Growth stimulating hormone in the brain signals the pituitary gland to release human growth hormone (HGH) into the bloodstream to act on tissues, muscles, cartilage, bones, fatty tissue to repair, stimulate their functions and metabolism. But also, your energy levels, your sexual function and your heart health.
Today we will not discuss the extremes of producing too much (acromegaly) or too little growth hormone, but rather the reasons why you would want to produce HGH for health purposes and as an anti-aging tool.
The pituitary gland produces large amounts of HGH during the growth stage, especially at puberty of course, in order for you to develop into all the physical aspects of what will be your adult frame. From the age of 25-30, however, MBM production begins to decline as the organism has apparently reached its growth target.
The characteristics of the decline in HGH production are slower recovery from injury, a less active metabolism and an easier accumulation of adipose tissue. For these reasons, among others, substitution therapy with synthetic MBM injections have been popular for at least 20 years.
Personally, I do not recommend synthetic HGH replacement injections because apart from increasing muscle, losing fat and activating your metabolism, excess HGH promotes enlargement of organs such as lungs, heart, liver, bladder, etc.
Instead, and where my articles and my channels focus on, I propose proven tools to boost your HGH levels naturally and keep you youthful and vibrant for many years to come.
First of all, you need to understand that once the growth stage is over we adults continue to require the production of HGH to keep our metabolism active, repair tissues, prevent hair loss and much more.
Human growth hormone (HGH) is secreted in a pulsatile manner, usually, but not always, following your circadian rhythm. The release of growth hormone is not continuous; it is released in a series of "bursts" or pulses every three to five hours. This release is controlled by two other hormones released from the hypothalamus (a part of the brain): growth hormone-releasing hormone, which stimulates the pituitary gland to release growth hormone, and somatostatin, which inhibits this release.
The decrease in HGH is caused by a change in pulse amplitude rather than frequency. On average, daily production of HGH in the prepubertal state is 200-600 µg/day, increasing to 1000-1800 µg/day at the peak of puberty. In adulthood, production rates range from approximately 200 to 600 µg/day, being higher in females than in males. Adiposity is responsible for a significant component of the decline in MBM production with increasing age.
How to Produce HGH Naturally Through Certain Habits, Exercises and Supplements
Unless you have an overproduction of HGH or are undergoing treatment that may be affected by the following indications, almost all adult humans can benefit from the following indications.
Several physiological stimuli can initiate the secretion of HGH, of which the most potent and undoubtedly non-pharmacological may be sleep and exercise.
HCH Production During Sleep
The main production of HGH occurs during the hours of sleep, namely the third hour of deep sleep and during the slow waves of sleep, i.e. the first part of the night and if you have seen my video on binaural beats, it is the Delta waves that are activated and where you can take advantage of your pituitary gland releasing HGH at will.
HGH Production During Exercise
Exercise and physical stress, including trauma with hypovolemic shock (severe loss of blood or other fluid makes the heart unable to pump enough blood to the body) and sepsis (extreme response of the body to infection), increase levels of HGH.
You, of course, don't have to reach these points to stimulate HGH, there are healthier alternatives such as exercise, but not just any exercise. Exercises that have been shown to effectively stimulate the production of HGH are weight training (no more than one hour), as well as cardiorespiratory endurance because prolonged workouts release cortisol interfering with testosterone and oestrogen function.
In this sense, the types of training available to the organism for the stimulation of MBM are high-intensity interval training with weights and cardiovascular training with speed sprints.
A relatively new alternative for us Westerners is the training with slight blood flow restriction known as KAATSU, which lasts about an hour if the training is done in cycles as indicated by Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, the creator of this system.
Even minimal intensity and low perceived exertion with this system leads to the production of MBF, IGF-1, or insulin-like growth factor, VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor), NO (Nitric Oxide), Ceramides, β-endorphins, BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor), and much more.
In fact, many of the effects of HGH are done through the liver; the pituitary releases HGH that goes to the liver, which converts it to IGF-1, for short insulin-like growth factor. It turns out that insulin-like growth factor triggers improvements in learning and memory after exercise. Interestingly, high intense, interval exercise stimulates more growth hormone.
Other Situations that May Stimulate or Inhibit HGH Release
- Emotional deprivation and endogenous depression, on the other hand, suppress the secretion of HGH.
