There are literally thousands of different supplements available to buy that offer to give you the strength and muscle gains you want.
Those containing HGH (Human Growth Hormone) are particularly popular, but is there a reason why? Let's look at HGH in more detail to see what benefits it could offer your training efforts.
What Is HGH?
HGH is produced by your pituitary gland and unsurprisingly is responsible for both cell growth and regeneration.
Without HGH you would not be able to increase muscle mass not keep your bones dense. It also plays a major role in keeping your brain and other vital organs healthy.
While HGH has been known about since the 1950s, it was only in 1981 that it was first synthesised in order to be made into a performance-enhancing drug.
Your body produces more of this vital hormone when you are younger, peaking around the age of puberty before declining as you age. A healthy man in his twenties will typically have 500 micrograms of HGH in his bloodstream, although it is only active for a short time before being converted into growth factors such as IGF-1 .
After hitting the age of 30 the levels found in your body go down by about a quarter every decade. Intriguingly, if the naturally produced level of this hormone didn't drop off over time it is likely that we would all be naturally taller and stronger as a result.
It has been suggested that many people also use it to fight the ageing process, with a number of top celebrities rumoured to use it regularly.
Growth hormone treatment was also used by a young Lionel Messi to help overcome a natural growth hormone deficiency that was stunting his growth. This kind of treatment is one of the situations in which HGH is typically prescribed by doctors, although some people claim that it has given Messi an unfair advantage .
History Of HGH
HGH was developed in the wake of the First World War. The concept was explored but not materialized.
Human growth hormones were being researched quietly without much clamour. Initially, animal hormones were extracted but they failed to be effective. Maurice Raben, an endocrinologist from Tuft University discovered the serum to be effective by acquiring the chemicals from the pituitary glands of cadavers.
It took years to be produced and was implemented in the ‘60s for the treatment of short children.
HGH was prescribed after research discovered that patients were suffering from a deficiency of hormones generated by the pituitary gland, resulting in children with stunted growth.
To tackle this emergence of shortness, children around the world were subjected to the treatment, which consisted of the newly developed HGH.
The initial results were astounding, and HGH became popular due to their effectiveness. Thousands of patients were treated and growth hormones were even being prescribed by doctors overseas.
Other debilitating diseases that HGH has been used to treat include the following:
- Turner's syndrome
- Prader-Willi syndrome
- HGH deficiency or insufficiency
- Children born small for gestational age
- Chronic kidney insufficiency
- Short bowel syndrome
- HIV/AIDs and other muscle-wasting diseases
How Does HGH Work?
When HGH has been secreted by the pituitary gland it will only remain active in your blood for a short time (a few minutes at most). However, despite this, your liver still has enough time to convert it into IGF-1, which has a number of anabolic properties.
How Much HGH Can You Produce Naturally?
A healthy adult male will likely have around 500 micrograms within their blood when they are aged between 20 and 30, while pregnant women can produce twice that amount.
Your HGH levels will peak during puberty but will start to drop once you reach your 20s.
Can HGH Be Taken Orally?
In the past HGH could only be delivered through injection, however, there are now various supplements available that can help deliver HGH orally.
Can You Take HGH And Testosterone Together?
While they are both different and work in different ways (testosterone is a steroidal hormone while HGH is a protein) they can both help increase muscle mass and strength.
They can also be taken together as long as you are aware of the safe dosages to be taken.
Can You Take HGH And HCG Together?
HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a hormone that is secreted by the placenta during pregnancy to help nourish and sustain the developing embryo.
This particular hormone works by sending signals to your hypothalamus to tell your body to break down body fat to be used for energy.
This can result in weight loss and fat loss so if you are cutting this may work for you. Just be careful what products you choose.
Can HGH Be Prescribed By A Doctor?
HGH is usually prescribed for those with growth-related disorders, such as cancer patients.
If you want to boost your own HGH levels I suggest using a supplement. There are various alternatives available to try.
Am I HGH Deficient?
If you are sporting a pair of 20-inch, chiselled biceps, you probably are not suffering from HGH deficiency. However, your HGH levels are bound to drop as you age. Healthy adult men typically have just less than 5 nanograms per millilitre circulating in the blood (Healthy women can produce twice as much for pregnancy purposes).
