Purpose of Supplementation
There are multiple ways to supplement human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. The most commonly seen practices are injections and drops. In the world of performance enhancing drugs, hCG is increasingly used alone, and also in combination with various Anabolic Androgenic Steroid cycles. In male athletes, hCG mimics luteinizing hormone (LH) and helps increase testosterone production in the testes (learn about hormones). The reason hCG is commonly used during and after steroid cycles is because it maintains and restores the size of testes within male athletes, as well as increase endogenous testosterone production. Simply put, hCG regulates hormone production.
Self-medicated injections have been widely debunked as an ineffective way to supplement in any way because of the risks revolving around syringes. As with any vaccine, common side effects of hCG injections include, but are not limited to: injection site reactions (pain, swelling, and redness), mild fever, shivering, fatigue, headache, and muscle and joint pain. Additionally, if syringes are purchased over the counter, it can be difficult to verify the level of sterility. Risk to benefit analysis would dictate that a person should not inject any supplement unless specifically prescribed by a medical professional. A widely accepted and lower risk method of supplement ingestion is to be taken orally.
The two most common methods of orally ingested supplementation are pills and drops. Given the properties of hCG, the most effective form of supplementation is to ingest drop. When and how to take the drops can be followed in three simple steps: 1) Abstain from food or drink for (at a minimum) 30 minutes before taking the drops. 2) Place the recommended amount of drops underneath your tongue, wait 60 seconds, and then swallow the liquid. 3) Abstain from food or drink for (at a minimum) 30 minutes after taking the drops. Inside each bottle is a dropper – common practice is to place no more than ten 10 drops under the tongue, three times per day (do not exceed six times per day total). The best recommendation is to take the drops 30-45 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day.
Drop Side Effects
If you’re interested in hCG and hCG dieting, it is important to do your own research and understand all the risks involved. The following text will illustrate the possible side effects of using hCG drops, but bear in mind that this is not a medically endorsed article, and this page is for informational purposes only. It is widely realized that there are no known serious side effects associated with hCG drops, unlike with hCG injections. However, the common side effects experienced by people taking hCG drops often stem from the accompanying VLCD, or very low calorie diet. It is important to remember that the drops perform most effectively when used in conjunction with a very low calorie diet, so I will still lay out the possible side effects. VLC dieting is defined by consumption of no more than 500 calories per day, with heavy restrictions on proteins, fruits, and vegetables. The body will drap energy and nutrients from the stored fat that is being consumed, but most people have to adjust to the drastic change in food quantity. This combination of drops and dieting is more doable than it sounds, because a lower caloric intake will increase the amount of ketone bodies in the blood stream, which will act as an appetite suppressant. With that, the side effects of very low calorie dieting include:
- Headache: some people may experience minor headaches during the first week or two of the low calorie diet. Any over the counter pain medication (such as acetaminophen) can be used to treat the headache.
- Mild dizziness: as people adjust to the restrictive amount of calories, they may experience mild dizziness, but this will typically go away after the first week. If signs of dizziness continue, consult your medical professional.
- Constipation: while on a low calorie diet, it should go without saying that bowel movements will come less often. Considerably so while eating 500 calories a day; only 3 bowel movements in a week is not uncommon. This is NOT constipation. However, a small amount of people will experience real constipation and this can be treated by taking a mild, sugar free laxative purchased at any pharmacy.
- Rash: one of the more uncommon side effects, a rash can develop in random parts of a person’s body. This is because of the toxins being released into the body. While on an hCG diet, your body will consume fat at rapid speeds, and fat consumption will release toxins into the body; these toxins can build up and cause a minor rash. The rash will begin to fade away on its own after a few days. If the rash progresses, or shows no signs of recession, consult your doctor or a medical professional.
- Leg cramps: much like rashes, cramps are an uncommon side effect of hCG drops and dieting. The restrictive diet may lead to a lower consumption of potassium. The drop in potassium can cause the muscles to cramp, but a person can supplement potassium by using any over the counter supplement.
- Breast enlargement in boys and men (Gynecomastia): A man could develop breasts while cycling hCG because of the restrictive dieting while using the drops. When a body is deprived of nutrition, testosterone levels may be reduced. The ingesting of hCG drops allows the hormone to encourage the body to convert testosterone into estrogen. So, the drops in conjunction with the diet would explain the potential for enlarged breasts in boys and men. Gynecomastia can, of course, be very embarrassing for males, so be sure to consult with your doctor before embarking on an hCG cycle with very low calorie dieting.
As with any diet and supplementation cycle, it is important to remember to consume adequate amounts of water each day, because it will lower the risk of side effects, and it will also aid in the body to feel more energetic throughout the cycle. A standard practice is to consume approximately two liters of water per day. While cycling hCG drops and abiding by the hCG diet, it is recommended to increase that amount to four liters per day, or about one gallon.
Despite the potential side effects of hCG drops, it is still preferred by many over the use of hCG injections. Keep in mind that the side effects are most largely associated with the extremely restrictive diet than with the ingestion of the drops themselves. Some medical professionals are still skeptical about the theory behind using hCG drops and dieting for weight loss because it is not common for a person to advocate physical fitness while cycling. Proper dieting and physical fitness can yield faster and longer term results. That being said, if after conducting your own research and you’ve decided to pursue cycling hCG drops and a VLCD (very low calorie diet), it is best to work hand in hand with a medical professional or a doctor. Consult with your doctor prior to starting the cycle, and do not stay on the restrictive diet if multiple side effects are experienced, or the cycle begins to negatively impact your life.