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Literally every athlete knows about the benefits of thyroid hormones in training. When a person takes substitutes of the hormone T4 or T3, the body burns fat faster. Most importantly, muscle mass increases rapidly. Also, the muscles become more prominent.

Since the body burns more calories while an athlete takes the pills, he or she may even forget about the strict diet. Still, better continue to monitor your nutrition.

As a rule, athletes prefer to combine thyroid hormone medications with anabolic steroids. Thus, the muscle mass grows even faster. Most often, such people resort to hormone substitutes during unplanned muscle building cycles.

The goal is to increase muscle mass without storing fat.

But what is better to choose for these purposes – substitutes of the hormone T4 or T3? I'll tell you more about their differences, pros and cons.

Advantages of T4 hormone in sports and its differences from T3

Most often, athletes choose the synthetic thyroid hormone Synthroid. It has the same effect as the endogenous hormone thyroxin-4 (T-4). However, you might also choose the synthetic hormone triidothyronine (T-3). Roughly speaking, it is four times stronger than the first one. Accordingly, better choose a less potent substance in order not to harm yourself.

What to choose - substitutes of the hormone T4 or T3?

Also, keep in mind that a healthy person has sufficient amounts of both thyroid hormones, T-3 and T-4, in the body. Primarily, both act regulating the metabolic rate. By taking synthetic analogs of the hormone T4 or T3, you provide yourself with an accelerated metabolism. In other words, proteins, fats and carbohydrates get converted faster, and the body burns more calories.

To succeed, athletes usually start with a relatively small dose of Synthroid, and increase it slowly and gradually. For example, you can start with 25 mcg or 100 mcg of the hormone T4 pills and gradually (once a day or two days) increase the dose by 25-50 mcg per step. The total dose should not exceed 200-400 mcg.

In addition, note that taking the medicine for longer than 6-8 weeks for non-medical purposes can harm you. Before a break, also gradually reduce the dosage to avoid unpleasant consequences.

Disadvantages of the synthetic hormone T4 and differences from T3 substitutes

Unfortunately, a T4 hormone drug can cause a number of side effects. Moreover, often unpleasant consequences occur after you finish the course, especially with abrupt cancellation. An athlete deciding on medication-assisted training should know about such side effects as excessive sweating, tremors, heart palpitations, insomnia, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and weight loss. At the same time, T3 hormone medicines are much stronger, so a person should use them with even greater caution.

Author - Antonio C. Bianco, MD, PhD.