Anabolic steroids are linked with liver damage and prostate cancer, so many body builders have been looking for an alternative to boost muscle growth without the side effects.
Unlike other hormonal therapies, SARMS work specifically on muscle tissue, so scientists are hoping they are a safer alternative.
But given they are still very much in the research phase, the jury is still out on whether they are safe for use in the general population
"The idea of SARMS is that they mimic the affects of testosterone in the body, but unlike using synthetic testosterone or anabolic steroids, they are directly targeted at skeletal muscle," Dr Krissy Kendall, Edith Cowan University exercise and sports science lecturer, tells Coach.
"Anabolic androgen steroids can target any androgen receptor in the body – possibly affecting the brain, heart, reproductive organs and liver, but SARMS are 'selective' to skeletal muscle."
SARMS have been developed for use in people with medical conditions, such as cancer patients who suffer muscle wastage from chemotherapy and radiation. However body builders and gymgoers have begun buying them online to inject, in the hope that it will help them easily boost muscle mass and strength.