How the different testosterone esters affect your blood level of testosterone and the potency of its effects.
Testosterone esters consist of the actual testosterone molecule, with a carbon chain attached to it. This carbon chain controls something called the partition co-efficient, which basically means how soluble the drug will be once in the bloodstream. Also, the larger the carbon chain, the longer the ester, the less soluble the drug is in water, and the longer the half life.
Here is an example. Testosterone propionate is a three carbon chain ester:
c-c-c. This just means there is three carbons in the chain. As we know the half life of testosterone propionate is amongst the shortest of the testosterone esters (compared to enanthate, cypionate, etc). Testosterone enanthate has eight carbons:
c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c. This makes the enanthate form significantly less soluble in water (acqueous) which slows the drug's release in the body and bloodstream. This is what directly accounts for the longer half life of enanthate as compared to propionate. As a side note, the carbons in the ester chain are not straight together but they are attached from one to the next in a specific configuration. If you would like to know more, please see the drug profiles section.
All testosterone esters work in a similar manner with respect to release in the bloodstream. To give you a better physical visual, think of an orange. Lets just say that the orange represents testosterone itslelf, the active form, with no ester attached to it. Now lets say you take a plastic fork, and stab it into the orange. The fork represents one carbon. Lets say we tape two forks to the original fork that is now sticking in the orange. Now there are three "carbons" attached to the orange, or a three carbon ester chain attached to the orange. If the orange represents testosterone, and the forks each represent a carbon in the ester, we have just figuratively created testosterone propionate (remember what we said, prop has a three carbon ester attached to it). Follow?
Think of enanthate, visualize the same orange, but now tape eight forks together, and stab the chain of forks into the orange. Eight forks, aka, eight carbon chain, wallah...figuratively we have testosterone enanthate.
As a side note, there are two main types of enzymes that act to cleave off the ester and activate the testosterone. Enzymes called esterases come along and cleave peices of the ester off the tesosterone, thereby releasing the active chemical and allowing it to do its job (ultimately muscle building). Another type of enzyme called a hydrolysate which is basically a water breaking enzyme, comes along and aids the breaking of the ester from the testosterone molecule as well. Once the ester is broken from the testosterone molecule, the testosterone molecule becomes active.
The bloodsteam which testosterone and blood born nutrients and substances circulate is often called the "medium". These enzymes circulate in the medium and directly affect the release of "active" testosterone in the bloodstream by ester cleavage (aka, pulling the fork out of the orange).
The Basic Testosterone Esters, Speed of Drug Release in the Bloodstream, and Pain at Injection Site caused by the ester.
As we stated earlier, the length of the ester chain affects the half-life of the drug in the bloodstream. The longer the ester chain, the longer the half-life (in most cases). This can be extremely useful when trying to keep even blood levels of testosterone for optimal muscle growth and tissue recovery. The half-lives of the most common testosterone esters are as follows:
Testosterone Suspension- this drug is pure testosterone in sterilized water. There is no ester attached and the testosterone is biologically active at 100%, upon injection. The testosterone is suspended in tiny crystals within the aqueous solution which is why the "suspension sting" occurs upon injection. The crystals begin to dissolve very rapidly upon injection (there is no added partition coefficient because there is no ester attached slowing the absortption of the drug). One hundred milligrams (100mg) of testosterone suspension, is, literally 100mg of active drug. The half-life of the drug is from 12-36 hours depending on the state of your metabolism and the prescense of other drugs (more on this later).
Testosterone Propionate- this is also one of the most popular testosterone esters around and has the shortest available ester chain available in an injectable testosterone product. We have previously stated that the ester chain of prop is three carbons long. The ester is taken from propionic acid, which is an acid that has the potential to irritate the injected muscle. Often prop is used for site injection due to the fact that it causes an intense localized swelling of the injection site in most users. The reason prop stings is due to the short ester chain. Generally, the shorter the ester, the more irritation to the muscle. For example, bee venom, is C1, prop is C3 (three carbon chain). Make sense right?
The half-life of testosterone propionate is on the order of 48-72 hours, or two to three days. The disadvantage to using shorter chain esters is the need to inject more frequently and the general pain from the injections. Advantages include a quicker onset of action, and more immediate effects.