After the age of 30, HGH levels decline by 25% every decade. By the time you are 60, you are at 25 percent of original capacity (If this wasn’t the case, most of us would be several inches taller, overly muscular and living till 150 years old!).
That’s why it is vital to inspect your HGH levels at least once every 2 years. Ask your doctor to perform an HGH (or GH) blood test.
Benefits Of HGH
There are various benefits you can experience due to increasing your current HGH levels, for example:
Does HGH Build Muscle?
Yes, you can use it to help promote and increase the synthesis of new protein tissue that can help repair broken muscle tissue .
This helps build new muscle tissue.
Will HGH Make You Taller?
While HGH can make you taller , this only works up to a certain age (usually around the age of 21).
Once your growth plates (epiphyseal plate) fuse you will no longer gain any height, unfortunately.
Does HGH Burn Fat?
Research has shown that HGH can help metabolise (burn) body fat .
Does It Give More Energy?
Yes, HGH can give you an energy boost as this comes as a result of the fat burning.
Any Other Benefits?
Other benefits of HGH include:
- Improved sexual performance
- Stronger bones
- Improved heart and kidney health
Side Effects Of HGH
As with any supplementation, there is always a risk of encountering side effects if you do not follow the appropriate dosage information .
Always read any leaflet or label that comes with your product thoroughly to check you are not risking your health by taking too much.
Below you will find some common questions that are often asked about HGH and its potential side effects:
Will HGH Kill You?
As with anything too much will cause serious issues that could potentially increase your risk of death.
If your HGH levels are too high then you could suffer from swelling of your soft tissue, abnormal growth of your feet and hands, high blood pressure, blood clots, diabetes, increased sweating and excessive hair growth.
Your organs may also suffer from excessive growth, which will put a strain on them.
This is why it is important never to go over the recommended dosage.
Can HGH Cause Diabetes?
Yes, if your HGH levels are too high then you may be at risk of developing diabetes.
Will HGH Cause Hair Loss?
No, HGH does not cause hair loss. In fact, there are studies that have shown that it aids hair growth by elevating your levels of DHT (di-hydro-testosterone).
Does It Cause Acne?
Unfortunately, this is a common issue with HGH as it causes more testosterone production your oil levels will also increase.
To combat this issue it is advised that you wash more often, stop using oil-based cosmetics and to use benzoyl peroxide as it can help to dry up any pimples you experience.
Will It Make You Fat?
Certainly not, HGH has been shown to burn fat.
Can HGH Raise Blood Pressure?
Yes, HGH can cause high blood pressure if you take too much of it.
Does HGH Affect Fertility?
HGH can affect fertility in a positive fashion as it also causes an increase in testosterone levels, and therefore your sperm count.
Will HGH Affect Your Heart?
Taking too much HGH can cause excessive swelling to your heart, which you should avoid.
Always stick to the recommended dosage if you value your health.
Will It Affect Your Thyroid?
It is best to speak to your doctor if you suffer from any condition that affects your thyroid as HGH can affect it.
Can HGH Affect Your Periods?
HGH can cause you to bleed heavier while you are on your period.
Does HGH Cause Anxiety?
Studies have shown that HGH could help treat anxiety and depression.
Will HGH Cause Weight Gain?
As you grow you will become heavier. You may lose fat as well, so you may appear leaner but will weigh more.
We all know that muscle weighs more than fat, remember?
Does HGH Cause Mood Swings?
If you stick to the recommended dosages then you should not suffer any psychological problems.
These kinds of issues usually only arise if HGH is abused.
Further HGH Controversies
However, the usage of growth hormones in sports has become a major issue. It is considered to be a detriment to sportsmanship while boosting performance.
Athletes have to undergo drug tests to identify which drugs they have taken, and Potropin (the artificial growth hormone by Genentech) is among the banned drugs. It was highly criticized and eventually banned by many institutions like the Olympics, NCAA, and many other sports organizers.
Footballers, wrestlers, or bodybuilders who use growth hormones are often disqualified or even banned to some extent. The 2012 China Olympics saw the first case of a US athlete being banned from participating because of taking HGH.
How To Increase Your HGH Levels?
If you want to increase your HGH levels then there are a few things you need to do:
The first method of increasing your HGH levels would be to train intensely until you are physically exhausted, as these catabolic states require extra protein synthesis.
