The Shift in Popularity of Nebido Among Bodybuilders in the USA over the Past Decade (2003-2023)

The Shift in Popularity of Nebido Among Bodybuilders in the USA over the Past Decade (2003-2023)

The Shift in Popularity of Nebido Among Bodybuilders in the USA over the Past Decade (2003-2023)


Nebido is a brand name for testosterone undecanoate, which has been utilized in testosterone replacement therapy. In the context of bodybuilding, some athletes have used Nebido to increase muscle mass and performance. This paper explores the shift in popularity of Nebido among bodybuilders in the USA over the last decade, tracing legal restrictions, awareness campaigns, and the influence of professional bodybuilding figures.

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The two primary forms of Nebido, testosterone undecanoate in capsules and injections, have been of considerable interest to bodybuilders and medical professionals alike. Comparing these two forms, both with specific applications and characteristics, reveals distinctive features that may have contributed to their varying popularity among bodybuilders.

1. Absorption and Bioavailability: Testosterone undecanoate in capsule form is orally administered and goes through the digestive system, which can decrease its bioavailability. In contrast, injections allow testosterone to be directly absorbed into the bloodstream, thereby increasing bioavailability. This difference plays a crucial role in effectiveness, as the injectable form typically provides a more predictable and sustained release of testosterone.

2. Convenience and Administration: Capsules offer a non-invasive and more convenient method of administration. It can be particularly appealing to those who are averse to needles or seek a simpler way to incorporate testosterone supplementation into their routine. On the other hand, injections require medical expertise or careful self-administration, which can be seen as a barrier by some users. However, this method provides more precise control over dosing.

3. Side Effects and Risks: The potential side effects and risks associated with each form can vary significantly. Oral capsules might put more stress on the liver as they are metabolized, posing a potential long-term risk. In contrast, injections can bypass the liver, reducing this specific risk but possibly introducing others, such as infection at the injection site if not administered correctly.

4. Effectiveness in Bodybuilding: Many bodybuilders have a preference for the injectable form of Nebido due to its more direct and efficient absorption into the bloodstream. This efficiency is often associated with more rapid and noticeable gains in muscle mass and strength, which aligns with the goals of many in the bodybuilding community. Conversely, the capsule form, with its slower and less predictable absorption, may not be as attractive to those seeking immediate and pronounced results.

5. Medical Perspective: From a medical standpoint, the choice between capsules and injections often depends on the individual needs and medical condition of the patient. Capsules might be preferred for those seeking a gradual adjustment to testosterone levels or who have particular concerns or fears regarding injections. In contrast, injections might be favored for those requiring higher doses or more controlled release.

6. Cost and Accessibility: The cost and accessibility can also vary between the two forms. Injections typically require medical supervision or training, which might incur additional costs. Capsules are often perceived as more accessible and may be less expensive in some regions, but this can vary widely.

7. Perception and Stigma: The social perception and personal comfort with either form may also influence the choice between capsules and injections. Injections might be associated with more severe or ‘hardcore’ bodybuilding practices, whereas capsules might be perceived as more mainstream or approachable.

In conclusion, Nebido in the form of testosterone undecanoate capsules and injections presents a complex picture of options, each with unique advantages and drawbacks. While the injectable form seems to be more favored among bodybuilders for its efficacy, the capsule form offers convenience and approachability. The choice between these two reflects individual goals, health considerations, personal preferences, and societal perceptions. Understanding these nuances is critical for both the bodybuilding community and healthcare providers to make informed and responsible decisions regarding testosterone supplementation.

Rise in Popularity (2013-2018)

1. Growing Awareness & Accessibility: During the first half of the decade, Nebido became more popular among bodybuilders as a way to augment muscle growth. Accessibility and marketing played significant roles in its adoption.

2. Professional Endorsement: Some professional bodybuilders openly advocated for the use of Nebido. Their success on the professional stage indirectly contributed to its popularity.

3. Decline in Stereotyping: The stigma attached to testosterone replacement therapy began to decrease, making it a more appealing option for many bodybuilders.

Regulation and Decline (2018-2023)

1. Regulatory Actions: In 2018, stricter regulations were put into place, aiming to curb the non-medical use of testosterone replacement therapies like Nebido. It led to a reduction in accessibility and a gradual decline in its popularity among bodybuilders.

2. Health Concerns & Awareness Campaigns: Growing knowledge about the potential side effects and risks associated with the use of Nebido started to shape public opinion. Campaigns emphasizing natural bodybuilding and highlighting the risks of Nebido played a crucial role in the decline.

3. Influence of Bodybuilding Communities: The stance taken by bodybuilding communities and organizations shifted towards natural, drug-free competitions. Some influential figures within the community began to actively discourage the use of Nebido.


The popularity of Nebido among bodybuilders in the USA over the past decade shows a distinctive pattern of growth followed by a decline. The increase in popularity was driven by accessibility, professional endorsement, and reduced stigma. The subsequent decline was shaped by regulatory measures, health awareness campaigns, and a shift in the bodybuilding community towards natural practices.

The trajectory of Nebido's popularity provides insights into broader cultural shifts within the sport of bodybuilding, reflecting evolving attitudes towards health, ethics, and regulation. It highlights the importance of comprehensive legislation and the power of community norms and influential figures in shaping behavior within the sport.

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