A common problem associated with steroids is how long do they stay in your system. You may want to have this information for a variety of reasons, but most commonly the reason is that athletes are tested for steroids.
If you are an athlete or a bodybuilder who takes steroids, this information can be of great importance. There have been many cases where athletes were tested positive for steroids, and that ended their careers. The time varies significantly from one steroid to another, so you have to find out what is the half-life of the particular steroid you are taking.
What is the Half-life of Steroid?
Half-life is a term you will come across often when dealing with steroids. The half-life is what determines how long the steroid remains in your system. It is defined as a time in which half the amount of steroid leaves your body. This is pretty relative, and half-life is only an indicator of how long it takes the compound to leave your system completely. The detection time may be different from half-life (more on that later).
This is how it works: you took 200 mg of Deca which has a half-life of 14 days. So in 14 days, your body will have 100 mg of Deca. Now, in another 14 days, this amount will become 50 mg. The amount of the steroid in your body keeps reducing by half every 14 days until it is completely gone. You can see that the longer the half-life, the longer it will take the steroid to be out of the system and be undetectable.
As you can see, it also partly depends on the amount of steroid you take. If you take more in one go, obviously it will take longer. For smaller amounts, especially for those steroids with shorter half-lives, the time it takes to become undetectable would be much shorter (usually hours).
The Half-life of Some Popular Steroids
There are just so many steroids nowadays, but it is not difficult to find their half-life. Most manufacturers provide this information in the packaging. Anabolic steroids are most popular among bodybuilders, but many athletes resort to these as well.
Here is the half-life of some of the most commonly used steroids:
|Deca Durabolin||14-16 days|
|Dianabol (Oral)||6-8 hours|
|Dianabol (Injectable)||72 hours|
|Masteron (Propionate)||2-3 days|
|Masteron (Enanthate)||8 days|
|Primobolan Depot||10-14 days|
|Winstrol (Oral)||8 hours|
|Winstrol (Injectable)||48 hours|
Bodybuilders also take testosterone base in addition to anabolic steroids for gaining muscle mass and cutting down on estrogenic effects of anabolic steroids. These too are steroids with a half-life ranging from few hours to days. Athletes only take those that have a shorter half-life so that they get out of their system quickly and do not get detected in steroid tests.
Here are some commonly used testosterone bases:
|Testosterone Acetate||48 hours|
|Testosterone Cypionate||16 days|
|Testosterone Enanthate||8 days|
|Testosterone Propionate||72 hours|
|Testosterone Suspension||24 hours|
If you are about to take a steroid detection test, you might want to know the half-life of some supplements as well. Most bodybuilders also take some supplements during steroid cycles or afterward as part of their recovery cycle.
Here are the most commonly used supplements and their corresponding half-life:
HGH’s half-life is highly debated as there is a rumor that it is undetectable. HGH which is a human growth hormone is difficult to detect. However, there are specialized tests that can quickly recognize the presence of HGH supplements in your body. These tests can detect and quantify HGH within 24 to 36 hours of intake.
Detection Time of Steroids
Detection time of a steroid is different from its half-life. While half-life is an indicator of the duration of the steroid’s presence in your body, the detection time is very different and hard to calculate. Detection time is simply the time from which you take a steroid to the time it can successfully be detected in a steroid test.
Detection times are difficult to calculate accurately and depend on some factors. There are complex equations involved in this process. However, you can find estimates of detection time by consulting professional bodybuilders as well who have been tested for said steroids.
There are estimates available online of the most popular anabolic steroids and testosterone esters. It is important to note that the detection time may differ based on how you are tested i.e. blood test or urine test. The latter is most commonly used for bodybuilders and athletes.
Nevertheless, the average detection time can help you prepare for a detection test and give you an idea of how early you should stop taking a steroid before the test.
Here are average detection times for some popular steroids:
|Deca Durabolin||18 months|
|Masteron (Propionate)||3 weeks|
|Masteron (Ethanate)||3 months|
|Testosterone Acetate||5 months|
|Testosterone Cypionate||3 months|
|Testosterone Enanthate||5 months|
|Testosterone Propionate||3 weeks|
|Testosterone Suspension||1-2 days|
What Affects the Half-Life and Detection Time of a Steroid?
The reason why it is difficult to calculate the exact detection time is that it can be influenced by some things. While half-life of the steroid is helpful, there may be other factors that may aid or prevent the detection of the steroid by a steroid detection test.
- Kind of Steroid: The most important of these factors is the potency of the drug. Where the steroid came from and its quality can also determine how long it takes for the steroid to be completely disposed from the system. The chemical structure of the steroid varies greatly and some steroids are hard to break down. These usually have a long half-life and therefore, longer detection time.
- Duration of the cycle: How long and how much you have been taking it may also affect its presence in your bloodstream. Obviously, the more you take, the longer it will take for it to get out. This is why overdosing of steroids is strictly prohibited because not only does it put a lot of stress on your body but also increases the chances of detection in the steroid detection test.
In fact, large doses may slow down your body’s metabolism to digest them. Your body might get more used to it and the compound may stay in the bloodstream for longer than usual.
- Your own body: Besides all the external factors, your own body has a major role in this scenario. Your body’s tolerance to the steroid, your metabolism rates, and your fluid levels may all affect the duration it takes the drug to leave your system. You can say that it is quite relative and the difference among different individuals may not be significant. However, since we are talking about strict steroid tests even a small amount may end up being detected if it is still there in the system past its normal detection time.
- Oral vs. Injectable: As you can see from the estimates above, injectable steroids stay in the system longer as compared with oral steroids. This is because oral steroids are absorbed readily by the blood and as a result, the liver processes them faster. Injectable steroids, on the other hand, release in the bloodstream at a much slower rate.
- Fat Solubility: Anabolic steroids are lipids which is why they are fat soluble. There are chances that traces of anabolic steroids may be stored in the fat. If absorbed, they can stay there for months too. Some steroid traces in the fat may even stay up to a year. But then again, bodybuilders end up with so little fat, so this should not be a big problem.
Can You Beat Steroid Tests?
Many athletes and bodybuilders want to know if they can beat a steroid test. Especially, when you are an athlete, you never know when you might need to be tested for steroids. The internet has many articles on how to beat a steroid test but do they work? Not really! As technology has improved so much over the years so have the tests for such compounds.
There was a time when companies started producing steroids that were supposed to be “undetectable” but it only failed after some time. The tests became more complex and even such designer steroids eventually were easily detected.
The only way you can beat a steroid test is by not overdoing steroids and strictly following the detection time. Again, the detection times listed above are average but they are quite close. You can stop doing steroids just in time to come clean in the test.
Steroids are pretty common nowadays among bodybuilders and athletes. Regardless of their legal status, it is easy to find them online. How long does it take a steroid to leave your system or get detected is dependent on some things. However, if you stop the intake at the right time, you do not have to worry about failing the test.
Detection may also depend on the type of test you are undergoing. The half-life of the steroid is your best chance at determining how long before the test should you stop taking steroids. It is better to take oral steroids than injectable steroids as the latter is more potent and leave gradually.