Sustanon 250 is a blend of four different versions of esterified testosterone that is meant to make hormone replacement therapy (HRT) more bearable. It was successfully used to treat a number of conditions and found its place in the bodybuilding industry.
Sustanon 250 was designed by the pharmaceutical company Organon, and was made commercially available in the beginning of 1970’s. Organon tried to make a more convenient drug for HRT by blending four different versions of esterified testosterone. Sustanon 250 indeed was, and still is, one of the best drugs for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
In spite of the fact that sustanon 250’s use for medical purposes has never been approved in the United States, its popularity on the international market was not affected at all. It is one of the most widely used steroids, both in medicine and bodybuilding.
Organon managed to create a perfect drug for HRT by blending testosterone esters with different life spans. This made possible to have monthly injections of testosterone and maintain steadier levels of this hormone in the blood during treatment.
However, HRT was not the only medical application of sustanon 250. This steroid is one of the most recommended for growth stimulation and maintenance of reproductive tissues (testes, prostate, seminal vessels, penis). In this regard, even at low doses it can be very beneficial.
Moreover, it has been successfully used to treat wasting syndromes of different origins. This is due to the fact that low doses of sustanon 250 help preserve muscle tissues from degeneration. Hence its popularity in the treatment of HIV/AIDS-related wasting syndromes.
Sustanon 250 is a blend of testosterone with four different esters: propionate, phenylpropionate, isocaproate and decanoate. These are distributed in the following proportion:
- 30 milligrams (mgs) of testosterone propionate
- 60 mgs of testosterone phenylpropionate
- 60 mgs of testosterone isocaproate
- 100 mgs of testosterone decanoate
Since esters can only influence the release rate of the active substance, sustanon 250 shares the same basic properties with testosterone – good anabolic strength and high androgenic activity. This means that the user will experience an excellent muscle growth and strength enhancement. Furthermore, just like testosterone, sustanon 250 will improve recovery times and increase libido.
Sustanon 250 vs. Single-ester Testosterone
Sustanon 250 has one big advantage over the bare testosterone or testosterone with just one ester. Blending four esters with different half-lifes can render a more stable level of testosterone in the system. Consequently, such undesired effects as estrogen spikes and severe suppression can be alleviated. Moreover, compared to single-ester versions of testosterone, side effects are less abrupt with sustanon 250.
However, sustanon 250 also shares the same side effects and downsides of testosterone. The interaction with the aromatase enzyme converts testosterone into estrogen. Therefore, the mass gained with sustanon 250 will contain a considerable amount of water and fat. Albeit, one should not expect lean muscles when using sustanon 250, and stacking anti-estrogens like Aromasin or Arimidex is recommended.
The major difference between simple testosterone and sustanon 250 is the serving form. Sustanon 250 was supposed to reduce the number of testosterone injections made in HRT. In a clinical setting, patients can make just one injection per month and have enough testosterone for the entire time. This is made possible by the four esters contained in sustanon 250.
Sustanon 250 Esters
Testosterone propionate is the shortest acting of the four esters. Its half-life is about 2-3 days, and it kicks in really fast. According to some studies, it starts acting withing the first 24 hours after being injected.
If we talk about a single-ester testosterone, such short half-life is mostly an inconvenience. Frequent injections are necessary when the steroid gets depleted and excreted so rapidly. However, this is not a problem when testosterone propionate is a part of an “ester cocktail,” where longer acting esters keep high enough levels of testosterone in the blood.
Therefore, the propionate ester is the perfect choice to rapidly increase testosterone levels while the other esters are starting to work. This way, by the time testosterone propionate is out of the body, testosterone phenylpropionate will already be able to maintain the achieved levels of testosterone in the blood.
Another important benefit of including such a fast-acting ester into the blend is psychological in nature. It is a great motivation to see the steroid start working so rapidly.
Phenylpropionate ester, also known as propionic acid phenyl ester, acts as a bridge between the propionate ester and the isocaproate. With a 4-5 days active half-life, testosterone phenylpropionate is somewhat more long lasting than the propionate version. As a result, the phenylpropionate ester will keep testosterone levels steady while testosterone propionate is leaving the body.Add To Cart
This ester can also be found in nandrolone-based steroids, such as Deca Durabolin.
Testosterone Isocaproate is the next step towards the longest of the esters contained in sustanon 250 – testosterone decanoate. This ester is also known as isocaproic acid, isohexanoate, and 4-methylvaleric acid.
In comparison with the phenylpropionate ester, testosterone isocaproate has a longer half-life – 7-9 days. Therefore, when used alone, testosterone isocaproate is usually injected once a week.
