After completing a cycle of steroids or prohormones, you’ll likely find that your body’s natural hormone levels are out of whack.
Fortunately, taking a post-cycle therapy can help restore your body’s natural testosterone production and offset the adverse side effects of suppression.
Until your hormone production returns to normal, you won’t be able to start another cycle. If you’re new to the world of post-cycle therapies and steroid cycles, you’re probably wondering what to take.
Picking the right product can help you recover faster and get you back into the gym to maintain your gains.
This guide will explain what post-cycle therapies do, what you should look for, as well as introduce you to a few top products.
What Exactly is a Post Cycle Therapy?
A post-cycle therapy (PCT) is a treatment protocol used to restore the body’s natural balance after a cycle of steroid use. These treatments are designed to help your body recover from the adverse effects that can be caused by steroid use, such as hormone imbalances and the suppression of the body’s natural production of testosterone.
Post-cycle therapies are made from a variety of substances, depending on the specific therapy. Some common ingredients include testosterone boosters, estrogen blockers, and liver detoxifiers.
By inhibiting or promoting certain hormonal functions, these compounds help level your internal balance in preparation for another cycle.
While taking post-cycle therapy, you’ll likely experience a shift in how you feel. Your exact reaction may vary, but you can generally expect to feel an improvement in your mood, increased energy levels, and a return to normal hormone levels.
Continue reading as we introduce you to the most optimal protocols for recovering your testosterone levels.
The Different Post Cycle Therapy Protocols
There are a variety of post cycle therapy (PCT) protocols that can be used, depending on the needs of the individual.
The most common PCT protocols include the use of either clomiphene citrate (Clomid) or tamoxifen citrate (Nolvadex), both of which are selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).
Another popular method is Rebirth by Huge Supplements, a natural yet effective option for mild cycles.
SERMs are a type of drug that blocks the effects of estrogen in some tissues while mimicking the effects of estrogen in other tissues. This makes them helpful in treating conditions such as breast cancer, where it is important to block the effects of estrogen in some tissues, but not others.
They’re also effective post cycle therapies because they can offset hormonal imbalances caused by testosterone suppression.
Before settling on a specific post-cycle therapy, though, you need to make your own choice as to which products you can take. We’ll briefly go over the differences between both products and introduce a possible alternative.
Tamoxifen citrate, or Nolvadex, is a drug commonly used in post-cycle therapies. It is a SERM, or selective estrogen receptor modulator, that helps restore the body’s natural balance of hormones after prolonged anabolic steroid use. When taking a cycle, you’ll find that your body’s natural testosterone levels drop, thereby increasing estrogen levels.
Nolvadex offsets these effects by actively inhibiting estrogen production. It’s often used to prevent or reverse gynecomastia (breast tissue enlargement) and restore normal testosterone production. The only downside to Nolvadex is that it’s a prescription medication and can only be taken according to a doctor’s directive.
A typical Nolvadex dosage is between 20 to 40 milligrams per day, divided across two doses. Standard Nolvadex PCT cycles last from 4 to 6 weeks, during which time you may experience side effects such as headaches, nausea, tenderness in your pecs, and general fatigue.
These side effects are usually mild and should disappear within the first week of starting the drug.
Clomid, or clomiphene citrate, is a synthetic hormone developed initially to help stimulate ovulation. It is often prescribed to women who have difficulty ovulating, such as those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Clomid is also used as a post cycle therapy (PCT) to help restore normal testosterone production after anabolic steroid use.
As with other SERMs, Clomid works by blocking the effects of estrogen on the body. This helps to increase the natural production of testosterone. When used as a PCT, Clomid helps to offset testosterone suppression and minimize the risks of estrogen-related side effects, such as gynecomastia, bloating, and abdominal issues.
Clomid is highly effective as a PCT. When used in combination with other PCT supplements such as Nolvadex, it can help restore normal testosterone production and minimize the risk of side effects in just 4 weeks. Unfortunately, though, like Nolvadex, Clomid is also a prescription medication.
If approved, your doctor will likely prescribe a dosage between 50 and 100 milligrams per day. While taking the therapy, you may experience headaches, tenderness in your pecs, and nausea, but these symptoms should pass within the first week.
If the idea of taking prescription compounds puts you off, we recommend Rebirth as your PCT.
This product is available without a prescription that’s highly tacked and proven to help restore your body’s natural hormone production – Rebirth PCT.
Rebirth PCT is made by Huge Supplements, a leading manufacturer of bodybuilding supplements formulated with effective, science-backed ingredients. It contains proven compounds such as Arimistane, D-Aspartic Acid and Ashwagandha.
We recommend taking it after a mild-to-medium cycle to help restore your body’s hormone balance, especially since you can purchase and use it without supervision. It’s well-reviewed and respected within the community with over 500 satisfied user reports and you could join those ranks.
