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Best SARMs for Cutting and Bulking

SARMs may prove beneficial for some, but their safety remains uncertain. Here are the best SARMs alternatives for building lean mass.

Last Updated: Sep 12, 2022
Best SARMS

Let’s start with the bad news: There is not enough clinical evidence to say that SARMS are safe. They haven’t undergone enough testing to prove their safety, even if their efficacy is well documented in animals. Ultimately, no miracle drugs exist that can give you all the muscle you want while burning fat and improving your athletic performance, even if SARMs appear to come close.

So, what do you do when a substance that might get you the results you’re after can’t legally be sold for human consumption? Well, if you don’t mind using yourself as a guinea pig for untested chemical compounds, you could find SARMs intended for medical research and take them with no oversight or supervision. But we vehemently oppose that route.

This is where the good news comes in, as there are some outstanding SARMs alternatives with ingredients that have been tested in multiple clinical studies and show results not unlike those SARMs offer. These options are far safer for cutting and bulking, with none of SARMs’ known side effects. Our team tried them out, and we’ll break down all you need to know here.

Our Top Choice

Crazybulk

Crazybulk offers six strong SARMs alternatives - purchase them individually or in two targeted stacks.

Crazybulk's SARMs formulas are safe, effective, and designed specifically to help you reach your fitness goals. Buy in bulk to get the most savings. Enjoy free shipping on all orders.

SARMs alternatives: top considerations

When you’re looking for a product to replicate something another does so effectively, there are a few important aspects to consider. Here’s what we pay attention to when evaluating SARMs alternatives.

Effectiveness

One of the most important factors in a given SARMs replacement is that it works. Despite their potential safety issues, SARMs appear to be extremely effective at allowing the body to shed fat and build lean muscle. So, anything that claims to be a SARMs replacement better be able to do the same. We look closely at the ingredients in SARMs alternative and read through troves of clinical research to confirm their effectiveness. Then, we try them for ourselves. If we’re satisfied, they make it onto our list.

Safety

Because we recommend against using real SARMs on the grounds of safety, it’s just as important to us that SARMs alternatives are safe for you to consume daily. Many of the same clinical studies we use to ascertain the effectiveness of the ingredients in these SARMs alternatives also provide details about any adverse reactions recorded. We combine that data with anecdotal evidence from our testing team to help us determine whether a SARMs alternative is safe.

Cost

SARMs alternatives aren’t particularly cheap, falling somewhere between SARMs sold as medical research liquids and capsules marketed (in a legal grey area) for human consumption. Instead of comparing the costs of SARMs themselves — as we can’t currently advise you to take them for safety reasons — we find it more illuminating to compare the costs of SARMs alternatives to supplements that boast similar ingredient profiles throughout the fitness industry. And for this guide, we directly compared the costs of SARMs alternatives to one another, taking into account everything from potential subscription savings to dose strength to evaluate each product’s true cost.

Convenience

We measure convenience from a SARMs alternative in a few different ways. As with cost, we consider things like subscription savings and return policies, but we also look for intuitive site navigation, accessible customer support, and streamlined shipping logistics. Serving and capsule sizes also play a role in convenience, especially if you have difficulty swallowing large numbers of enormous pills. Simple dosing times and reasonably sized servings make a big difference in sticking to a regimen.

How our top recommendations compare

Two reliable companies offer SARMs alternatives right now: Brutal Force and CrazyBulk. Each offers SARMs alternatives designed to replicate the effects of specific SARMs variants. Here’s a look at how their collections compare:

  Cost per bottle SARMs analog Primary effects
CrazyBulk Testol 140 $70 RAD-140 Testolone Rapid bulking, fat loss
CrazyBulk Ibuta 677 $70 MK-677 Ibutamoren Increased HGH and recovery
CrazyBulk Ligan 4033 $70 LGD-4033 Ligandrol Increased testosterone, bulk, and endurance
CrazyBulk C-Dine 501516 $70 GW-501516 Cardarine Significant fat loss and endurance
CrazyBulk Stena 9009 $70 SR-9009 Stenabolic Fat burning, increased metabolism
CrazyBulk Osta 2866 $70 MK-2866 Ostarine Significant size and bulk, boosted energy levels
Brutal Force RADBULK $60 RAD-140 Testolone Rapid bulking, fat loss
Brutal Force OSTABULK $60 MK-2866 Ostarine Significant size and bulk, boosted energy levels
Brutal Force ANDALEAN $60 S-4 Andarine Reduced recovery time, increased strength

What are SARMs?

