HGH: Stick To The Basics

Words: Kerry DULIN

It is an accepted fact that our body’s ability to produce human growth hormone [HGH] diminishes considerably as we age, starting immediately after puberty. Studies show that as early as age 26, your body may be producing less than half of the growth hormone that it did at age 18. By age 35, HGH production may be down a full 75 per cent from peak levels.

So, what is ‘as we age,’ or can we work with our body to increase growth hormone production naturally? Fortunately, the answer to that question is ‘yes,’ and you don’t need a prescription to do that. The following five tips will help you to get the most benefit from your own natural growth hormone production — the best part is one of the tips below, viz., sleep, does not require any effort.

  1. Exercise. You knew this one was coming. Exercise, especially high-intensity exercises, significantly increases natural growth hormone production. This is known as the ‘exercise induced growth hormone response’ [EIGR]. Dr R J Godfrey of Brunel University, US, states “A number of studies have suggested an intensity ‘threshold’ exists for EIGR. Exercise intensity for a minimum of ten minutes appears to elicit the greatest stimulus to the secretion of HGH.” This simply means that intense exercise performed in ten minute bursts for several sessions will have the greatest effect on growth hormone levels. While this is best equated with cardio- and endurance-training, weight training athletes who work-out with enough intensity will see positive results too. 
  1. Sleep. Studies have shown that our pituitary glands release the highest levels of HGH within the first few hours of sleep, especially during REM sleep [or, while dreaming]. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get enough sleep. Recent studies have shown that a lack of sleep actually increases the likelihood that you will be overweight. People who are tired naturally crave for carbohydrates, a quick energy source. Unfortunately, this results in an increased insulin response and decreased growth hormone levels. Want to stay lean and fit? Get a good night’s rest, nay sleep. 
  1. Fasting. While occasional fasting has positive benefits from weight loss to longevity, it is also an effective means of elevating HGH production. High insulin levels, especially in response to sugar and refined carbohydrates, can suppress production of HGH. Fasting for a 24-hour period diminishes the body’s requirement for insulin and frees the pituitary to focus on HGH production. Working out in a carb [sugar]-depleted state may have a similar response as well. 
  1. Change your eating habits. Eating the ‘3-square-meals-a-day’ may not be in your best interest. We have grown accustomed to highly processed food and large portions. This requires the body to produce insulin in order to metabolise sugar. The downside is that insulin wants to store that sugar as fat. If you are serious about increasing your own natural production of human growth hormone, you need to be serious about your diet. Eat frequent, but smaller meals consisting of whole [unprocessed] foods — fruit and vegetables off-the-shelf, and not out of a can, lean cuts of meat and small portions. It is common for bodybuilding and fitness athletes to consume 5-7 small meals a day; they know the benefits. There is a nice trick to take control of your portion size when eating. ‘Box up’ your dinner plates and put them in a closet. Use salad plates, or better still, a saucer when eating and, if you feel the need for a few seconds, wait for ten minutes just to be sure. It can take up to ten minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is satiated. 
  1. Supplement with L-arginine. L-arginine is an amino acid that the body uses in the production of proteins. Supplementing with L-arginine can have a dramatic effect on HGH levels. Recent studies have shown that resting growth hormone responses increase with oral ingestion of L-arginine; the dose range is 5-9gm. Most studies using oral L-arginine have shown that arginine alone increases the resting growth hormone levels by at least 100 per cent, while exercise can increase growth hormone levels by 300-500 per cent. L-arginine is most effective when taken just before bedtime on an empty stomach.

Remember, as with any supplement, a ‘supplement’ should be used in addition to a proper diet and exercise programme, not as a replacement. I’d suggest too that you do your own research and, better still, speak to your wellness physician and trainer, to know what is right for you, and let your body do the job, or work, for you.

KERRY DULIN, a world-renowned fitness guru, first got into professional bodybuilding at age 40. He won his first bodybuilding competition at 41. Now 62, with a physique that would put someone half his age to shame, Dulin has what he calls ‘a manageable programme,’ 12+ top trophies to show for his fitness endeavours and a brace of health and fitness websites. He lives in the US [This article is published by special permission from the author. ©Kerry Dulin].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nineteen  −  eighteen  =  

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.