What you need to be aware of though is that your HGH levels will drop after 45 minutes of training so it is best to stop around that time.
A 2014 study found that kettlebell swings massively improved testosterone and growth hormone levels .
Another study found that free weight exercises such as the barbell squat produced higher testosterone and HGH levels than machine exercises, but that they both produced results .
Exercise will also help you lose weight, which as mentioned before will increase human growth hormone levels. It will also help improve your sleep patterns (another huge influence on GH levels).
#2: Get Lean
Lowering your body fat, particularly your Abdominal Visceral Fat (belly fat) will make a big difference to your GH levels.
This is because Abdominal Visceral Fat (AVF) has been found to have a negative impact on GH release . So the simplest way to increase your growth hormone levels is to lower your body fat through exercise and improved diet.
Fasting is a good approach to take if you are looking to lose body fat.
Fasting is when you do not consume food at all for a certain period and only drink water while taking vitamin supplements to make up for the daily nutrients you did not receive through whole food consumption. You can naturally increase human growth hormone levels by 2,000% with this type of fasting.
This is by far one of the top ways to increase this hormone naturally and is not just some made-up number from a fad diet plan. Studies actually prove this statement and shows that you can actually benefit from 24-hour fasts from time-to-time .
75% of your daily HGH output will be done while you are asleep so it makes sense to get plenty of it.
Aim to get between 8 and hours every night.
To increase your HGH levels there are certain nutrients your body needs. These are amino acids such as Arginine, Ornithine, Glutamine, Glycine and BCAAs.
Vitamins C and B3 have also been shown to aid in HGH production.
The final method you can do to increase your natural HGH levels would be through the use of a supplement.
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of variants available, but what is the best option?
A study by Wellbourne in 1995 found that Glutamine (an amino acid) increased growth hormone levels . Glutamine powder is readily available and can be picked up cheaply, and you can take 5g up to three times per day.
Another study by Brilla & Conte (2000) found that Zinc-Magnesium increased both Testosterone and Growth Hormone . This supplement is again cheap and easy to buy and has many other benefits.
Finally, we have Arginine, another amino acid, a study by Merimee et al (1967) found that Arginine increased growth hormone levels .
Is It Worth taking HGH For Bodybuilding Purposes?
Finally, the question you have been waiting for. HGH must be okay to use if your favourite bodybuilder is using it, right?
It enhances muscle mass, reduces body fat, and helps you achieve greater endurance and a faster recovery. All those benefits are worth having, right? Wrong. Like the old expression goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
For one, HGH is expensive as hell. One trip to the doctor for HGH injection could set you back as much as $7500 for a monthly supply. Since it for bodybuilding purposes, you can forget using health insurance to lower the cost (and that is if you actually find a doctor who will prescribe it to you).
Besides, have you seen those side effects? Any drug that increases your chances of developing man boobs is probably not a good idea to take.
At the end of the day, it is your decision to make. If you feel HGH will help you take the next step in your bodybuilding endeavours, then do go for it. If you choose to use synthetic growth hormones, please get it from a certified doctor, not some online black market supplier from Indonesia.
What To Look For In An HGH Supplement?
When looking for a supplement there are a few factors you need to look at:
- Is it made by a reputable company
- What is it made from?
- Will any of its ingredients cause side effects?
- How much does it cost?
- How long is delivery?
- Are there any hidden costs? Auto-shipping/billing etc
If the supplement you have found can tick most of these boxes then you should give it a try.
HGH has been shown to aid your own training efforts so it makes sense to try and increase your natural levels. If you want to see those strength and muscle gains then any help you can find will surely be worth it.
Which HGH Supplement Is Best?
Our recommendation for a supplement that can naturally increase your HGH levels would be HGH-X2, which is available to buy online via the Crazy Bulk website.
This particular supplement offers to build muscle while burning fat without any prescription or painful injections.
Its ingredients are proven and completely natural, meaning you can experience all of the benefits without encountering any side effects.
Unlike some other HGH supplements we have seen available online, you can buy HGH-X2 without having to sign up for any trial. This means you won't succumb to any auto-ship scam, meaning no hidden or unwanted repeat charges will be experienced.