Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is an important hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland. It plays a key role in the growth, composition of the body, cell recovery and metabolism.
Growth hormone also stimulates muscle growth, strength and effectiveness in exercise, while helping you recover from injuries or wounds.
Low levels of growth hormone can reduce your quality of life, increase your risk of disease and accumulate fat.
Optimal levels are especially important during weight loss, recovery from injuries and diseases, or during strength training.
Interestingly, your diet and lifestyle choices can significantly affect your HGH levels.
The amount of abdominal fat you have is directly related to the production of growth hormone.
People with higher levels of abdominal fat may have disrupted HGH production and have an increased risk of disease.
One study noted that people who have three times the amount of abdominal fat have low levels of HGH.
Another study observed the 24-hour release of HGH and found a big drop in those with more abdominal fat.
Interestingly, research suggests that excess body fat affects growth hormone levels more in men. However, lowering body fat is still key for both sexes.
What’s more, the study finds that obese people have lower levels of HGH and IGF-1 – protein.
Once weakened, their growth hormone levels have recovered to normal.
Abdominal fat is one of the most dangerous types of stored fat and is associated with many diseases.
Fat loss from the abdominal area will help you optimize HGH levels and other aspects of your health.
Get rid of excess body fat – especially around the abdomen – to optimize HGH levels and improve your health.
Try an Arginine Supplement
When taken only, arginine can increase growth hormone. Although most people tend to use amino acids such as arginine during exercise, several studies have shown little or no increase in HGH levels.
- However, the situation is different when you take arginine “at rest” – without any exercise. Arginine then significantly increases the levels of this hormone.
- Other studies also support the use of arginine without exercise to increase growth hormone.
- One study examined 16 young men in 4 randomized trials as follows:
- Experiment A intake of placebo (vitamin C), followed by exercise.
- Experiment B intake of arginine 1500 mg and lysine 1500 mg, followed by exercise.
- Experiment In taking arginine 1500 mg and lysine 1500 mg, without exercise.
- Experience With taking a placebo, without exercise.
Human growth hormone concentrations were higher during the 30-, 60- and 90-minute ranges during experiments (B and C) (p <.05) compared to experiments (A and B).
No differences in growth hormone levels were found during the trials in the trials involving exercise. Growth hormone was significantly increased over the 60-minute time range in the non-exercise trials with amino acids compared to placebo.
It was concluded that taking arginine 1500 mg and lysine 1500 mg before training did not change growth hormone levels in young men.
However, the combination of the two amino acids “at rest” considerably increases the secretion of human growth hormone…
Elevated doses of arginine may improve growth hormone production, but not when taken around exercise
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Elevated insulin is associated with lower levels of growth hormone. Refined carbohydrates and sugar increase insulin levels the most, so reducing your intake can help optimize growth hormone levels.
One study found that healthy people had 3-4 times higher levels of HGH than those with diabetes.
Alongside with the direct effect on insulin levels, excess sugar is a key factor in weight gain and obesity, which also involve HGH levels.
However, sweets do not affect your HGH levels in the long run. Strive to achieve a balanced diet, as what you eat has a profound effect on your health, hormones, and body composition.
Elevated insulin levels may reduce HGH production. Therefore, limit your intake of large amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Do Not Eat Too Much Before Bedtime
Your body naturally secretes significant amounts of growth hormone, especially at night. Given that most meals cause an increase in insulin levels, some experts suggest avoiding food at bedtime.
Eating high-carbohydrate or high-protein foods can increase insulin and potentially block some of the HGH released at night. Note that there is not enough research in this theory.
However, insulin levels usually drop 2-3 hours after a meal, so you may want to avoid a carbohydrate or protein-based diet 2-3 hours before bed..
More research is needed on the effect of night eating on HGH. However, it may be best to avoid food 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Take a GABA Supplement
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a non-protein amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter, sending signals to your brain.
As a well-known sedative for your brain and central nervous system, it is often used to aid sleep. Interestingly, it can also help raise your HGH levels.
One study found that taking a GABA dietary supplement resulted in a 400% increase in HGH at rest and up to a 200% increase after exercise.
