The purpose of this article is to help control some of the questions asked on a daily basis that seem to be the same ones?!,
over and over again. I will use some references into D's PCT articles and other articles I have read in the past to help formulate this. Ok so to start this off, let's get a brief description of PCT.
PCT = Post Cycle Therapy.
PCT's are used to come off of a cycle of a ph/ps/aas (prohormone/prosteroid/anabolic-androgenic steroid) cycle. A PCT's function is not only to help maintain gains, but to bring your body back to where it would naturally be, or as close to that as possible, help prevent rebound effects, and control some of the other 'bad' effects a cycle can create. A PCT can be generalized as a 'taper' back to normality.
PCT's are necessary and should not in any way be taken lightly. When starting a cycle, you should always know your PCT and have it lined up ahead of time. The number of PCT style/combos possible is limitless, so this will not be mentioning specific products in order to prevent questions from being bombarded into this thread. As a rule of thumb, people generally use "Two" (2) main components to a PCT
1) Estrogen Control
2) Natural Testosterone Booster
Now, although there are other options considered to be crucial, I only listed these two for now for a reason. Several other options could be included into your PCT, but these two are VERY important. Other options for your PCT can include, but are not limited to:
a. Cortisol Control
b. Zinc Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA)
c. Cell Volumizing Products
Most will notice I am leaving several things out, this is because I feel that I am covering the basics, if people would like to know more, there's a PM function available, feel free to pm me, or look into D's PCT:ACV articles for a more in-depth discussion about PCT.
Now, to cover each topic individually, first off Estrogen Control. Estrogen can be controlled in several ways, through an Aromatose Inhibitor (two forms, suicide and competitive), Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (also known as SERMs), and an Estrogen Chanlleing type that includes Indole-3-Carbinole. Estrogen Control is usually tapered down in your PCT.
Next off we have Natural Testosterone Boosters, which can include several different herbs. Most commonly is Tribulus Terrestis. There are several others like Long Jack and Avena Sativa, but I just want to cover the very basics in this. I see no need to taper this down during PCT.
Then there's our secondaries like Cortisol Control. This topic is debated so heavily that I will not go into extreme depths with it. Some say to use this 2 weeks into your PCT, some say to use it 1 week in, some say to use it at the start of PCT, and some say don't use it all. This one will be left blown wide open, so questions can be PM'd if you would like to further discuss the matter. Recommendations to taper up starting 15-17 days post cycle were made.
Next up is ZMA, Zinc Magnesium Aspartate. These 2 minerals are very important to humans, males especially, and I feel that taking this supplement during PCT could prove to be very beneficial, especially with concerns to your libido. Once again, just skimming the surface here.
For Cell Volumizing products, this is also just personal preferance, I feel that it helps you maintain your gains, and I enjoy taking the time off during cycle to feel it come back hard when I restart them.
This covers the basics of PCT, I hope everybody gets the general idea of PCT from this, also know that I didn't list doses/tapering procedures/products because I expect varying opinions on all three.
Now for supporting supplements, liver protectants, and other odds and ends:
First and most importantly, the usual vitamins and minerals. Your average vitamin/mineral complex includes, A, B's, C, D, E, K, Biotin, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Iodine, Selenium, Copper, Molybdenum, Potassium, Zinc, and a variety of things to make it stand out from other multi's. I won't hit this topic hard due to the many varying opinions, and D_'s view on multis in general. But I find it important to include these with your proper diet.
Second up we have aminos of all sorts, essential, non-essential, branched chain, and the 'odd-ball' aminos. Odds are, most people are familiar with these, but for those who aren't, there a 26 main amino acids, and they are essentially a kewl name for protein. The main ones I plan on discussing here are the branched chain type, and glutamine. Although argued against sometimes, I feel that BCAA's are a major part of a bodybuilders supplement regime, regardless of if he's on cycle or in PCT. As for Glutamine, I feel the same way, I shoot for approximately 20grams per day for exceptional recovery.
Next up, I would like to mention Alpha Lipoic Acid, sometimes known as ALA. ALA is a very strong antioxidant, and although I cannot offer huge specifics to this, I highly recommend it, especially with methylated cycles.
Next, I thought I would bring up SAMe, considering it's the talk of the town and all. So, S-Adenosyl Methionine! SAMe is very effective with restoring and protecting the liver, it is my main liver protectant when the funds are available, if not...
Then I use Milk Thistle, which is extracted for Silymarin. Milk thistle, although effective, has to be ran fairly high to see 'above average' results. Nonetheless, Milk Thistle is tried and true.
NAC is up next, N-Acetyl L Cystine. This is a very popular one, and I personally like the addition of it in my PCT. It is a great anti-oxidant and has some liver protecting values as well.
For Cholesterol, there are a few options available here, to name a few; Policosanol, Red Yeast Rice, and Niacin. Policosanol is my choice as of late, and I still use Red Yeast Rice, despite D's rebuttle on using it.
For Prostrate, the options become slightly limited. I can think of two, Saw Palmetto and Pygeum. I personally use Saw Palmetto and it is a good idea to "pre-load" this supporting supplement.
For Blood Pressure, there are a few options, first and foremost, Hawthorne Berry. I personally use this one and I recommend "pre-loading" it for about 3 weeks prior to your cycle. Celery has benefits as well, but this is more of a "quick-fix" or a "band-aid" if you will. CoQ10 is another great option, I use this amongst my daily vitamins and consider it to be crucial to my lifestyle. As a daily, I take 50mgs, when I am on cycle or in PCT I take 200mgs. I would include Taurine here, but I feel that Taurine is best not used unless you are experiencing back pumps and you're on cycle, not in PCT.
Although not often mentioned I will include one last section, mainly because it's become a problem recently. So for everyone who experiences Lethargy on cycle, Here is my idea of a good solution; I like Huperzine, Phenibut, and Rhodiola.