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The Promise and the Peril of the Testosterone Revolution: The Pros and Cons of Steroids

Every steroid user has asked themself at some point, “Do I use orals or injectable steroids?” ”.

Many beginners avoid injectable steroids owing to a fear of needles, injecting poorly, or simply being a pain in the buttocks (excuse the pun).

Is it true that injectable steroids are safer for users?

Is it true that orals are as awful as their reputation suggests?

In this article, we compare the benefits and drawbacks of oral steroids against injectable steroids so you know what to anticipate and which mode of administration is best for you.

Oral Steroids

Oral Steroids


Pros of Oral Steroids


Oral steroids (pills) are relatively easy to use. Simply swallow a tablet with water and you’re done. You also don’t have to worry about the liver breaking down the drug and rendering it ineffective because the most popular orals are c17-alpha alkylated, which means a significant portion of the molecule will survive liver metabolism.

Fast Results

Because oral steroids have shorter half lives than injectables, they will kick in sooner and provide you results in a couple of days. For example, serum testosterone levels in the blood stream peak 5 hours following injection with testosterone undeanoate. As a result, orals necessitate more frequent dosing to maintain high amounts of persistent exogenous testosterone in the bloodstream.

Shorter Detection Time

Because oral steroids have a shorter detection duration than injectables, they are preferable if you want to avoid being tagged for a drug test and want all chemicals to exit your system as soon as possible.

The table below compares the detection time of some steroids, both oral and injectable.

  • Winstrol: 3 weeks
  • Winstrol depot: 9 weeks
  • Anavar: 3 weeks
  • Testosterone Enanthate: 3 months
  • Primobolan: 5 weeks
  • Testosterone cypionate: 3 months
  • Andriol: 5 weeks
  • Sustanon 250: 3-4 months
  • Dianabol: 6 weeks
  • Trenbolone acetate: 5 months
  • Anadrol: 8 weeks
  • Deca durabolin: 18 months

There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as injectable steroids like testosterone suspension, which have a detection time of only 1-2 days.

Cons of Oral Steroids

Cons of Oral Steroids

Bad for the Heart

Oral steroids are often worse for the heart since they drop HDL cholesterol levels more than injectable steroids. HDL is a favorable cholesterol score that, when high, can lower blood pressure and, when low, can raise blood pressure.

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Many orals induce hepatic lipase, a liver enzyme that reduces HDL cholesterol.

Anadrol, dianabol, and winstrol are among the worst steroids for heart health, lowering HDL and LDL cholesterol levels.

Thus, injectable steroids (especially testosterone) are a preferable alternative if your major worry is protecting your heart while taking steroids and keeping your blood pressure in check.

This is not to argue that injectable steroids cannot raise blood pressure to dangerously high levels; they certainly can, especially if the molecule is potent enough (such as trenbolone).

Liver Toxic

Orals are also hepatotoxic, which means they stress the liver, as seen by an increase in ALT and AST liver tests. Some bodybuilders aren’t too concerned about this adverse effect because the liver frequently fixes itself post-cycle and has strong self-healing properties.

Bodybuilders frequently take TUDCA for liver support when taking orals to err on the side of caution. Alcohol should also be avoided, and stacking hepatotoxic steroids like dianabol/anadrol is not advised.

There are rare exceptions to this rule, such as anavar or testosterone undecanoate, which do not cause considerable liver damage.

Anavar’s hepatic effects are modest since the kidneys work to digest oxandrolone, relieving the liver of stress. Similarly, testosterone undecanoate offers no harm because it is taken by the lymphatic system rather than the liver.

Biological Value

If oral steroids are utilized inappropriately, their biological availability can be much lower than that of injectable steroids.

Oral steroids, for example, should not be taken with dietary fat because many pills are fat soluble. To have the best effect, most oral steroids should be taken without food.

The only exception is testosterone undecanoate (also known as Testocaps or Andriol), which should be taken with a high-fat meal (19 grams or more).

Injectable Steroids


Intramuscular injections are used to deliver injectable steroids deep into the muscle. These are usually done in the buttocks or on the outer thigh.

Pros of Injectable Steroids

Less Liver Toxic

It is a fallacy that injectable steroids do not cause liver stress. They are toxic and can cause liver failure in rare cases of steroid overuse. Although they enter the bloodstream instantly, it is believed that they exit the body via the liver. However, the tension is far lower than in orals and so isn’t regarded a problem.

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As a result, when only cycling injectables, many bodybuilders will not feel the need to take a liver support supplement (such as TUDCA or milk thistle).

