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What substances can accelerate roid gut development?


Steroid Freak
We’ve talked about the two biggest contenders already, but in this section we’ll go into more detail so you can see what all the fuss about and discover why so many people are adamant that they are the culprits.

Insulin may be best known for its relationship with diabetes, but the thing to remember about this hormone is that our bodies tell us to produce it when we eat. With its help, we are better able to absorb sugar and nutrients into our bloodstream.

Now for bodybuilders, insulin is loved because of its high anabolic effects. It can help you to absorb more sugar from your blood and more protein. Combined this encourages increased protein synthesis and energy for muscle building, making it ideal for bulking.

The problem with insulin though, is that it can trigger heavy water retention. Now this wouldn’t be so bad if you weren’t also sporting a massive colon. Together, you can end up looking like you’ve swallowed a cantaloupe – ouch!

Human Growth Hormone
This bad boy usually plays a bigger role in our bodies when we are young as it helps us to grow. As we get older, our growth plates close over, stopping us from getting any bigger.

But this doesn’t mean it becomes inactive…

Alongside helping to stimulate the healing of wounds and damaged cells, it can also encourage muscle growth after they’ve been damaged. And here is where bodybuilding comes in, as weight training does exactly that – it damages your muscle fibers.

Similarly, HGH can help increase anabolic processes in your body, enabling muscle to rebuild whilst you sleep.

Sounds great right? Well, the problem with HGH is that it’s indiscriminate. This means it won’t just increase the size of your muscles. It will also increase the size of anything that doesn’t have a closed growth plate – including your hands, feet, face and organs (hence the problem with hypertrophy).

All growth in your abdomen will cause your stomach to get bigger, and your skin/muscle walls to grow larger in order to accommodate this increased size. And hey presto – you’ve got a noticeable gut despite having little fat on your body. Nice – umm no it isn’t.

Anabolic steroids
When we talked earlier about what causes steroid gut, you might remember us saying that despite the name, steroids actually have very little to do with roid gut. Well, it’s true! They are not one of the triggers.

This doesn’t mean they are entirely innocent. Use them during your bulking or cutting cycle and they will bolster the effects insulin and HGH have on stomach growth. For this reason, you will need to be mindful of what you put into your body because even though steroids are not the cause, in this case they can make the situation worse.


A Japanese study in 2013 observed muscle growth in two parts. The first part consisted of an observational study of freshman and senior football players, and the second part an intervention study.

The first compared the differences in body composition between the freshman and senior players. They noted that as a result of intense bulking protocols and resistance training, the seniors weighed 17kg more (on average) than the freshmen (11-12kgs of lean muscle and 5-6kgs of fat mass). They also noted that their hearts, liver and kidneys were significantly heavier and were in proportion to the increases in fat and muscle.

The second study tried to reproduce this change by taking freshmen players and putting them through controlled bulking and training protocols over the course of a year. They witnessed pretty much the same results (but on a smaller scale as it was only for 12 months) as the observational study.
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