An interesting side note is that the smaller ester chains, weigh less. This is important because it brings another advantage of shorter chain ester drugs to the table. If the ester weighs less, the amount of testosterone per milliliter or cubic centimeter (cc, they are interchangeable) is more. For example, testosterone suspension is 100% testosterone as we have said previously. It has no ester. The short chain ester propionate, is roughly 74% testosterone. This means that if you take a typical 1cc shot of prop at 100mg/cc, this is actually 74mg of testosterone and 26 milligrams of ester weight. A larger ester such as enanthate, is roughly 55% testosterone. Twenty-eight (45%) percent of the gross weight of a given amount of testosterone enanthate is the actual enanthate ester, not the active testosterone that you are searching for. So, a typical 200mg/cc shot of enanthate only contains 110mg of active testosterone. If you have ever used a shorter acting injectable anabolic, and gotten better results than using heavier dosages of longer acting drugs, this is the reason. You may have been getting more “active” drug into your system with what appeared to be less “overall” or gross mg dosage of drug.
A great illustration of the above point is evident when comparing the "active" amount of testosterone yield in equal "mg" dosages of these two testosterone esters. Think of the 110mg/200mg injection of enanthate. The 74mg/100mg injection of propionate would yield more active testosterone if you
were to take "200mg) of the drug. This would yield 148mg of testosterone from the propionate!! Do you see? So, 200mg of propionate is more "active" test than 200mg of enanthate.
Yet another factor to consider is that you have more drug interacting with receptors at a given time with shorter acting drugs. It is essential to understand drug half life if you are to get the most “bang for your buck” from anabolics. With respect to your health and longevity, this is also of paramount importance. Why take more, if less works just as well. As we will explore, sometimes, less works even better.
Testosterone Enanthate- enth for short is one of the most readily available testosterones on the market. Even those without significant connections can usually find some enth. The half life of enth as many of my buddies call it, ranges in the literature between 4-7 days. For our purposes, it is fair to figure a little under a week's time. Testosterone enanthate is not known to cause extreme irritation at injection sites and is a good staple drug to build quality mass with if you are not overly susceptible to estrogenic affects. Testosterone enanthate
is a good cheap drug that can fulfill the androgenic component of a cycle many times over. If you want a high and consistent blood level of testosterone and don't want to constantly poke yourself, testosterone enanthate is a quality choice. One poke every four to five days is a good frequency to maintain blood levels. Whatever amount you choose to do will be fine on this schedule, i.e. it will maintain the blood level well because you are taking another dosage before the hal-life has a chance to cut the blood level back down.
Keep in mind that using enanthate this way will cause a significant build up of testosterone in the bloodstream that will not cease to increase until four or five weeks of injections. This is due to the fact that taking a four hundred milligram injection, and another four days later, still has at least 200mg working from the previous dose. The third injection then adds another four hundred and the first is still not entirely used up. You may realistically have over a gram or so in the bloodstream before you know it. Just be careful, and keep this in mind when figuring out your dosages.
Testosterone Cypionate- testosterone cypionate or cyp is closely interchangeable with enanthate. They differ by one carbon chain length which does not significantly affect the duration of action of these drugs. Cypionate has one more carbon in the ester chain attachment than does enanthate, so technically, equal dosages of enanthate or cypionate will yield a slightly higher amount of testosterone from the enanthate ester.
There are many possible chemical combinations of testosterone. Scientists can do amazing things. The above esters are the most common drug esters used in our community of drug enhancement.
This is just the enanthate ester, without the testosterone molecule.
This is the plain testosterone molecule:
If you attach the enanthate ester to the 17th position (technically 17-beta position as scientists like to call it), you create the testosterone enanthate molecule/structure.
Don't worry about the details of all this. Just want to show you what enanthate looks like. Some muscle nerds like myself actually dig this stuff. Check out the drug profiles section for the other testosterone esters such as propionate, cypionate, etc., and just be aware that the roof top position of the fourth ring (17th position) is where all the action takes place (where the esters are located as well as where the methyl group is placed to make anabolics orally active-we'll get to that).