The largest trend in the bodybuilding supplement industry over the past few years has been the massive rise in the use of SARMs. One compound that often gets grouped in with SARMs–but actually isn’t one–is MK 677.
If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you heard about MK 677 and want to know if it’s the real deal.
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about MK 677, including:
- What It Is
- How Does It Work
- The Proven Benefits
- What Type Of Results You Can Expect
- Side Effects And Safety
In other words, after you read this article, you’ll know whether or not you want to give MK 677 a try.
Just so you know, at no point in this article am I going to preach to you about what you should and shouldn’t put in your body. It’s your body!
My goal here is simply to help you make a more informed decision in the end, whatever you decide to do.
So, with that said, let’s get to it!
What Is MK 677?
MK 677, also known as Ibutamoren, is a synthetic Growth Hormone secretagogue.
The term secretagogue refers to any substance that triggers secretion of another substance.
In this case, the substance being secreted is Growth Hormone (GH).
GH is a peptide hormone which is released by the Pituitary Gland. It’s primary function is right in the name:
It stimulates the growth of pretty much all tissues, including muscle and bone. Mostly, this is due to GH triggering the release of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1).
Your body secretes a small amount of Growth Hormone normally but this tends to decline with age.
Growth Hormone is approved for certain medical uses (like GH deficiency), but many bodybuilders and athletes use it because they believe it will help them gain strength and pack on muscle.
Increasing Growth Hormone levels is believed to:
- Increase Muscle Growth
- Decrease Body Fat
- Improve Cognitive Function
- Slow Aging
- Speed Up Healing Processes
- Help You Sleep Better
Now, research has shown us that some of these alleged benefits are more real than others, but the average GH-user likely believes all of those things to be true.
To make matters more complicated, quality Growth Hormone is SUPER hard to get!
Either you get it from a Doctor or you roll the dice on some sketchy Chinese manufacturer. It’s so rare that people who can get it don’t even want to sell it most of the time. They just want to keep it for themselves!
So, as you can probably imagine, any product that boosts Growth Hormone levels is going to be over interest to A LOT of people.
Needless to say, a lot of supplements have been marketed as GH-boosters and most have turned out to be useless.
So, is MK 677 any different?
Yes. It actually works…
How Does MK 677 Work?
MK 677 works by mimicking a naturally occurring Growth Hormone secretagogue called Ghrelin and activating Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptors (GHSR)–also known as Ghrelin Receptors–in the brain.
Before Eating – Leptin levels are low and Ghrelin levels are high.
After Eating – Leptin levels are high and Ghrelin levels are low.
One of the things Ghrelin does is stimulate the release of Growth Hormone.
Since MK 677 mimicks Ghrelin to the point that it actually binds to the Ghrelin Receptors, it too stimulates the release of Growth Hormone.
Interestingly, it does this without influencing other hormones.
This is why it’s kind of unfair that it often gets grouped in with SARMs. It’s not a Selective Androgen Receptor Moedulator. It’s a GH secretagogue.
Two entirely separate things.
What Are The Benefits Of MK 677?
The benefits of MK 677 are simply the benefits of increased Growth Hormone. Unfortunately, there’s actually a lot of confusion about what the benefits of GH actually are in healthy people.
So, let’s quickly run through a few of the alleged benefits of GH, and therefore MK 677, and see how valid they are.
MK 677 And Muscle Building
The most common reason people use MK 677 is to gain muscle. That’s why it’s made such a big splash in the bodybuilding industry, despite not originally being intended for that at all.
Many people are under the impression that more GH equals more muscle, but that’s actually not the case.
So, while MK 677 definitely increases GH, it’s not going to directly stimulate muscle growth.
In one study, subjects taking MK 677 (at 25mg/day) for 8 weeks experienced a slight increase in fat-free mass (also known as lean body mass), but it’s unclear how much of this was because of increased bone density and how much was muscle.
The study didn’t measure strength or and other measure of physical performance.
A slight increase in fat free mass was also observed in a more recent (2008) study as well. The subjects in this study were over 60 though, so it doesn’t tell us anything about how MK 677 may do for younger people.
