Testosterone is a hormone which occurs naturally in the human body and although present in both sexes, is generally much higher in men.
As well as playing an integral role in areas such as muscle mass, libido, erectile and prostate function and hair growth, it has many other effects too. Not having enough testosterone can cause low mood, fatigue, sleep problems and also difficulties with cognitive ability.
A lack of testosterone can lead to a number of medical problems and will need to be treated pharmaceutically in most cases.
However, as well as treating medical problems, scientists discovered that testosterone could provide additional benefits, particularly to athletes. This was first identified in the 1930s when testosterone was created in a laboratory, the first in a long line of anabolic steroids which would later follow.
Testosterone suspension was the first variant created, although in later years’ additional variants with esters attached would also be released (enanthate, propionate and cypionate). Suspension is the version which is believed to have been first used by the Russians to achieve their success in the Olympics.
The lack of an ester means that although testosterone suspension is still available, it’s generally not used by physicians because it’s less convenient than other versions. It is still used for the purposes of performance enhancement where many value its rapid onset and potent effect, but often it’s not without complications (see below).
In the US, testosterone suspension can still be found under the Aquaviron brand. This is one of the most well known forms of it, with very few others found globally.
Can Testosterone Suspension be taken on its own?
Like all forms of testosterone supplements, suspension can be used on its own to great effect. This is one of the most androgenic of the steroids and it’s possible to secure substantial gains in mass and strength with its use, even without stacking.
However, the problem with suspension is that it has a very short half life compared to other available variants. And this coupled with the problems with administration (see more below) mean that it’s very rarely chosen as the sole steroid for a cycle.
In many cases testosterone suspension is used as a fast-acting drug to cover a short gap before other steroids start to work.
Using a testosterone suspension stack is one of the more common uses of the drug and it can be used in a variety of ways.
Because there are now more convenient forms of testosterone available, suspension is rarely used other than when a rapid response is desirable. Stacking testosterone suspension with other steroids can be great for kick starting a cycle while waiting for the other drugs to reach their full effect. Used in this way, it wouldn’t be unusual to run test suspension for 4-6 weeks as part of a much longer cycle.
The other common use for testosterone is to replace the natural testosterone in the body. Because production stops in the presence of anabolic steroids, adding testosterone to a stack can help prevent the unwanted symptoms of shut down.
However, although test suspension could help to avert the symptoms of shut down during a cycle, there are more convenient forms of the hormone available to take which don’t cause the same problems with administration.
How it is administered
Testosterone suspension is administered via injection, but this is often far more of a problem than with other injectable steroids despite only a very fine needle being required (27 gauge).
Done correctly, most users won’t experience any significant pain with anabolic steroid injections but unfortunately that’s not the case with testosterone injections. The injection is typically quite painful, particularly the versions which use oil or propylene glycol as a suspension rather than water.
The pain of testosterone suspension can be so severe; it may temporarily be impossible to lift the limb which was used as the site of the injection. A big bump can also be visible where the testosterone was injected which can be an issue for some users too.
The usual dosage for testosterone suspension is 50-100mg per day. Many users will find benefits at the lower end of this dosage range, and the risk of side effects increases with higher doses.
The half life of testosterone suspension can vary somewhat depending on whether oil or water is used. However, regardless of the exact suspension, the half life is less than 24 hours. For this reason, daily injections are required.
In some cases, the daily dose is broken down into two daily injections, particularly when using a water based suspension. However, opinion is divided over whether this is strictly necessary because the water suspension creates a crystalline deposit where injected which slows the release down somewhat.
Testosterone is renowned for its ability to build muscle and add mass, but it also provides a number of extra benefits too.
The skeletal system receives a boost from the intake of testosterone suspension as it helps to improve bone density and support the production of collagen. These features protect joints from some of the stress they are put under during intense training.
And the training may be even more intense while the user is taking testosterone: this is because the circulation of red blood cells receives a boost. This in turn allows more oxygen to be delivered to the muscles, heightening endurance.
