Cardarine (GW501516) Results, Dosage, Side Effects and Stacks

What Is Cardarine (GW501516)?

Cardarine (GW-501516) is a research chemical that has shown promising potential to boost metabolism and fat burning, prevent obesity, and increase muscle growth.

Cardarine is a drug that binds to the PPAR receptor. It was first created by Glaxo Smith Kline and Ligand Pharmaceuticals in 1992. It was discovered that when binding to the PPAR receptor, recruits in what is called the coactivator PGC-1α enzyme, which then increases the expression of genes involved in the expenditure of energy.

It has been scientifically proven to increase energy, boost fat metabolism, and help to build lean muscle.

But what’s the catch? Certainly this seems too good to be true! Read more to find out everything you need to know about how to use this amazing compound and potential risks to its use.

What Is The PPAR Receptor and Why It’s Important

According to Wikipedia, in the field of molecular biology, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are a group of nuclear receptor proteins that function as transcription factors regulating the expression of genes. PPARs play essential roles in the regulation of cellular differentiation, development, and metabolism (carbohydrate, lipid, protein), and tumorigenesis of higher organisms.[1]

Since it is so effective at binding to the PPAR receptor it causes it to become more active resulting in greater cellular energy output.

Is Cardarine Legal?

One of the most confusing and controversial topics surrounding SARMs is if they are legal. Technically Cardarine is legal to buy but is illegal for humans to consume. When researching SARMs you’ll notice that companies state that SARMs are not for human consumption.

SARMs and PPAR agonists  fall under the umbrella of research chemicals which allows people to use these chemicals to perform scientific studies on animals. This puts it in a grey area amongst users.

Is Cardarine A Banned Substance For Athletes

It is important to know that Cardarine is on the World Anti Doping Prohibited List. Athletes that get caught using it are subject to sanctions. 

Is Cardarine A SARM?

The acronym SARM stands for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator. SARMs are drugs that bind to androgen receptors to induce anabolic activity in the body. Increasing anabolic activity leads to muscle gain and an overall increase in strength, muscle growth, and performance.

You will always see Cardarine sold with other SARMs but technically it is NOT a SARM. Cardarine is known as a PPAR receptor agonist. Cardarine binds to PPAR receptors not androgen receptors. So is Cardarine a SARM? No.

The Benefits Of Cardarine

Increases Energy and Endurance

The effects of Cardarine are fairly significant and may be a welcomed addition to the stack for a performance athlete. Increased endurance may be the PPAR-RA’s most incredible attribute. Those who use the medication will find they do not tire out as easily and can train harder and longer.

Note For Bodybuilders: The cardiovascular endurance that comes with Cardarine is so strong it has been shown to do away with the cardio issues that surround the popular anabolic steroid Trenbolone. Many who use Trenbolone report breathing becomes a bit more difficult and that cardio becomes a more arduous task. Cardarine seems to negate this negative effect when using Tren.

Burns Fat

Studies involving Cardarine have shown to increase the metabolism of fatty acids in rats. It was also shown in the same studies to reduce the odds of obesity despite poor eating habits as well as prevent Type-2 diabetes. Since cardarine also helps to boost energy and endurance it will help you push harder in the gym for longer periods of time also helping you to burn more fat.

Improves Cholesterol

Cardarine was also shown to increase HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) in a study using monkeys. The effects seemed to hold true with or without exercise.

Lowers Blood Glucose and Prevents Insulin Resistance

One of the main targets of Cardarine is the liver. The liver is responsible for storing, burning, and releasing fats into the body. Cardarine causes the liver to switch its energy source from glucose to fatty acids, thus reducing blood sugar.[6]

It is important to mention that there was another study that showed that Cardarine can actually cause liver cell death in animals that had pre existing liver conditions. So if you have a fatty liver or other liver related diseases it’s probably a good idea to be safe and stay away from Cardarine.[7]

Side Effects

Side effects are not commonly reported with legit Cardarine. As with any drug it should be taken in the recommended dosage and avoid being abused.

There is one potential side effect associated with Cardarine. There was a study done in mice that showed an increased risk for certain types of cancers. It’s important to note that when this study was being conducted the scientists used a higher than normal dose of Cardarine. The dosage used was about 4x the amount of the recommended dosage for humans.

So as with any drug there are some risks involved but as far as I know no cancer related illnesses have been reported in humans due to Cardarine use.

Is Cardarine Safe For Women?

Yes! Cardarine is safe and effective for both men and women. it does not affect your hormones like other SARMs or anabolics so women don’t have to worry about androgenic related side effects like hair growth, voice deepening, etc. The only current potential side effect known was talked about above which is an increased cancer risk when taken at extremely high dosages.

Dosage and Half Life

The normal dose for both men and women is 20 milligrams (mg) per day.

