Are you looking to build lean muscle and strong bones? Are you hoping to improve your athletic performance and combat ageing?
If you’ve already implemented changes to your diet and exercise programmes, you’ve likely seen results. However, you might be hungry for more, and with further research, you might find MK-677 is the “something more” you need.
Read on to learn more about MK-677, and the ways it can benefit your body, mind, and overall health.
What is MK-677?
MK-677, or Ibutamoren, is a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM). SARMs offer benefits similar to steroids, without many of the associated negative side effects.
MK-677 produces its benefits by increasing levels of IGF-1 and growth hormone in the body. The pituitary gland naturally produces growth hormone, which promotes cell reproduction and regeneration.
Growth hormone (GH) is responsible for normal childhood development and helps to trigger puberty. It is also responsible for building, maintaining, and repairing tissue throughout a person’s life. Finally, growth hormone regulates metabolism and body composition; so, if you gain muscle, it’s partly down to GH to keep it there.
Bodybuilders and other athletes seek precisely these benefits. Unfortunately, as the body ages, levels of growth hormone naturally fall.
Athletes might naturally see their progress begin to slow down, their recovery dwindle after injuries, or their metabolism creeping up with them. As a result, some turn to MK-677 to reverse these declines and their associated effects.
What are the Symptoms of Growth Hormone Deficiency?
It is normal for GH to decline over time, as we just discussed. However, certain medical conditions result in extremely low levels of growth hormone in the body. This is most commonly known as Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD). People may be born with GHD (congenital) or develop it later in life (acquired).
In those with acquired GHD, the fall in growth hormone levels triggers several changes in the body. These changes often have a significant effect on physical and mental wellbeing, and may include the following:
- Increased fat stores;
- Muscle wasting;
- Weaker bones;
- Sagging skin and other effects of decreasing skin elasticity;
- Decreased energy and endurance;
- Decreased kidney function;
- A weakened immune system;
- Increased “bad” LDL cholesterol levels;
- Sexual dysfunction;
- Difficulty with memory and focus;
- Psychological dysfunction, including greater feelings of isolation and increased difficulty dealing with negative emotions.
MK-677 may be prescribed in these cases under medical approval. Note that laws and regulations on its use and purchase vary from country to country. All uses of this substance must be met with prior medical approval and meet legal guidelines where the consumer lives.
MK-677 is currently in its medical research period and in many cases has shown promising results for a range of users. However, its long-term effects are not yet known, and as a result, it has not been approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
How Does MK-677 Work?
MK-677 increases levels of growth hormone (GH) that are responsible for the functions we discussed earlier.
To produce growth hormone, the pituitary gland and hypothalamus must first be activated. Then, to utilise it, the body’s hormone receptors need to be activated.
Secretagogues are responsible for activating hormone production. Meanwhile, agonists are responsible for activating hormone receptors.
Secretagogues are substances that cause other substances to be produced. The naturally occurring growth hormone ghrelin is a growth hormone secretagogue (GHS). Ghrelin prompts the pituitary gland and hypothalamus to produce growth hormone.
MK-677 mimics this action, making it a potentially powerful growth hormone secretagogue. It also increases growth hormone levels by increasing the effectiveness of the body’s ghrelin supply. As a ghrelin agonist, MK-677 activates ghrelin receptors. Ghrelin, once again, stimulates the production of growth hormone.
What are the Benefits of MK-677?
Especially when used in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise, MK-677 offers a host of benefits to those using it under medical and legal approval. Many of these benefits are reported to aid the effects associated with low growth hormone levels.
Increased Muscle Mass
By increasing levels of IGF-1 and growth hormone, MK-677 can build muscle mass and strength.
MK-677 users can anticipate adding up to 5-10kg of lean muscle when combined with appropriate exercise and an adequate diet.
Of course, results will vary depending on a person’s current health status. However, studies show the benefits of MK-677 on muscle size and strength in a diverse range of groups.
In a study of 60-year-olds, researchers found that artificially administered growth hormone increased muscle strength in men and lean muscle mass in both men and women.
The research also indicated towards increased risk of: “soft tissue swelling (oedema), joint stiffness (arthralgia), carpal tunnel syndrome, and gynecomastia”, and participants were “somewhat more likely” to enter prediabetic blood sugar ranges or, without further treatment, risk the onset of diabetes.
For both the beneficial and adverse effects of this research, it must be noted that this study was based on GH, which MK-677 helps to produce, and not MK-677 itself.
In addition to age and general health, diet and exercise programmes also affect results. MK-677 produces its best result as a component of an overall nutrition and workout programme.
Decreased Fat Stores
Obese individuals may be at particular risk for acquired growth hormone deficiencies. Low levels of GH, in turn, mean that these individuals may struggle further to burn fat and build lean muscle.
