Is Growth Hormone The Hormone Of Youth? – Effects on Our Body and Ways to Maintain Its Optimal High levels


3d structure
of somatotropin (growth hormone 1)
 from PDB 1HGU from orthogonal viewpoints

Finer and slimmer body figure, denser bones, more developed/bigger muscles …  Growth hormone appears to have positive effects on many parts of the body. However, studies are still insufficient to recommend it as anti-aging treatment.

Aging is accompanied by a more or less abrupt decline in the secretion of many hormones. The most typical example is estrogen, which levels collapse during menopause. But growth hormone along with testosterone also experiences significant drop in its production with aging. Various studies indicate that the decline of this hormone is associated with a decrease in muscle mass and strength, increased body fat and impaired quality of life, lack of sleep.

Many of us want to correct this hoping to avoid the many negative consequences of aging, and it is a tempting option. But it still must be proven, that the reversal of hormone levels, back to the levels of  someone in their 20’s is enough to bring back the shape of a young and rejuvenated body. More research is still needed to be conducted on that matter.

Growth hormone in bodybuilding and fitness

Growth hormone (or HGH) is secreted by the pituitary gland. During sleep the release of HGH is at its highest levels. HGH production is extremely important in bodybuilding because it allows your body to adapt and help it to cope with muscle stress caused by training. Without HGH, your body would have no ability to adapt and gain strength, the muscular endurance and muscle volume would not be possible.

The HGH hormone and proteins correlation

Growth hormone is based primarily on protein anabolism (or metabolism). It intensifies the protein and the amino acid transport into the muscle to rebuild damaged areas thru protein synthesis. The muscles in need then receive a greater amount of amino acids to create new stronger muscle fibers. HGH also protects against the amino acid catabolism and slows down muscle loss.

HGH hormone and fats

The Growth hormone also affects the metabolism of fat reserves by increasing the release of lipids in the blood and in order to satisfy the energy needs, high HGH levels will make your body to burn more fatty acids to produce energy. In other words, in addition to promoting muscle development, growth hormone helps to eliminate fat.

Two incompatible hormones: Insulin and HGH

Eating sugars after a session of intense weight training can cause an insulin spike, so as to improve the assimilation of nutrients (including fast absorbable proteins such as whey protein powder). This technique is very favorable in post-training and in the morning after waking up, but should be used carefully. Why? Because the high insulin secretion has a major drawback: it plays an inhibitory role on the secretion of HGH. Actually, insulin and growth hormone cannot co-exist. When your insulin level is increased, your body’s release of HGH decreases.

Consuming lots of sugars puts your body in state of anabolic condition, but in such case the body will not be fully oriented to anabolism and muscle development, because your Growth Hormone levels will be low (thus it will be accumulating fat). Outside the metabolic window, your blood sugar should be kept low in order to maintain a high level of growth hormone.

Sleep and growth hormone

During the night, your muscles are receptive to the advantage of hypertrophy, because your body secretes high levels of growth hormone. This is true only if your dinner is not loaded with carbohydrates and sugars. Eating too many carbs before bed will inevitably increase the blood sugar levels, which is followed by insulin secretion, and thus a decrease in HGH. As a result, your muscle recovery is not optimal.

How to maintain high levels of HGH

For anyone who practice bodybuilding, it is essential to keep a high growth hormone levels in your body system to improve muscle recovery and the overall quality of your life. It’s not difficult to maintain constant high levels of HGH naturally if you follow good habits of sleep and nutrition.

The five habits to adopt in order to maintain a high level of HGH naturally are:

–  No high sugar foods or drinks two hours before bedtime.
–  Sleep at least 8 hours per night, that way you are keeping optimal release levels of  HGH through the next day.
–  Do not induce insulin spikes, except for post-training and for breakfast when you get up after sleep.
–  Apply weights regularly and intensively. Do compound exercises.
–  Do not train if digestion is not completely finished. If you start strength training with partially digested food in the stomach, this may reduce the secretion of HGH up to 54% according to a UCLA study.

Supplements stimulating Growth Hormone production

Is there a supplement that stimulates the production of growth hormone? Yes, there is. Two amino acids are particularly effective for the purpose, especially if they are taken together: glutamine and arginine. One hour before your weight training, take 3-4 grams of L-glutamine and 8-10 grams of L-arginine. Vitamins B3 and B6 also enhance the secretion of the HGH hormone and are found mainly in meat and fish products.

Author: Jessy Donston

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