Testosterone Propionate is the shortest-estered testosterone steroid. It’s an injectable compound with a slower rate of release than un-esterified Testosterone, but a faster rate of release than all the rest of esterified testosterones.There are some advantages and disadvantages to the short acting ester. The major disadvantage is that users have to inject Testosterone Propionate at minimum every other day throughout the cycle to get proper results. The advantages, however, are easier control and prevention of potential side effects. Also because there is less ester per vial, there is more actual testosterone per injection, which produces better results. The Propionate ester expands Testosterone’s half-life to about 4 and a half days.
Biochemistry of Testosterone Propionate
Testosterone Propionate is simply Testosterone with the Propionate ester bound it’s chemical structure. The ‘Propionate’ is Propionic acid, but once bound to Testosterone it is known as an ester bond (or ester linkage). Propinoic acid is bonded to the 17-beta hydroxyl group on the Testosterone structure. Esterified anabolic steroids are more fat soluble, and release slowly from the injection site. The main reason for the increased half-life and release rate is because once Testosterone Propionate enters the bloodstream, enzymes work to break the bond between the ester and the testosterone, which takes a varying amount of time – depending on which ester is used. In the end enzymes remove the ester, and what is left is pure Testosterone which is free to do its work in the body. Testosterone alone with no ester bonded to it has a half-life of approximately 2 to 4 hours. When the Propionate ester is bonded to it, the half-life of Testosterone extends to about 4 and a half days.
Testosterone promotes nitrogen retention in the muscle – the more nitrogen the muscle holds the more protein it can store, and the bigger it gets. Testosterone also increases the body’s IGF-1 levels. IGF-1’s principal role is to coordinate growth and metabolism. IGF-I is highly dependent on growth hormone to complement it’s growth promoting activity.
Intended use of Testosterone Propionate
Testosterone Propionate has been vastly used for medical treatments shortly after its release in the 1930’s. Among other it was used for treatment for male androgen deficiency (andropause or hypogonadism), treatment for sexual dysfunction, and treatment for menopause, treatment for chronic dysfunctional uterine bleeding (menorrhagia), treatment for endometriosis. Later on testosterone would only be used for male patients.
Actual use of Testosterone Propionate
Testosterone Propionate is one of the most popular anabolic steroids even today – 80 years after it’s invention. It is widely used by bodybuilders and athletes for the purpose of physique and performance enhancement. Testosterone itself is considered the most natural and safest anabolic steroid a person can use. The Propionate ester is suggested for any first time steroid user.
How to use Testosterone Propionate?
The most common dosage for Testosterone Propionate is:
- 50 to 100mg every day
- 50 to 100mg every 2nd day
Every 3rd day should be the absolute minimum because that’s near the border of Propionate activity timespan.
Where to inject Testosterone Propionate
It can be injected into any muscle (if the muscle is big enough). The most popular being buttocks, shoulder or even triceps.
Effects of Testosterone Propionate (desirable)
There are principally two desirable effects of Testosterone:
- physical / athletic performance enhancement (endurance, strength, faster regeneration)
- physique enhancement (muscle buildup, fat loss)
The rest of desirable testosterone effects that an individual might experience during the steroid cycle, include:
- increase in collagen synthesis and bone mineral content. Collagen is the protein-based construction material for connective tissues throughout the body (the ligaments, tendons, cartilage, joints, and bones).
- heightened self esteem
- deeper (manly) voice
- darkening and thickening of body hair
- increase in levels of IGF-1 and MGF hormones (which also promote muscle growth)
- increased hemoglobin (red blood cell count)
- anti-catabolic effect on muscle tissues by way of acting as an anti-glucocorticoid
Side effects of Testosterone Propionate (and how to counter them)
Estrogenic side effects of Testosterone:
The primary side effects of Testosterone Propionate surround its ability to aromatize into Estrogen. Testosterone itself possesses a moderate level of Estrogenic activity – it holds a moderate affinity to bind to the aromatase enzyme (the enzyme responsible for the conversion of Testosterone into Estrogen). Because of that, a moderate level of aromatization is expected from Testosterone use. To counter this problem there are two solutions:
- Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) like Tamoxifen Citrate or Clomifene function by binding to the estrogen receptors – filling them and preventing actual estrogen from binding.
- Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) like Anastrozole function by inhibiting the aromatase process and even lower the body’s own estrogen levels.
This side effect stems from increased estrogen levels and is countered by aromatase inhibitors.
Increased blood pressure:
This is a result of water retention. It is countered by aromatase inhibitors.
Gynecomastia is the abnormal development of breast tissue in males. Enlargement of the breast tissue is associated with increased estrogen levels. This is countered by Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators or Aromatase Inhibitors.
Androgenic Side effects of Testosterone:
Testosterone androgenic side effects have more to do with the fact that Testosterone is converted into stronger and more potent androgen Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by the 5-alpha reductase (5AR) enzyme.
The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is present in large amounts in certain tissues, such as the scalp, prostate, and the skin. When Testosterone reaches these tissues, it undergoes a high rate of reduction into its more potent androgenic metabolite DHT. It is DHT that is responsible for the greater severity of androgenic side effects.
While supplementing with Testosterone, men often notice a heightened libido (sex drive). Likewise they notice a decrease of libido during the period when testosterone supplementation has ended and before natural testosterone production is restarted again (with clomiphene citrate or HCG).