People with high levels of visceral fat - “deep”, invisible fat around the organs - are also at increased risk of chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease. Read more about the different types of body fat, and how they may be affecting you in the gym, in our blog post here.
Research shows that treatment with MK-677 may significantly increase levels of IGF-1 and growth hormone. Participants in one study saw IGF-1 levels rise by up to 40%.
As IGF-1 and growth hormone levels increased, participants also exhibited increases in their basal metabolic rates (BMRs). This is the base calorie level at which your body operates - walking, talking, and daily activity not included. The higher the BMR, the more calories it takes for an individual to maintain or gain body fat.
Perhaps most importantly, participants displayed a sustained increase in fat-free mass.
These results suggest that MK-677 has the potential not only to build muscle but to improve overall body composition.
Increased Bone Strength
Bone strength is a concern for all populations. However, building and maintaining bone density can be of particular concern for bodybuilders and athletes. In addition, women, older people, and those who are obese may need to pay close attention to bone strength.
Studies show that MK-677 enhances the body’s bone-building efforts among elderly subjects. After receiving a daily oral dose, subjects had significantly higher levels of osteocalcin. This is a protein hormone necessary for bone formation.
Post-menopausal women experienced similar benefits when taking MK-677. In this study, female subjects took a daily dose. As a result, their growth hormone (GH) levels rose. Increasing GH, in turn, led to increased bone density.
Researchers suggest that these effects occurred as growth hormones stimulate osteoblasts. These are the cells responsible for forming new bones.
As previously mentioned, MK-677 provides its best results when combined with a healthy lifestyle - this includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient amounts of sleep. It should only ever be used in this way and with prior approval from a medical professional.
Fortunately, MK-677 can also make sticking with a workout regimen easier. Subjects may find it easier to tolerate intense workouts. Further improving endurance, higher growth hormone levels are also associated with improved oxygen intake.
Many of MK-677’s benefits lie outside of the gym, but still contribute to your overall health. The body’s efforts to grow and replace worn-out cells is taxing, and means that it requires adequate sleep. It’s no surprise, then, that increased growth hormone levels are associated with improved sleep.
MK-677 is suggested to promote deep REM sleep and improve sleep quality. These effects hold even among older individuals who, before treatment, had experienced sleep disturbances.
Improved Skin Health
As a person ages and growth hormone levels fall, skin elasticity also decreases. Increasing GH levels can help to reverse these effects.
A study of 60-year-old men showed that increasing growth hormone levels increased skin thickness by 7.1%.
As we now know, the body’s levels of growth hormone naturally deteriorate as a person ages. Many of the effects of ageing come as these levels fall. This of course includes skin wrinkling, thinning, and sagging, and weakness and bones, but some less obvious ageing effects are directly linked to a loss of GH.
Growth hormone is responsible for cell reproduction and regeneration. As long as the body continues to produce new cells to replace the old, worn-out ones, the body functions properly. When its efforts lag, a person feels tired and achy.
On a long-term scale, this means that the body’s systems no longer function optimally and it may have a significant impact on one’s ability to perform their normal tasks.
Growth hormone secretagogues, like ghrelin, increase GH levels and can thus counter these effects. One study administered ghrelin orally to elderly male and female subjects. Researchers found that it raised participants’ IGF-1 and growth hormone levels to those of young adults.
By mimicking the effects of ghrelin, MK-677 may produce similar benefits.
Improved Cognitive Function
MK-677 increases the effectiveness of the body’s natural supply of ghrelin. Often described as the “hunger hormone”, ghrelin stimulates appetite.
However, more recent studies suggest that ghrelin may also stimulate brain cell growth and regeneration. Many people report being able to think more clearly on an empty stomach. Scientists believe that ghrelin may be responsible for this mental clarity.
One study injected ghrelin into mice and found that it improved the rodents’ memories. It also helped them learn new concepts faster and more effectively.
By acting as a ghrelin agonist, MK-677 may offer similar benefits among humans. MK-677 benefits are still in the research period and, as mentioned, it must only ever be used in situations where it is medically and legally viable.
However, if these effects translate into human use, it may help to keep both your body and brain young.
Improved Psychological Wellbeing
Lower levels of growth hormone are associated with decreased psychological wellbeing. This may be due to the physical effects and daily limitations of their growth hormone disorder, or it may occur as a standalone issue, or as a combination of both.
Treatments that increase GH levels show the potential to improve the quality of life in these individuals. Many adult subjects reported improved mood and energy levels.
Again, this research focuses on growth hormone in particular; however, by increasing quantities of GH within the body, MK-677 may also improve psychological wellbeing.
What are the Side Effects of MK-677?
One advantage of MK-677 and some SARMs is their ability to produce steroid-like benefits without the associated side effects.