During a cycle, testosterone can help with fat loss by interacting with the androgen receptors on the fat cells. This stops more fat from being stored away and helps it to be burned as a primary source of fuel. Nutrition portioning is another useful feature, directing more energy to the muscles and away from fat cells.
Any anabolic steroid can produce side effects, including all variants of testosterone, but arguably test suspension can be more problematic than many. This is because the drug is taken up by the body so quickly, that it’s difficult to control the appearance and severity of the side effects which do occur, particularly those which are estrogenic. Counterbalancing this is the fact that testosterone is produced naturally in the body, so often this type of anabolic steroid is tolerated better than others.
Testosterone is a very androgenic drug and suspension is a far more potent form than other versions of testosterone. This is because there is no ester to take up some of the room, it’s simply testosterone itself suspended in fluid. Compared milligram by milligram, testosterone suspension is the strongest form of the drug.
Effects such as acne and growth of extra body hair may be seen in some men. In addition, any males who are genetically inclined towards male pattern baldness may find that the hair loss is accelerated.
Despite being strongly androgenic, testosterone can also produce estrogenic side effects due to the interaction with the aromatase enzyme. By pushing up the estrogen levels within the body, unwanted side effects such as gynecomastia and water retention can occur. This is not only unsightly but potentially risky too because water retention can lead to raised blood pressure.
Running high levels of estrogen can also lead to higher percentages of body fat. This is unlikely to happen at a lower dosage.
There’s two possible ways to combat estrogenic activity, other than ceasing intake of the drug: SERMS or AIs.
Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) such as Arimidex are the more powerful option of the two, but should remain a last resort because they have a potentially negative impact on cholesterol. SERMs such as Nolvadex may not be as potent as an AI but in many cases they are sufficient to counteract the estrogenic effect. In addition, they have a positive impact on the cholesterol so provide extra benefits too.
The estrogenic effects of testosterone suspension are often trickier to control than with other variants which have an ester attached. This is because the drug works so quickly on the body, the response can be rapid and strong. Therefore, even if other forms of testosterone have not produced significant estrogenic effects, testosterone suspension may still prove a problem.
As mentioned above, the estrogenic effects of testosterone suspension can cause water retention which in turn can lead to high blood pressure. It is therefore very important to help minimize the water retention as much as possible. One way to do this is to ensure that your diet is correct and that you’re not taking in too many calories, especially in carbohydrates.
If your calorific consumption is too high, the extra will result in water retention, which could cause blood pressure issues.
In addition, testosterone has the potential to negatively influence cholesterol, lowering the healthy HDL part. This effect is not often particularly severe when testosterone is taken on its own, but when combined with an AI to combat estrogenic effects, the result can be very significant. As well as lowering HDL, this duo of drug types can also cause unhealthy LDL to increase.
Therefore, to combat cardiovascular side effects when taking test suspension, the importance of a clean, balanced diet and sufficient exercise cannot be overstated. This includes cardiovascular exercise, even when on a bulking cycle, as it won’t affect lean mass being added.
Androgenic effects occur with the use of testosterone because of its interaction with the 5-alpha reductase enzyme which in turn converts the hormone to dihydrotestosterone. This can cause male pattern baldness in those who are genetically predisposed to the condition. This will cease when the drug is stopped but the effects will not be reversed.
By using a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (such as Finasteride), the effect can be significantly reduced and is often advised in men who have a family history of male pattern baldness.
Unlike some oral compounds, testosterone suspension is not hepatotoxic.
In some cases, users have reported changes in their mood – the infamous ‘roid rage’. This may present as anger, aggression or even anxiety. The risk of this climbs as the amount of testosterone used increases.
