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PCT Supplement: What It Is, Why You Need It, and How to Choose the Best One

If you're someone who's into bodybuilding, sports or fitness and relies on supplements like prohormones, steroids or SARMs to boost your performance and physique, chances are you might be familiar with the term PCT. PCT stands for post cycle therapy. It plays a role in any supplement cycle that involves manipulating hormones. In this article we will discuss the significance of PCT, why it's necessary and provide guidance on selecting the PCT supplement based on your specific requirements.

What is PCT?

PCT, which stands for Post Cycle Therapy involves using supplements or medications after completing a cycle of prohormones, steroids or SARMs. The main goal of PCT is to restore the body's natural hormone levels, testosterone and to reduce or prevent any side effects that may occur during the cycle. These side effects can include gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue) acne, hair loss, liver damage, decreased drive, mood swings and muscle loss. 


When you take prohormones, steroids or SARMs you are essentially introducing hormones or hormone like substances into your body. These substances can impact your body's hormone production and balance in ways. The specific effects will depend on factors such as the type of supplements used, the dosage taken, how long the cycle lasts for and if multiple supplements are combined together.

  • Increasing the production of estrogen, the female sex hormone that can cause breast tissue growth in men (gynecomastia), water retention, fat gain, and mood swings.
  • Reducing the secretion of testosterone, which's the hormone that contributes to muscle development, physical strength, sexual desire, energy levels and emotional well being.
  • Stopping the production of luteinizing hormone (LH). Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which are hormones, for stimulating the testes to create testosterone and sperm.
  • The HPTA, responsible for controlling hormone production and release in the body, can be affected by inhibiting its function.

These hormonal changes can have various consequences on your health and performance. Some of the common side effects of prohormone, steroid, or SARM cycles are:

  • Gynecomastia: The development of breast tissue in men due to excess estrogen levels.
  • Acne: The inflammation of the skin due to increased sebum production and bacterial infection.
  • Hair loss happens when hair becomes thin or starts falling out because it becomes more sensitive to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) , a byproduct of testosterone that can harm the hair follicles.
  • Liver damage: The inflammation or scarring of the liver due to exposure to toxic substances that are metabolized by the liver.
  • Low libido: The reduced sexual desire or performance due to low testosterone levels or high estrogen levels.
  • Mood swings: The changes in mood or behavior due to hormonal fluctuations or imbalances.
  • Muscle loss: Muscle loss occurs when there is a decrease in muscle mass or strength caused by factors such as testosterone levels or high cortisol levels.

To prevent or minimize these side effects, you need to do a PCT after finishing your cycle. A PCT can help you:

  • Restore your natural testosterone production by stimulating the HPTA and increasing LH and FSH levels.
  • Reduce your estrogen levels by blocking the enzyme aromatase that converts testosterone into estrogen or by blocking the estrogen receptors that bind estrogen and activate its effects.
  • Protect your liver by detoxifying it from harmful substances or by providing it with antioxidants that combat oxidative stress.
  • Maintain your muscle mass by preventing catabolism (muscle breakdown) or by promoting anabolism (muscle synthesis).
  • Improve your mood by balancing your neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine that affect your emotions and motivation.

Why do you need PCT?

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You may wonder why you need to do a PCT if you’re already getting great results from your cycle. Why not just keep taking prohormones , steroids, or SARMs indefinitely and enjoy the benefits?

The answer is simple: because it’s not sustainable or healthy. Taking prohormones, steroids, or SARMs for too long or without a proper PCT can have serious consequences on your health and performance. Some of the risks of not doing a PCT are:

  • Long term suppression or cessation of natural hormone production can result in harm to your endocrine system. After discontinuing the cycle there may be difficulties in restoring functioning. This could lead to hypogonadism, a condition characterized by testosterone and sperm production by the testes. Hypogonadism is associated with health issues such as infertility, impotence, osteoporosis, depression and an elevated risk of disease.
  • Exposing your liver to substances over a period may result in lasting harm to its cells and tissues leading to irreversible damage. This can ultimately lead to liver failure, a condition that endangers your life as it hampers functions like blood filtration, bile production and nutrient metabolism. Liver failure can manifest through symptoms such as jaundice, bleeding, swelling, confusion, coma and even death.
  • Prolonged elevation of estrogen levels can potentially lead to effects on your heart. It may result in the enlargement of your heart muscle (cardiomegaly) or the thickening of your heart valves ( heart disease). These conditions can compromise the functioning of your heart. Heighten the likelihood of experiencing heart failure, irregular heartbeat and unexpected cardiac arrest.
  • Prolonged elevation of your DHT levels can lead to effects on your prostate. It may result in the enlargement of the prostate gland, known as hyperplasia or the development of abnormal cells in the prostate, which can potentially lead to prostate cancer. These conditions can manifest as issues including difficulties in urination urges to urinate weakened urine flow or even presence of blood in urine. Furthermore prostate cancer has the potential to spread to organs and cause symptoms such, as pain, weight loss, fatigue and ultimately even death.
  • Prolonged alteration of your mood and behavior can have effects on your well being. It may influence the chemistry and structure of your brain in ways that are challenging to reverse. Consequently this can potentially give rise to issues like depression, anxiety, aggression, paranoia, psychosis as well, as addiction.

As you can clearly observe it is not advisable to skip post cycle therapy (PCT) due to the potential risks involved. Undertaking a PCT plays a role in minimizing complications and ensuring an efficient recovery from your cycle. Additionally, a well executed PCT aids in retaining the majority of the gains achieved during your cycle by preventing muscle loss and unwanted fat accumulation.

How to choose the best PCT supplement?

