Cardarine (GW-501516) 📗 Full Beginner’s Guide | Jan 2024

Cardarine GW 501516 Guide

This article is the ultimate, full A-Z guide of Cardarine, otherwise known as GW-501516. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know to safely and effectively use Cardarine.

While Cardarine isn't technically a selective androgen receptor modulator, it's often lumped aside them, due to its insanely powerful fat burning and weight loss effects.

Here's some of what we'll discuss today:

  • What is Cardarine?
  • How Does Cardarine Work?
  • Cardarine Dosage Protocol
  • Cardarine Cycle Examples
  • Is PCT Required?
  • What Results to Expect
  • …and much, much more!

So, if you want to enhance your physical performance, burn fat, and build lean muscle mass at the same time while using Cardarine GW 501516, then keep reading to find out how.

What is Cardarine (GW-501516)?

cardarine molecule

READ MORE: 7 Best SARMs for Bulking and Cutting in 2024

Cardarine, otherwise known by its research chemical name GW 501516, is a PPAR Delta receptor agonist that was initially developed to treat metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

Bodybuilders quickly realized, however, that taking Cardarine proved to be an enormously powerful performance enhancer, especially for improving cardiovascular endurance.

Some of the proven benefits of Cardarine (GW 501516) are:

  • Build Lean Muscle Mass
  • Shred Off Extra Body Fat
  • Use Fatty Acids for Energy
  • Enhanced Physical Performance
  • Lower LDL Cholesterol & Blood Lipids
  • Requires No Post Cycle Therapy
  • …and more

We'll go over all the Cardarine benefits later in this article, but for now, let's explore some of the clinical trials and how exactly this research chemical works in the human body.

Mechanism of Action

How does Cardarine work? While it's often thrown together with selective androgen receptor modulators like Ostarine, it's actually technically much different.

While SARMs bind to androgen receptors, signaling your body to pack on skeletal muscle tissue and shred body fat, Cardarine binds to PPAR Delta receptors, instead.

Shortly after human consumption, Cardarine binds to these receptors, signaling the body to release proteins involved with energy expenditure and energy metabolism.

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In other words, Cardarine effectively tells your body to start using fatty acids for fuel instead of glucose and carbohydrates. In layman's terms, Cardarine puts your body into mild ketosis.

By increasing fatty acid oxidation and fatty acid metabolism, Cardarine is a highly effective metabolic modulator that has anti inflammatory effects, as well as fat loss effects.

History of Cardarine

Cardarine GW 501516 was initially developed in the 1990's by Ligand Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline as a research collaboration to develop a drug to treat metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and other blood related diseases (diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.)

Here is a timeline of Cardarine's development:

  • 1992 – Cardarine (GW 501516) was first discovered
  • 2000 – Cardarine begins Phase I clinical trials to treat high cholesterol
  • 2002 – Cardarine begins Phase II clinical trials for further research
  • 2007 – Despite promising research, testing is abandoned. More on this later

Despite it being clinically proven to enhance athletic performance, encourage muscle growth, and accelerate fat loss, the development and research of Cardarine was abandoned in 2007 due to a study which falsely linked Cardarine to cancer in rodents.

I will elaborate more on this study later, but for now understand that Cardarine is classified as a research chemical, but is not currently undergoing clinical studies for FDA approval.

Is Cardarine Legal?

Is Cardarine legal? The short answer is yes, Cardarine GW 501516 is legal to buy and sell online, as a research chemical. It is not approved for human consumption, however.

Cardarine remains classified as a “research chemical,” which means it's legal to buy and sell online for “research purposes.” So basically, as long as you don't literally pull out a vial of Cardarine and start taking it in front of a cop, you will be just fine.

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Cardarine is legal to buy and possess in the following countries:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • Singapore
  • India
  • South America

In short, Cardarine is legal everywhere except Australia. That being said, many of my readers from Australia have purchased Cardarine online with no problems whatsoever.

