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The complete guide to Cardarine: Dosage, benefits and usage

GW-501516 Cardarine

What is Cardarine? Does it have any side effects? What results can you expect from using this product? We will cover the answer to these and other questions in this article.

Table of Contents

What is Cardarine?

Cardarine, also known as Endurobol or GW 501516, is frequently mistaken as a SARM (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator.

In reality, GW 50156 is actually a PPARδ receptor agonist (Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta agonist) and not a SARM at all.

It provides benefits including:

  • Enhanced endurance
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Fat loss

We will discuss the benefits of GW 501516 in depth later in this article.

Cardarine history

GW 501516 is developed in the 1990s by GlaxoSmithKline and Ligand Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Cardarine went through a lot of studies and trials but was abandoned in 2007 when a study was done by GlaxoSmithKline that showed cancer development in rats. 

What is less known, is that there where later studies that have contradictive results.

Even though Cardarine got abandoned because of safety concerns, athletes, bodybuilders, and others started using it because of the amazing endurance benefits and fat loss it provides. Some people also use it to improve their cardiovascular health.

How does Cardarine work?

As we mentioned before, Cardarine is a PPAR delta receptor agonist. This means that it works by binding to and activating PPAR-delta in your cells (primarily in your muscles), and by stimulating the genes responsible for energy use.

As a result, it is able to increase energy levels, burn more fat, and enhance endurance, meanwhile lowering blood lipid levels.

Cardarine results

As we said, GW 50156 has great benefits of fat loss, increased energy, an incredible increase in endurance, improved cardiovascular health and more.

We will discuss the benefits of this compound in depth.

Fat loss

For many people the most important feature of Cardarine (GW 501516) is fat loss. Unlike most fat burning compounds, it does not act in a thermogenic way.

  1. Increased oxidative capacity in muscles – This means that we will burn more calories when exercising than we normally would without Cardarine.
  2. Suppression of Glucose metabolism – switching energy source from Glucose to fat. – This one is pretty self-explanatory. By switching the energy source from glucose to fat, we are able to directly burn off fat instead of first burning off the excess glucose that our body stored. In fact, the effect is very similar to a very strict ketogenic diet, but without actually doing the diet.

There have been a number of studies on rats and on people that proved that GW 501516 provides significant fat burning capabilities.

Increased endurance

As we mentioned before, Cardarine increases endurance. It does this in two different ways:

  1. Suppression of Glucose metabolism (switching energy source from glucose to fat).
  2. Increased oxidative capacity in muscles.

The combination of these methods of action leads to a significant increase in endurance.

It should come as no suprise that many athletes use GW 501516 just because of this benefit. Several professional athletes use it to gain an edge over their competition.

This particular benefit of Cardarine is most noticable when used with endurance training but also applies during weight lifting. It is able to reduce recovery time between sets and increase the length of your training sessions.

Improved cardiovascular health

This is actually one of the main reasons Cardarine was researched and developed, to treat cardiovascular diseases.

Studies and animal testings on rats showed that GW 50156 has a very positive effect on our cardiovascular system. It reduced the damage done to rats, improved their blood vessels and reduced inflammation.

In fact, some steroid users who take very strong steroids that are hard on your cardiovascular system, like Trenbolone, often take Cardarine so that they can avoid damaging their cardiovascular system and can stay healthy.

In one study, 6 obese people received Cardarine in a double-blind, random and controlled trial. It helped to cure the symptoms of metabolic syndrome in all subjects without causing any side effects.
The participants took a maximum of 10 mg per day for only two weeks. After such a short period of time, positive changes in liver steatosis, insulin sensitivity and lipid levels were already visible. Therefore, we can conclude that GW 501516 is a great supplement to fight insulin resistance caused by obesity and chronic inflammation.


In yet another study, conducted this time on obese mice, Cardarine reduced the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin levels. It also reduced the overproduction of glucose by the liver. This means that Endurobol can be a good supplement for people with type 2 diabetes (if it has the same effect in humans).

Potential Cardarine side effects

There are not many studies on Cardarine side effects, especially on humans. Users also very rarely complain about any side effects. However, we have found studies that indicate that this substance may also potentially have side effects. 

Firstly, as mentioned earlier, GW-501516 has the ability to destroy degenerated liver cells. While this is usually a positive thing, it is definitely harmful for people with liver disease. In such people, whose liver has problems with proper work without additional means, Endurobol, by destroying some cells, aggravates these problems. This is why GSK has discontinued its marketing of the drug. 

Cardarine cancer

The other potential side effect is also related to the benefit mentioned above. Due to the acceleration of the expansion of some cells, the risk of their mutation is also increasing, thus increasing the risk of cancer.

Please note that the above-mentioned side effects were observed during the studies on mice. None of these side effects has been observed in human clinical trials – however, these studies were too short for such effects to be observed. 

That being said, there have been 0 documented cases that link Cardarine to cancer in humans. Later studies have actually revealed that GW 501516 may have anti-cancer properties.

Cardarine dosage and cycle length

During clinical trials, the administered doses of GW-501516 ranged from 2.5mg to 10mg per day. 

Athletes usually take 10 to 20 mg daily for a period of 6-12 weeks. The most common dose with Cardarine is 20 mg per day. If you decide on a dose of 20 mg, it is best to divide it into two servings – 10 mg in the morning and 10 mg in the evening, as the half-life of GW-501516 is about 16 hours.

Half-life

Cardarine has a half-life of 12 to 24 hours. Recent research confirms that the active half-life is 16 hours.

Therefore it is usually taken in 2 doses divided over the day to achieve the best results.

Stacking GW 501516 with SARMs

Cardarine is often stacked with other SARMs. Because it is non-hormonal, it won’t cause any suppression in natural testosterone production. It can therefore easily be stacked with SARMs to increase the benefits.

Some very popular stacks include Cardarine with LGD-4033 and Ostarine (MK-2866).

This is an example cycle of 8 weeks, stacking GW-501516 with MK-2866:

WeekCardarine dosageOstarine dosage
120 mg per day20 mg per day
220 mg per day20 mg per day
320 mg per day20 mg per day
420 mg per day20 mg per day
520 mg per day20 mg per day
620 mg per day20 mg per day
720 mg per day20 mg per day
820 mg per day20 mg per day

Frequently asked questions about Cardarine

How to take Cardarine?

Since the half-life is relatively short, it is best to divide the daily dose in half. One dose should be taken in the morning before the first meal and the other in the afternoon. If you decide to take GW once a day, it is best to do this on an empty stomach – this ensures the best absorption. 

Does Cardarine require a PCT?

GW-501516 does not target the androgen receptors like SARMs. This means that it doesn’t suppress testosterone production, and as a result there is no need for a PCT after a cycle of Cardarine.

Is Cardarine legal?

Cardarine (GW-501516) is legal in almost every country around the world, except for Australia. That is, as long as it is sold for research purposes. Because it is not approved for human consumption by the FDA, it can not be legally sold as a supplement in many countries. On top of that, it is considered doping by all professional sport associations.

Is Cardarine suppressive?

Cardarine doesn’t affect hormone levels at all, which means that it is not suppressive. It does not target the androgen receptors in the way that SARMs (and steroids) do. As a result, it has no effect on the natural production of testosterone.