Testosterone cypionate is one of the most popular forms of testosterone used in hormone replacement therapy, which of course means it also finds a lot of popular use by bodybuilders and athletes that are interested in elevating their production of the male hormone.
In short, testosterone cypionate can be used as a performance enhancing drug in order to encourage the development of desirable masculine traits such as muscularity, low body fat and increased strength and recovery.
But like all banned performance enhancing drugs, it also comes with risks and side effects. Let’s take a look at how it is used, what those side effects are precisely and whether you should consider making it a part of your routine.
What is Depo-Testosterone Cypionate?
Testosterone cypionate is a synthetic form of testosterone. This essentially means that it is testosterone that has been formulated in a lab but which will otherwise performance in a similar manner.
Testosterone cypionate is just one form of testosterone, with another being enanthate. The difference really comes down to the way in which the testosterone is delivered: in this case, testosterone enanthate is suspended in a sesame seed oil, whereas cypionate is suspended in cottonseed oil.
There are also differences in the structures of these drugs. Enanthate utilizes a 7-carbon ester chain, versus cypionate which has an 8 carbon ester chain. This, combined with the different suspension medium, effectively changes the rate of absorption and release and effects the ‘pharmacokinetics’ of the substance. What you need to know, is that cypionate has a slower release and longer active life. This means that you need to use smaller amounts and take fewer injections. However, the fact that enanthate is one atom lighter, means that you actually get a denser amount of testosterone per mg.
Depo-testosterone means that the substance is injected intramuscularly, rather than being injected subcutaneously. This can help to further speed up and encourage absorption.
Benefits, Side Effects, and Alternatives
Testosterone plays a vital role in the human body and especially for males who will see greater muscle mass, better recovery, increased sex drive, heightened energy and more masculine traits such as increased body hair and a deeper voice. For bodybuilders, pure testosterone is the ‘original’ steroid and will have all of the anabolic effects associated with steroid use.
However, using testosterone is also dangerous and carries many of the same risks as other forms of steroid. As testosterone is a naturally occurring substance in the human body, this means that it shouldn’t be liver toxic. However, increasing testosterone unnaturally can result in the symptoms of high T, including sweating, headaches, insomnia, hair loss and impotence. Excess testosterone may also be converted to estrogen, which can cause gynecomastia – the formation of breasts in males.
Finally, the body can risk adapting to the influx of new testosterone by ceasing natural endogenous production. A good PCT (post cycle therapy – to restore natural testosterone levels) can help to reduce this likelihood but it is still possible to be left with permanently impaired natural levels.
Fortunately, alternative options exist which include the natural testosterone ‘boosters’ like Testo Max from Crazy Bulk. These use purely natural ingredients to stimulate the body to produce more testosterone naturally – maxing out your natural potential in a safe and legal manner!