The Ultimate Guide to Natural Post-Cycle Therapy
Here at Anabolic Men, we don't recommend anyone to use steroids, yet, we acknowledge the fact that many of our readers have used them before, and are seeking for ways to jump-start their natural testosterone production after the suppression caused by exogenous hormone use.
Normally, if you've already done a cycle of steroids, you should - after the cycle ends - start some form of post-cycle therapy to get that natural testosterone production up to even some speed.
In many cases this means more drugs like clomid, HCG, and synthetic aromatase inhibitors.
They do work fairly well, but many men don't realize that there are also natural ways to stimulate the brain and testicles to regain their ability to produce testosterone after a suppressive steroid cycle.
Whether you use them alone, or alongside with synthetic PCT drugs, is irrelevant, the main point is that they work, and are highly beneficial for anyone looking to regain their natural hormonal potential.
Here is your ultimate guide to natural PCT:
What Exactly is Post-Cycle Therapy
Post-Cycle Therapy (PCT) is a term that refers to the time period that takes place after the use of exogenous steroid hormones, ie. after a cycle ends.
PCT is done simply because the natural bodily hormone production follows a negative feedback-loop, and introducing an exogenous source of the hormones into the bloodstream, will cause a feedback to the brain to suppress the natural production.
Overtime, this suppression will lead to chronic effects, like low testosterone, impaired leydig cell activity, and long-term hormonal problems.
The worst case is someone who uses steroids, and completely neglects any form of PCT, as the cycle (depending on what was used and the dosages) is most certainly going to results in low testosterone output and high estrogen conversion after cessation of the exogenous hormone supply.
Below, I will go through the most important natural means that will help kick-start the natural machinery back to life, and simultaneously block the overly high estrogen turnover.
Nutrition for Hormonal Health
It's no big secret that our daily nutrition habits have the ability to influence the rate of hormone production in the body.
For the sake of keeping testosterone production high, we want to...
a) Eat enough
b) Eat the right macronutrient ratios.
c) Get all the key micronutrients
d) Eat more foods clinically proven to raise testosterone and LH
e) eat less foods clinically proven to lower testosterone and LH
f) Eat to support thyroid, which controls the rate of hormone synthesis.
This may seem complicated, but at the end of the day it comes down to few key points:
Try Red-Light Therapy
I haven't seen many people focusing too much on red light therapy as a mean for PCT, but it really deserves a try.
Sounds crazy? You're damn right it does.
But the thing is that near-infrared red light at certain wavelengths, has been extensively studied in human applications.
Primarily this is done for thyroid gland, as many researchers have noticed that pointing a strong red light source to the thyroid gland of patients with hypothyroidism, resulted in complete normalization of the thyroid hormone levels.
Light therapy isn't some new mumbo-jumbo. It has been effectively used ever since 1910, with research speeding up in the 60's (after invention of led light).
A 2013 Brazilian study had 43 patients with clinical hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels), to test the effect of red light, they enrolled into red light therapy twice a week, with the wavelength 830nm beamed close to their thyroid area.
After ten sessions, the subjects were told to discontinue their use of thyroid medication (thyroxine) and for the next 9 months they were monitored to see if they could now go without exogenous tyhroid medication. Surpisingly, 48% of the subjects never had to get back to using the thyroxine. The light therapy had restarted the activity of the gland, and this was accompanied by increased thyroid volume.
Several other studies from Russia and Ukraine have also confirmed that people with sluggish thyroids can often discontinue or lower the dose of their thyroid medication drastically after red light therapy.
Why would red light do this?
The light is able to penetrate the skin, and has been previously shown to increase the cellular energy production (ATP) and mitochondrial respiration (Cox) of the target tissue.
So how could this help with regaining the ability to produce high levels of testosterone naturally?
Theoretically, by pointing the red light to testicular area. Which would increase the activity and energy production of the leydig cells and enzymes necessary for steroidogenesis.
There has already been some animal and human research into this, all suggesting that it's highly effective in normalizing testosterone production. And since many steroid users have lowered leydig cell activity due to chronic natural suppression of the LH release, red light therapy might really be a potent PCT method.
Try These Supplements
Honestly, natural supplements alone aren't often enough to fully regain natural testosterone production after a cycle.
But, they can be used as an aid alongside other things (such as the ones mentioned above or even HCG, clomid, etc).
Primarily, you want to focus on supplements that have been clinically proven to increase LH release, increase testosterone and sperm production, and prevent the conversion from testosterone to estrogen via the aromatase enzyme.
We have done some extensive reviews on hundreds of supplements over the years, and come to a conclusion that alongside vitamins and minerals, only a handful of natural compounds are actually effective in doing so...
- Forskolin (increases LH, thyroid hormone levels, and testosterone production through elevated cAMP levels).
- Mucuna Pruriens (increases LH, sperm production, testosterone production, may activate androgen receptors).
- Ashwagandha (lowers cortisol, increases LH pulsatile rate and testosterone, adaptogenic).
- Carnitine (makes androgen receptors more sensitive towards testosterone and DHT, increases sperm production).
- Resveratrol, GSE, and White Button Mushroom Extract (all potent aromatase inhibitors).