SARMs vs Peptides: What’s the Difference?

sarms vs peptides

SARMs and peptides are both of interest to medical researchers for their potential for several issues faced by many, including insufficient muscle tissue. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to confuse the two.

However, there are notable differences between them. So, let’s briefly look at SARMs and peptides.

How do they work? And what are their potential benefits? Keep reading to find out.

What Are SARMs and Peptides? 

SARMs, known as selective androgen receptor modulators, represent a class of synthetic compounds engineered to mimic the beneficial aspects of anabolic steroids while circumventing some of their less favorable side effects. It’s crucial to emphasize that SARMs are entirely synthetic and do not occur naturally [1].

These compounds are meticulously crafted within laboratory settings. It’s worth noting that ongoing research is imperative to gain a comprehensive understanding of SARMs’ properties and effects.

Importantly, SARMs currently lack approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human consumption.

In contrast, peptides are intricate chains of amino acids. While the human body naturally produces its own peptides, they can also be sourced from specific foods. Furthermore, scientists can synthesize peptides in controlled laboratory environments [3].

SARMs and Peptides: How Do They Work? 

SARMs are selective modulators because they only target specific androgen receptors. In contrast, anabolic steroids affect more of the body as they bind androgen receptors throughout the entire body [2,3].

For example, SARMs focus on stimulating receptors to a far greater extent in the desired areas like muscle and bone tissues. At the same time, they have only a mild effect on the prostate [2,3].

Research indicates peptides can prompt the body to increase its production of specific components. For instance, research shows collagen peptides are responsible for more collagen. Increased collagen can make the skin look and feel healthier. Some peptides gained success in clinical research to heal body tissues, like TB 500 and BPC 157.

Similarly, other data indicates growth hormone-releasing peptides (GHRP), like Ipamorelin, can convince the body to release growth hormones. In turn, more growth hormone production can lead to muscle growth. The peptides target the pituitary and hypothalamic receptors [4].

There are even peptides being studied that have the potential to increase libido and promote tanning of skin, like Melanotan 2, or the lesser known PT 141 [5].


What’s Their Potential? 

The medical community has shown interest in the possible research of SARMs to spur the growth of muscle tissue. Most notably, this research would include subjects battling diseases known for wasting muscle. Among such conditions are cancer, kidney, and liver illnesses [1,3].

Muscle Growth 

The old-school testosterone treatment for aging males poses a danger to the prostate. Too much testosterone can cause unwanted growth.

That’s why males with enlarged prostates must continually monitor testosterone levels. So, it’s too risky for subjects to use additional testosterone to combat the loss of muscle mass [6].

SARMs are appealing compounds for investigators to evaluate because of their narrow focus. SARMs can target the regrowth of muscle tissue in older males while virtually ignoring the prostate [6].


SARMs can stimulate bone tissue growth. Evidence indicates a connection between bone health and androgens [6].

For example, a loss of androgen is not surprising in older males suffering from a hip fracture [6].

In animal studies, SARMs have shown the ability to increase bone strength. If they prove beneficial in mammals, they could provide an alternative method to fight osteoporosis [6].

Most SARMs focus on slowing down the body’s ability to reabsorb bone but not on rebuilding it [1,2].

SARMs combinations could offer a method for researchers to study how SARMs replace missing bone mass. 

Research also shows the possibility for SARMs to promote faster recovery. They might be delivered differently than steroidal androgen and without fear of dangerous side effects [1,2].

Once FDA approved and doctors use SARMs against human osteoporosis one day, they might be combined with other treatments. SARMs plus anti-resorptive agents might offer a two-pronged approach. 

Male Contraception  

Researchers continue to look for a safe and effective chemical male contraceptive. Current attempts at chemical contraception include the simultaneous combination of testosterone and progestin.  

But no one wants the side effects of testosterone treatment. These include enlarged male breasts and weight gain. Unfortunately, testosterone also tends to lower HDL cholesterol while increasing hemoglobin [6].

One of the advantages of SARMs is their ability to be absorbed by the body orally, making them especially appealing as a possible component of a pill. SARMs research may prove to potentially replace traditional testosterone as part of oral male contraception, and some, like S23 SARM, though with mixed results, have been tested for this purpose already.

