Time and again, we have seen athletes as well as fitness buffs get confused when different esters of Testosterone are mentioned.
‘My endocrinologist has prescribed Test P. How is it different from Test Enanthate?’
‘I have been prescribed Test Cyp. Is it any different from Test P?’
‘Which testosterone ester is the best for an anabolic steroid blast’?
On many messaging boards, you might be met with the typical ‘Test is test’ argument, which sadly holds no water.
True, test is test. But you aren’t injecting pure test are you?
There’s an ester attached to it that has a specific trait and that ester can very well alter the way in which the steroid activates and affects your hormonal levels.
So, if anyone tells you that the ester attached to Testosterone or Nandrolone doesn’t matter, punch them in the face.
Today, we will demystify the top three testosterone esters and the difference between using them for various purposes.
What is an ester?
An ester is a side chain that is added to a drug to increase its half-life. In this case, you have pure testosterone which has an extremely short half-life. If you were to inject it without any ester attached to it, it would get absorbed in minutes and clear the system in just hours.
To maintain stable levels of test in your blood all day, you’d need to make multiple injections throughout the day.
By adding an ester to it, it’s release time and half-life can be controlled.
When the steroid is injected, the ester blocks the OH group and prevents the steroid from binding to androgen receptors immediately.
But when the steroid is released into the bloodstream, the ester is neutralized by esterase enzymes, which restores the OH group, making the steroid active again.
Types of esters
There are short esters, medium esters and long ones.
Short esters are designed for fast absorption and help achieve peak plasma levels within a day or two at best. These are water soluble and have a higher melting point, which makes them more likely to cause Post-injection pain. The caveat is that you’d have to inject more frequently because the drug clears your system a lot sooner. If you are using a short Test ester, you’d have to inject at least twice a week. Thrice is considered optimum.
Medium esters are a middle ground. These will work slower and allow peak plasma levels in three to four days. Test levels will return to normalcy in a span of 5-6 days. So bi-weekly injections are the normal protocol.
Long esters on the other hand are designed for continual, delayed release of testosterone over a span of 10-12 days. It is used in TRT protocols as it prevents the need for frequent pinning. Also, stable levels of testosterone can be maintained with just one injection in two weeks. Long esters are fat soluble and hence are released a lot slower from the depot created by the injection. Long esters are less likely to cause PIP because of their lower melting points.
The three esters of Testosterone and delivery
Let’s take a look at the top three Testosterone esters and their effects on the body.
Testosterone Cypionate is a fat-soluble, slow-acting, long ester of Testosterone that is used primarily for TRT or HRT protocols in the United States. Its usage is surprisingly limited to the US. In other countries, a blend of four testosterone esters by the name of Sustanon or Omnadren are preferred.
Test Cyp is dissolved in cottonseed oil and has a half-life of 8-9 days, which allows HRT users to get away with just one weekly injection.
Testostetone enanthate is a fat-soluble, slow-acting, long-ester of Testosterone that is almost identical to Cypionate. In fact, most doctors would consider these two esters interchangeable in an HRT plan. But for some reason, Test Cyp is favored over Enanthate.
It is dissolved in sesame oil. If you are allergic to any one of these two oils, you can just swap it for the other one.
Test E has a half-life of 8-9 days as well.
Test Prop is a short-acting ester that has a half-life of just 3-4 days. It will result in the fastest peak plasma levels of Testosterone. However, the high will be followed by a crash in T levels if you do not inject twice or thrice a week to maintain stable levels.
Test Prop is rarely used by HRT users or steroid users for that matter. However, it is a part of Sustanon as well as other Testosterone blends that are used for HRT.
Test Prop earns the distinction of being the most painful injection among all Test esters. That’s because it has a melting temperature of 120C whereas Testosterone Cypionate has a low melting point of just 36C.
What is the difference between these esters?
In theory, these esters will only allow you to control the release time of the steroid. But there’s more to it.
Long esters are more anabolic:
According to a clinical study conducted in 1954 by a team of scientists, any long acting ester will produce the slowest peak of Testosterone plasma levels. However, it also increases Nitrogen retention more than a short ester, and it gets converted more readily into Estrogen, which in turn increases SHBG and IGF-1. In simple terms, Test Cyp may be more anabolic than Test Prop. So, if you are looking to use it for a steroid cycle instead, it gives you a slight edge. You’d still have to dial down the ideal dosage and injection schedule to maintain peak levels. Also, if you tend to aromatize a lot sooner and more aggressively, then you’d have to watch your E2 levels closely and use an AI to prevent aromatization. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1532-5415.1954.tb00207.x?sid=nlm%3Apubmed))
Higher chance of water retention:
The increased aromatization also increases the likelihood of you holding a lot of water on the cycle. So, if you are looking for dry gains, you’d have to consider stacking the long ester with another compound like say, Proviron or Masteron to limit some of the water retention. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12954670)
If you are using Testosterone for an off-season bulk, we recommend that you go for a long ester like Test Cyp.
It is readily available, easier to use and does not cause PIP.
But if you are looking for a contest cut, you’d either have to use Test Prop to minimize water retention and E2 levels.
Or you’d have to use Test Cyp and stack it with a drying compound like Var, Mast or Proviron.