Some people believe having higher levels of growth hormone (GH) can boost athletic performance, promote muscle growth, or keep them looking or feeling younger as they advance in years. But how do you get more growth hormone?
Growth Hormone Supplements
GH is produced in the body by the pituitary gland located in the brain. Many supplements claiming to boost the body’s natural production of GH by stimulating the pituitary gland are available. However, these kinds of supplements are not regulated and their claims are not verified. So you could be spending money on an ineffective or event dangerous product, depending on what is really in the pills.
Supplements claiming to be actual growth hormone that are taken as pills have been shown to be ineffective because the process of digestion destroys the functional components of the pills. Synthetic GH does exist, but it is available only by prescription and legally can be prescribed only to patients who have a growth hormone deficiency, which means their bodies are not producing a normal amount of GH for their age.
Boost GH Production Naturally
Some studies have shown that it is possible to boost your body’s natural production of growth hormone:
• Sleep - The majority of the growth hormone your body produces is released into the blood during the first few hours of sleep at night. So a key component to increasing GH production is getting a good night’s sleep every night, which includes going to bed at the same time every night.
• Diet - Some studies have shown that high blood sugar, which can be caused by eating sugary foods or carbohydrates, actually reduces the amount of GH produced by the pituitary gland. So limiting the amount of carbs you eat, especially before bed, can help your body boost GH production.
• Hydration – Make sure you are drinking enough water, especially if you are exercising in a warm or dry climate. Dehydration has also been shown to slow the body’s production of GH.
• Exercise – There are many studies being done to determine the best exercise plan to boost GH production. Some studies indicate that doing “sprints” several times a day with longer recovery times (one and a half to three hours) in between are more effective at boosting GH production than one long workout. Other studies show that high reps done quickly to get a “burn” are effective at boosting GH levels. No matter which plan you chose, exercise is known to help maintain a healthy hormone balance in the body, which includes growth hormone.
• Avoid stress – Chemicals released into the body when you are stressed can actually work against growth hormone production.
Combining Exercise with Diet
Standard training regimens recommend loading up on carbohydrates in the days leading up to competition. While this may seem to contradict your efforts to boost GH production, in this situation, eating high levels of carbs may be appropriate. Think about how you can vary your training and diet schedule based around competitions or other high demand situations. For example, if you are coming up on a race, plan your diet to include more carbs. Once the race is over, resume a diet and exercise plan that is designed to boost GH production.
The bottom line is this. Many people will try to sell GH supplements that are not proven to work and may contain ingredients or contaminants that can be harmful. Study carefully before you purchase any GH supplement. Exercise and diet can be effective ways to naturally boost growth hormone production in your body.