Steroid use is associated with significant health risks. This is because steroids bind not only hormone receptors in muscles and bones. They also bind to receptors in the brain, eyes, skin, and anywhere else in the body. In doing so, steroids produce a host of negative effects.
Because they only bind to muscle and bone receptors, MK-677 and SARMs offer a much safer alternative.
In the majority of instances where MK-677 side effects occur, they are mild and most often result when users exceed the recommended dosage. They can include:
- Excessive appetite;
- Joint pain;
- Increased insulin resistance.
The potential for MK-677 to increase insulin resistance can be a problem for individuals who are diabetic. People who exhibit increased insulin sensitivity may also find their symptoms worsen when taking MK-677.
Everyone should consult a doctor and seek approval before starting on an MK-677 regimen or any other supplement. However, it is of paramount importance for these individuals to be fully approved by a medical professional before use.
Does MK-677 Cause Headaches?
Some users report more frequent headaches when taking MK-677. However, among the professionally-listed side effects associated with it, they are not listed. What explains the omission?
In fact, MK-677 does not cause headaches. Studies have repeatedly failed to find a link between the two. As with other potential side effects, users are only likely to experience headaches when they take MK-677 improperly.
Experts suggest water retention as one explanation for these headaches. Taken at high doses, MK-677 can cause the body to retain fluids. This is especially true among those who do not drink enough water.
When the body retains fluid for extended periods, blood pressure can increase. Increased blood pressure (arterial hypertension) as a result of MK-677’s water retention can cause headaches.
MK-677 water retention is generally harmless; however, it should be avoided where possible by increasing your fluid intake. Adults should aim to drink 2 litres of water per day. If you are very physically active and lose a lot of fluid through sweat, you should adjust this as necessary,
Alongside headaches, MK-677 water retention may be identified by swelling, stiff joints, and unexpected weight fluctuations. It occurs as a temporary or non-threatening symptom in many situations, such as pregnancy and when taking the contraceptive pill. However, it may also indicate more severe conditions such as heart, kidney, or liver disease - so you should seek medical help if you are in any doubt.
If you take the recommended dose as medically prescribed and drink plenty of water, you can rest assured that MK-677 is not causing your headaches.
How Can I Incorporate MK-677 Into My Health Regimen?
MK-677 (Ibutamoren) is orally active. This means that you can take it by mouth as a pill.
The recommended dose varies across genders and among individuals.
Most men experience benefits with a daily dose between 5 and 25 milligrams. The recommended dose for women is slightly lower at 5-15 milligrams per day.
MK-677 has a 24-hour half-life. This means that it takes up to 24 hours after dosing for levels in the system to fall by half. Therefore, users can take a single daily dose. However, MK-677 levels peak four to six hours after dosing: thus, experts recommend taking a split dose.
This involves taking the same amount in total, but over two separate periods. Do not take the recommended dosage twice in one day. Ideal times for dosing are approximately 30-40 minutes before a workout, and after meals.
For both men and women, MK-677 provides the most benefits when taken in cycles. The optimal MK-677 cycle ranges from 8 to 14 weeks for men and 6 to 8 weeks for women.
Again, using MK-677 only as medically and legally approved, and with appropriate post-cycle therapy (PCT) will maximise the benefits, minimise MK-677 side effects, and keep you as healthy as possible while taking it.
Stacking MK-677 and SARMs
“Stacking” refers to the practice of combining supplements. Combining MK-677 with some SARMs can allow these compounds to work together. By combining the effects of multiple SARMs, users can see better and faster results.
It is estimated that the best SARMs to stack with MK-677 include Ostarine, Andarine S-4, and Cardarine. Stacking these SARMs in cycles of 8 to 12 weeks tends to produce the greatest benefits, with a minimised risk of MK-677 side effects.
Bodybuilders can include MK-677 in cutting and bulking cycles. Stacking with Ligandrol (LGD-4033) is ideal for promoting muscle mass gains. Stacking MK-677 with Andarine S-4 and Cardarine (GW-501516) can promote fat loss. Using MK-677 in combination with Cardarine (GW-501516) may also improve endurance.
How Long Will It Take to See Results?
MK-677 works quickly to increase levels of IGF-1 and growth hormone. Shortly after ingestion, these levels increase dramatically. Users often report seeing benefits within as little as a week.
Building a Healthy Body and Mind with MK-677
Bodybuilders and others concerned with muscle strength and body composition can benefit from MK-677. The benefits of MK-677 can often extend beyond the physical, however. They include increased cognitive function and improve psychological wellbeing.
Combining MK-677 supplements with an overall diet and workout regimen maximises these benefits.
As you design your health plan in conjunction with medical and legal approval, count on SARMs Store for all of your needs.
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