A muscular body has been desired by humans for millennia, and for good reason — not only does a muscular physique look good, but it also represents strength and good health.
Muscle makes up approximately 40% of body mass. Adequate muscle growth and mass is vital for the health of bodybuilders and the average person alike, as muscle is involved with several important functions in the body: movement, breathing support, protection of internal organs, glucose (sugar) storage, protein synthesis, and redistribution of fat.
If you’re looking to gain muscle to become stronger and get fit, human growth hormone (HGH) therapy may help.
But how much HGH do you need to build muscle? Read on to learn more about how HGH plays a role in building lean muscle and losing fat.
What Is Human Growth Hormone (HGH)?
Human growth hormone — abbreviated as HGH or just GH — is produced in the pituitary gland. As the name implies, this vital hormone is responsible for growth and cell regeneration in every body tissue and organ in the body, including the brain. Sufficient levels of HGH are required for building muscle mass and bone density.
The pituitary gland secretes HGH into the bloodstream in “pulses” while you sleep. After the age of 30, the body begins to decrease the amount of HGH produced a little each year.
Research shows that by the age of 65, the body secretes less than one-third of the amount of GH than it did at 35 years old. This makes it far more difficult to maintain a lean body mass and metabolize fat at the same level you did in your youth.
Insufficient levels of HGH can cause weight gain, increased body fat, fatigue, and depression. In other words, low HGH levels can have a major impact on a person’s overall health, lean mass, and quality of life, and thus can negatively impact longevity.
Fortunately, HGH therapy is a therapy that is available to men and women who have HGH deficiency. This therapy can help restore HGH levels in the body to the optimal range, helping increase energy levels and endurance, boosting muscle gains, and aiding fat burning.
How Does HGH Build Muscle?
HGH therapy is increasingly popular, as it may help maintain or build muscle mass and regulate fat metabolism for weight management. When HGH is released by the pituitary gland, it triggers the liver to produce another hormone called IGF-1, which is a primary driver of tissue growth.
Together, HGH and IGF-1 help build muscle and support healthy cell production in the body’s tissues, bones, and organs. One study found that on just 20 days of growth hormone injections, athletes gained nearly 5 pounds of lean body muscle mass.
How Do I Know If I Have an HGH Deficiency?
If you have insufficient levels of growth hormone, you may experience a number of symptoms, including:
- Decreased sexual libido
- Feelings of isolation from others
- High levels of body fat, particularly around the abdomen
- High cholesterol levels
- Muscle loss
- Reduced strength, stamina, and endurance
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
Adults with HGH deficiency tend to have higher levels of triglycerides — fat that circulates in the blood and may contribute to blocked blood vessels.
If you suspect you have a growth hormone deficiency, your first step is getting lab work (blood tests) that determine your body’s levels of growth hormone. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and order lab work to help provide an accurate diagnosis.
Many family doctors are not particularly familiar with the role human growth hormone plays in a person’s health. For that reason, seeking out the help of a specialist can help ensure you get the care and treatment you need.
At Elite HRT, our team of specialists will work with you to determine your hormone levels and create a personalized HGH regimen that will help restore your health — and build muscle.
What Dosage of HGH Should I Take?
HGH supplementation increases the amount of muscle tissue while helping break down (metabolize) fat. The HGH dosage you take will depend on your specific needs. The healthcare professional you work with will do bloodwork to determine your current (baseline) HGH levels and whether high doses or low doses will be appropriate for your HGH cycle therapy.
Generally, the HGH dose prescribed to you will be based on your body weight and will be determined by your doctor. HGH is injected subcutaneously (under the skin) several times a week or once a day, depending on what your doctor recommends. Your weekly dose will generally be divided over 5-7 days each week.
Your doctor will monitor your results closely, ordering regular lab work (every 1-4 months) to watch how your body responds to the HGH therapy. Your dose may be increased or decreased at 4-8 week intervals, by approximately 0.1 to 0.2 mg/day, based on your response to the therapy and IGF-1 concentrations in your blood.
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any adverse side effects while on HGH. They will adjust your dose accordingly to reduce the number of side effects you are experiencing long term.
What Side Effects Can HGH Cause?
Along with the positive effects of HGH therapy, any dose big or small has the potential to cause some unwanted side effects. You may not experience any of these, but if you do, speak with your doctor.
Side effects of HGH injections include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Unusual skin sensations
- Blood sugar changes
- Swelling in the legs or arms
- Breast tissue growth in men (gynecomastia)
- Blurred vision
Do not take HGH if you have not been diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. Adults who take HGH who do not need it may experience serious side effects, as the injections may cause the HGH levels to be too high.
Adults who take HGH but do not need it may experience adverse effects, including diabetes, abnormal bone growth, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries).
What Can I Do To Boost HGH’s Effectiveness?
Healthy lifestyle choices can help you make the most out of your HGH therapy. While HGH alone can make dramatic positive changes to your body composition, mood, and energy levels, there are things you can do to boost the effects.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Eating well can help increase your energy and assist in shedding extra weight, while also helping you fuel your body with whole, nutritious foods.
- Exercise. Current recommendations are to get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise five days a week. A combination of cardiovascular exercise (e.g., aerobics, HIIT, running) and resistance training (e.g., weight lifting) is ideal to help keep your heart healthy, lose weight, and build muscle. If you’re new to fitness, start by walking, cycling, or swimming for 30 minutes a day before increasing the intensity of your workouts.
- Sleep well. Aim to get 7-9 hours a night of good sleep. Go to bed at the same time every night, keep your room dark and cool, and avoid screens an hour before bedtime to optimize your sleep.
Where Can I Get HGH?
In the United States, HGH can only be legally obtained through a doctor’s prescription. Obtaining HGH illegally, without the guidance of a medical professional, can be dangerous.
Our team of hormone specialists here at Elite HRT are experts in the field, with years of experience in treating hormone deficiencies. Our doctors will provide you with a custom, personalized treatment plan to help you restore your HGH levels, build muscle, and live the life you want.
Once you contact us, you will complete the new patient medical history form. The information you provide will help our medical team determine if HGH therapy is right for you and help your prescribing doctor structure a personalized program and comprehensive hormone protocol to help you reach your health goals.
Next, you will be scheduled for a blood test to determine if your blood levels qualify you for treatment. You’ll also need a physical examination to ensure you are qualified for therapy. Once the intake process is complete, one of our doctors will review the results of your physical exam and blood work to determine the most effective hormone replacement therapy program for you.
HGH therapy offers individuals with a growth hormone deficiency many health benefits, including building muscle. The dose of HGH you take depends on your health status, current (baseline) HGH levels, weight, and gender, among other factors.
Ready to burn fat and build muscle? Contact us at Elite HRT today to reclaim your health and build the physique you desire. One of our wellness consultants will be in touch soon to get you started.
Regulation of muscle mass by growth hormone and IGF-I | NCBI
Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency | NCBI
Systematic review: the effects of growth hormone on athletic performance | National Library of Medicine