If any undesirable effects occur during a testosterone suspension cycle, intake should be ceased immediately and the drug allowed to clear from the system. However, some individuals should seek medical advice before contemplating taking test suspension, including anyone with a history of any of the following:
- Raised cholesterol
- Heart attack or other cardiac disease
- Abnormally high levels of red blood cells
- Respiratory disease
- Excessive retention of water
- Renal disease
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
Testosterone has also not been proven to be safe for use in women who are breastfeeding or pregnant.
If you are taking corticosteroids or corticotropin you should seek medical advice before taking testosterone suspension because the effects may be greatly enhanced.
In addition, testosterone is not advised if you are taking anticoagulants such as warfarin because the risk of bleeding is increased.
Is Testosterone Suspension best suited to cutting, bulking or both?
Testosterone suspension can be used for both cutting and bulking because it has actions which both add bulk and prevent the accumulation of fat. It can also help to promote fat burning by blocking the receptors on fat cells.
However, the speed of the testosterone suspension means that it can sometimes be tricky to prevent estrogenic side effects which is counterproductive to cutting. The side effects can cause water retention and a somewhat “puffy” appearance so for this reason, this variant of testosterone is often used for bulking rather than cutting.
If it is going to be used for cutting, a good AI is essential along with a clean diet and commitment to intensive exercise, including a regular cardiovascular workout.
Is it safe for women to use?
Although testosterone suspension is extremely effective for building muscle and mass, it is not recommended for use within women. This is because it is extremely androgenic and carries the risk of virilization.
Any woman who decided to try it should stick to very low doses and monitor closely for signs of virilization such as a deepening voice and enlargement of the clitoris.
Although it’s extremely potent, at an appropriately low dose, test suspension may be one of the more suitable forms for a female to try. This is because it has a very short half life and exits the body rapidly. This means that if testosterone side effects are experienced, they will be very short-lived providing use is halted immediately.
Type of PCT needed after the end of the cycle
All anabolic steroids require PCT following a cycle and testosterone suspension is no exception. When the body is presented with an external source of testosterone, it shuts down production to prevent too much being created.
When you stop taking the testosterone, the body can take quite a long time to return to normal testosterone levels. If you abuse testosterone or other anabolic steroids by taking doses which are too high or by not cycling properly, this production may never return.
When you buy testosterone shots, it’s important to make sure it is human grade. Injections of this steroid can already be very painful and if it’s not of the best quality, it could cause infection too.
Although it is possible to buy testosterone suspension, the availability of it isn’t as great as other forms such as enanthate, cypionate and propionate. This is because there’s not much demand for this variant because of the difficulties with administration and the frequency at which it needs to be taken.
You can expect to pay around $20 for four ampoules which each contain 1ml of the testosterone supplement, each containing 25mg per ml.
Sports that use it
Testosterone has the potential to assist athletes in almost every sport. Perfect for building muscle and adding strength, it can benefit everyone from bodybuilders to track athletes.
However, testosterone suspension is often not the drug of choice because it requires frequent dosage and painful injections. With a variety of esters now available, demand for this is much lower than when it was originally produced.
The only exception are athletes looking for a very quick clearance. The half life is less than 24 hours and it is believed to completely exit the body within 48 hours, allowing the user to test “clean” during a competition.
Legality of purchase and its usage in the US
All forms of synthetic testosterone, including suspension, are classed as a Schedule III controlled substance in the US.
This means it is illegal to use or distribute the drug without a prescription from a physician and this can only be obtained for a medical condition. Physicians are not permitted to give out prescriptions for performance enhancement, which means that unless you have a medical condition which requires the prescription of testosterone to treat it, you won’t be able to obtain this drug legally in the US.
Penalties for the distribution and also the possession of testosterone for personal use include a hefty fine and possibly even a custodial sentence.
Other countries in the world such as Canada and the UK do not allow the sale of testosterone legally, but their laws don’t consider the possession of it for personal use a criminal offense.
It is possible to buy testosterone suspension online or in some countries in the world, but the drug cannot be legally brought back into the US.