How to Increase Human Growth Hormone
What is HGH?
Human growth hormone (HGH) is an important hormone produced by your pituitary gland. HGH plays a key role in growth, body composition, cell repair and metabolism. In a way HGH is the fountain of youth and higher HGH level will keep you looking younger, feeling better and stronger.
Having low HGH levels may decrease your quality of life and increase your risk of disease (Carroll).
Natural Ways of Increasing Human Growth Hormone
Studies show that fasting leads to a major increase in HGH Levels. One study found that 3 days into a fast HGH levels increased over 300%. After 1 week of fasting HGH increased by a massive 1,250% (Kerndt).
For people in intense training program fasting for a week isn't really an option. But studies show intermittent fasting to have similar results to lesser degree. By skipping dinner and eating a late breakfast you can get a decent intermittent fast to boost your HGH levels naturally.
Studies have shown increased insulin levels reduce HGH levels. So by reducing refined carbs and sugars you can keep your insulin levels low to help optimize your body for creating HGH (Lanzi , Greenwood).
Elevated insulin levels may reduce HGH production. So limit intake of large amounts of sugar and refined carbs to optimize HGH production.
The majority of HGH is released in cycles during sleep. The HGH release cycles are based on your internal clock and circadian rhythm. The largest cycle occurs before midnight with smaller pulses in the early A.M. (Davidson, Takahashi).
The amount of belly fat you carry is directly related to your HGH production (Clasey). The higher amount of belly fat will likely impair your bodies ability to produce heightened HGH levels. One study found that those with 3x the belly fat as the control group had less than half the amount of HGH (Veldhuis).
Exercise is one of the best ways to significantly raise your HGH Levels especially high intensity exercises such as weight lifting, sprinting, cycling, etc.
The increase in HGH depends on the type exercise, intensity, food intake and your own body's traits. High intensity exercise increases HGH the most but all forms of exercise are beneficial .(Pritzlaff, Fesling, Consitt, Goto, Kraemer, Hulmi).
Supplements that can Increase Human Growth Hormone
Studies have shown that when taken alone arginine may boost HGH levels. But when combined into a stack alongside other supplements and exercise there is no increase in HGH Levels (Marcell, Suminski, Collier). Other non-exercise studies also support the arginine boosts HGH levels.
One study examined effect of 2 does 45mg or 114mg or arginine per pound of body weight, i.e. 6-10 grams or 15-20 grams per day. The study found no effect with the 45mg dose but a 60% increase in HGH from the higher 114mg dose (Besset).
So Arginine supplement would be good for those that don't take any other supplements and don't work out too much but want to increase their HGH levels.
GABA is a non-protein amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter around your brain. Its known for being a calming supplement for your brain and central nervous system and is often used to assist with sleep. A lesser known fact is it can also help increase HGH levels (Powers).
One study found that taking GABA led to a 400% increase in HGH at rest and 200% increase after exercise. However most of the studies done were short term and it remains unclear for long term HGH creation (Powers).
GABA also improves your sleep cycle which optimizes your bodies ability to create HGH.
Several other supplements may enhance human growth hormone production, including:
- Glutamine. A 2-gram dose may temporarily increase levels up to 78% (Welbourne).
- Creatine. A 20-gram dose of creatine significantly increased HGH levels for 2–6 hours (Schedel).
- Ornithine. One study gave participants ornithine 30 minutes after exercise and found a greater peak in HGH levels (Shinichi).
- L-dopa. In patients with Parkinson's disease, 500 mg of L-dopa increased HGH levels for up to 2 hours (Kansal).
- Glycine. Studies have found glycine can improve gym performance and provide short-term spikes in HGH (Kasai).
While these supplements may increase your HGH levels, studies indicate that their effects are only temporary.
Human Growth Hormone Studies
Fasting HGH Study 1:
A complete physical examination was performed prior to the fast. Lab work was done to measure serum potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, uric acid, creatinine, protein, albumin, lipids, growth hormone, etc (Kerndt).
Participants in the fast initally only drank 2 liters of water a day for first 3 weeks then 1 liter a day for the remainder of the study. It was measured the participants only consumed 60 calories a day (Kerndt).
Study revealed a progressive rise in growth hormone level between day 1 and day 26 of the fast followed by a signficant drop off after that. Secretion of growth hormone fluctuated wildy during the day with a major increase during sleep. Other known stimuli to increase growth hormone secreation are known to be hypoglycemia, exercise, certain amino acids, catecholamines, stress and certain drugs (Kerndt).
Sleep HGH Study 2:
Plasma growth hormone, insulin, cortisol and glucose were measured during sleep for 38 nights in 8 young adults. Blood was drawn from an indwelling catheter at 30 minute intervals throughout the night (Takashi).
12 normal control experiments were carried out at intervals of 11 days to 6 months. Onset to sleep occurred between 10pm and 12pm (Takashi).
HGH production peaks around 70 minutes after onset of sleep. As cortisol levels increase HGH production levels decreased (Takashi). High cortisol levels results in not feeling very rested after sleep.
Summary Sleep Study
The sleep study found its important to get a good nights sleep. As this is the time HGH production in the body is at its highest. And the better quality sleep you get the higher HGH levels are released. High cortisol levels related to stressful sleep resulted in lower growth hormone.
Supplements to Help Improve the Quality of Sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep–wake cycle. It is primarily released by the pineal gland. As a supplement, it is often used to create a more restful sleep.
GABA is known for being a calming supplement for your brain and central nervous system and is often used to assist with sleep. A lesser known fact is it can also help increase HGH levels.
Supplementation HGH Studies
Eleven resistance trained men aged 18-30 participated in a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover study. During the experimental bout participants ingested either 3g of GABA or a placebo followed by either resting or resistance exercise. Fasting blood samples were take immediately before at 15, 30, 45, 75 and 90 minute intervals (Powers).
At rest GABA ingestion elevated growth hormone compared to the placebo. Specifically peak concentration were elevated by about 400%. The combination of GABA and resistance training also elevated the peak (Powers).
Study concludes that ingested GABA elevates resting and post exercise growth hormone concentrations. The extent to which growth hormone secretion contributes to skeletal muscle hypertrophy is unkonwn although the increased growth hormone may improve resistance training muscular adaptations (Powers).
8 subjects experienced in resistance training (>3 years experience) college aged males participated in the study. The experiment was performed as a double blind, randomized cross over design. Subjects initially reported for maximal stregth test on 1 rep max squat (Hoffman).
Training program consisted of 6 sets of 12 reps at 70% of their 1 rep max. Subjects then were administered Beta Alanine or a placebo for another 4 week training session. At the end of the 4 weeks another maximal stregnth test of 1 rep max squat was performed (Hoffman).
Results of this study indicated that 4 weeks of beta alanine supplementation was effective in increasing performance with a resistance training workout as reflected by significant improvements in training volume, number of reps performed and average mean power exhibited (Hoffman).
Growth hormone concentrations were elevated in the beta alanine group versus the placebo group.
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