Sustanon 250 is not the only testosterone blend that has the isocaproate ester in it. This ester can be found in such steroid blends as Omnadren and Aratest.
With a half-life of over 2 weeks, the decanoate ester is one of the longest esters used in steroids. Such a long half-life means that testosterone decanoate’s active life is almost an entire month! Due to this fact there is a popular belief that sustanon 250 is a “once per month” steroid. However, this holds true only for hormone replacement therapies because the peak activity of this ester will be reached in just under two weeks. This means that the amount of testosterone will start to decline after week two, and that is not desirable for bodybuilders, who need to have stable levels of the hormone in the blood. Therefore, the decanoate ester allows bodybuilders to inject sustanon 250 once per week.
The decanoate ester is also known as decanoic acid, capric acid, decylic acid, and nonanecarboxylic acid.
As its name suggests, sustanon 100 is a low dosed version of sustanon 250 (100 mgs vs 250 mgs). The working principle behind sustanon 100 is just the same, with only two differences. First of all, it has a considerably lower dose than sustanon 250. And secondly, it uses just three testosterone esters instead of five, which are distributed in the following manner:
- Testosterone Propionate – 20 mgs
- Testosterone Phenylpropionate – 40 mgs
- Testosterone Isocaproate – 40 mgs
Since the basic active substance of this steroid is exactly the same as sustanon 250’s, the gains and side effects are also the same. The only difference is the active time of the steroid. Dosages are similar, as well as injection schedules.
However, with the great popularity sustanon 250 has, its milder brother is rarely used or seen among bodybuilders.
Sustanon 250 has the same side effects as any testosterone-based steroid will have. However, due to the steady action of the different esters of sustanon 250, these effects tend to be less abrupt.
Since testosterone is converted to estrogen by the aromatase enzyme, such estrogenic side effects as water retention and gynecomastia are common. These can be mitigated with the use of anti-estrogen drugs, such as aromatase inhibitors (AI) or selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS). Aromasin or Arimidex should do the work of controlling estrogenic side effects.
Furthermore, sustanon 250 is highly androgenic. Therefore, androgenic side effects like oily skin, acne, body/facial hair growth, prostate swelling and premature balding may occur. Since the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is responsible for these side effects, the addition of Proscar can limit these processes.
Like most steroids, sustanon 250 is suppressive. A good post-cycle therapy (PCT) will be necessary to recover natural testosterone production. However, due to the long active life of sustanon 250, ancillary drugs should be taken at least two or three weeks after ending the cycle. The PCT can be carried out with such drugs as HCGenerate ES, Ostarine and Clomid.
Another problem faced by sustanon 250 users is cholesterol. Bad cholesterol may increase when testosterone is cycled. Therefore, it is recommended to follow a good diet, take omega-3 fats, N2Guard, probiotics and fiber. Moreover, flaxseed oil can act as a natural cholesterol regulator.
According to anecdotal evidence, when dosages over 500-700 mgs per week are taken, users may sweat more than normal and the urine will have a solvent-like smell. However, this side effect should not be feared, for it does not represent a health threat.
Dosages and Use
The average dosage bodybuilders inject stays in between the 250 and 1000 mgs taken every 7-10 days. Some bodybuilders use higher dosages that reach 1500 mgs per week, but in such case side effects may outweigh the benefits of sustanon 250. Cycles should not be too long, being 12 weeks a normal duration for a sustanon 250 cycle.Add To Cart
Since it is a “wet” steroid, sustanon 250 is mostly used for bulking purposes, and it is rarely considered as a pre-contest drug. Thus, instead of drastically increasing the dosage, it is recommended to stack sustanon 250 with Anadrol or Dianabol for more pronounced bulking results.
Half-life and detection times
Sustanon 250’s half-life is roughly 15-18 days with a detection time of 3-4 months.
Although sustanon 250 is basically testosterone served on a different plate, it is very popular among bodybuilders. It was originally developed for HRT, where it allows to have just one injection per month. However, with the high demand that bodybuilders have for a constantly high level of testosterone in the bloodstream, this great benefit goes unnoticed because they inject sustanon 250 once per week.
Since it is a testosterone based steroid, estrogenic side effects can be prominent, and water retention may occur. Hence, it is mostly used as a bulking AAS during off-season because it will give puffy mass.
Sustanon 250 shares most of the benefits and side effects of testosterone. Therefore, if the bodybuilder has experience with testosterone, sustanon 250 should be an to use easy steroid.
Evolutionary.org: “Sustanon 250”
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: “Testosterone inhibits early atherogenesis by conversion to estradiol: Critical role of aromatase”
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