SARM stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. They are a class of chemical compounds originally designed to help people put on muscle and keep it on. Potential patients suffered from diseases that deprived their bodies of vital nutrients or actively targeted their muscle tissue.

The key to SARMs’ effectiveness is in their selectivity. The easiest way to understand how that works is to look at the function of a popular performance-enhancing hormone — testosterone. When a man takes supplemental testosterone, it increases his physical endurance and his ability to put on muscle. But it also acts on many other bodily symptoms, altering hair patterns and mood. These ancillary effects also make testosterone such a tough sell for female athletes. The risk of masculinization is too significant.

But SARMs are engineered to target receptors that only influence certain characteristics like lean body mass, fat distribution, and endurance. That absence of additional influence on other bodily systems is one of the reasons people think SARMs are especially safe. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case.

Are SARMs safe?

Despite plenty of anecdotal evidence circulating online that SARMs are safe, the truth is that we don’t yet have enough clinical data to say that for sure. And data on long-term effects are all but non-existent. It’s entirely possible that future studies will confirm the safety of at least some SARMs, but the risk is currently too high for us to recommend them.

In the few existing SARMs studies conducted with human participants, we see increased rates of adverse effects of those that received SARMs over those that received a placebo. The increase ranged from 10-14% depending on the adverse event, but it was consistent almost across the board. Other research points to SARMs’ potential to negatively impact male testosterone production.

Another significant risk exists in the marketplaces where you’ll find SARMs. Currently, SARMs are not approved for human consumption and are only sold as medical research products. This has led many bodybuilders and athletes to purchase them as medical supplies and consume them anyway.

Some companies have cropped up selling encapsulated doses and making no attempt to hide that their customers will consume them. In both cases, though more among encapsulated SARMs marketed for human use, there have been widely documented issues with purity, potency, and even the presence of dangerous chemicals unnamed on product labels. Essentially, no regulatory agency is cracking down here, creating a dangerous environment for anyone who might someday benefit from legal SARMs use.

How do SARMs alternatives work?

SARMs alternatives aim to achieve the same goals as SARMs but without using dangerous, illegal, or untested ingredients. To be clear, none of the products marketed as SARMs alternatives will be as effective or fast-acting as the real thing, but they also won’t come with anywhere near the risk profile.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important ingredients you’ll find in SARMs alternatives.

Choline

You see choline delivered in various forms in SARMs alternatives, workout supplements, and nootropics. Multiple studies point to its ability to enhance muscular performance and reduce recovery time.

Alpha-lipoic acid

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is known for reducing oxidative stress and fighting free radicals. But studies show it can also shorten recovery time by inhibiting inflammation.

Carnitine

Carnitine is well-known as a muscle protector. So whether your sets are particularly intense or you have a serious cardio regimen, you don’t have to worry about catabolism eating away at your hard-earned muscle tissue.

D-aspartic acid

D-aspartic acid is a great place to start if you’re looking to boost testosterone. Studies have shown it can increase testosterone levels, which will, in turn, enable greater muscle growth and athletic performance.

Wild yam

Wild yam appears to have useful effects on androgen systems, with some studies pointing toward its influence on hormone secretion as an explanation for its ability to improve strength in the gym.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek is another ingredient commonly found in testosterone boosters. In at least one prominent study, its androgenic activity has been tied to fat loss.

Ashwagandha

In addition to its ability to increase testosterone, ashwagandha appears to have profound effects on mood, with a particular ability to decrease anxiety.

Ginseng

Ginseng has been linked to male sexuality for centuries, dating back to ancient medicinal practices in the East. And while data is somewhat inconclusive in humans, some studies indicate ginseng can have anti-fatigue effects.

L-arginine

Studies show that arginine may not increase measurable strength performance, but it does increase muscle blood volume, which can deliver more oxygen to increase reps or improve recovery.

Schisandra

Older lifters should take note of schisandra, as studies show it can increase muscle strength in older adults, though its effect on muscle mass remains inconclusive.

ElevATP

Often used in place of caffeine in non-stim pre-workout formulas, ElevATP is a branded version of ancient peat and apple extracts. Multiple studies have shown its ability to enhance strength and performance.

Capsicum

SARMs aren’t just about building muscle. Many can help shed fat, as well. Capsicum is an ingredient derived from cayenne pepper that you’ll often see in thermogenic fat burners thanks to its ability to ramp up metabolism and attack fat cells.

Who should take SARMs alternatives?