Peptides and Medicines 

Unlike SARMs, some peptides have the approval of the FDA for human use. So, they appear regularly in various medicines like for example, insulin. 

For example, you can find other FDA approved peptides in treatments for high blood pressure and diabetes. Peptides may also offer an alternative to traditional antibiotics [7]. 

Bacteria have grown resistant to a disturbing amount of the antibiotics doctors prescribed through the 20th century. So, it has become imperative that modern researchers find replacements [7].

Living organisms produce peptides that fight bacteria. These peptides have been the inspiration for trying to produce synthetic versions. The goal is to create even more powerful, more versatile peptides [7].     

Peptides and Growth Hormone 

Some synthetic peptides increase the production of the Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH). These have been a benefit to science as research indicates they are treating children suffering from low levels of GHRH [4,8].

In older adults, studies show these same peptides have present signs of slowing down the aging process connected with muscle mass. It’s natural to lose muscle mass with aging, but peptides can increase muscle growth even in seniors [4]

Peptides are likely to have few side effects because they have only an indirect impact on muscle growth compared to SARMs. Peptides don’t directly trigger the increase of muscle tissue [4].

Instead, they signal the body to produce more naturally-occurring growth hormones. It’s the body’s natural growth hormone that then directly influences muscle activity.  MK-677 is an orally active compound that replicates the effects of these peptides [1]. 

Some peptides as well as MK 677 tend to increase hunger which can work well for those attempting to replace or augment muscle tissue. The additional food intake can provide the body with the components necessary to assist in muscle production [1].  

Peptides are available via several delivery routes suitable various preferences. Some are available orally, nasally, and sublingually however most peptides are destroyed by gastric secretions and the majority can only be administered via injection [4]. 

Where to Purchase  Peptides

It’s important to have a trusted source for any research chemical, including SARMs and Peptides. Research Chemical offers a wide variety of peptides for sale like Epitalon and Kisspeptin 10.

We offer a convenient ordering process plus fast shipping from the to US and UK addresses. Free shipping is also available for orders over $149.

If you have additional questions about our products, please contact us today for more information.

Scientific Research & References:

1. Zachary J. Solomon, Jorge Rivera Mirabal, M.D., Daniel J. Mazur, M.D., Taylor P. Kohn, Larry I. Lipshultz, M.D., and Alexander W. Pastuszak, M.D. Ph.D. P. (Nov. 30, 2018). Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) – Current Knowledge and Clinical Applications. National Library of Medicine.

2. S. BHASIN P. (July 10, 2018). Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators as Function Promoting Therapies. National Library of Medicine 2018

3. Katsuhiro Hosoyama, Caitlin Lazurko, Marcelo Muñoz, Christopher D. McTiernan, and Emilio I. Alarcon. P. (Aug. 23, 2019). Peptide-Based Functional Biomaterials for Soft-Tissue Repair. National Library of Medicine. 2019

4. Ayodele, S., Kumar, P., van Eyk, A., & Choonara, Y. E. (2023). Advances in immunomodulatory strategies for host-directed therapies in combating tuberculosis. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy162, 114588.

5. Habbema, L., Halk, A. B., Neumann, M., & Bergman, W. (2017). Risks of unregulated use of alpha‐melanocyte‐stimulating hormone analogues: a review. International journal of dermatology, 56(10), 975-980.

6. Cilotti, A., & Falchetti, A. (2009). Male osteoporosis and androgenic therapy: from testosterone to SARMs. Clinical cases in mineral and bone metabolism, 6(3), 229.

7. Zandsalimi, F., Talaei, S., Noormohammad Ahari, M., Aghamiri, S., Raee, P., Roshanzamiri, S., … & Zohrab Zadeh, Z. (2020). Antimicrobial peptides a promising strategy for lung cancer drug discovery?. Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery, 15(11), 1343-1354.

8. Deal, Cheri et al. “Growth hormone treatment of Canadian children: results from the GeNeSIS phase IV prospective observational study.” CMAJ open vol. 6,3 E372-E383. 10 Sep. 2018, doi:10.9778/cmajo.20180020

SARMs vs Peptides: What’s the Difference?