Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage & More

Athletes and dedicated gym goers are sometimes willing to use a number of resources to push the boundaries of athletic performance and body improvement.

While some compounds can be quite effective for improving performance, their safety is often highly questionable.

One such substance is Cardarine, a controversial drug touted to promote weight loss and improve athletic performance. However, data on effectiveness and safety are extremely limited.

In this article, we will examine Cardarine, including its purported benefits, potential side effects, dosage, and current availability.

Cardarine, also called GW501516, is a synthetic compound that serves as a metabolic modulator.

People often think it’s some kind of compound called SARM (selective androgen receptor modulator), but Cardarine actually belongs to a class of drugs called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonists.

The cell receptors that affect these are most abundant in muscle cells throughout the body.

Compounds such as Cardarine act on energy metabolism in cells and are thought to increase energy expenditure.

This is why some athletes and bodybuilders are attracted to taking Cardarine. They may take it in hopes of increasing fat burning, leaner body composition, and improving their athletic performance.


Cardarine was originally discovered in the early 1990s during a research collaboration between two major pharmaceutical companies.

Numerous studies were completed throughout the early 2000s to determine the effects of the compound.

Researchers studied it almost exclusively in animals, with the exception of a few studies in humans.

Its initial proposed use was for the treatment of hyperlipidemia (elevated fats in the blood), although later studies looked at its effectiveness for treating obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

While some initial research seemed promising, subsequent animal studies revealed that the drug caused cancer to develop rapidly in various organs. As a result, the investigation was halted.

prohibited substance

Prohibited substances are defined as drugs or substances that athletes are not allowed to use because they can artificially improve performance in competitions.

Due to its potential role as a metabolic modulator and performance enhancer, Cardarine was added to the list of banned substances monitored by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2009 (1).

Urine and hair tests for Cardarine were made around the same time.

Sports clubs worldwide use WADA guidelines to test their athletes. A number of athletes subsequently tested positive for the drug and experienced the consequences, such as being banned from competitions.

Cardarine is still on WADA’s banned substance list.


Cardarine is a synthetic compound thought to boost metabolism and increase fat burning. Although some athletes and bodybuilders have used it for performance enhancement, it has been banned due to possible adverse effects.

Researchers have suggested that Cardarine may provide a number of health and performance-enhancing benefits.

Keep in mind that most studies on the drug were in animals, so these results may not apply to humans.

weight loss

Two major claimed benefits of taking Cardarine are weight loss and fat loss.

In theory, it can increase fat burning capacity. This may be because the drug serves as a metabolic modulator by targeting a part of the cell that handles energy metabolism.

Initial studies of Cardarine looked at its potential as a treatment for obesity.

An older study in mice found that Cardarine increased fatty acid oxidation, which resulted in reduced fat stores, reducing the incidence of obesity in mice fed a high-calorie diet (2

Researchers later suggested that Cardarine may stimulate PPAR in a similar way to exercise, so taking it could mimic the effect of exercise in the body (3456

If that were the case, it would mean people could take Cardarine to get some of the benefits of exercise without actually having to exercise.

Unfortunately, while it sounds promising in theory, there are no high-quality long-term studies in humans to support this.

Benefits for people with diabetes

Researchers also studied Cardarine for the prevention of type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the body becomes resistant to insulin and is therefore unable to process carbohydrates efficiently.

A more recent rodent study looked at the effect of Cardarine use on gestational diabetes, a condition in which pregnant people experience high blood sugar levels (7

They found that rats with gestational diabetes treated with Cardarine had improvements in blood glucose and insulin levels, and less damage to their islet cells, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

Finally, one study found that Cardarine may help accelerate the healing of diabetic wounds, which people with advanced diabetes often develop as a result of reduced blood flow to certain body parts (8

As you can see, most of the research in this area is on animals. So while the results showed potential, they can’t be applied to humans and more research is needed.

Can improve blood fat levels

One of the first theoretical uses of Cardarine was to improve blood lipid levels, including your levels of the fats known as cholesterol and triglycerides.

