The importance of human growth hormone

A group of men playing basketball on a court in the city with one man getting ready to dunk it as another tries to block him

In part 3 of our series for National Men’s Health Month, we’re going to go over the ways human growth hormone influences multiple aspects of your health. Human growth hormone, or HGH, is a key hormone produced by the body. More specifically, HGH is a single-chain polypeptide hormone produced naturally by the pituitary gland, deep within the brain. When men think about important hormones for building muscle, reducing fat, and improving sex drive, testosterone is often first and foremost, but HGH is just as important. Testosterone and HGH are independent but complimentary regulators of things like muscle size and strength, body composition, and metabolism.

Our bodies make human growth hormone naturally, but our levels begin to decline rapidly as we age. They peak in our 20s, and then our HGH levels drop fairly quickly after that. Some experts believe this decline in HGH production plays a role in many of the signs of aging we experience, like a reduction in muscle mass, poor sleep, and lower energy levels. Because of this possible association, many men actively work to get their HGH levels up.

What time of day do men produce the most HGH?

Our bodies can produce human growth hormone at any time, but HGH production doesn’t stay at constant levels throughout the day. Typically, it peaks while we sleep, with our highest HGH levels being produced when we’re in the deepest stages of sleep (usually about an hour after we fall asleep). This is one reason why getting proper sleep is important for children and teens (as they are in the most aggressive growth periods of their lives) as well as adults who want all the benefits of optimal, healthy HGH levels.

What effects does growth hormone have on the body? (HGH benefits and function)

When HGH is released into the bloodstream it travels throughout the body. It enters your muscle cells, stimulating lean muscle growth. The International Journal of Endocrinology says, “Growth hormone (GH) use has been speculated to improve physical capacity… through stimulation of collagen synthesis in the tendon and skeletal muscle, which leads to better exercise training and increased muscle strength.”

HGH also passes into your fat cells and can actually cause them to shrink. There have been multiple studies on growth hormone’s impact on fat loss. In one study including a 12-week randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trial, “GH treatment caused a 1.6-fold increase in the fraction of body weight lost as fat and a greater loss of visceral fat area than placebo treatment.”

HGH has also been associated with quicker recovery, more energy, increased sex drive, and deeper, more restorative sleep.

How does growth hormone therapy work? (synthetic HGH injections)

Growth hormone therapy is a medically administered treatment for people with clinically diagnosed low HGH levels. Most commonly, growth hormone therapy is prescribed for children who suffer from HGH deficiency and whose bodies aren’t growing properly, although adults are also prescribed injections for medical use under some circumstances. While it’s true that some people use synthetic injections for “off-label” use (think celebrities and athletes), this practice is not only expensive, but extremely controversial and potentially illegal. Some experts fear that introducing the synthetic form of the hormone into the body may upset the natural production of HGH, with unknown long-term consequences.

Can I increase my HGH levels naturally?

Due to the problematic nature of off-label synthetic GH use and the multiple benefits of proper HGH levels, many men seek ways to optimize or increase their own production of HGH naturally. Thankfully, there are several potential ways to help your body accomplish this.

Eat clean and watch your sugar intake

As with everything related to men’s health, nutrition plays a big role. When it comes to HGH, you want to pay special attention to your sugar intake. Eating too much sugar, especially right before bed, can interfere with your body’s ability to produce HGH. Sugar causes insulin levels to spike, and insulin plays a role in suppressing HGH production. Keeping your insulin levels under control with a balanced, varied diet rich in vitamins and nutrients helps your body be better able to produce HGH.

Reduce excess body fat

Obese men often have reduced HGH levels (and lower testosterone, as well). One way you can improve your natural HGH levels is by reducing your excess body fat. You’ll look better, feel better, and your HGH levels may improve.

Exercise regularly

Getting regular exercise improves multiple aspects of your life and has wide-ranging benefits. But exercise–especially high-intensity workouts–can also help boost your HGH levels.

Undergo a 24-hour fast occasionally

In one study, researchers found that during a 24-hour fast, the amount of energy subjects’ bodies used during various activities dropped, while growth hormone levels rose significantly. A 24-hour fast once or twice a month has been shown to be beneficial to the body in multiple ways, in addition to any improvement in HGH levels it may produce.

Get enough sleep

HGH is produced by your body and released into your bloodstream during the night, to aid in rejuvenating your body’s cells and tissues while you’re resting. So, it stands to reason that getting enough quality sleep every night gives your body the best chance of producing those peak HGH levels. Stick to the same bedtime schedule as much as you can to help optimize the time your body spends in deep sleep.

Consider GF-9

If you’re serious about increasing those naturally declining HGH levels (as well as improving your sleep), check out GF-9. Rather than introducing a synthetic hormone into the body, GF-9 is a highly specialized, hormone-free blend of amino acids that works by nourishing the pituitary gland, allowing it to produce more youthful levels of HGH. It is backed by 4 clinical trials and shown to be a safe and effective way to significantly boost HGH.

A bottle of GH booster GF-9 with white capsules scattered and floating behind it