Typically, when someone claims “natty”, it means they have not taken exogenous hormones that your body normally produces on its own.
Here are some problems with that:
Because “natty” also means no HGH and Insulin were taken, we cannot only include steroid hormones or steroid hormone blockers. Thus, wouldn´t things such as GABA, Melatonin, Coenzyme Q10 and digestive enzymes be considered hormones / neurotransmitters that are taken in an exogenous form?
Furthermore, is it okay to take hormones that the human body doesn´t produce on its own, if an animal or plant produce it? Specifically, ecdysterone, which is a steroid hormone found in plants and insects.
If you claim that it isn´t a steroid hormone, look at this:
Next up, an actual steroid hormone, Testosterone:
You might note that both substances are made up of 3 hexagons, 1 pentagon and some attachments. That is the structure of all steroid hormones.
On another note, most steroids injected nowadays actually don´t occur in the human body and are synthetic, ultra-effective forms of Testosterone & Co.
Next point: Some substances are called prohormones and don´t have much direct influence, they only stimulate subtances that then perform various functions, e.g. Vitamin D3, which metabolizes into Calcitriol. Technically, taking Vitamin D3 makes you not natty, huh?
Also, there are substances that directly influence your hormones and neurotransmitters, such as caffeine stimulating the release of dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin etc., which might indirectly increase testosterone levels. So in effect you are taking a substance to alter your natural levels of hormones and neurotransmitters, that doesn´t seem natty. The same thing applies to “natural” Testosterone boosters such as Tribulus, Tongkat Ali and whatever else.
You also can´t draw the line at the method of consumption, saying: “Everything that you inject with a needle or an IV makes you unnatural!” So a diabetic, who has to take Insulin is unnatural? Someone with kidney problems getting dialysis is not natural and is enhancing his performance? The strongest argument however, is that there are oral steroids.
The reason for this ignorance:
The reason why this was never really brought up is in my opinion, because supplement companies can´t sell stuff to someone who is hell-bent on remaining “natural”. The companies cannot make money off of illegal substances, which is why those have been deemed unnatural, whereas everything Weider can make some bucks of is perfectly fine.
The new perspective:
In the end, I think it comes down to putting people on a spectrum of “natty-ness”. The guy injecting all kinds of illegal steroids and who has T levels of 20.000 ng/dl (which have been measured in someone before) is on one end of the spectrum, while the guy who isn´t on TRT, limits his caffeine intake to “only, when I´ve slept like shit and have to perform at work on a decent level” and whose doctor prescribed him magnesium for health reasons is on the other end.
I know this is destroying a definition we´ve had for several decades now, but we can´t ignore the fact that people are “biohacking” the shit out of their bodies with new forms of steroids and other substances.
The positive aspect of this is that you can now claim to be “more natty” than someone, at least that´s something.