Cardarine GW 501516 is considered to be a Schedule 9 compound by the TGA, or the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which is sort of like the FDA of Australia. [R]

This means that Cardarine is technically illegal in Australia, but that hasn't stopped tens of thousands of Australian bodybuilders from importing it and using it.

While Cardarine is legal in almost every country except Australia, that does not mean it isn't a banned substance. The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) classifies Cardarine as a performance enhancing drug, and has therefore banned it from competition.

In fact, Cardarine has been declared a banned substance by the following organizations:

  • World Anti Doping Agency [R]
  • US Anti Doping Agency [R]
  • Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority [R]

So, if you're an athlete, be very careful with Cardarine consumption. The odds that you will be tested for Cardarine and any other peroxisome proliferator activated receptor is very high, especially if you're competing at the state or national levels.

Another question I get asked is does the military test for Cardarine? The short answer is no, they don't. A normal military test detects compounds like cocaine, marijuana, and potentially anabolic steroids, but does not detect PPAR Delta receptor agonists like Cardarine.

Of course, if you are on active duty, and your superiors suspect you are on something, they may issue a test specifically for performance enhancement compounds, but due to Cardarine's short half life of 12-24 hours, it will be out of your system within a few days.

Cardarine Benefits

Cardarine Benefits GW 501516 FACTS

Now let's explore some of the clinically proven benefits of Cardarine. Keep in mind that while more research should be done on this compound, there is still a lot of data to pull from.

Clinical trials have confirmed the following benefits of Cardarine:

  • Massively Improved Cardiovascular Endurance
  • Increased Physical Performance
  • Enhances Blood Flow to Muscle Cells
  • Lowers Insulin Resistance & Blood Lipids
  • Rapidly Shreds Body Fat & Builds Muscle
  • …and more

By far, the biggest benefit of Cardarine GW 501516 is its ability to increase your cardiovascular endurance levels. As you'll see, it's proven to literally double your endurance overnight.

READ MORE: 3 Best SARMs for Endurance (216% Increase Overnight)

By far the biggest benefit of Cardarine is its ability to rapidly enhance endurance in users. I remember my first Cardarine cycle, it was like the difference between night and day.

In fact, according to studies, GW 501516 drastically improves the body's ability to handle cardiovascular tasks. One study says it boosts your cardio by a whopping 216%. [R]

Another great benefit of Cardarine is that it will boost metabolism, making it great for burning fat. Many people can expect to burn 10-15 pounds of fat on a Cardarine cycle.

In fact, Cardarine's fat burning effects don't just come from boosting metabolism. It also decreases insulin resistance, and signals genes involved in increasing fat burning. [R]

While Cardarine certainly isn't as strong as anabolic steroids, or other SARMs like Ostarine or RAD 140, it's still a great compound that's phenomenal for lowering body weight and fat mass.

In fact, Cardarine is known as one of the best cutting SARMs there is. That being said, it's also been shown to grow muscle tissues throughout the body, so will build muscle, too.

My Cardarine Review

Ostarine cardarine before and after

Overall, my Cardarine experience was amazing. I noticed a boost in exercise performance and cardiovascular endurance literally overnight, and lost tons of fat on my first cycle.

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Here are the stats from my first Cardarine cycle:

  • Cycle Length: 8 Weeks
  • Cardarine Dosage: 10mg/day
  • Goal of Cycle: Cutting
  • Workout Routine: 5-Day Split
  • On Cycle Support: Yes
  • Post Cycle Therapy: No
  • Muscle Gained: 4 Pounds
  • Body Fat Lost: 9 Pounds

While I may have gotten better results with high doses, I wanted to try taking just Cardarine by itself and seeing how it affected my body. Overall, I felt like it was worth it. I lost a bunch of fat, and ended up gaining some muscle, too.

Dosage & Cycle Facts

What's the best Cardarine dosage? The reality is there's no ideal dosage for anyone, although there are some recommended guidelines based on bodybuilding knowledge and studies.

