Human growth hormone (HGH) is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body in the pituitary gland. It is responsible for ensuring proper growth and development of the body, such as in the muscle tissue and bones.
Since most of the body’s growth occurs in childhood, the highest amounts are typically in children, however, it is still important in adults as well. Adults that have a human growth hormone deficiency may experience symptoms like low workout capacity, decreased bone density, decreased muscle mass, and increased body fat (especially belly fat).
Some people may benefit from human growth hormone replacement therapy, i.e. HGH supplementation, but there are some ways that you can try to increase your natural HGH production. Decreasing sugar intake, eating a well-balanced diet, getting adequate deep sleep, intermittent fasting, exercise, losing body fat, and taking supplements such as L-arginine and L-carnitine can all help to boost your natural production of HGH.
Decrease Sugar Intake
Eating sugary treats is something that you may not think twice about. Taking a bite out of a donut, having a soda when you go out to eat, or even having a cookie that your spouse made for you may not be a big deal every once in a while.
But when it becomes a habit, there might be a problem that could eventually lead to other complications. High levels of sugar in the blood — specifically, the spikes in insulin levels caused by high blood sugar — are correlated with decreased levels of human growth hormone. Therefore, by decreasing your sugar intake you could help to increase your HGH production in the body.
Reducing your sugar intake can be hard, so it is better to take it step by step. First challenge yourself to eliminate one sugary thing from your diet. This could be not having a soda with dinner or cutting out desserts.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that it is attainable and will not leave you feeling defeated. Over time you can continue to reduce your sugar intake and could eventually remove all sweets from your diet if that is what you want to do.
Eat a Well Balanced Diet
It seems like the solution to almost everything is to eat a well-balanced diet. Well, in fact, it can also be helpful to increase your HGH production. A well-balanced diet will be different for everyone based on their activity level, lifestyle, weight, age, and sex. However, the basics will still be the same of including grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, and fats.
Try to choose foods that are whole foods instead of packaged foods. This will help to reduce the number of fillers, sugars, stabilizers, and sodium that is in your diet.
It seems like fats have a significant impact on the HGH in the blood, so it should be a priority to reduce the number of fats eaten, but there should still be healthy fats included in the diet.
Get on a Sleep Schedule
Sleep is key to having adequate levels of HGH. Most of the body’s naturally produced HGH is made when the body is in a deep sleep — about an hour of sleep. As you age the amount of quality deep sleep you get tends to decrease, which can lead to a whole slew of problems including decreased levels of HGH.
So, improving your sleep can have a positive impact on boosting natural HGH. This is easier said than done, but there are some techniques you can use to improve your quality of sleep.
One technique is to have no screen time for at least one hour before bed. The light from your screen “tricks” your mind into thinking it is daytime and therefore keeps you awake. You can instead use this time to create a bedtime routine to help you to relax. This could include taking a bath or shower, reading a book, drinking a cup of non-caffeinated tea, journaling, or doing some light stretching. By creating a routine you can help to make yourself tired and send a signal to your body that it is time for rest. You should also make sure that your sleeping arrangements are comfortable.
There are various styles of eating and dieting, but one that has been shown to improve human growth hormone levels naturally is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is when you have a cycle of eating and fasting. One of the most common ways to do this is by skipping breakfast and only eating between the hours of 1 pm and 9 pm. Intermittent fasting helps in two main ways. One is by helping your body to decrease the amount of body fat and the other is by regulating the release of insulin in the body.
Intermittent fasting does take some getting used to, especially if you are a big breakfast person or love a midnight snack. But over time your body will get used to the new cycle and adjust. Intermittent fasting is supposed to be great for weight loss and apparently for boosting your HGH levels too.
Get Out and Exercise
Exercise is the key to life success. Exercise helps to keep your body in the best shape possible, lose weight, and make you feel good both physically and mentally. The CDC recommends at least 30 minutes a day of exercise for five days out of the week. This is a total of 150 minutes which may seem like a lot but can be easily broken down into small segments throughout the week.
Exercise can be whatever you want it to be whether you enjoy doing yoga, weight training, or doing high intensity interval training like CrossFit.
Exercising can help you to lose weight and can help to boost your HGH levels naturally.
Lose Body Fat
The amount of body fat in the body correlates with levels of natural human growth hormone in the body. When there are higher levels of body fat, it has shown that there are decreased levels of human growth hormone that are released.
So, your body fat may be the culprit for lower levels of human growth hormone. It is natural as people age to have an increased amount of body fat. Fluctuating hormones and decreased physical activity typically are to blame when it comes to the increased body fat, but if you are wanting to do something about it, you can!
Body fat can be stubborn to get rid of, but with patience and effort, you can see results. The exercise and diet changes that have already been mentioned are very helpful in reducing body fat. Overall, if all of these healthy habits are taken into consideration there could be a significant improvement in your health and quality of life.
L-arginine is an amino acid that is usually taken in from our diets and is not produced from the body itself. An amino acid is the building block of proteins which are typically found in foods like meats and legumes. L-arginine is usually found in red meat, fish, eggs, chicken, dairy, nuts, and leafy vegetables.
L-arginine has important roles in the body including increasing libido, increases muscle mass and strength, helps to lower blood pressure, improve kidney function, improve growth hormone production, and more.
Because of its role in improving HGH production, it can be a great way to naturally increase the levels. You can try to get more of it from your diet or you may consider if supplementation is right for you.
L-glutamine is another amino acid that can help to increase the levels of natural human growth hormone. L-glutamine plays an important role in protecting the body and its muscles, reducing recovery time, increasing muscle potential, and reducing the risk of injury.
On top of all of that, it also helps to boost HGH levels. All of this is very helpful for athletes or even those who simply exercise on a regular basis. L-glutamine is simply an amino acid and something that you naturally get from food sources. Therefore, your body recognizes it and knows how to utilize it, unlike other synthetic supplements. You can get L-glutamine from your diet or you may be a good candidate for taking L-glutamine supplementation.
Increasing your HGH levels does not always mean taking a human growth hormone supplement. There are ways to improve it naturally such as exercising, losing body fat, eating healthy, and getting quality sleep. You may notice that many of these recommendations are given to help different health conditions.
So by taking on these habits you can be killing multiple birds with one stone. Work with your doctor to determine if natural methods can be helpful for you or if you may need human growth hormone replacement therapy.
Human growth hormone (HGH): Does it slow aging?
Dietary carbohydrate content determines responsiveness to growth hormone in energy-restricted humans
Abdominal visceral fat and fasting insulin are important predictors of 24-hour GH release independent of age, gender, and other physiological factors
Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women