Main Difference – Androgenic vs. Anabolic

Androgenic and anabolic are two varieties of steroids that are synthetic, structural derivatives of testosterone. Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, which stimulates the development of male reproductive tissues such as the prostate and testis, and promotes secondary sexual characteristics in males. The secondary sexual characteristics are increased muscle mass, bone mass, and body hair. Therefore, testosterone serves as both androgenic and anabolic steroids. The main difference between androgenic and anabolic is that androgenic steroids generate male sex hormone-related activity, whereas anabolic steroids increase muscle and bone mass. This means androgenic steroids affect the development and maintenance of the characteristics of males. In contrast, anabolic steroids promote anabolism or the body's cell growth.


What is Androgenic

Androgenic are substances related to the development of male characteristics. These characteristics include genital organs, muscle mass, bone mass, and body hair. The substances that exert androgenic effects are called androgens. Androgen can be any sex hormone, such as testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, luteinizing hormone, and androsterone. The development of secondary male characteristics occurs after puberty. Puberty is when a person physically becomes capable of producing offspring. The deepening of the voice is a sign of puberty in males. Males produce androgens inside the testis and adrenal glands. The adrenal glands of females also produce androgens. The over-production of androgens in females introduces some male characteristics to females.


The androgenic effects include;


  • Pubertal growth

  • Increased growth of androgen-sensitive hair in the chest, limb hair, and pubic areas

  • Oil production in the sebaceous gland

  • Increased vocal cord size and the deepening of the voice

  • Increased production of sperm

  • Increased libido


What is Anabolic

Anabolic refers to the substances with structures to testosterone in promoting the growth of muscles. During the anabolism, large and strengthened molecules are produced. Thus, it encourages the growth of the tissues such as muscles and bones. Some anabolic effects are;

  • Increased protein synthesis

  • Increased bone remodeling and growth

  • Stimulation of bone marrow to produce red blood cells

  • Increased apatite


Ultimately, these effects increase the size of the skeletal muscles with increased strength. Typically, all steroids show both androgenic and anabolic effects of the same compound. Therefore, these steroids are called anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). The androgenic-to-anabolic ratio is essential in determining the clinical applications of the substances that exert an anabolic effect. When providing anabolic treatment, the compounds used in clinical applications should be diminished with the androgenic effect.

The anabolic treatments are used in osteoporosis, anemia, and following a trauma, surgery, or immobilization. Drugs with a high androgenic ratio are used in androgen-replacement therapy. 


Similarities Between Androgenic and Anabolic


  • Both androgenic and anabolic substances are steroids that significantly occur in males.

  • Steroids possess both androgenic and anabolic characteristics.

  • Testosterone generates both androgenic and anabolic effects in males.

  • Synthetic androgenic and anabolic substances are structurally similar to testosterone.

  • Both androgenic and anabolic steroids are used to treat individuals.


Difference Between Androgenic and Anabolic




Androgenic: Androgenic refers to a substance related to developing male characteristics.


Anabolic: Anabolic refers to a substance resembling testosterone in promoting muscle growth.




Androgenic: Androgenic substances promote the development of secondary male characteristics in the body.

Anabolic: Anabolic substances promote the growth of the tissues, especially muscles and bones.


As Drugs


Androgenic: Androgenic substances are used in androgenic replacement therapy.


Anabolic: Anabolic substances are used to treat anemia and osteoporosis.



Androgenic and anabolic substances are steroids that affect the tissues of the body. Androgens promote the development of secondary sex characteristics in males. Anabolic substances promote the growth of the muscles and bones. The main difference between androgenic and anabolic is the effect of each substance in the body.

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