Furthermore, the length of the study was a whole year, making the slight increase in lean mass even less impressive.
MK 677 may help build muscle in older individuals (with declining GH levels), but the impact isn’t even that great.
You could argue that since IGF-1 stimulates your appetite and MK 677 increases IGF-1 levels, that MK 677 could allow you to eat more, thus helping you gain muscle, but that’s not a direct effect.
In young, healthy people, it’s unlikely that MK 677 will have any kind of direct impact on muscle or strength.
That doesn’t mean it’s useless though. There are other benefits…
MK 677 And Muscle Preservation During Calorie Restriction
As I said earlier, MK 677 wasn’t originally developed to help people build more muscle. That’s not something that drugs get approved for because it’s viewed as purely cosmetic for the most part.
Preventing people from losing muscle though. Now that’s a different story…
There are a ton of diseases which are characterized by muscular wasting, either because of a direct effect of the disease or inability to eat in people who have the disease.
Either way, there are legitimate health reasons why one might take a drug that preserves muscle mass.
Growth Hormone treatment has been shown to preserve muscle in instances of dietary restriction, so naturally, MK 677 has been investigated for this as well.
Not much research has been conducted in this area, but the research that has been conducted is promising.
MK 677 has been shown to preserve muscle mass during severe caloric restriction. That’s not particularly surprising though. It increases GH and as we just discussed, GH is known to do that.
So, will MK 677 help you gain lean muscle and strength? Probably not…
MK 677 And Sleep Quality
Growth Hormone is known to play a role in regulating sleep.
GH itself has been shown to improve various aspects of sleep. So, it makes sense that some of the research on MK 677 looked specifically at how it impacted sleep.
MK 677 has been shown to improve sleep quality and increase the time spent in REM sleep.
Sure, you could argue that it’s only been shown to do so in one study, but we already know that GH is highly correlated with sleep quality, and that MK-677 increases GH, so it’s not a stretch to say that it improves sleep quality as well.
If you take a look around the internet, you’ll find a lot of anecdotal reports that support this notion.
While these types of subjective reports should always be taken with a grain of salt (the placebo effe ct is VERY real), there’s a good chance MK-677 can help you get a better nights sleep.
Still, another study or two would be nice…
MK 677 And Bone Health
Growth Hormone plays an important role in bone formation and maintaining optimal bone health.
Given the obvious role of GH in bone health, it makes sense that some of the research on MK 677 would look specifically at how it impacts bone health.
Out of all the benefits MK 677 has to offer, improving bone health actually appears to have the most research behind it. If you have osteoporosis or any other kind of bone-debilitating condition, you stand to benefit from MK 677.
Interestingly, it seems as though the most common use for MK-677 is to gain muscle. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that it’s been mislabeled as a SARM, despite being something entirely different.
What Can I Expect When Taking MK 677?
If you’re considering using MK 677, it’s important to set realistic expectations.
If you think you’re going to suddenly blow up and be super jacked, you may be disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong…
You’ll definitely gain some weight on MK 677, but how much muscle you end up building will largely depend on how you workout.
You can’t expect MK 677 to directly stimulate muscle growth, but you can expect it to:
- Increase Your Appetite
- Help You Sleep Better
- Preserve Muscle (If You Were To Cut Your Calories)
There are also anecdotal reports of MK-677 having healing properties and improving skin health, but these potential benefits remain unexplored in a clinical setting.
What Are The Side Effects Of MK 677? Is It Safe?
MK 677 has been remarkably well-tolerated throughout most of the studies.
One thing that’s worth point out though, is that it may reduce insulin sensitivity and increase blood sugar.
The impact isn’t likely to be massive, but if you have issues with insulin sensitivity or a pre-existing condition like Diabetes, you may want to stay away.
Other than that, there haven’t really been any reports of adverse health effects with MK 677.
In one study, some elderly subjects (over 80 years old) experienced heart failure, but these subjects had a pre-existing condition (and they were really old).
In healthy individuals, there’s no evidence that MK 677 is particularly harmful.