The half life of Cardarine  is 20-24 hours. This means that you only need to take it once a day. Some athletes like to use all the 20 mg an hour before their workout session, and others will split the dose in half in the AM and PM.

Cardarine is also typically taken for 8-12 weeks and then cycled off for 8 weeks. After the 8 week mark you start to hit the law of diminishing returns. It’s good to give the body a break and let it reset between cycles.

Cutting and Bulking SARMs Stacks

Cardarine is a great addition to any SARMs or anabolic cycle. It can be beneficial in bulking, cutting, and recomping cycles. When taken properly and coupled with a great diet and training program you can expect great results with these SARMs stacks.

Example Bulking SARMs Stack

Cycle Length: 12 Weeks

  • Cardarine (GW501516): 20mg ED
  • LGD-4033 (Ligandrol): 20mg ED
  • MK677 (Ibutamoren)
    • Beginner: 10mg ED
    • Intermediate: 25mg ED
    • Advanced: 50mg ED

Example Cutting SARMs Stack

Cycle Length: 12 Weeks

  • Cardarine (GW501516): 20mg ED
  • Ostarine (MK2866): 25mg ED

Results You Can Expect

If taken properly, Cardarine can help deliver some dramatic results in as little as 8 weeks. Typical results will be an increase in energy, endurance, fat loss and an overall leaner, muscular look.

To enhance these effects you should make sure your diet and exercise program is dialed in. When taking compounds like Cardarine you should always try to maximize your results by sticking to a solid nutrition plan and intense training program.

Below I’m showing you two personal transformations that I’ve gone through in the recent years. Every winter I do a bulking cycle followed by a cutting cycle for the summer. Both sets of pictures were taken about 12-14 weeks apart. Cardarine was taken during both of these cutting cycles. Cardarine was not the only compound that I was taking during these transformations but it most definitely helped with the final result.

12 Week Transformation - Cardarine
Cardarine Results

How Long Does It Take For Cardarine To Kick-In

From personal experience I can tell you that if  your Cardarine is legit and it’s taken at 20mg ED then you should start to notice results within a few days.

The first thing you’ll notice is that you can do extended periods of cardio without getting tired. Your endurance will increase dramatically.

Since you’ll be able to train harder in the gym, this will lead to an increase in fat loss quicker as long as your diet is on point. You should start to really notice fat loss after 4 weeks and it will continue as long as you stay disciplined with your diet and training.

The Best Diet For Cutting While Taking Cardarine

If your goal is to burn fat and build a muscular looking physique then carb cycling might be right for you. Carb cycling is when you alternate between high carb, low fat days and low carb high fat days while keeping protein consistent throughout. It’s a great way to really burn fat fast while maintaining as much muscle as possible. You can read more about carb cycling in my 2020 edition of the Ultimate Guide To Carb Cycling.

You can also use the Carb Cycling Calculator to help you determine your overall caloric and macro needs to help you optimize your plan.

Where To Buy Cardarine

I have personally tried Cardarine from two different sources. I tried Proven Peptides and Enhanced Athlete. Proven Peptides is hands down the better of the two. When I take it from Proven Peptides I start to notice results within days. When I took Cardarine from Enhanced Athlete I didn’t notice a difference.

It’s really important to do your research and find reviews from people who you can trust on these research chemicals. There are a lot of fake and under dosed products out there so you need to be careful.

Proven Peptides has HPLC reports on all of its research chemicals. This report shows you the quality and purity of the research chemicals they have to offer. This helps give you ease of mind that you’re purchasing a legit, quality product.

It has also been rumored that some companies put anabolics in their research chemicals which can lead to unwanted side effects and liver toxicity. So it’s important to do your homework before purchasing any of these research chemicals.

I’ve been using Proven Peptides for a few years now. Their products are always high quality and their customer service is top notch. Their prices are a little on the higher end but you can be assured that you’re getting a quality product. I highly recommend Proven Peptides to anyone who is looking for a legit, quality source for Cardarine and SARMs.

Click here to checkout Cardarine on

Additional Reading and Sources

  2. Mechanism of action of a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-delta agonist on lipoprotein metabolism in dyslipidemic subjects with central obesity
  3. Triglyceride:high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol effects in healthy subjects administered a peroxisome proliferator activated receptor delta agonist
  4. A selective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonist promotes reverse cholesterol transport
  5. Regulation of Muscle Fiber Type and Running Endurance by PPAR
  6. PPAR regulates glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity
  7. Protection from liver fibrosis by a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonist


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By | 2020-08-20T20:11:39+00:00 August 15th, 2020|Articles, Nutrition, Supplements|

About the Author:

Hi, my name is Patrick and I am the founder of Always On Nutrition. I am an avid fitness enthusiast and have over 10 years of experience with nutrition and training to maximize fat loss and build muscle. I really hope that you find this content useful. Best of luck on your fitness journey and if you ever want to discuss your fitness further feel free to contact me through my contact page. Cheers!

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