Natural Bodybuilding vs Steroid Bodybuilding: Which Is Better Health Wise?

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: December 13, 2023
Natural Bodybuilding vs Steroid Bodybuilding

When talking about bodybuilding, there are two common ways people do it: natural bodybuilding and steroid bodybuilding.

People who support each way often say their way is the best, which can make it hard to decide.

To figure out which way is better, you need to know what makes them different.

Natural bodybuilding is about building muscle by lifting weights, eating well, and getting enough rest.

Steroid bodybuilding uses special drugs to make muscles get bigger and stronger really fast.

Both ways can help you build muscle, but it’s important to think about the good and bad parts of each before you choose.

What Is Natural Bodybuilding?

Natural bodybuilding focuses on building muscles and improving how your body looks and performs. It is a way to get fit without using drugs like steroids or human growth hormone (HGH).

People who do natural bodybuilding focus on eating right, working out regularly, and getting enough rest to help them get the best results.

They follow a good diet plan. It includes a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats (macronutrients). It also contains vitamins and minerals (micronutrients). This helps them have enough energy for their workouts and helps their muscles grow.

They also use different weightlifting techniques. They use progressive overload and periodization to make their muscles bigger and stronger.

In addition, natural bodybuilders know that rest and not being too stressed are really important for helping their muscles recover, grow, and not get hurt.

In the end, natural bodybuilding is all about a healthy, drug-free way to reach your fitness goals. It focuses on being healthy in the long run instead of just trying to get quick results.

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Steroid Bodybuilding

Steroid bodybuilding means using drugs to enhance performance. Anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) are common. People use them to build muscle, get stronger, and improve performance.

These drugs boost hormone levels in your body. This makes your muscles grow faster. It also helps you recover from workouts quicker. Additionally, it lets you work out more.

Bodybuilders who use steroids can often get really muscular really fast. However, they also risk hurting their health and doing something that’s not really fair.

Using anabolic steroids can cause a lot of health problems. They can hurt your liver, mess up your heart, throw off your hormones, and cause mental issues.

Focusing on getting big and looking good in the short term by using steroids can mean not thinking about your long-term health and happiness. Also, it is.

Even though there are these risks, many bodybuilders still use these drugs because they want to have an advantage or get the body they want faster.

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If you’re thinking about using steroids for bodybuilding, it’s important to know the health risks, legal issues, and ethical problems that come with it.

serious side- effects of taking steroids for bodybuilding include:

  • Liver damage and toxicity
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Hormonal imbalances, leading to gynecomastia (male breast enlargement), testicular atrophy, and infertility in men, and menstrual irregularities, deepening of the voice, and facial hair growth in women
  • Acne and oily skin
  • Hair loss and male pattern baldness
  • Increased risk of tendon and ligament injuries due to rapid muscle growth
  • Adverse psychological effects, such as aggression, irritability, mood swings, and depression
  • Weakened immune system
  • Kidney damage or failure
  • Stunted growth in adolescents who have not yet reached their full height
  • Increased risk of blood clots and stroke
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia
  • Dependency and addiction potential
  • Legal consequences and ethical concerns related to the use of banned substances

Natural vs Steroids Bodybuilder

There are some big differences in how natural bodybuilders and steroid bodybuilders train, the results they get, and the risks they take.

Natural bodybuilders don’t use drugs. They focus on eating right, working out regularly, and getting enough rest to help their muscles grow and get stronger. They care about making progress over a long period of time and work hard to build bodies that are strong in many ways.

Steroid bodybuilders use drugs like anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (HGH). They want their muscles to grow faster and recover from workouts quicker. They can often get big really fast, but this way of bodybuilding can cause health problems, get them in trouble with the law, and isn’t really fair.

The biggest difference between natural and steroid bodybuilders is the health risks from using these drugs. Steroid bodybuilders can damage their liver and kidneys. They can also have heart problems, mess up their hormones, and have mental issues.

But natural bodybuilders focus on being healthy for a long time by eating a balanced diet, working out in smart ways, and getting enough rest.

People also see these two ways of bodybuilding differently. Most people think natural bodybuilding is healthier and fair. They believe this because it’s about hard work, dedication, and patience.

But people might not think well of steroid bodybuilding. It’s tied to cheating, scandals, and caring more about quick results than long-term health.

In the end, whether someone chooses natural or steroid bodybuilding depends on what they value. It depends on their goals and what risks they’re willing to take.

If you’re thinking about either way, it’s really important to understand the good parts, the bad parts, and what could happen before you decide.

Reasons To Be a Natural Bodybuilder:

Long-Term Health and Sustainability

Natural bodybuilding is all about being healthy for a long time. It focuses on eating right, working out regularly, and getting enough rest. Natural bodybuilders don’t use drugs that enhance performance, which can have harmful side effects. This way, they keep their bodies healthy and can keep working towards their fitness goals for many years.

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Ethical Considerations

Choosing the natural bodybuilding path reflects a commitment to fair play and sportsmanship. Natural bodybuilders adhere to drug-free principles. They demonstrate that impressive physiques and athletic achievements can be attained through hard work, dedication, and patience. They do not resort to shortcuts or banned substances. This ethical stance earns them respect and admiration within the fitness community.

Mental Well-Being

Natural bodybuilding not only benefits physical health but also contributes to mental well-being. Following a structured diet, training regimen, and recovery plan requires discipline. This instills a strong sense of self-control and self-mastery. In addition, knowing that progress comes from hard work can boost self-esteem, confidence, and personal satisfaction.

Lower Risk of Injuries

Natural bodybuilders work hard to avoid getting hurt by using smart training methods. They also make sure they’re doing their exercises right. They build strength and muscle slowly and steadily. This gives their tendons, ligaments, and joints time to grow stronger along with their muscles. This makes it less likely for them to get strains, tears, and other injuries that can happen if they try to grow too fast or put too much stress on their bodies.

Financial Savings

Being a natural bodybuilder can also save you money. Drugs that improve performance can cost a lot. If you keep using them, it can be really hard on your wallet. Natural bodybuilders choose not to use drugs. Instead, they use their money for good food, gym memberships, and other things that help them get healthier and better at bodybuilding over time.


Natural bodybuilding is a safer way to build muscles than traditional bodybuilding. Traditional bodybuilding often uses drugs to speed up muscle growth.

These drugs can cause serious health problems. For example, strokes, heart attacks, failing livers, and mental disorders.

Natural bodybuilders don’t use these drugs. Instead, they focus on eating a lot of protein and carbs. They also follow a workout routine that includes enough rest.

Also, all athletes have to follow rules that say they can’t use drugs and can only use approved supplements during competitions.

By focusing on natural ways to grow muscles, natural bodybuilding lets people reach their fitness goals in a healthy and lasting way.

Dave Moffat

Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.