7 Things You Could do to Increase Growth Hormones Naturally
Everyone seems to focus on testosterone when trying to build strength, build muscle, lose fat and increase libido, but growth hormone (GH) may deserve just as much attention, if not more.
GH is associated with all the same effects that testosterones have and yes that includes libido, along with better recovery, strength, concentration and training performance. Not only is it impossible to increase muscle mass and bone density without having adequate levels of GH, it also plays an important role in the overall health of a human tissue, including the brain. Low levels of GH can increase the risk of diseases, excessive body fat, depression, insulin resistance, weaker bones and poor quality of life.
GH is often associated with steroids and doping and that is not without reason, GH seems to improve strength and performance in any human being. And that is why some people abuse the hormones and used “questionable” methods to increase their GH level.
However, GH is also a hormone that can be increased naturally through changes in lifestyle. If you want to keep your GH as high as possible, here are some things you could do today and start increasing/maintaining those sweet hormones all year long.
In the past and even today athletes especially bodybuilders were taught to eat every few hours to keep the body metabolism going. Since then we know that restricting the feeding window aka intermittent fasting can produce several benefits, such as better insulin sensitivity, lower risk of chronic diseases, and an increase in GH level
GH is sensitive to insulin, and if you go for hours without food, insulin spikes will gradually stopped and in turn increase GH production. What kind of increase are we talking about? Research from the Heart Institute at the Intermountain Medical Center found that a 24-hour fast will increase a women's average GH growth by 1.300 percent and nearly 2000 percent for men. Longer fasting also seems to have similar benefits, but don’t go overboard and fast for a week because you will die.
Regular fasting can be an excellent tool in your arsenal. It can also serve as plateau breaker if you are currently bored of your current diet plan. Just make sure you always reach your calories and macros for the day.
Short for High Intensity Interval Training, This type of exercise is important, and while there is an increase in growth hormone in any type of exercise, the effect seems to be higher when subjects use as much muscle fiber as possible - think of large compound movements - and when resting are short. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Science found that subjects who rest for one to two minutes per set had less than half the increase of GH compared to those who only rest for 30 seconds. Of course, doing HIIT everyday is very taxing on the body and might possibly hinder performance. Add HIIT moderately into your training program and sooner or later you will feel a difference.
Lots of Sleep
GH is produced by our own body when we are sleeping. The production is often referred as “pulses” and it peaks around an hour after we start sleeping and every three hours after.
So as you might have predicted, lots of sleep are a necessity if you are looking to increase GH levels. Keep in mind quality sleep is also needed because most scientist agreed that GH is only produced when we are in a deep sleep state.
So in addition to having the time to sleep adequately (8 hours), you will also need to minimize light and electronics exposure an hour before going to bed. This is done to make sure that our melatonin levels are not disturbed, and no caffeine you sick coffee addict.
(Nutrition advice below: This is not a scientifically proven journal so take everything with a grain of salt please)
Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, a choline compound found in the brain, is a rather underrated compound when compared to a similar one (creatine). However, in a study done in 2011, It was found that athletes that consumes alpha-GPC experienced an increase in GH levels compared to those who took a placebo supplement
Obviously more research is needed to verify it, but if you are currently considering taking a nutritional supplement, you might be getting some benefits by adding alpha-GPC in your diet.
Very few people have vitamin C deficiency as it is found in almost every fruit and vegetable we consume. But with the CDC saying that only ten percent of Americans eat enough fruit and vegetables, it might be worthwhile to add vitamin c supplements to your diet to ensure you are getting enough.
A comprehensive study called The Association of Macro- and Micronutrient Intake with Growth Hormone secretion revealed that vitamin C is associated with GH secretion. So if you are looking to add more muscle, eating more fruits and vegetables might be the icing on the cake that you need.
Amino acids are essential nutrients that human needs to function normally, and as you can imagine this is even more evident in athletes, studies have found that amino acid intake are influential in the increased levels of GH. You can get amino acids from the usual protein/carb sources, no time to cook? That is where amino acids supplements benefits us as a convenient and easy way to consume amino acids on the go.
Low Body Fat
Higher body fat seems to influence growth hormone production, especially post-exercise GH spikes. One study even found that subjects with low abdominal fat had over three times more GH in their system compared to subjects with higher body fat. So if you’re feeling down all day it might be time for cutting season.
Growth hormones are an important part of human lives, especially for athletes. Thankfully you can increase GH levels by doing some/all of the things I listed above. You won’t get a drastic increase fast but overtime you will be able to increase and maintain your GH levels to keep your body prime and ready for the gym and the beach. So before resorting to “other” ways, try the tips above and look at the mirror in a few months!
Written By: John Ananto