Human growth hormone, or HGH, is a crucial product of the endocrine system, the group of glands that release hormones through the body.
The particular gland responsible for HGH is the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain, and for various reasons, the pituitary gland may not be releasing enough HGH.
In childhood, HGH is essential for growth, and in adulthood, high levels of HGH are tied to everything from healthy body composition to bone strength and diminishing the effects of aging.
If you feel you or someone you know has an abnormally low level of HGH, the best option is to consult a doctor.
If that’s not an option, either due to lack of insurance, drug aversion, or other reasons, there are natural ways to increase one’s level of HGH for potential health benefits.
This has a low chance of curing conditions associated with abnormally low HGH, however, so should not be relied upon in all situations.
There are four main categories of ways to naturally increase human growth hormone: life habits, diet, exercise, and nutritional supplements.
Different people will react in different ways to these methods and many work best when combined with others, so there is unlikely to be just one “magic bullet” that increase your HGH levels in the way you want.
First, life habits. Getting enough sleep at night – at least eight hours – can promote HGH production. The most HGH is released in the third and fourth sleep stages, about an hour after you go to sleep.
Unhealthy sleep habits can delay or shorten these stages, leading to less overall HGH production. Deep, restful sleep is ideal, so avoid sleep distractions like electronics in bed, excess noise or light in your sleeping area, and caffeine or alcohol too soon before going to sleep.
A healthy diet can alleviate many of the problems that HGH would, but there are particular dietary methods that will specifically encourage your pituitary to produce more HGH.
In general, a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet will keep your insulin production down and help HGH production, and a snack along those lines right before bed will help keep insulin down through the night.
The best type of exercise for increasing HGH is high-intensity interval training that increases your heart rate above its anaerobic threshold (this can be established with charts or a method called VO2 max testing) for thirty-second intervals at least five times in a particular workout.
The twitch muscle fibers worked through this method will naturally increase HGH. Make sure to avoid sugar for at least two hours after exercise, though, which can cause a spike in insulin levels and a corresponding decrease in HGH release.
Finally, a number of nutritional supplements can help increase HGH.
Taken before bed, 0.5 to 5 mg of melatonin, 1.5 to 3 g of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), 3 to 5 g of L-arginine and L-lysine, and 2 to 10 g of glutamine all have been tied to greatly increased HGH production.