Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is one of the most important hormones in the body. It plays a vital role in the development of muscle and bone mass, and it encourages the production of IGF-1 in your liver and muscles. The production of IGF-1 is necessary for muscle growth, as it helps to increase the anabolic effects of the growth hormone. It’s an essential growth cycle that is the key to building lean muscle.
But did you know that your body produces less and less growth hormone as you get older? This means that aging makes it harder for you to build muscle and bone mass. But here’s something you might not have known: HGH is also needed for recovery. The more activity you engage in, the more HGH your body needs to make repairs to your muscles. Those who do a lot of high intensity, high impact exercise need more HGH in order to keep their bodies working smoothly.
The Side Effects of Low HGH Levels
Low levels of human growth hormone become more common as you age. Add high intensity and high impact exercise into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for some serious problems:
- Decreased elasticity and mobility
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Muscle mass loss
- Reduced stamina and energy
- Increase in fat mass
All of this can be avoided by increasing HGH, but sadly that’s easier said than done. The production of HGH decreases as you grow older. It’s up to you to find ways to increase your levels of human growth hormone to essentially combat the effects of aging.
The Synthetic Ways to Boost HGH
The good news is that there are many ways to increase HGH. Before we get into the natural alternatives, let’s take a look at a few of the synthetic growth hormones available to you:
IGF-LR3 – “Insulin-like Growth Factor–1 Long Arg3”, or IGF-LR3, is a polypeptide hormone that has a molecular structure very similar to insulin. This means that it acts a lot like insulin, with many of the same anabolic effects.
This peptide hormone responds to the growth hormone signals in your body, and it can lead to serious anabolic growth. It can encourage the splitting of existing cells and the formation of new muscle cells. Basically, it’s a synthetic hormone that will increase muscle mass and tone (such a bizarre word to describe muscle) and it can contribute to healthy muscle maintenance through a very intense regimen.
The benefits of IGF-LR3 include:
- Fast fat loss
- Better muscle retention
- Quicker post-workout recovery times
- Faster onset of sleep and better overnight recovery
- Reduced effects of aging
- More efficient anabolic cycle
- Boosted libido and better testicular health
However, be warned: this is not a hormone for weekend warriors or casual gymgoers. The synthetic protein has some serious side effects (heart problems, intestinal issues, etc.), so it’s only recommended for advanced bodybuilders looking for a way to kick things into ultra-high gear.
GHRH – Growth Hormone Release Hormone, or GHRH, is a synthetic hormone that stimulates the production and release of growth hormone. GHRH works with growth hormone releasing peptides (GHRP) to raise levels of HGH, leading to an increase in anabolic growth. In fact, it may even improve cognitive function.
The use of this synthetic hormone is usually intended to increase the effectiveness of growth hormone injections. It can help to reduce the side effects of receiving growth hormones, though it can only be used for 4-5 weeks before causing permanent pituitary gland damage. Definitely not a hormone to take lightly, but one that could offer serious benefits in terms of anabolic growth.
GHRP – Growth Hormone Release Peptides, or GHRP, is another synthetic hormone, one that is often paired with IGF-LR3 to drastically increase the production of HGH. GHRP essentially acts as a precursor to growth hormone, encouraging the body to turn the IGF-LR3 into HGH. Adding GHRH into the mix will make the synthetic hormones even more effective, leading to better anabolic growth.
GHRH stimulates the body to release growth hormone, helping the pituitary gland to increase production. The benefits of using GHRH include:
- An increase in lean muscle mass
- An increase in the production of collagen
- A decrease in body mass
- An improvement in sleep quality
- Faster cellular repair rates
There are a number of GHRPs available to you, but it’s vital you do your research and consult a physician before taking them. Their side effects can be perilous if you don’t take them correctly.
The Natural Ways to Boost Growth Hormone
We’ve examined the ways to increase your HGH using synthetic hormones, so now it’s time to look at the NATURAL ways to increase growth hormone.
The truth is, generally speaking, going the natural route is better in my opinion—certainly cheaper and safer. There are a few things you can do to increase your body’s production of growth hormone without the use of synthetic hormones, including:
Intermittent Fasting – No, intermittent fasting (IF) isn’t about starving yourself thin. Instead, it’s about getting all of your nutrients within a certain time frame, then giving your body a break the rest of the time.
Intermittent fasting can be done many ways:
- Eating for 48 hours, then fasting for 24.
- Eating for 6 hours, then fasting for 18
- Eating for 8 hours, then fasting for 16
- Fasting two days a week, eating less than 600 calories on the fast days
The beauty of intermittent fasting is that you can still get all the calories you need and have plenty of food around your workout schedule, but you’ll promote better calorie-burning the rest of the day. Intermittent fasting is excellent for decreasing body fat, which (as you will see below) can have a direct impact on your HGH levels.
IF also helps to control insulin levels. Too much insulin (the result of high sugar/carb consumption) can interfere with the production of HGH, so controlling insulin is a key to restoring growth hormone release to normal.