Rebirth PCT is available online through the official Huge Supplements website, which you can find by clicking this link.
Start with a dose of 6 capsules every day, split throughout the day, and continue taking the product from 1 to 2 months, depending on your suppression. Again, this only works for light cycles.
How Long Does a Post-Cycle Therapy Take?
The answer to this question can vary depending on the individual and the specific post-cycle therapy being used.
Some therapies may only require a few weeks, while others may require several months. It all depends on how out of whack your hormone levels are and how potent your therapy is.
Before settling on a product, consider these factors:
- The type of PEDs you took– It is generally agreed that steroids with a stronger androgenic effect (such as testosterone) will have a greater impact on hormone levels than those with a weaker androgenic effect. If you’ve been taking testosterone-based steroids, you’ll likely have to take a longer course of PCTs.
- The dosage of PEDs you took – Typically, the higher the dose of a steroid, the higher the levels of hormones that are produced. If you’ve been cycling high dosages, you’ll need to offset the effects using a longer course of PCTs.
- The length of your PEDs cycle – If you’ve been cycling for more than 12 weeks, you’ll likely need a longer course of PCTs to restore your body’s natural hormone levels. The longer you cycle, the more your hormones will be suppressed, and the longer it will take for them to return to normal. A 4 to 8-week course of PCTs is generally recommended for those who have been cycling for more than 12 weeks.
Other Supplements for Your Cycle
If you’re not already taking support supplements while on a cycle, it’s best to start doing so. These supplements can help minimize the amount of damage done to your muscles and organs and help you recover more quickly.
Check out these top two support supplements and be sure to add them to your stack.
Cycle Support – Organ and Liver Support
When you take steroids, your liver and kidneys have to work harder to clear the drugs from your system. This can lead to an increase in liver and kidney enzymes and fluid retention.
If left untreated, these conditions can lead to serious health problems. That’s why it’s important to take a cycle support to protect your liver and kidneys while you’re on a cycle.
These supplements can help protect your organs and keep them functioning properly. We recommend taking Defend from Huge Supplements. It contains a long list of active ingredients, including:
- Milk Thistle Extract – Milk thistle is a popular herb that has been shown to protect the liver from damage. It contains a compound called silymarin, which helps to protect the liver from toxins and free radicals. Milk thistle can also help to improve liver function and reduce inflammation.
- N-acetyl-cysteine – N-acetyl-cysteine is a compound derived from the amino acid cysteine. It helps protect the liver from damage and can also help to improve liver function.
- Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid – TUDCA is a natural bile acid that supports liver health. It is produced by the body and is also found in certain foods. TUDCA has been shown to help protect the liver from damage, improve liver function, and promote healthy liver function.
- Hawthorne Berry Extract – Hawthorne berry is a popular herb that has been shown to protect the kidneys from damage. It contains a compound called oligomeric procyanidins, which help to protect the kidneys from toxins and free radicals. Hawthorne berry extract can also help to improve kidney function and reduce inflammation.
- Saw Palmetto Extract – Saw Palmetto extract contains several active ingredients, including fatty acids, sterols, and flavonoids. These ingredients are thought to work together to support the health of the liver.
Combined, these ingredients help detoxify your liver and prevent it from swelling or becoming inflamed during the course of your cycle.
It’s available on Huge Supplements’ official website, which you can access by clicking here.
Blood Pressure Support – Cardiovascular Support
One of the most serious long-term effects of anabolic steroid use involves the heart and cardiovascular system.
According to a study published in the journal “Circulation” in 2010, anabolic steroid use can cause significant damage to the heart, including increased risk of heart attack and stroke. For this reason, it’s incredibly important that you take a blood pressure support while running a cycle.
These supplements help promote heart health, offsetting the inflammatory effects of a steroid or prohormone cycle.
We highly recommend Vital, from Huge Supplements, if you’re not already taking a blood pressure support, as it’s formulated with one of the most comprehensive lists of ingredients.
In every dose, you’ll find 12 active compounds, including:
- Magnesium – Magnesium helps to keep the heart rhythm regular and also helps to keep the blood pressure under control. Additionally, magnesium helps to keep the arteries elastic, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Garlic Extract – Garlic is a superstar when it comes to heart health. It can help lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, and improve blood flow.
- Coenzyme Q10 – Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a vitamin-like substance found in every cell of the body. It is necessary for basic cellular functioning and is especially important for organs with high energy needs, such as the heart.
- Hibiscus Flower Extract – Hibiscus can help lower blood pressure by blocking angiotensin II, a hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict. This can help to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Vital helps reduce inflammation, expand blood vessels, and lower blood pressure, along with its other ingredients.