There are PCT supplements offered in the market that assert to assist in restoring hormone levels and reducing the side effects of your cycle. Nevertheless it's important to note that not all PCT supplements are of quality. Some may be more efficient compared to others while a few might even pose risks or have implications. In order to select the optimal PCT supplement, for your requirements it is essential to take into account factors such, as;

  • Different types of prohormones, steroids or SARMs have varying effects on your hormone levels that may require PCT supplements. For instance, certain prohormones or steroids can have more masculinizing effects than others, potentially leading to suppression of testosterone or conversion to estrogen or DHT. On the other hand, some SARMs are more selective and may cause less suppression of testosterone or interference with the HPTA. It's crucial to select a PCT supplement that aligns with the type of cycle you undertook and addresses any hormonal concerns you might have.
  • The amount and length of time you take your cycle; Both the amount and length of time you take your cycle can impact your hormone levels and the intensity of side effects. In general a dose and longer duration can result in testosterone suppression as well as increased estrogen or DHT levels. It's important to select a PCT supplement that's sufficiently potent to counterbalance the dose and duration of your cycle, restoring your hormone levels back to normal.
  • When deciding on a PCT supplement it's crucial to consider both the ingredients used and the quality of the product. Opt for a PCT supplement that includes ingredients supported by research and known to provide benefits during post cycle therapy. Additionally prioritize supplements that boast quality and purity, ensuring they don't contain any illegal substances that could lead to negative effects or legal complications. To verify the ingredients and quality of a PCT supplement, take note of the label information, read reviews, look for certifications and check if third party testing has been conducted.
  • Considering the price and accessibility of the PCT supplement is essential when deciding which one to choose. It's important to find a PCT supplement that aligns with your budget and is readily available. Additionally, take into account factors such as shipping duration, quality customer service, refund policy and the reputation of the seller or manufacturer, behind the PCT supplement.

Considering these factors lets explore examples of the PCT supplements suitable for various types of cycles.

  • If you're considering a prohormone or SARM cycle, it typically involves using doses for shorter durations or compounds that have less suppressive or selective effects. For instance a mild prohormone cycle might consist of taking 300 mg of 1 Andro per day for 4 weeks. Similarly a mild SARM cycle could involve consuming 10 mg of Ostarine for 8 weeks. In cases you may not require a strong post cycle therapy (PCT) supplement since your hormone levels may not be significantly impacted. Instead opting for a natural PCT supplement that contains ingredients like ashwagandha, tribulus terrestris, DIM, longjack,  stinging nettle, milk thistle and zinc might suffice to stimulate testosterone production, regulate estrogen levels and safeguard liver health while preserving muscle mass. An example of such a PCT supplement is Alpha Testosterone Booster by Simply.
  • For a prohormone or SARM cycle, which refers to a cycle involving doses, durations or compounds, with moderate suppressive or selective effects there are some considerations. For instance, a moderate prohormone cycle could consist of taking Epiandro at 500 mg per day for a duration of 6 weeks. Alternatively, a moderate SARM cycle might involve LGD 4033 at 5 mg per day for 10 weeks. It's important to be aware that your hormone levels may be more affected and therefore may require a post cycle therapy (PCT) supplement. A pharmaceutical PCT supplement containing substances like Clomid or Nolvadex could be necessary to stimulate your HPTA (hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis) and boost LH (luteinizing hormone) and (follicle stimulating hormone) levels. It's worth noting that Clomid and Nolvadex are prescription drugs that cannot be legally purchased or used without supervision. Furthermore, these drugs may have side effects such as nausea, headaches, blurred vision, hot flashes and mood swings. 
  • For a prohormone or SARM cycle; A potent prohormone or SARM cycle refers to one that involves doses, longer durations or compounds, with significant suppressive or selective properties. For instance, a robust prohormone cycle might entail taking Superdrol at 20 mg daily for 8 weeks. Similarly a strong SARM cycle could involve RAD 140 at 20 mg per day for 12 weeks. When embarking on cycles, it's crucial to consider the need for a powerful post cycle therapy (PCT) supplement to address potential hormone imbalances and mitigate side effects. Achieving balance may require a combination of natural PCT supplements. Alongside Clomid or Nolvadex an aromatase inhibitor (AI) like Arimidex or Aromasin might also be necessary to regulate estrogen levels and minimize issues like gynecomastia, water retention, fat gain and mood swings. AI drugs work by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen. It's important to note that AI medications are prescription drugs and should only be used under supervision as they may have side effects such as pain, bone loss, cholesterol imbalance and liver toxicity.

You might also consider incorporating a supplement, for cycle therapy (PCT) that includes components like D aspartic acid, ashwagandha, tribulus terrestris, DIM longjack, stinging nettle, milk thistle and zinc. These ingredients can help support your body's testosterone production, maintain liver health and promote muscle mass. One example of a PCT supplement that combines natural elements is Alpha Testosterone Booster.

Conclusion

Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) plays a role in any cycle involving prohormones, steroids or SARMs where hormonal manipulation is involved. PCT aids in restoring natural hormone levels, minimizing side effects from the cycle and maintaining most of the gains achieved during the cycle.

To select the PCT supplement for your needs it's important to consider several factors. These include the type of cycle you completed, the dosage and duration of your cycle, the ingredients and quality of the PCT supplement, and its cost and availability.

Based on these considerations you may opt for a natural PCT supplement that includes elements like D aspartic acid, ashwagandha, tribulus terrestris, DIM (diindolylmethane) , Tongkat Ali, and Zinc. Alternatively, you might choose a pharmaceutical grade PCT supplement containing medications such as Clomid ( citrate), Nolvadex (tamoxifen), Arimidex (anastrozole), or Aromasin (exemestane). In some cases a combination of both pharmaceutical options could be suitable.