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How to Naturally Increase Human Growth Hormone

What is human growth hormone?

Human growth hormone (HGH) is a hormone secreted from the pituitary gland that stimulates cell reproduction. It is highly anabolic to muscle tissue and catabolic to fat mass. This is an amazing combination for fat loss. It builds muscle, but it also promotes fat loss. There are not many hormones that can do both.

Benefits of Growth Hormone

Normalising Blood Pressure
Decrease in weight
Increasing metabolism and fat loss
Increase new muscle cells
Forces body to burn fat for energy

Growth Hormone Declines With Age

So what are the factors that lower and increase growth hormone secretion? First, let’s take a look at one of the biggest problems of growth hormone levels. That problem is that it rapidly declines with age
Ever wonder why it was so easy to stay in shape when you were younger? Well, this is one of the many reasons why. Being that growth hormone declines so rapidly with age, it is even more imperative that we aren’t inhibiting what little growth hormone we’re able to produce. Outside of taking exogenous GH, you can still optimise your own body’s GH release. Growth hormone raises in response to deep sleep, high-intensity exercise, and low insulin levels.

Growth Hormone and Sleep

Growth hormone is released during REM sleep. We hit REM sleep several times during the night, starting about 90 minutes or so after falling asleep. During each of the REM periods, bursts of GH are being released. Your body then uses this hormone in cell reproduction (building muscle) and fat lipolysis (fat loss) among other things. So make sure you are getting enough sleep and you are getting it at similar times everyday.

Growth Hormone and Exercise

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) & Circuit Training

Growth hormone is also released in response to high-intensity exercise. The higher the intensity of the exercise, the higher the release of GH. GH is also at its highest during the first 30 minutes of exercise. After that, it starts to decline..- keeping your workouts short and intense is best for optimal GH release.
Short intense bursts of exercise, triggers anaerobic metabolism and production of lactic acid, breaking lactate threshold. This increases HGH response and EPOC (after burn) up to 48 hrs post-workout. The higher the intensity of activity the more O2 and energy needed to pay back the oxygen debt and restore the body.
TABATA workouts have been shown to produce 28% increase in anaerobic capacity and 14% increase in VO2 max.
Low intensity, long cardio only burns calories while the activity is being performed. It may also encourage the body to retain fat and eats away at muscle tissue. Also can lead to overuse injuries.

Anaerobic Strength Training

Perform functional body strength training using compound exercises. There are 6 primary movements : PUSH, PULL, SQUAT, ROTATION, DEADLIFT, FLEXION/EXTENSION.
Isolation exercises don’t recruit enough muscle to be effective at burning fat. Performing functional exercises is essential to gaining functional strength, boosting metabolism and burning fat. They also promote the production of HGH which helps build muscle and burn fat. Muscles burn 3 x as many calories than fat.

Growth Hormone and Insulin Levels

Growth hormone release is inhibited by high insulin levels. You want your insulin levels to remain low. Fat cannot be released in the presence of high insulin because insulin is a storage hormone. Insulin and growth hormone are inversely correlated. This means when one is high, the other is low, and vice versa.
This is why it’s so important to make sure you are eating the right carbohydrates. Carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index will be digested slowly, and will provide a slow and steady release of glucose in the body. High-glycemic carbohydrates on the other hand cause a rapid digestion of sugars and a sudden influx of glucose into the bloodstream. The body cannot handle such a high amount of glucose in the blood, and so insulin is released to shuttle that glucose into either muscle glycogen, or convert it into fat for energy later if glycogen stores are full.
Your body cannot have high blood sugar levels. Take a type 1 diabetic. This is exactly what their problem is. They eat, but they have problems removing glucose from the blood. Because of this, they have to take a shot of insulin in order to get their blood sugar under control. Luckily, your body probably has a functioning insulin hormone. Don’t lower your insulin sensitivity by bombarding your body with high glycemic carbohydrates. If you stick to whole foods, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. It’s the processed foods with sugar and flour that are the cause.

With everything that gets thrown at us to make it harder to lose weight, it is even more important that we are doing the right things to optimise what little muscle building/fat loss hormones we have left.

Eat a good diet, exercise hard, and get enough rest. Diet, exercise, and recovery are the cornerstones to any good fitness program. Make sure you have all three right, and your body will start functioning like the machine that it is.