SARMs alternatives are excellent for anyone who wants to put on muscle and lose fat. They can come close to what actual SARMs achieve without as much side effect risk, and there’s ample clinical evidence backing their ingredients.

If you have been interested in SARMs or are someone who’s already started using them, we strongly encourage you to take a SARMs alternative instead. The safety risks are just too high with real SARMs until the scientific community can complete more research.

Brutal Force

Pros

  • Wide variety of supplements
  • Eight SARMs formulas
  • SARMs available in stacks
  • Serving size is only two capsules
  • 100-day money-back guarantee
  • Made in the USA
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • Limited bulk ordering options per product
  • Site makes it hard to find some items

Brutal Force offers various supplements that target bulking and cutting phases. These include alternatives to SARMs and various steroids, allowing you to find the individual supplement or combination that works best.

The company offers alternatives to eight SARMs, as well as a bundle that gets you three of the most popular at a discount. There are also stacks designed for bulking and cutting that combine four SARMs alternatives to maximize your results.

Let’s look at each of Brutal Force’s SARMs alternatives to see how they mimic the real thing.

RADBULK

RADBULK is engineered to replicate RAD-140 Testolone. It includes ingredients like choline to boost focus in the gym and DMAE to allow muscles to grow at a steady pace.

Here’s RADBULK’s complete ingredients list:

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine: 500mg
  • Choline bitartrate: 300mg
  • Wild yam powder: 300mg
  • DMAE: 150mg
  • Safflower oil: 126mg

OSTABULK

OSTABULK is one of the company’s most potent muscle builders, as it’s meant to mimic what MK-2866 Ostarine can do. In addition to ingredients that can help boost muscle growth, OSTABULK contains testosterone-enhancing components that contribute to athletic performance.

OSTABULK’s full ingredient list contains:

  • Vitamin B6: 15mg
  • Vitamin D3: 39mcg
  • Vitamin K1:15mcg
  • Magnesium: 150mg
  • Zinc: 7.5mg
  • D-aspartic acid: 1,764mg
  • Nettle extract: 30mg
  • Korean red ginseng extract: 30mg
  • Fenugreek extract: 30mg
  • Boron citrate: 6mg
  • BioPerine: 3.8mg

ANDALEAN

Brutal Force’s ANDALEAN takes the place of S-4 Andarine, which can simultaneously add muscle and burn fat. The company employs a combination of vegan BCAAs and protein sources to achieve similar results.

Here’s a look at ANDALEAN’s complete ingredient list:

  • Soy protein isolate: 450mg
  • Whey protein isolate: 450mg
  • L-leucine: 125mg
  • L-isoleucine: 63mg
  • L-valine: 63mg
  • Wild yam powder: 150mg
  • ElevATP®: 125mg

LIGABULK

Brutal Force’s LIGABULK gets results similar to LGD-4033 Ligandrol, including improved recovery times, increased muscle growth, and a boost in energy. It achieves this with several ingredients that can raise testosterone levels.

The complete ingredient list for LIGABULK contains:

  • Vitamin D3: 7.5mcg
  • Methylsulfonylmethane: 800mg
  • L-leucine: 300mg
  • Suma powder: 200mg
  • Ashwagandha powder: 200mg
  • Puncture vine extract: 75mg
  • Sodium hyaluronate: 30mg

CARDALEAN

GW501516 is a popular SARM among athletes thanks to its ability to enhance endurance and burn fat, so Brutal Force created CARDALEAN to do the same. It includes a less common form of arginine that acts as a powerful vasodilator.

CARDALEAN’s complete ingredient profile is as follows:

  • Wild yam powder: 750mg
  • Ginseng: 375mg
  • L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate: 150mg
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine: 75mg
  • L-citrulline: 75mg
  • Puncture vine extract: 37.5mg

CUTSR9

As the name implies, CUTSR9 may be the most potent of Brutal Force’s fat-burning SARMs alternatives. It emulates the activity of SR9009 Stenabolic by combining chromium with green tea extract and evodiamine, an alkaloid with fat mobilizing capabilities.

CUTSR9’s entire ingredient list looks like this:

  • Chromium: 200mcg
  • Potassium: 33mg
  • Cocoa powder: 100mg
  • Green tea extract: 100mg
  • Evodiamine: 50mg
  • Guggulsterones: 2.5mg

YKBULK

The most abundant ingredient in YKBULK is puncture vine extract, also known as Tribulus Terrestris (TT). While some TT studies have refuted claims of muscle enhancement, others point to its ability to increase testosterone levels, eventually leading to the kinds of gains you might see from YK11 Myostatin.