MK 677 Dosing
Although the research on MK-677 is still in the early stages, we do know that 25mg/day is a effective (clinical) dose, based on the studies we discussed earlier.
No studies have used lower doses though, so it’s possible that lower doses are still somewhat effective, just as it’s possible that higher doses are even more effective.
More studies are needed to determine an ideal dose, but for now, stick with 25mg/daily.
At that dose, we know MK 677 works and, perhaps more importantly, we know it’s generally considered safe (well tolerated in both studies).
The average MK 677 cycle is around 8 weeks or so, but since it doesn’t suppress the body’s natural ability to produce GH, there’s no real reason to cycle off.
It’s not like a SARM that shuts down your natural Testosterone production. MK-677 has no impact on your sex hormones, just GH and related hormones (like IGF-1).
In one study, subjects took 25mg/day for 12 months with no adverse effects reported by healthy subjects.
When Should I Take MK-677 For Best Results?
Timing isn’t particularly important with MK-677.
This is because the half-life is pretty long (around 24 hours).
So, as long as you’re taking 25mg (or whatever dose you choose to take) roughly every 24 hours, there will be a constant build-up in your system.
Some people like to take MK-677 before bed because your body secretes Growth Hormone while you sleep. For that reason, it make sense to take something that boosts GH before bed.
But again, given the abnormally long half-life of MK-677, it probably doesn’t matter much when you take it.
Is MK 677 Legal?
If you’ve been doing your research on MK 677, you’ve probably read that it’s “perfectly legal” and “available over the counter” in the US.
While it’s true that it’s perfectly legal to buy, sell, and possess MK 677, it can’t be sold as a dietary supplement. Technically, it’s an unscheduled drug.
That means any company that sells an MK 677 product that’s intended for human consumption is breaking the law.
So, you can’t buy it? Not so fast…
This is America, remember? There’s always a loophole.
This particular loophole is used for a ton of different drugs and, given the way our laws work here in the US, it doesn’t look like it’ll close up any time soon.
What am I talking about? Research Chemical sites!
These are websites that sell unapproved drugs and various chemical substances which are allegedly for “research purposes only” and “not for human consumption“.
Obviously, this is a bunch of nonsense.
But if you want to try MK 677, it’s great news! It means you can buy it online without having to worry about breaking the law. You just have to find a reliable research-chem site.
My Personal Opinion On MK 677
I think MK 677 is hands down one of the most intriguing compounds to come out of the whole SARM trend, even though it’s not technically a SARM at all.
Some of the claims made about it are completely false though.
It doesn’t directly stimulate muscle or burn fat but, by increasing IGF-1 levels, it will probably make you eat a lot more.
If you’re trying to gain weight, but have trouble eating enough, MK 677 could be very useful.
I personally have never used it because I don’t have trouble gaining weight, nor do I want to get much bigger than I already am (maybe just a little more cut).
The muscle-building benefits of having higher Growth Hormone levels have been severely exaggerated by the media and bodybuilders who don’t really understand what they’re doing.
Increasing GH levels won’t magically help you pack on a bunch of muscle, but it may help you gain the weight necessary to do so by stimulating your appetite.
Also, sleeping better is definitely a plus!
If you’re looking for a GH-booster that actually works, MK 677 is it.
The Bottom Line On MK 677
MK 677 is a Growth Hormone secretagogue that actually works. It has been shown to increase GH and IGF-1 levels quite significantly and appears to be pretty safe.
A ton of substances are marketed as GH-boosters, but MK-677 is one that is actually deserving of the title.
It’s important to understand though, that a lot of the claims made about Growth Hormone, particularly with regards to muscle-building, aren’t actually true.
MK 677 won’t directly stimulate muscle growth because GH doesn’t do that, but there are some other benefits associated with increased GH levels that may make it worth your while.
If you’re looking to get bigger, it can definitely help by stimulating your appetite and you may notice that you get deeper, more restful sleep as well.
I’ll be keeping an eye on MK 677 or similar compounds to come and will be sure to update this article with any more studies that surface.
Got Anything To Add About MK-677? Experience You’d Like To Share Perhaps?Comment Below…