diseases, while magnesium, selenium and zinc are effective for problems with sexual health and fertility. Zinc is very useful for reproductive function (it helps treat BPH). It is also possible to take homeopathic medicines, herbal teas and extracts, such as rose hips, ginseng, St. John's Wort and others.
Training during PCT
PCT is an important phase for the overall health. The proper training program is a very important aspect of post cycle therapy. That is, an athlete needs to train less, but on a regular basis. Do not try any form of exercises for small muscle groups! The basic workout should last 30-40 minutes. Thus, the most appropriate option for PCT is a three-day training plan (for example, legs, back and chest).
PCT - conclusion
Modern post cycle therapy includes products that help restore the endocrine system after anabolic steroids. Such therapy can reduce the side effects after the end of a steroid cycle, as well as restore the natural hormone levels. Also, it will prevent muscle loss, weight gain, and help keep your gains between cycles.