If you are a gym freak like me or you are just at the beginning of your bodybuilding journey you probably know how important the human growth hormone (HGH) is for muscle mass.
Actually, increasing testosterone and the human growth hormone is super important if you want to have a Hulk body.
Besides testosterone, the main anabolic hormone in your body is the Human Growth Hormone or simply HGH.
I already wrote several articles about testosterone, so today I am gonna write about HGH. (1)
But, before I tell you the secret how to increase HGH naturally, let’s start with some basics.
What is HGH?
Get ready for some medical facts.
HGH is excreted in the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland and it’s also called somatropin. (2)
The excretion of the HGH is regulated by the hormones somatostatin and somatocrinin.
Somatostatin stops the excretion of HGH, whilst somatocrinin releases it.
In addition, increased excretion of HGH can be caused by starvation, hypoglycemia, muscle activity, injury, stress and so on.
When it’s excreted in the pituitary gland it stays active in the bloodstream only for a few minutes, but that’s enough for the liver to use it as a booster for the anabolic processes.
What is the role of HGH in your body?
Simply said, HGH affects the regeneration (in this case muscle growth and recovery after a workout) and the growth of all cells in your body. (3)
HGH affects the processes that result in increased protein synthesis and reduced protein breakdown.
The effect of the increased protein synthesis means growth of all tissues in your body, mostly your bones and cartilage.
Furthermore, HGH boosts the process of burning fat for energy, your libido, it affects weight loss, it increases your endurance and muscle mass.
This hormone is a protein which contains 191 amino acids.
It boosts the growth of cells and their mitosis and that’s how it increases the number of cells.
HGH also reduces the catabolism of proteins and amino acids, boosts the process of burning fat layers and keeps carbs.
However, I guess you want to know if it helps you gain muscle mass.
How HGH levels drop as you age?
As you age the levels of hormones drop.
After turning 30, the levels drop by 25% in each following decade, so when you turn 60 you only have 25% of HGH compared to when you were in your 20s.
You can see the graph here:
Signs of low HGH
Low levels of HGH are different in children and in adults, so let me tell you the symptoms of low HGH in adults that are trying to gain muscles:
- Hair loss
- Belly fat
- Reduced muscle mass
- Memory loss
- Difficulties concentrating
Note: these are some general symptoms, the best way to find out your HGH level is to do a blood test.
So, how to increase HGH naturally?
As I said, this is a very important hormone that affects many processes in your body and guys who want to get into better shape and build muscles should learn about the natural ways to boost this hormone.
6 best tips to boost HGH naturally:
1. Eat foods that boost your HGH
A diet high in proteins and complex carbs stimulates the production of HGH.
High levels of amino acids (arginine, ornithine, glutamine) in a diet high in proteins have a key role in naturally activating the production of HGH.
So, you should eat:
Foods high in ARGININE
Food high in L – arginine stimulates the production of HGH.
Milk, dairy, beef, chicken, seafood, cereals, chocolate, legumes, peanuts are high in arginine.
Soy is also a great source of L – arginine, amino acid, which boosts the level of HGH in half an hour.
Foods high in GLUTAMINE
A good source of glutamine is dairy, especially milk, yogurt, cheese, beef, chicken, pork, fish, beans.
Foods high in HOLIN
Broccoli, wheat, Brussels sprout, peanuts, yolks.
Foods that boost SEROTONIN
Pineapple is an excellent source of serotonin which is the happiness hormone.
Food high in serotonin (which converts into melatonin) can boost the production of HGH by 157 %.
Besides pineapples, eat cherries, raspberries, and bananas.
Foods high in serotonin are great for people with insomnia, too.
Foods high in GABA
Gaba – aminobutyric acid (GABA), which stimulates the pituitary gland to produce HGH.
Eating food high in GABA can also help your muscles to relax.
Foods high in GABA: beer yeast, eggs, seafood, seeds, soy, and cereals.
2. High-intensity interval training
The more you work out the more your body produces HGH.
High-intensity workouts which make you spend a lot of energy and exhaust you are the key for a bigger production of HGH.
Namely, this catabolic condition demands an additional protein synthesis, and when you spend energy your metabolism needs more fats to compensate for the glycogen reserves.
Doing complex and hard exercises (bench press, squats, deadlifting, sprints) 1–6 reps (sprints of about 30 seconds), leads to a bigger production of HGH. (4)
3. Sleep well
HGH is excreted in the pituitary gland during sleeping.
Even 75% of the total amount of HGH is produced during sleeping, especially in the REM phase.
Studies confirm that the HGH is at the highest level during sleeping, so you should sleep regularly 7-8 hours, without interruption.
The excretion of HGH happens late at night and early in the morning and that’s why you need to make sure that the process runs smoothly.
You shouldn’t use gadgets before sleeping, try to find some relaxing activity in order to sleep better.
4. Lose weight
Losing weight and reducing your body weight index will boost the HGH. (5)
People who have three times bigger percent of body fat than the recommended have even 50% lower production of HGH compared to someone with normal weight.
Believe it or not, laughter is maybe the easiest way to boost HGH.
Some research shows that laughing increases the production of HGH by 30%.
So, for starters, stay positive and laugh as much as you can.
6. Taking natural supplements
As I said many times, I don’t approve steroids so if you consider taking some, I suggest you take supplements made of natural ingredients.
Maybe they are not efficient like steroids, but taking some natural alternative will not endanger your health.
So, what’s the bottom line?
HGH is definitely important when it comes to working out and recovering after physical activity.
Hopefully, learning about the ways to boost this hormone you will get better results at the gym and you will improve your health, as well.