Post cycle therapy or PCT is essential after every steroid cycle. The purpose of PCT is to help the body system to recover from an extensive use of steroids. This is important as the body needs to be ready to sustain another steroid cycle otherwise a steroid user could face serious health issues if a second steroid cycle is started when the body is not ready yet.
The steroid recovery time for AAS can be linked to the time that it takes for steroid withdrawal symptoms to ease up. However, the question of how long to recover after a steroid cycle is a purely subjective one. The truth is, the timeline for recovery can vary from person to person and it really all depends on a number of factors.
Factors that influence Steroid Recovery time
Some of the key factors that are able to influence steroid recovery time include;
- The type of steroid administered,
- The length of steroid use,
- The average daily or weekly steroid dosage of the user,
- The frequency of steroid use,
- The mode of steroid use (i.e. whether it was administered by injection or orally),
- The way the steroid was used. Whether it was part of a stack or used with non-steroid drugs and alcohol,
- The medical history including their gender and BMI as well as the state of mental health of the steroid user,
Steroid recovery time can be anywhere from a few days to several weeks and months. There is really no set time to how a person recovers from steroid use. However, another factor that can play a vital role in determining how long to recover after a steroid cycle is the half-life of the steroid used by the bodybuilder.
The half-life of steroids is basically that period of time that a steroid is retained in the body system. Bodybuilders that use steroids with a long half-life for example, will naturally have a longer steroid recovery time. On the other hand, a short steroid recovery time will be expected for bodybuilders using steroids with a short half-life.
The half-life for some popular steroids used bodybuilders, powerlifters and athletes in general include;
- Anadrol: Between 5 and 9 hours,
- Anavar: about 9 hours,
- Deca-durabolin: approximately 2 weeks,
- Dianabol: Between 5 and 6 hours,
- Durabolin: approximately 5 days,
- Equipoise: In 2 weeks, and
- Winstrol: within 24 hours.
Determining the recovery time for steroid use especially when a stack of steroids has been used by bodybuilders can be tricky, as the half-life of the steroids in the stack could significantly vary. Once a steroid cycle ends or steroid use is no longer an option for a bodybuilder, he or she would experience withdrawal symptoms as part of the process towards recovery from steroid use.
Steroid Withdrawal Time-frame
Below is a typical withdrawal time-frame and some symptoms experienced by bodybuilders after the conclusion of a steroid cycle.
- Depending on the half-life of the steroid or steroids, within the first couple of days subsequent to the end of a steroid cycle, a bodybuilder may start to experience initial withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms could include; irritability, nausea and intermittent headaches.
- Within five days, bodybuilders may start to experience a drop in their energy levels, focus and even alertness. In addition, bodybuilders may encounter a number of psychological issues, such as; anxiety, mood swings and depression.
- By the end of a week into a steroid recovery time, bodybuilders may start to feel uncomfortable abdominal pains while also experiencing weight loss. Another symptom of withdrawal that may be experienced at this time is insomnia.
- In the second week, bodybuilders may continue to experience symptoms of steroid withdrawal, but not with the same level of intensity as in the first week. In time, the symptoms will gradually dissipate.
So typically, after two weeks of bodybuilders ending a steroid cycle, they should start to fully recover from their steroid use. However, as mentioned earlier, the steroid recovery time is purely subjective and should be viewed on an individual basis.
Steroid Recovery Time and Detox
While bodybuilders who use steroids can fully recover unaided after a period of time. There are those athletes that have been hooked on steroids for an extensive length of time who may require physician aided detox.
The steroid detox is simply a process involving critical steps towards completely freeing a patient’s body of steroids. During the detox process, a physician may prescribe certain medications that will help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and ultimately speed up steroid recovery time.