Doctors and dieticians are inundated with requests and queries regarding this ‘miracle’ hormone, said to promote weight loss and reverse the signs of ageing. We explore the facts and expel the fiction!
What is HGH
HGH, otherwise known as the Human Growth Hormone, is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. This hormone stimulates growth and cell production within the body.
Amongst other things, HGH is responsible for human growth as well as an individual’s height. It is for this reason that HGH is produced in higher levels throughout adolescence and puberty.
As we enter our 20’s, our Pituitary Gland begins to slow down, producing ever-decreasing levels of HGH. Studies show an average 14% decrease every 10 years. By the age of 65 the majority of us produce little to no HGH. This decline leads to many of the symptoms we associate with ageing; wrinkled skin, expanding waistlines, less energy and decreased vitality.
HGH has a strong anabolic effect that causes enlargement of the muscle cells via protein synthesis. HGH facilitates the body’s utilization of fat and increases overall weight loss. A further benefit of HGH is that it strengthens connective tissue, cartilage and tendons. Additional benefits are:
- Increased Energy Levels
- Boosts the Immune System
- Increased athletic Performance and preventing sports injuries
- Reduction in overall Body Fat, promoting Weight Loss and controlling obesity
- Increased Bone Density
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Improved Heart and Lung Functions
- Rejuvenation of Kidneys and other organs depleted by age
- Increased Muscle Mass
- Improved Skin Texture, Elasticity and Thickness
What happens as we age?
Levels of HGH secretion continue to decline throughout our adult life. This is one of the largest contributing factors towards ageing, diabetes, depression, loss of energy, loss of muscle mass and other associated problems.
Imagine the potential at our fingertips. Increasing HGH to look and feel younger, slimmer, fitter and healthier.
Could this be the illusive ‘fountain of youth’ we have been searching for all these years?
HGH in its many forms
The HGH Injection
This contains a synthetic form of HGH. It is injected into the body two or three times a day. The down side, despite being painful and rather extreme, is that it is exceeding expensive and most of the supplements on the market today contain very low levels of HGH (to keep the price low) – too low to have any real or lasting effects. This could end up costing as much as R500 per day and as a prescription medication, this is not available over-the-counter and medical aids do not cover the cost of these drugs.
HGH Oral Sprays
Scientifically, there is no proof that these sprays work. HGH, according to studies, does not have the capability of passing through the membranes of the mouth.
Natural HGH Releasers
Studies have shown that this method is indeed effective in increasing the levels of HGH in our bodies. These are very much like vitamins and are taken in tablet form. They need to be taken just before going to bed, as the pituitary gland is most active during sleep.
These are claimed to be 100% natural with no synthetic substances, as they are made from a combination of herbs. These herbs activate the pituitary gland and in turn the pituitary gland produces more HGH. This is a far better alternative to synthetic HGH. There is no need for a prescription and no side effects are seen.
The down side is that there are many forms and brands to choose from and this could be confusing and overwhelming for a consumer. You will need to ‘weed out’ the bad from the good.
HGH the natural way
Believe it or not, it is entirely possible to produce more Human Growth Hormone naturally, in a way that is both healthy and nutritious
Vitamin E rich foods are avocado, pumpkins, apricots, turnip greens, mustard, multi grained cereals, and wheat germ. It can also be located in fish, poultry, seeds, and nuts.
Copper is essential and fundamentally helpful as a mineral trace elements found in nuts, fish and liver.
Zinc, a mineral that is essential to the body and found in foods like beef, oysters, legumes, poultry, dairy products, and whole grains.
Folic acid, which is part of the B vitamin family, is also a necessary nutrient. It helps the body to form new cells. Beans, leafy vegetables, peas, spinach, lentils, broccoli, beets, Brussels sprouts, liver, and asparagus all have lots of folic acid.
Vitamin B12 is also essential and is found in red meat, milk, poultry, eggs, and fish.
Exercise acts as a major stimulus for the natural secretion of Human Growth Hormone. Researches believe that it may be triggered by exercise-induced increases in adrenaline, nitric oxide, blood lactate, acidity, or nerve activity, either individually or together. To achieve an elevation of HGH, you need to spend at least 10 minutes exercising at a moderate level. HGH declines gradually over a period of an hour and it’s for this reason that multiple daily sessions can give rise to optimal hormone secretion over a 24-hour period.
Interval training has many positive benefits, which includes a peak in HGH from short sprints on an exercise bike or treadmill. It is far more beneficial to ‘spike’ your heart rate in multiple short bursts of exercise than to continuously maintain a constants heart rate. It is also important to drink plenty of water during exercise, as dehydration has been shown to significantly reduce the exercise-induced HGH response.
Since the largest surge of HGH occurs around one hour into your sleep cycle, it is vital to get plenty of it. If the quality of sleep is inadequate there will be a reduction in the volume of HGH secreted, with negative consequences to health and fitness. Combine this with a balanced diet containing adequate protein.
Things to avoid
Carbohydrate content. This elevates blood sugar, which tends to suppress HGH secretion. Carbohydrates drive insulin upwards so include moderate amounts of good carbohydrates with your main meals, and not in between.
Snacking between meals. Once you have digested your meal, your insulin levels go back to normal and its ideal to prolong the time of IGF-1 production as long as possible.
Fatty foods have also been found to reduce HGH secretion.
If all else fails, remember this…
By introducing omega oils (Omega 3 only), a healthy diet, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep, one can increase the production of Human Growth Hormone by 20%.
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