Not sure it works? In a 2011 study , researchers found that intermittent fasting caused a significant increase in HGH production. Within the 24-hour fasting window, HGH production in female participants increased by 1300%, while male participants saw a 2000% increase!
You don’t need to fast for an entire day to raise your HGH levels. Try shorter fasts (12 to 18 hours), and the effects will be the same: higher HGH production.
Losing Weight – This is ultimately everyone’s goal if it has gotten away from you a bit, and when it comes to HGH, body fat composition is a lot more important than you’d think.
In a 2001 study , researchers discovered that both fasting insulin levels and abdominal visceral fat had noticeable effects on growth hormone production. Basically, higher levels of fat led to lower growth hormone production. The fact that more abdominal fat leads to higher insulin levels only compounds the problem.
Men with a high body mass index are more likely to have lower levels of HGH. The solution for raising HGH is to deal with that body fat. Losing belly fat will not only increase HGH production, but will improve your health in every other aspect. For men who want to be healthy and produce enough important hormones—not just HGH, but testosterone and others—it’s vital to get your body fat (and especially belly fat) down to normal levels.
Try Arginine –L-arginine, or arginine for short, is one of the more popular exercise supplements. It can help to relax blood vessels, increase circulation, and help your heart pump oxygen and nutrients to your working body.
Taking arginine around your workout can help increase endurance, but taking arginine at a different time of the day will increase the secretion of growth hormone. A 1997 study  found that supplementing with arginine can noticeably enhance the production of HGH. In another 1982 study , it was discovered that taking a high dose of arginine (250 mg/dg/day) helped to increase the overnight production of HGH. This means that the amino acid can help to speed up recovery and encourage muscle repair while you sleep.
Instead of taking that arginine supplement before your training session, try taking it before bed. The boost in your HGH levels can help reduce soreness and fatigue, giving you the energy you need to hit your workout hard the next day.
HIIT it Hard – Your regular resistance training workouts can have some effect on HGH levels, but those who want to see visible results need to kick it up a notch. As many of you already know, the Alpha program is designed to boost these critical hormones naturally
High intensity exercise (such as High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT) can seriously increase the production of growth hormone. The less rest you take between sets, the higher the spike in HGH after your workout. HIIT increases your metabolism and the production of lactic acid, leading to an increase in growth hormone.
What sort of exercise should you be doing?
- SpecForce – Alpha Training
- Hill Sprints
- Anabolic Running – Sprint training
- Cycling sprints
- Repeated sprints
- Interval training
- Circuit training
- High intensity resistance training
- Explosive training
- Plyometric training
All of these training methods will increase the intensity of your workout, leading to better HGH production and release.
Cut Back on Sugar – If you’re serious about being healthy, this should already be the #1 change in your life. However, it becomes even more important when you realize how sugar affects HGH levels.
Remember how high levels of fasting insulin decreases your body’s natural HGH production? Well, what do you think causes the insulin to spike? Sugar, of course!
Insulin is produced by your body in order to manage excess blood glucose (sugar). When you eat a lot of sugar and empty carbs, your liver produces A LOT of glucose in a very short amount of time. Insulin is your body’s way of preventing the glucose from causing hyperglycemic problems like blurred vision, thirst, headaches, and fatigue. The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body has to produce to manage the blood glucose levels.
If more insulin = less HGH, then by that same token less sugar = more HGH. After all, if eating less sugar and empty carbs helps to keep your insulin levels low, there will be no insulin to interfere with the production of HGH. Cut your sugar and empty carb intake back to ZERO to give your HGH levels a boost.
End the Day Fasted – Did you know that your body produces most of the HGH overnight? There is only a limited supply of growth hormone produced during the day, but it’s at night that the majority of the hormone is secreted in order to help your body make repairs.
If you eat a meal before bed, you cause a spike in your insulin levels. This will interfere with the production of growth hormone, leading to decreased GH levels overnight.
Ending the day fasted (with an empty stomach), however, can be the key to higher HGH levels. With no insulin to interfere, your body is able to produce all the HGH it needs to promote growth and repair overnight. Try to avoid eating for 4-6 hours before bedtime (as part of your intermittent fasting diet), and you’ll see a noticeable improvement in HGH.
Have a Protein Shake – Drinking a protein shake after your workout can increase HGH levels noticeably. A 1998 study  found that protein supplementation following a workout let to a higher metabolic and hormone response for hours after heavy-resistance exercise. Essentially, the protein shake helped to increase the production of growth hormone and testosterone as well as burning calories.
It’s just one more good reason to finish your workout with a protein shake! Whether you take lean muscle protein powder or regular, it will do wonders to increase your body’s production of growth hormone.
When your life is has you going off track in terms of your health you need to disrupt the consistent everyday pattern that has lead you away from your goals. The best way to do that is introduce behaviours that will produce balanced hormones, which will in turn, enable you to develop that lean healthy body, and live the way you have always imagined.