Here are the dosage guidelines for Cardarine:

  • Beginner Dose: 5mg/day
  • Intermediate Dose: 10mg/day
  • Advanced Dose: 20mg/day

For my first GW 501516 cutting cycle I took a dosage of 10mg, but of course, if I wanted to get better results, I could have taken more. I thought 10mg/day was a good amount, though, and based on the clinical data, I'd suggest most people start there.

In general, because Cardarine is not a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM), you don't have to worry a whole lot about the health risks of not doing a PCT, or cycling properly.

Of course, you should still be smart, and in order to avoid building up a tolerance or any unwanted side effects, you should do an “on” period and “off” period of Cardarine.

This looks like, maybe an 8 week cutting cycle, and then 8 weeks off – or a 12 week cycle, followed by another 12 weeks off. The guideline is usually time on = time off.

Does Cardarine require a PCT? Thankfully, no it does not. Cardarine does not bind to androgen receptors like SARMs do. Instead, it's a PPAR Delta receptor agonist.

This means that it doesn't affect your testosterone or hormone levels, which means you don't need to take a post cycle therapy (PCT) afterwards by any means at all.

Cardarine Stacks

For extra muscle mass building and fat burning, you can try a Cardarine stack. A stack is when you combine multiple SARMs or steroids to get the benefits of each one.

Cardarine isn't really that great in a bulking stack, because it's mostly going to excel at improving cardiovascular endurance, so it's always best to put in a cutting stack.

One of my favorites is the Ostarine and Cardarine stack. This is an incredibly potent cutting stack that will help you pack on at least 10 pounds of muscle, and shred just as much fat.

Here's a Cardarine stack example:

  • Cycle Length: 12 Weeks
  • Ostarine Dosage: 10mg/day
  • Cardarine Dosage: 10mg/day
  • Post Cycle Therapy? Yes

Normally you wouldn't need a PCT if it was just GW 501516, but if you're combining it with Ostarine and any other SARM that suppresses testosterone, it's always best to do a PCT.

Where to Buy Cardarine

Chemyo Logo SARMs Company

It's important to be careful when buying any sort of research chems or supplements online, because a ton of companies just fill their products with sawdust to make a fat profit.

No joke. According to JAMA, a whopping 48% of SARMs products DON'T EVEN CONTAIN SARMS. Out of the other 52%, only some of them contained only what they promised. [R]

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(Many put anabolic steroids or other dangerous compounds in their products)

That's why we only recommend you only buy SARMs from our list of recommended vendors.

Side Effects

Is Cardarine safe? Well, the short answer is yes, but the long answer is we only have animal studies to go off of, and more research on humans needs to be done. That being said, the animal studies suggest Cardarine is largely safe.

Here are some potential Cardarine side effects:

  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Mild Muscle Cramps

These are the side effects reported on high dosages, over 20mg/day, so if you stick to the recommended dose of 10mg/day with Cardarine, you should be totally safe.

One common question I get, is regarding a study which found that Cardarine gave a bunch of lab rats cancer. So, naturally, people are afraid it might happen to humans if they take it.

That being said, the study was one of the most poorly designed and flawed studies I've ever seen. To determine if Cardarine caused cancer, they gave rats a dosage that was 10x what humans recommend, for 2/3 of their lives.

That would be like if a human being took 200mg of Cardarine every day for 30 years, and then got cancer, and blamed the Cardarine. Absolutely stupid and ridiculous. If you take anything in 10x the highest recommended dosage, for decades, OF COURSE it will hurt you.

In short, no Cardarine does not cause cancer, and only a flawed study suggested that.

READ MORE: Debunking the Cardarine Cancer Myth


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In summary, Cardarine GW 501516 is a phenomenal compound that is great for shredding fat and improving cardiovascular endurance, while also mildly growing muscle cells, too.

If you do decide to try some Cardarine, it stacks very well with Ostarine, or you can just take it by yourself. You don't even need to do a PCT since it's not technically a SARM.

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is intended for entertainment and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always check your local jurisdiction’s laws before buying anything or doing anything. SARMs are strictly for research purposes only, and are not FDA approved to treat any condition.