It is well documented in older research that there is a link between the PPAR pathway and fat burning (9101112

That said, only a limited number of studies have suggested that drugs like Cardarine can affect fats in the blood.

One such 2007 human study took a small group of 24 healthy volunteers and gave them either a placebo, 2.5 mg Cardarine or 10 mg Cardarine per day for a period of 2 weeks (13

They found that the groups receiving Cardarine experienced an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol and a decrease in blood triglycerides.

While these results are promising, this study design has not been replicated on a larger, long-term scale, so recommendations cannot be made.

Sports achievements

One of the more prominent uses that people have suggested for Cardarine is to improve sports performance.

Because of Cardarine’s potential role in fat burning, some athletes are considering using it to help build a leaner body and improve their energy metabolism and cardiovascular performance.

Some users claim that it improves stamina, endurance, exercise capacity and fat loss within a few days.

That said, these claims lack reliable research support, with only a limited number of animal studies available.

In one such 2015 study, researchers looked at the effect of Cardarine use on the endurance of mice (14

They found that mice given Cardarine experienced improvements in exhaustive running performance.

There are no human studies to support the use of Cardarine for boosting endurance, exercise capacity, or fat loss.

Despite the lack of research, athletes are sometimes willing to try unusual methods to express even a small improvement in their performance.

In the case of Cardarine, however, the potentially serious side effects seem to outweigh the benefits. So its use is not recommended.


The main purported benefits of Cardarine are weight loss, benefits for diabetes and obesity, improved blood lipids and improved sports performance. Research in humans is severely lacking, so the use of Cardarine is not recommended.

A major concern around Cardarine is the potential side effects associated with its use.

In the early days of the discovery, research found that Cardarine can rapidly develop cancer in mice and rats when taken in doses of 1.4 mg per pound (3 mg per kilogram) of body weight per day (15).

At that point, major drug companies, which had previously funded the research, halted further research on the drug.

It is important to note that this is a relatively large dose compared to doses tested in humans.

Given the limited amount of human research, the extent of these and other side effects remains largely unknown in humans, making it quite risky to use Cardarine.


Early rodent studies have shown that higher doses of Cardarine can cause cancer to develop rapidly. Due to the limited number of studies in humans, the magnitude of such side effects is unknown.

Given the lack of consistent human data on Cardarine, as well as its questionable side effects, it is difficult to determine an accurate dose.

In the limited human studies, participants received 2.5-10 mg of Cardarine with no significant side effects. However, these studies have not been replicated, so more research is needed to verify these findings (1316).

Due to the lack of extensive research and unreliable sources, the use of Cardarine is not recommended.


Although the limited human studies of Cardarine have used a dosage of 2.5-10 mg, the correct dosage is difficult to determine. Given the lack of research and questionable availability, the use of Cardarine is not recommended.

Due to the lack of research on Cardarine and its banned status in many sports clubs, major pharmaceutical companies have stopped producing it.

Its availability is thus extremely limited, with the exception of some black market labs.

Several questionable supplement companies are selling what they claim to be Cardarine online, although most of these companies lack a proven track record or third-party testing. Thus, these products are likely to be illegal and carry a high risk of contamination.

Therefore, it is best to avoid these online retailers and Cardarine in general.

In addition, depending on the country you live in, possession of Cardarine may even be illegal.


Cardarine is only available through some questionable labs on the black market due to the lack of support from the pharmaceutical industry. Due to the high risk of contamination and unknown side effects, it is best to avoid this drug.

Cardarine, or GW501516, is a synthetic compound that was originally researched for the treatment of certain health conditions. It later gained attention for its potential performance-enhancing benefits.

Although often thought to be a SARM (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator), Cardarine actually belongs to a class of drugs called PPAR agonists, which can alter energy metabolism in the body.

The main claimed benefits are weight loss, benefits for diabetes and obesity, improved blood lipids and improved sports performance, although human research in these areas is lacking.

The most notable side effect discovered during the initial study was the drug’s ability to cause rapid cancer growth in rats and mice. Whether this also applies to humans is unknown.

Given the overwhelming lack of long-term human trials, unknown side effects, questionable provenance and legal status of Cardarine, its use is not recommended.

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