Better for the Heart

All steroids will raise blood pressure since they are all variations of exogenous testosterone, causing LDL levels to rise and HDL levels to fall.

Injectable steroids, on the other hand, are thought to be less harmful to the heart since they do not stimulate hepatic lipase, an enzyme (as previously described) that greatly lowers good cholesterol. As a result, injectable steroids may result in less plaque buildup in the arteries.

Cons of Injectable Steroids

Incorrect Injections Could Prove Fatal

Septic shock or nerve injury are possible results if a person injects in the wrong place. These are extremely dangerous effects that could end in disability or death. If users are going to use oil-based steroids, they must know how to inject properly.

Sites of common intramuscular injection:

  • Buttocks
  • The outer thigh

Risk of HIV

Sharing needles is one of the most common ways for people to catch HIV.

Some of a person’s blood will remain in the syringe after they inject themselves (and needle). As a result, when compared to merely popping a pill, such precautions are required with this route of administration.


Certain steroids, such as testosterone propionate, can be uncomfortable to inject, whilst others are easier to give. Muscle soreness is also prevalent, and it can occur deep inside the muscle and continue for hours or days.


A strong dry cough is frequent after injecting steroids, especially trenbolone – a sensation known as ‘tren cough.’ This reaction occurs when the oil comes into contact with a blood vessel, resulting in several seconds of severe coughing. This is a frequent reaction while injecting, occuring approximately one out of every five times. Despite being a frightening experience for beginners, this is not a dangerous side effect.

When oil collides with a vessel, foreign metabolites enter the lungs, causing the body to cough as a defense mechanism to eliminate such toxins. This gives the mouth a metallic taste.

This is more common when injecting trenbolone since it is an irritant to the lungs, similar to how cayenne pepper is an irritant to the skin.


Are Injectable Steroids More Effective?

In theory, injectable steroids may provide superior increases than orals because they do not need to traverse the liver and hence have a larger biological availability.

However, this does not appear to be the case in practice, as orals appear to be just as effective (if not more so in some examples).

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Despite the fact that orals have lower biological availability, research has shown that they can change how the molecule is used by the body. Orals, for example, have the ability to affect tissue selectivity and hepatic IGF 1 release, which fundamentally changes the compound’s chemistry and, as a result, users’ outcomes can be more/less.

The anabolic, androgenic, progesterone, and estrogenic scores, as well as the half lives/detection times, can all fluctuate according on the manner of administration (as already discussed).

What is the Safest Oral Steroid?

Oral steroids such as anavar, primobolan (methenolone acetate), and testosterone undecanoate are all relatively safe.

However, these three compounds have one thing in common: they are all pricey.

When bulking and trying to pack on mass, testosterone undecanoate is the safest oral steroid to use.

When cutting and aiming to reduce your body fat % while building some lean muscle, anavar and primobolan are the safest oral steroids to use.

Any of these steroids will not cause severe blood pressure rises; testosterone suppression will be minimal (except for testosterone undecanoate); and liver damage is unlikely with all three.

Can You Stack Orals With Injectables?

Of course, yes. Some of the most popular cycles combine orals and injectables, such as:

  • Dianabol/Deca
  • Anadrol/winstrol
  • Anavar/Testosterone

However, because of the possible liver damage, some bodybuilders who are comfortable injecting (and have done so for years) may instinctively avoid using orals.

Regardless of this inclination, orals are not hazardous when taken in the short term.

Orals become a concern only when used at excessively high doses or when users do not allow enough time off between cycles. As a general guideline, the time spent on cycle should be matched by the period spent off steroids. And, for best health, the latter should take precedence over the former.

Orals vs Injectable Steroids

Injectable steroids are not ‘better’ than oral steroids — and vice versa.

To determine whether a substance is worth taking, it must be evaluated separately in terms of results and side effects.

For example, if you wanted to prevent liver problems, you could take testosterone (injectable) or Andriol (oral) and be fine.

Injectable steroids, on the other hand, are better for the heart and liver (on average).

Although trenbolone is an injectable and arguably one of the toughest steroids available.

Similarly, if your goal is to utilize steroids to increase sports performance and you are about to undergo a drug test, it is best to use orals because they have a shorter detection time.

Your own goals will determine whether you use oral or injectable steroids.

As a result, do your homework, and if you’re going to take orals, make sure your liver and heart are in decent shape to begin with. Take TUDCA and fish oil as well for optimal protection.

Furthermore, stacking orals together is generally not a smart idea because it puts additional strain on the liver.