GABA can also increase HGH levels by improving your sleep, as the release of your hormone at night is related to the quality and depth of sleep. However, most of these increases are short-lived and the long-term benefits of GABA for growth hormone levels remain unclear..
GABA supplements can help increase HGH production, even though this increase seems short-lived.
High Intensity Exercises
Exercises is one of the most effective ways to significantly increase HGH levels.
The increase depends on the type of exercise, intensity, food intake around the workout and your own body characteristics.
High-intensity exercise increases HGH the most, but all forms of exercise are beneficial.
As with dietary supplements, exercise mainly increases short-term points in HGH levels.
However, in the long run, exercise can optimize the function of your hormones and reduce body fat, both of which will benefit your growth hormone levels.
Exercise requires a big jump in human growth hormone levels. High-intensity training is the best form of exercise to increase growth hormone levels.
Take Beta-alanine and/or a Sports Drink During Your Workouts
Some sports supplements can optimize performance and temporarily increase HGH levels.
In one study, taking 4.8 grams of beta-alanine before exercise increased the number of repetitions. It also doubled peak power and increased HGH levels compared to the no-supplements group..
Another study found that a sweet sports drink raised HGH levels toward the end of a workout. However, if you are trying to lose weight, the extra calories in the drink will cancel out the benefits of the short-term HGH jump.
Studies show that protein shakes – with or without carbohydrates – can increase HGH levels around workouts. However, if the intake of casein or whey protein is taken immediately before exercise, it can have the opposite effect.
One study found that drinking a beverage containing 25 grams of casein or whey protein 30 minutes before exercise reduced human growth hormone and testosterone levels compared to the placebo group.
Beta-alanine, carbohydrates and protein can increase short-term spikes in growth hormone during or after exercise.
Optimize Your Sleep
Most human growth hormone is released in impulses while you sleep. These impulses are based on the body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm.
The largest impulses appear before midnight, with some smaller impulses in the early morning. Studies show that poor sleep can reduce the amount of HGH your body produces. In fact, getting an adequate amount of deep sleep is one of the best strategies to improve your long-term HGH production.
Here are some simple strategies to help you optimize your sleep:
- Prevent exposure to blue light at bedtime.
- Read a book in the evening.
- Make sure your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature.
- Do not consume caffeine during the day.
Focus on enhancing sleep quality and strive for 7-10 hours of quality sleep a night.
Try a Melatonin Supplement
Melatonin is a hormone that plays an important role in sleep and blood pressure regulation.
Melatonin supplements have become a popular sleep aid that can increase the quality and duration of your sleep.
While good sleep alone can increase HGH levels, further research shows that a melatonin supplement can directly boost HGH production
Melatonin is also quite safe and non-toxic. However, this can change your brain’s chemistry in some way, so you may consult with your doctor before using it.
To maximize your effects, take 1–5 mg about 30 minutes before bedtime.
Start with a lower dose to assess your tolerability, then increase if necessary.
Melatonin supplements can boost sleep and increase the natural production of growth hormone in your body.
Try One of These Natural Dietary Supplements
Several other supplements can boost human growth hormone production, including:
- Glutamine. A dose of 2 grams can temporarily increase levels to 78%.
- Creatine. A dose of 20 grams of creatine significantly increases HGH levels for 2-6 hours.
- Ornithine. One study gave participants ornithine 30 minutes after exercise and found a higher peak in HGH levels.
- L-dopa. In patients with Parkinson’s disease, 500 mg of L-dopa increases HGH levels for up to 2 hours.
- Glycine. Studies have found that glycine can improve performance in the gym and provide short-term spikes in HGH.
Although these supplements can increase your growth hormone levels, studies show that their effects are only temporary.
Several natural supplements can temporarily increase HGH production.
As with other key hormones, such as testosterone and estrogenic, it is important to have healthy levels of growth hormone. HGH helps your body with metabolism, cell repair and other vital functions.
There are many ways you can naturally boost HGH levels and the list here is a great place to start. Higher HGH means a healthier version of you!