T Nation

Do Steroids Cause Potassium Retention?


Corticosteroids cause retention of potassium, too much potassium can cause a fatal arrhythmia (heart stops beating). Do anabolic steroids do the same thing? I am aware they can cause sodium retention (which causes high blood pressure), however potassium retention (if they cause this) would be more dangerous. I’ve tried looking this one up but can’t find a definite answer. One would think if anabolic steroids did cause potassium retention surely there would be more deaths from heart failure related to steroids, however very rarely has there been deaths from steroid use and the deaths related have either been in unhealthy individuals or individuals running ridiculous amounts (think andreaz munzer or Dallas Mcarver with a testosterone level of 55,000 ng/dl (who had a familial history of HBP, High cholesterol and heart problems). Can anyone give me a clear answer as to whether ANABOLIC steroids cause potassium retention.


This is a completely unscientific response, but I’ve actually seen recommendations to take potassium to combat water / sodium retention when “on cycle” – so it would seem likely the answer is now. I also recall (but could be wrong) that testosterone has an antagonistic effect on cortisol (it lowers it) which may be why the increase in sodium, and thus water retention, occurs in the first place, which would make sense – the relative ratio of sodium increases as cortisol goes down since potassium retention is dropping.

Again, that’s totally from memory and 100% bioscience, so I could DEFINITELY be off base here, but that’s my recollection.