Cardarine, which is also known by a variety of names including GW501516, GW1516, GSK-516 and Endurobol, is a PPARδ receptor agonist and not technically a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM); nonetheless, because of its similar characteristics and effects and because it is regularly stacked with SARMS, Cardarine is generally treated as a SARM.

Cardarine was first developed in a collaboration between Ligand Pharmaceuticals, which also developed the SARM Ligandrol, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in the 1990s. The drug was developed to treat metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, including obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia (high lipid levels in the blood) and heart health problems.

Cardarine Molecule
Cardarine Molecule

Animal testing in 2007 showed that the Cardarine dramatically improved the physical performance of the animals it was given to, which led to the immediate growth of a black market for the drug. At or around the same time, animal testing was abandoned by GSK when it was discovered that the drug was causing cancer. As well as adding Cardarine to its prohibited list of performance-enhancing substances in 2009, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) also issued warnings to athletes that Cardarine is not safe. 

As we have said in all our previous articles on SARMs, you must be in no doubt about the potential risks and side effects of using these drugs, which much be balanced against their beneficial effects, which are real, when they are used properly and in the right contexts. Because the spectre of cancer has been raised here, that caveat applies with as much force, if not more.

We will note that there are serious flaws in the studies that showed Cardarine causes cancer. While the long-term effects of human use remain to be investigated, short-term clinical studies of Cardarine use have recorded no adverse side effects.

Jon Anthony SARMs results
Jon Anthony SARMs + GW-501516 results in 2 months

Unlike OstarineLigandrolRAD 140 and Andarine, Cardarine is not an anabolic SARM. Cardarine is not used to build muscle, although it is often used during a muscle building regime or bulking phase as part of a stack. Rather, what Cardarine provides is enhanced metabolic properties:

  • Enhanced fat loss
  • Reduced or minimal fat gain during bulking
  • Increased HDL cholesterol
  • Improved cardiovascular performance

It can be stacked with steroids and other SARMs such as Ostarine, Ligandrol, and RAD 140 to enhance cardiovascular health including keeping “bad” cholesterol levels in check during a cycle.

And, aside from its fat-burning qualities, many lifters stack GW-501516 to prevent weight gain on cycle as other compounds may induce unusual and insatiable levels of hunger, thus mitigating any potential fat gain while bulking.

Its cardiovascular boosting qualities — especially for endurance athletes — has been something to behold in recent years as both professional athletes and gymbros alike have underscored its impressive endurance enhancing effects.

Cardarine, as a drug with performance-enhancing effects, is listed as an S1 Anabolic Agent on WADA’s prohibited list. After the 2007 study that showed Cardarine’s significant enhancement of physical performance in animals, a number of the 16 athletes who were banned for doping at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games tested positive for Cardarine.

In 2019, the heavyweight boxer Jarrell Miller, who was training to fight Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title, was flagged for Cardarine and forced to withdraw from the bout. Miller had suffered from weight issues in the past, reaching a weight of 315lbs at one point, and almost certainly chose Cardarine to help him with his weight and cardiovascular fitness.

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