Ever wonder what magical anti-aging potion over-educated, vain women are panting to get their hands on? Human Growth Hormone serum. The kind you can only get at a doctor’s office which is delivered by syringe and usually only available to children with growth issues. Of course, I have looked into buying HGH online and am amazed by the rich assortment of choice. However, a chemical engineer friend of mine told me that all of those products were completely bogus and potentially dangerous and unless I had access to a prescription and a syringe of the real stuff I might as well search for natural methods to increase my production of HGH – or try to summon Gandalf to help.
Human growth hormone, a GOOD hormone, is produced by the pituitary gland — a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain — to fuel childhood growth and help maintain tissues and organs throughout life. Beginning in middle age, however, the pituitary gland slowly reduces the amount of growth hormone it produces. This natural slowdown has prompted an interest in the use of synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) to stave off the realities of old age.
Synthetic human growth hormone, which must be injected, is available only by prescription. It’s approved to treat people who have true growth hormone deficiency — not the expected decline in growth hormone due to aging.
If you want to increase your body’s production of HGH naturally, do the following:
1. Get your shut-eye. It’s simple math really. Add eight hours to the time you went to bed, then look at your alarm clock before peeling yourself from the sheets. “Not getting enough sleep regularly can lower the amount of growth hormone your body produces daily,” says Walter Thompson, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sports Medicine, Science and Technology at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Even though excess sleep won’t necessarily increase the amount of growth hormone your body secretes, constantly burning your midnight oil could be suppressing how efficiently your body distributes growth hormone during the course of the day. Keeping normal sleeping habits may let you tap into a certain percentage of growth hormone that your bones never get a chance to utilize when sleep-deprived.
2. Eat smarter. Consuming large meals with a high glycemic index (aka G.I. – a measure of how quickly blood sugar levels i.e. levels of glucose in the blood rise after eating a particular type of food) forces the body to release a high amount of insulin into the system to aid with digestion. This reaction not only forces your body to store fat, it may also inhibit the flow of the growth hormone being released throughout your bloodstream. Instead, make a point of consuming other low-sugar foods that will prevent the release of insulin.
3. Food researchers have discovered that consuming a protein-carbohydrate meal two hours prior to working out and another meal immediately afterward elicited a significant increase in both human growth hormone and testosterone within the bloodstream.
4. Get the most from your training: what you put your body through during your stretching exercise routine has a direct effect on what your pituitary gland puts out. A recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that the frequency and amount of growth hormone the body secretes is relative to the intensity of your workout. Subjects who exercised at a higher intensity experienced greater and more frequent releases of growth hormone after their workouts. To get the most from your training efforts, you need to be sure that the duration and intensity of your regimen are high enough to elicit a response. Keeping your workouts focused on short-burst, high intensity anaerobic stretching exercises and maintaining a pace that lasts at least 20-30 minutes is a fair standard to follow. There are certain stretching exercises that may help squeeze out a little extra growth hormone. By utilizing stretches that include several muscle groups to work collectively, the intensity of the workout subsequently increases as well, forcing the anterior pituitary gland to issue more growth hormone to compensate for the extra effort.
5. Supplement strategically: Taking the amino acid glycine immediately before you work out can mildly stimulate the release of growth hormone, but only when taken as a supplement. Trying to achieve the same effect by consuming glycine-rich foods such as poultry or milk prior to exercise only inhibits growth hormone by causing you to exercise on a full stomach, plus the glycine doesn’t get absorbed in the same way. Being introduced into the body in the presence of additional amino acids forces the glycine to compete for transport across the blood-brain barrier, diminishing its effect on the growth hormone levels. The only way glycine can cause a reaction is when taken in isolated supplement form, preferably on an empty stomach to speed up absorption and prevent outside interference from other amino acids.
6. Don’t pig out before bed: Never eat a large meal within two hours of going to sleep. The reasoning ties into avoiding the same insulin surges you’re trying to prevent during the day, but this abstention is especially important before bedtime.
The body releases the greatest amount of growth hormone during the first two hours of sleep. Having excess insulin within the system after a large meal suppresses this higher output of growth hormone, preventing your body from taking advantages of it as you rest.
Nighttime also seems to be the best time to take additional supplements to increase the flow of growth hormone. UCLA researchers have found that taking the amino acid arginine and orthinine together on an empty stomach right before bedtime can boost growth hormone levels significantly. However, the amounts required to see a difference were between 40 and 60 grams, dosages too large to take in any version besides injectable form. There are safer, more accessible supplements you can try, such as 5-hydroxy tryptophan, a safer derivative of tryptophan. This sleep aid used to encourage drowsiness also helps the brain release growth hormone. Consult your doctor first.
It always comes down to the same basics doesn’t it? A good diet, a good sleep and regular exercise. Forget trendy diets and pills. Go for the old fashioned method!
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