These effects will greatly improve your overall heart health, especially while completing a cycle. Order a bottle of Vital from Huge Supplement’s official website, click here to visit the official product page.
Which Post Cycle Therapy Should You Use?
It’s hard to recommend a post-cycle therapy protocol when you don’t know all the details. You will need to consider your individual needs and preferences when choosing a product but some of the factors to keep in mind include:
- Types of PCTs – Some PCTs are only available with a prescription. Clomid and Nolvadex are both highly effective yet harsh on the system.
- Dosages – Depending on the length of your cycle and the types of steroids you’ve taken, you may need something more powerful. However, if you’ve only taken a short course of steroids at low dosages, you can probably get by with an over-the-counter PCT.
- Cost – Prescription medications are often far more expensive than over-the-counter products. If you can get by with a non-prescription PCT, we recommend avoiding higher costs at the pharmacy.
Our best advice is to stick with over-the-counter brands, such as Rebirth PCT. As long as your cycle was mild and didn’t extend past 8 weeks and you adhered to lower dosages, you likely won’t need the intense effects of a prescription medication such as Clomid or Nolvadex.
However, if you’ve recently finished a heavy cycle, you may want to turn to the stronger SERMs.
PCT Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re curious to learn more about post-cycle therapies or still have questions, check out our answers to some of the most commonly asked inquiries we get from our readers.
If we don’t answer your questions here, let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to reply.
When Do I Start My Post Cycle Therapy?
There is no definitive answer to this question as everyone’s body will respond differently. Still, most bodybuilders recommend starting post cycle therapy (PCT) as soon as you’ve taken your last dose of testosterone.
This ensures that your body has enough time to recover and avoid any potential negative side effects.
Do You Really Have to Use a Post-Cycle Therapy?
Yes, it’s essential that you take a post-cycle therapy after completing a course of steroids or prohormones. If not, your body will not recover successfully and it could take months for your testosterone levels to bounce back.
You’ll experience harsh side effects during this time, such as decreased libido, weight gain, and muscle loss.
Should I Continue Training During PCT?
Yes, it’s important that you continue training during PCT to prevent muscular degeneration. If you stop training entirely, you may lose some of the muscle you gained while on cycle.
However, you don’t need to train as intensely as you did while on cycle. A moderate level of training should be sufficient, including cardio and basic weight training.
Should I Watch My Diet During PCT?
You definitely don’t want to go overboard with your diet during PCT, but you should still aim to eat healthy and balanced meals. This will help ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to recover from your last cycle and prepare you for your next cycle.
During this time, try to consume plenty of healthy fats that will help naturally restore testosterone production.
Will I Experience Any Side Effects During Post Cycle Therapy?
PCTs are a form of hormone therapy so, yes, you’ll likely experience some side effects. These may include general fatigue, low libido, brain fog, and tenderness in your pecs.
However, as your testosterone levels climb back up to a natural level, you’ll begin to feel more energetic, happier, and all-around more pleasant. Any negative side effects should dissipate within a few weeks.
How Soon Will My Testosterone Bounce Back?
It’s difficult to give an exact answer because your body will react differently depending on the length of your cycle, the dosages, and the types of steroids you took.
That being said, though, most bodybuilders see a marked improvement in their testosterone levels within the first month. We recommend continuing the therapy for at least 6 weeks, though, to restore your testosterone levels completely.
Do SARMs and Prohormones Also Require PCT?
Although a handful of studies suggest that certain SARMs do not cause testosterone suppression, the overwhelming majority of these compounds will inhibit your body’s natural testosterone production. The same goes for prohormone therapies.
Therefore, you will still have to take a PCT if you take these products instead of steroids. If you’re looking for non-suppressive muscle builders, we recommend Ecdysterone, from Huge Supplements.
A post-cycle therapy (PCT) is a period of time following anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) use during which an individual attempt to restore their natural hormone levels.
Following a PCT is necessary for two primary reasons. The first reason is that AAS use can suppress the body’s natural testosterone production. The second reason is that AAS use can increase the body’s estrogen levels.
Both of these effects can have negative consequences if left unchecked. A PCT can help reverse these effects and restore the body’s natural hormone levels.
When taken over 4 weeks, PCTs can help increase testosterone levels, reduce estrogen levels, and reduce the risks of gynecomastia, hair loss, testicular shrinkage, and acne.
Some of the most common PCTs include Clomid, Rebirth and Nolvadex. Taking either of these products requires a prescription and they may come with side effects. They’re only used for heavy cycles.
If you’d rather take a non-prescription PCT, we recommend checking out Rebirth PCT from Huge Supplements. It’s not as effective, but it does the job for mild cycles and can be purchased over the counter.
This article has been supplied by Huge Supplements, a paid advertiser. Content has not been independently verified by Los Angeles magazine.