What is HGH?
HGH is a common abbreviation for human growth hormone. Your pituitary gland produces it naturally, and it is an essential hormone for growth, cell repair, metabolism, and body composition. HGH elevates muscle growth and strength and helps you recover from injuries and diseases. It's important to know how to increase HGH.
One of the most well-known applications of HGH, however, is boosting workout performance. With higher HGH, you can exercise harder and longer, with shorter recovery times afterward.
Low HGH can cause a higher risk of disease, as well as significant weight gain. Stress, poor diet, aging, and a sedentary lifestyle can all lead to lower HGH production.
With low HGH (known as Growth Hormone Deficiency), you could experience side effects like anxiety or depression, baldness, decreased libido, decreased muscle mass and strength, memory loss, dry skin, high blood pressure, heart problems, and fatigue.
Synthetic HGH Injections
While it’s possible to get synthetic HGH injections from a doctor, they come with their own adverse effects, such as swelling, numbness, and pain in the nerves, muscles, or joints.
There have been multiple scandals in the last decade involving professional athletes "doping" with illegally-obtained HGH injections. Though the effects of synthetic HGH aren't as pronounced or harmful as steroids, it can still cause long-term health issues if you take it improperly. You should never take HGH injections without a prescription, or administered by anyone other than a medical professional.
Luckily, it’s surprisingly easy for most people to increase their HGH naturally. Here are some of the most effective ways to boost your HGH without harmful chemicals or a prescription.
How to Increase HGH Naturally
Science has shown that obesity significantly impairs HGH production. A study found that a lean individual produced twice as much HGH as a person with three times as much belly fat.
The tricky thing about studying HGH production in overweight individuals is that lower HGH can also be a cause of weight gain, not just a result of it. However, if you’re overweight or obese, the benefits of losing weight far exceed the risk that your HGH levels won’t increase.
Researchers found that extra body fat affects HGH production more in men than in women, but the effects are similar enough that you will probably see results regardless of your gender. So if you're asking how to increase HGH? Losing weight is a good start.
Fasting has become a popular way for people to lose fat quickly while still maintaining an active lifestyle. Though there are a few different methods, two of the most effective are full-day fasting, in which you schedule fast days in between normal eating days. Another method is the short-term fasting, in which you abstain from eating during certain hours of the day.
Since fasting can help you lose weight, you’ll see how to increase HGH from that. In addition, fasting keeps insulin levels low throughout the day. Since insulin spikes can disrupt HGH production, lower insulin means you’ll produce more HGH.
Most studies that looked at fasting’s effect on HGH production were concentrating on full-day fasting. However, short-term fasting will also help HGH levels, just not as significantly.
Studies have found that arginine supplements when taken in high doses, can help increase HGH production in individuals who are unable to exercise because of disabilities or other health issues.
Interestingly, arginine didn’t seem to have any positive effect on people who exercised—their HGH increased just as much as it would have from exercising without taking arginine. Those who took arginine without exercising saw up to 60% increases in HGH production while they were sleeping.
It's important to note that exercise is more beneficial to overall health and HGH production than just taking arginine. This isn’t an easy way out if you’re trying to avoid exercising. However, if you’re not physically able to exercise, taking 114mg of arginine per pound of body weight can make a big difference on how to increase HGH.
Reduced Sugar Intake
As we mentioned before, insulin spikes can interrupt HGH production. Since refined carbs and sugar can cause insulin spikes, reducing your intake can increase your HGH levels.
Insulin’s effect on HGH is very noticeable in people with diabetes, who tend to have 3-4 times less HGH than non-diabetics. Individuals who successfully control their diabetes through diet and medication saw a considerable increase in HGH production.
Decreased Bedtime Snacking
Your body naturally releases a large percentage of your daily HGH while you're sleeping. Doctors and nutritionists have theorized that avoiding carbs, sugars, and protein within a few hours of going to bed can help HGH to release without disruption from insulin spikes.
There isn’t any direct research covering this theory, but eating before bed can cause digestive issues and weight gain, so you have nothing to lose by avoiding it as much as possible.
GABA is an amino acid that’s created naturally by your body. It’s a neurotransmitter, meaning it sends signals around the brain. It’s a calming agent for the brain and central nervous system, and it helps you fall asleep at night.
GABA supplements are popular aids for stress and insomnia, but they can also increase HGH levels. A study found that patients taking GABA had a 400% increase in HGH when it was taken at rest, and a 200% increase when taken after exercise. Since GABA is also a sleep aid, it allows for better HGH production during sleep.
Exercise, in general, is the most effective answer on how to increase hgh naturally. The amount of the increase, however, is dependent on the type of exercise performed and its intensity.
Since high-intensity exercises increase your lactic acid and metabolic rate, these exercises are the most beneficial for HGH production. Specifically, intense weight-lifting sessions with short, infrequent rest periods were the most effective at increasing HGH levels.
Your food intake and genetics also play a big part in how much exercise will affect your HGH. Any exercise at all will help you increase your HGH, you should start slowly and work your way up from weight lifting or high-intensity workouts. To find out how to increase HGH naturally, get a solid exercise routine.
How to Increase HGH with Better Sleep
A good quality sleep will mean more HGH production. HGH is released in waves throughout the night, based on your circadian rhythm. The peak waves typically occur before midnight, with smaller ones later on throughout the night.
For a long-term improvement in your HGH levels, getting enough deep sleep is one of your best strategies. Natural sleep aids like GABA and melatonin can increase both the quality and the duration of your sleep without leaving you groggy in the morning.
Improving your diet can lead to weight loss, which aids in HGH production. Additionally, certain foods can promote the release of HGH as well. In particular, vitamin C and dietary fiber stimulate HGH.
For vitamin C, you should eat citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, bell peppers, and leafy vegetables. For dietary fiber, any plant-based foods will work, especially whole grains, nuts, beans, peas, and lentils.
If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough vitamin C or dietary fiber in your diet, you can take supplements for this as well.
Decreased Alcohol Intake
Studies have found that alcohol suppresses the release of HGH while you sleep. Just one alcoholic drink at night caused HGH levels to drop as much as 75% while participants were sleeping. Alcohol also contains a lot of carbs, which can cause insulin spikes and weight gain.
The Bottom Line
The easiest and most effective way to increase your HGH naturally is diet and exercise. If you lead a healthy lifestyle, your HGH levels will rise, and you'll see all the same benefits as if you used injections or supplements.
Some people aren’t able to exercise because of physical disabilities or medical conditions, or a strictly-controlled diet due to medications or disease. Older people, especially men, often have trouble producing HGH naturally through exercise and food and need an extra boost. In those cases, supplements that increase HGH (while improving overall health) can be a huge help.
How to Increase HGH with Supplements
If you’re planning to start taking supplements, you should consult with your doctor first, especially if you have an underlying medical condition or you’re on any prescriptions. Though these supplements are all natural, they can still interact with your medications and your body chemistry in negative ways.
If you want to stick with diet and exercise, or you’re starting a new regimen, we suggest talking to a doctor or nutritionist first to make sure you get as much benefit as possible. Though our tips work for most people on a general level, individuals may see different results depending on their genetics and overall health.
Staying healthy and raising your HGH production will give you more energy, help you recover from illness and injury faster, and increase your overall quality of life.