How long do steroids stay in your system? The answer can vary based on the steroid being used, so understanding more about steroid half-lives can help you decide which steroid is the best choice for your needs.
What Is a Half-Life and What Does It Mean?
A steroids half-life is the amount of time it takes before half of the steroid introduced into your body is gone. This can provide some insight into the amount of time that a particular compound will stay in your system, as well. Different steroids have different half-lives, and the longer the half-life, the longer it will take for the compound to exit your system completely.
- Anadrol – 16 hours or less
- Andriol (testosterone undecanoate) – 8 hours or less
- Dianabol – 6 to 8 hours for oral; 60-72 hours for injectable
- Halotestin – 6 to 8 hours
- Anavar – 8 to 12 hours
- Primobolan (tablets)– 4 to 6 hours
- Winstrol (tablets) – 8 hours
- Equipoise – 7 to 9 days
- Masteron (enanthate) – 8 days
- Masteron (propionate) – 2 to 3 days
- Primobolan Depot (injectable) – 10 to 14 days
- Winstrol Depot (injectable) – 48 hours
- Deca Durabolin – 14 to 16 days
- Trenbolone – 2 to 3 days
- Testosterone Half-Lives
Most athletes pair their anabolic steroids with a testosterone base, and just like steroids, different testosterone esters have different half-lives, as well.
- Testosterone acetate – 48 hours
- Testosterone propionate – 72 hours
- Testosterone cypionate – 16 days
- Testosterone enanthate – 8 days
- Testosterone suspension – about 24 hours
As such, athletes who are concerned with steroid testing and detection often avoid testosterone esters with longer half-lives, such as testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate, and instead stick to those that leave the system much more quickly.
Half-Lives Associated with Common Supplements
In some cases, a steroid test may also look for common supplements used during a steroid cycle or afterward as part of post-cycle therapy.
- Arimidex – 4 to 6 hours
- Clomid – 8 to 12 hours
- HCG – 64 hours
- Nolvadex – less than 24 hours
- Clenbuterol – as long as 68 hours
Half-Life vs. Detection Times
It is important to understand that a compound’s half-life is not the same as its detection time. Remember that a half-life is the length of time at which half of the active compound has left the body. Detection time, on the other hand, describes the length of time between when a substance is introduced into the body and when it could show up on a steroid test. Although there are some very complicated equations that you could use to calculate the detection times associated with just about any exogenous compound you use, it is best to refer to a list compiled by thousands of bodybuilders.
Factors that Influence Detection Times
Before using any list of detection times to determine whether you are “safe” to take a steroid test, it is important to remember that there are a number of factors that could determine how long a steroid remains in your bloodstream. These include things from the length of time you used a particular steroid to the potency of the drug, particularly if you acquired it from a dealer at a gym or in a country where steroids are not bound to strict regulations. What’s more, your own unique tolerance to a steroid, your fluid intake, and your body’s metabolism can all play a role in determining how long it will take before the steroid is no longer detectable in your body.
Detection Times of Popular Steroids
This list represents the average detection times associated with popular anabolic steroids, testosterone esters, and supplements commonly used in bodybuilding or performance enhancement. These are only averages, and you should therefore use the information found here with discretion. Also, keep in mind that these detection times are only true for athletes or bodybuilders who may be subject to urine tests; they do not adequately represent detection times for anyone who may be subject to a blood test. What’s more, hair follicle tests are typically not used for steroid testing.
- Anadrol – about 2 months
- Andriol – 1 week
- Dianabol – 5 weeks
- Halotestin – 2 months
- Anavar – 3 weeks
- Primobolan (tablets or injectable) – 4 to 5 weeks
- Winstrol (tablets) – 3 weeks
- Equipoise – 4 to 5 months
- Masteron (enanthate) – 3 months
- Masteron (propionate) – 3 weeks
- Winstrol (injectable) – 9 weeks
- Deca Durabolin – 18 months
- Trenbolone – 5 months
- Testosterone acetate – 5 months
- Testosterone propionate – 3 weeks
- Testosterone cypionate – 3 months
- Testosterone enanthate – 5 months
- Testosterone suspension – 1 to 2 days (no ester)
- Arimidex – 2 weeks
- Clomid – up to 8 weeks
- HCG – 7 to 10 days
- Nolvadex – 2 months
- Clenbuterol – 4 to 6 days
Ways to Beat Steroid Tests
The internet is filled with tips and tricks for beating anabolic steroid tests, but for the most part, none of these truly work. In the early- to mid-2000s, a number of “designer” steroids that were supposed to be undetectable showed up on the market, and while they did seem to get by testing for a while, it wasn’t long before the tests themselves became more sophisticated. These days, the only true way to beat a steroid test is to keep half-lives and detection times in mind, then plan your cycle based on your potential test dates.
What About HGH? Is It Truly Undetectable?
There are many rumors circulating the internet and athletic/bodybuilding crowds that HGH is completely undetectable in any standard steroid test. However, this is not the case. In all actuality, there are some highly specialized tests out there that can quantify HGH anywhere from 24 to 36 hours after the last injection.
How long do steroids stay in your system? The answer varies based on several different factors, including the steroid you used, the length of time you used it, and your body’s unique chemistry. Although there are no tried-and-true ways to effectively beat a steroid test, you can use information about these compounds’ half-lives and detection times to your advantage.