YKBULK’s complete ingredients are as follows:

  • Puncture vine extract: 600mg
  • Bulbine natalensis: 100mg
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine: 50mg
  • Muira Puama powder: 50mg
  • Longjack root powder: 50mg

IBUTALEAN

IBUTALEAN combines ingredients that can contribute to muscle growth and recovery, similar to how MK-677 Ibutamoren would work. These include maca root and mucuna pruriens, the latter of which has the added benefit of enhancing dreams by increasing dopamine.

IBUTALEAN contains:

  • Maca root powder: 200mg
  • Hawthorne berry extract: 150mg
  • Mucuna pruriens extract: 150mg
  • L-arginine: 20mg

Pricing

Each Brutal Force SARMs alternative costs $59.99, but you can get a third bottle for free when you buy two. That brings your cost per bottle down to just $40.

The SARMs bundle includes RADBULK, OSTABULK, and ANDALEAN for $119.99, or $40 per bottle. Like the individual bottles, the bundle has a buy two, get one free deal for $239.98, bringing your bottle cost down to $26.67.

Brutal Force’s SARMs stacks include four of the company’s SARMs alternatives and cost $159.99 for one stack or $319.98 for three. That works out to a third stack free of charge when you buy two. Here are the three available stacks:

  • SARMs Bulking: OSTABULK, LIGABULK, YKBULK, and RADBULK
  • SARMs Cutting: ANDALEAN, IBUTALEAN, CARDALEAN, and CUTSR9
  • SARMs Strength: CARDALEAN, OSTABULK, and YKBULK

Shipping and returns

Brutal Force offers free shipping on all US orders. Most orders arrive in about 3-7 business days.

Brutal Force’s 100-day money-back guarantee allows you to try the product for 100 days and get your money back if you find it doesn’t work for you. Some of the beneficial effects of these supplements take a lot longer to kick in than they would with real SARMs, so having that extra time is critical.

CrazyBulk

Pros

  • Safe, legal alternatives
  • Six formulas
  • Available in two targeted stacks
  • Bulk savings offered
  • Free shipping on all orders

Cons

  • Poor return policy
  • Capsules contain gelatin
  • No subscriptions

CrazyBulk is one of the two most prominent purveyors of SARMs alternatives, and their catalog boasts more options than any of their competitors. Depending on whether you’re bulking or cutting, you can choose from one of two four-formula stacks that will maximize your results.

All of CrazyBulk’s SARMs alternatives cost $69.99 for a single bottle, but you can buy multiple bottles at once to add to your savings or opt for the above-mentioned stacks for the best possible deal. And even the stacks are available as bulk orders to get you the lowest possible price.

Here’s a quick look at CrazyBulk’s SARMs alternatives and how much you can save with bulk orders:

  SARMs analog Cost per bottle Cost per bottle at highest bulk level
CrazyBulk Testol 140 RAD-140 Testolone $70 $42
CrazyBulk Ibuta 677 MK-677 Ibutamoren $70 $42
CrazyBulk Ligan 4033 LGD-4033 Ligandrol $70 $42
CrazyBulk C-Dine 501516 GW-501516 Cardarine $70 $42
CrazyBulk Stena 9009 SR-9009 Stenabolic $70 $42
CrazyBulk Osta 2866 MK-2866 Ostarine $70 $42
SARMs Bulking Stack N/A $53 $32
SARMs Cutting Stack N/A $53 $32

The CrazyBulk SARMs Bulking Stack consists of:

  • Testol 140
  • Ibuta 677
  • Ligan 4033
  • Osta 2866

The cutting stack uses a different set of four SARMs alternatives:

  • Stena 9009
  • C-Dine 501516
  • Ibuta 677
  • Ligan 4033

Since Ibuta 677 and Ligan 4033 are useful both for cutting and bulking, either product might be a great place to start. This is especially true if you’re interested in only one SARMs alternative at a time, since these two products cover many of your possible needs.

Let’s look at each formula more closely.

Osta 2866

Osta 2866 is formulated to work like Ostarine MK-2866, one of the most powerful SARMs for adding muscle. Studies show that much of this supplement’s benefit comes from a reduction in soreness after workouts, allowing you to hit the gym harder and more often.

  • Magnesium: 375mg
  • Salacia: 600mg
  • Zinc: 10mg
  • Reishi mushroom extract: 200mg
  • Cinnamon extract: 200mg
  • Fennel extract: 400mg
  • Southern ginseng: 550mg

Testol 140

Designed to emulate the lean muscle-building effects of RAD-140 Testolone, Testol 140 relies on a mix of ingredients that can boost testosterone, improve muscle performance in the gym, and reduce recovery time afterward.

