Stenabolic and Cardarine are two SARM-like compounds that have been credited with very similar properties. But which is best? We’ll help you decide.

See the source image

Stenabolic, otherwise known as SR 9009, and Cardarine, or GW-501516, are powerful substances that are often paired with SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators) or used individually. Although they are often mentioned in the same breath as SARMs, Stenabolic and Cardarine are not actually SARMs, but they do work in a similar way. 

Both Stenabolic and Cardarine enhance fat loss, energy levels and endurance, and both have earned the moniker ‘workout in a bottle’ because of their metabolism-boosting effects.

Get 11% off both Stenabolic (SR9009) and Cardarine (GW501516) with Promo Code “HS11” here.


Stenabolic and Cardarine

Stenabolic and Cardarine work in similar ways, by binding to specific receptors or molecules in the body and enhancing their activity. In the case of Stenabolic, it binds to the Rev-ErbA molecule and enhances its activity. Rev-ErbA is a protein found mainly in muscle tissue, fat and the liver.

The Stenabolic molecule

By binding to Rev-ErbA in the muscular tissue, Stenabolic increases mitochondria – the energy-generating organelles – resulting in increased endurance and also increased fat-burning. Mice treated with Stenabolic were able to run farther and for longer periods of time.

In the liver, Stenabolic helps to block the production of fat cells, helping to promote fat loss.

In the fat cells themselves, Stenabolic helps block the gene that is responsible for storing fat and encourages the body to use its fat reserves.

The best way to stay in shape in the long term is to lift weights rather than perform excessive cardio, as a massive study of 10,000 older men has showed. Why? Click here to find out.

Stenabolic also modulates inflammatory response by enhancing the production of cells called macrophages, which remove dead or dying cells.

Cardarine Molecule

Does Cardarine Help With Fat Loss?

Rather than binding to a molecule, Cardarine binds to the PPARδ receptor. In doing, it increases the expression (i.e. production) of certain proteins used in metabolism, conferring endurance benefits and increasing oxidation (use) of fatty acids, including the body’s own fat stores. 

Research has shown that the PPARδ receptor which Cardarine targets is responsible for metabolic maintenance, in particular with regard to skeletal programming, would healing and mitochondrial respiration. Genes associated with contractile proteins, mitochondrial creation and lipid oxidation are upregulated, with benefits for endurance and fat loss.

Jon Anthony SARMs results

Jon Anthony SARMs + GW-501516 results in 2 months


It should be clear from what’s just been said that in terms of desirable effects, Stenabolic and Cardarine are very similar. Stenabolic and Cardarine can be used for exactly the same purpose –and they usually are.

Testimonials like the following, which is for Cardarine, are typical:

‘I didn’t lose anything, actually, but the whole time I was eating ice cream, burgers, fries, chocolate, you name it, despite being at 11% bodyfat. And I didn’t gain anything. All my lifts went up and my cardio skyrocketed.’

Get 11% off both Stenabolic (SR9009) and Cardarine (GW501516) with Promo Code “HS11” here.

It’s worthwhile noting that both Stenabolic and Cardarine are non-hormonal, meaning that unlike with steroids or SARMs, you won’t need to undergo post-cycle therapy (PCT) after you’ve taken them.

We think the best way to distinguish between two, then, is by an examination of their differences.

Amazingly, ketogenic diets might end up being used in the near future to treat certain forms of brain cancer. Click here to read about an amazing study that shows why.


One obvious benefit of Stenabolic over Cardarine is that you can get the same benefits, more or less, without having to consider the possible risk of cancer that was flagged in a rodent study of Cardarine. In our piece on Cardarine we examined that risk in detail and stated that we believe it to be misleading, but even so, for many it will be a big red flag.

There is less evidence for side effects for Stenabolic, but this may simply be because there are far fewer studies of the drug than of Cardarine.

One of the main side effects mentioned with Stenabolic is disrupted sleep patterns. This is because the Rev-ErbA protein is involved in regulating the body’s circadian rhythms.

Some report difficulties sleeping as a result of feeling massively energised.

Others report no disruptions whatsoever.

One potential downside by comparison with Cardarine is that Stenabolic has a half-life of just four hours, whereas Cardarine has a half-life of 24 hours. This means that to get a similar level of dosing throughout the day as with a single dose of Cardarine, you’d have to take Stenabolic six times at four-hour intervals, which most would find an inconvenience, especially if you have to wake up in the middle of the night to administer it. Even if Stenabolic itself doesn’t disrupt your sleep patterns, then, administering the substance to gain the full benefits almost certainly will.

Guess what? Even a short-term change from an unhealthy modern Western diet to a paleolithic-style diet can dramatically enhance a number of key health markers, including insulin sensitivity and blood lipid profiles.

Another downside of Stenabolic appears to be low bioavailability, meaning that if it is taken orally, not much of it will make its way into the blood and tissues where it can work its magic. One answer to this problem is to inject the drug. This is likely to put many off taking it, as one of the main advantages of SARMs and SARM-like substances is that they can be taken orally. 

Alternatively, Stenabolic can be taken sub-lingually, which will increase the bioavailability. Keep the liquid under your tongue for at least 10 seconds before swallowing it.

Which Should You Choose?

Ultimately, since both substances have very similar effects, your choice is likely to come down to the potential side effects and the method of administration. Are you willing to overlook the potential cancer risk – which, as we’ve said, is almost certainly massively overstated – with Cardarine? How regularly do you want to be administering the substance? Are you happy doing so through the night? 

If you aren’t bothered by the cancer risk, and you don’t want to be waking up in the night to take your doses, you’re almost certainly going to want to try Cardarine rather than Stenabolic, for instance.

If you’re interested in dosages and stacks (these substances are both normally taken in conjunction with other substances, including SARMS), see our individual articles on Stenabolic and Cardarine for more information.

Get 11% off both Stenabolic (SR9009) and Cardarine (GW501516) with Promo Code “HS11” here.