According to an article in the medical journal www.sciencedirect.com the ultradian rhythm of HC secretion is generated by the coordinated interaction of many factors. Jet lag transiently increases the amplitude of the HC peak, resulting in a transient 24-hour increase in HC secretion. Exercise and physical stress, including trauma with hypovolemic shock and sepsis, increase HC levels, while emotional deprivation and endogenous depression suppress HC secretion.
- Short periods of "healthy" stress caused by hyperthermia stimulate HC release directly, while exposure to cold acts indirectly.
Hyperthermic stress triggers the release of growth hormone, which signals another hormone known as insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) to increase muscle protein synthesis, which occurs via the mTOR pathway. IGF-1 also inhibits a pathway known as FOXO, which results in less degradation of muscle proteins. A natural release of HGH occurs during sleep and after exercise, so the best time to use sauna therapy or another form of heat exposure such as temazcal or inipi for 20-minute periods to induce or elevate HGH levels is after an exercise session or in the morning in a fasted state.
Cold Therapy either with showers or baths can influence the production of HGH in two ways. First, a good night's sleep is crucial for natural production of HGH. There is evidence that an ice-cold bath or shower helps with quality sleep. This has to do with the effects of cold therapy on the parasympathetic nervous system that help train the body to enter a state of relaxation.
Second, exposure to a cold stimulus activates what is known as brown adipose tissue. The function of brown fat is to help break down glucose and fat molecules to produce heat, thereby increasing metabolism, creating the right atmosphere for the production of HGH.
Nutrition plays an important role in the regulation of HGH. Malnutrition increases HGH secretion, while obesity decreases it. These nutritional effects occur acutely, as exemplified by fasting, which amplifies MBM secretion within 12 hours, and glucose ingestion, which suppresses MBM secretion. Central glyco-receptors appear to sense glucose fluctuations rather than absolute levels. Intravenous (IV) administration of individual amino acids, such as arginine and leucine, stimulate HGH secretion. Free fatty acids mitigate the effects of arginine infusion, sleep, l-dopa, exercise and GHRH (Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone) on the release of HGH.
Leptin plays a key role in the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure and may act as a metabolic signal in the stimulation of MBP secretion through interactions with somatostatin, GHRH (and the neuropeptide Y (NPY) system.
The body needs to be hypoglycaemic to produce HGH, i.e. both its insulin and blood sugar are at low levels. This implies that eating close to bedtime will completely inhibit the production of HGH. I would venture to add that consuming foods, especially carbohydrates, before exercise may also inhibit the production of HGH.
Although some people may have difficulty falling asleep if they are hungry, I suggest that you have your last meal about 3-4 hours before bedtime, but that it contains enough protein and even some dairy (if tolerated) as these nutrients can help you sleep better.
Supplements that Increase Growth Hormone Production
Personally, I prefer to get the nutrients I need from food, but of course you may be one of those people who don't have the time to study compositions or spend time on food preparations and must rely on supplements to make up a complete food system. In that sense, some supplements that can help you in the production of HGH are,
Arginine. Studies indicate that this amino acid can increase your production of HGH by 300-400 times. Arginine can be taken in capsule or intravenous form; some people prefer to take it before going to bed, while others prefer to take it before starting their workout.
The way arginine works is by dilating the arteries, which increases blood flow.
Ornithine. This is another amino acid that can help you increase HGH which is associated with increased muscle tissue synthesis. Through its conversion to arginine, ornithine can enhance nitrogen transport and storage in muscle tissue. Ornithine is an amino acid precursor of citrulline and is synthesised via arginine and released into the urea cycle. This cycle is used by the body to rid the body of harmful compounds that impair performance, such as ammonia, promoting athletic performance.
L-citrulline. This is the most up-to-date of the three supplements here mentioned and perhaps the most effective because, apart from helping to stimulate the production of HGH, there is evidence that L-citrulline may work better as an ergogenic aid than L-arginine on physical performance, as L-citrulline showed a positive effect on the subjective perception of effort and muscle soreness, as well as a decrease in lactate concentrations and a decrease in time on maximal tests. (article)
By applying the strategies involving nutrition and exercise mentioned here, you are preparing your body for the release of HGH. To the extent that you can, practice fasting from time to time, as well as hypoglycaemic protocols. Explore high-intensity interval exercise or venture into short periods of healthy stress such as sauna and/or cold showers. Finally, by striving for restful sleep, you are already well on your way to reducing the risk of many chronic diseases, maintaining your vigour, quality of life and certainly slowing down the ticking clock.