Testol 140’s full ingredients list is:

  • Magnesium: 375mg
  • Zinc: 10mg
  • Vitamin B6: 1.4mg
  • Vitamin D3: 5mcg
  • Conjugated linoleic acid: 1,200mg
  • Fenugreek: 400mg
  • KSM66 ashwagandha: 300mg
  • Pomegranate whole fruit powder: 300mg
  • Senactiv: 50mg

Ibuta 677

Ibuta 677 is intended to mimic MK677 Ibutamoren, which is one of the most popular SARMs, thanks to its effect on HGH levels. The centerpiece of the formula is L-arginine, which studies show can increase growth hormone levels, even while at rest.

Here’s Ibuta 677’s full ingredient list:

  • Zinc: 10mg
  • Vitamin B5: 6mg
  • L-arginine HCl: 550mg
  • Glycine: 500mg
  • L-glutamine HCI: 500mg
  • L-lysine HCl: 450mg
  • L-ornithine HCL: 100mg
  • L-tyrosine: 100mg

Ligan 4033

LGD-4033 Ligandrol can powerfully boost testosterone and endurance, and Ligan 4033 contains several ingredients that studies show should be able to do the same. These include caffeine for some added pep and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) to increase testosterone levels.

Ligan 4033’s complete ingredient list includes:

  • Vitamin D3: 5mg
  • VitaCholine: 1,000mg
  • Methylsulfonylmethane: 800mg
  • Caffeine anhydrous: 150mg
  • Beetroot: 400mg
  • Schisandra: 60mg

C-Dine 501516

C-Dine 501516 is supposed to replace GW501516 Cardarine, which is one of the most powerful SARMs for fat loss. CrazyBulk uses capsicum from cayenne pepper, alongside other known fat burners, to get the job done.

Here are C-Dine 501516’s ingredients:

  • Vitamin C: 60mg
  • Iron: 16mg
  • Vitamin B2: 1.4mg
  • Vitamin B6: 1.4mg
  • Vitamin A: 800mcg
  • Iodine: 150mcg
  • Chromium: 40mcg
  • Southern ginseng: 550mg
  • Choline: 400mg
  • Innoslim®: 250mg
  • Capsimax®: 100mg

Stena 9009

SR9009 Stenabolic is the SARM that Stena 9009 seeks to replicate. It’s particularly good for cutting and providing stamina for intense cardio sessions. Like C-Dine, Stena 9009 employs capsicum but adds Alpha-lipoic acid, carnitine, and beetroot.

Here’s a look at Stena 9009’s ingredient list:

  • Magnesium: 375mg
  • Vitamin C: 80mg
  • Vitamin B3: 16mg
  • Alpha-lipoic acid: 800mg
  • L-carnitine L-tartrate: 600mg
  • L-citrulline: 600mg
  • Beetroot extract: 200mg
  • Capsimax®: 100mg

Shipping and returns

CrazyBulk offers free shipping worldwide, regardless of order size. Most US orders arrive in about a week’s time.

Unfortunately, that degree of thoughtfulness doesn’t extend to their lackluster return policy, which only gives you 14 days to initiate a return. What’s worse is that they don’t accept returns on opened items, so there’s no money-back guarantee to speak of.

FAQ about SARMs and SARMs alternatives

Do SARMs really work?

SARMs are effective at increasing muscle mass, decreasing body fat, reducing recovery time, and bolstering strength and endurance. But their safety is too much of a mystery for us to recommend them. SARMs alternatives also work, though not necessarily as well or as quickly. Ultimately, though, it’s better to get some results safely than more results with potentially life-changing side effects.

Are SARMs safe?

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough clinical data at this point to say that SARMs are safe. There is some evidence that they may negatively impact testosterone production and even pose a cancer risk. SARMs alternatives are a much safer option, as they use mostly natural ingredients backed by research that documents their effectiveness and safety.

What’s in SARMs alternatives?

SARMs alternatives contain mostly natural ingredients, many of which have clinical studies supporting their effectiveness. Some also contain various vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that contribute to the supplements’ overall effect.

How long do SARMs alternatives take to work?

Some ingredients in SARMs alternatives take effect in a matter of minutes. The most pronounced effects on fat burning and muscle mass will take weeks to set in. SARMs may be a bit faster, but given the risk profile, we recommend patience and persistence in the gym with the help of SARMs alternatives.

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Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

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