Human growth hormone (HGH), aka ‘the fountain of youth’ and even hailed as a ‘miracle drug’, has a reputation for solving almost any health concern that a middle-aged man might have. Rumor has it that HGH can help you look younger, burn fat, build muscle, and even boost your sex drive. And science has confirmed that most of these things are true.
But does that mean you should be taking growth hormone? Not necessarily. Whilst it sounds like the golden elixir, it’s not right for every guy.
We did some investigating of our own into HGH, read on to find out everything we found out about growth hormone: GH or the ‘healing hormone’ to find out whether you should talk to your doctor about getting a prescription.
What is HGH?
Sometimes just known as growth hormone (GH) or HGH male, human growth hormone (HGH) is a peptide hormone produced by the pituitary gland, which lives at the base of your brain. As kids and teens, it’s responsible for helping us to get taller.
However, GH is also a master hormone, and this means that even in adults, HGH helps balance all your other hormones. This means there isn’t an area of your health that HGH doesn’t affect.
When you have enough HGH, it keeps you healthy, both mentally and physically. It maintains your happiness, helps you handle stress, and keeps your heart healthy, your cholesterol and inflammation levels down, and your bones in good shape. It can even help to boost your body’s ability to heal faster. It touches all areas of your health.
In the bodybuilding world, there’s one area that GH has gained notoriety. And that’s in its ability to maintain muscle mass, shed fat, synthesize amino acids, and metabolize protein and fat. It also stimulates the release of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), the primary driver of tissue growth. This combined helps you to build muscle and burn fat.
On the flip side, a growth hormone deficiency is often the culprit for delayed gains at the gym and the struggle to shift stomach fat, which means that taking a synthetic GH has been the suggested go-to route to help guys make gains.
When taken orally, HGH is broken down by your digestive system, so it must be injected. But before you go down the route of synthetic HGH, there are a few things you should know.
Could you have an HGH deficiency?
Realistically, it’s possible but unlikely. According to a recent study, roughly 6,000 adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) cases are diagnosed every year in the US. It’s pretty rare and typically only shows up in patients that have had a traumatic brain injury or damage to the pituitary gland.
To put it into perspective, although slightly different – around 481,000 cases of low testosterone are diagnosed in the US every year.
Also Read: How long does it take to build muscle?
Your HGH levels start to decline naturally. This begins around 25 years old and accelerates once you hit 35. This is when you enter an HGH-deprived state, somatopause. While the rate of GH production decline is up for debate, some studies say men lose 14% of their GH production each decade, and others say it declines by up to 50% every seven years.
According to one study, by the time you’re 65, you’re producing less than a third of the GH you were when you were 35. Although, guys who live a healthy lifestyle with low stress, a balanced diet and minimal alcohol intake can hold onto their HGH levels for a little longer.
How to find out if you’re deficient in GH?
Unfortunately, there’s no test for low GH, and it’s pretty similar to how your average middle-aged man might start to feel, a bit depressed or low and fighting back against age. You might lose lean muscle, gain fat on your stomach, ache and feel fatigued.
Plus, you might struggle with sagging skin or thinning hair. Psychologically, you might be irritable, anti-social, stressed or tense and struggle with memory. You might also struggle with your memory or notice a lack of libido. In addition, heart disease or high cholesterol could also be a red flag for low GH.
Does any of this sound familiar? Ask your doctor to run some tests. Low GH and deficiencies have been linked with abnormalities in your heart, brain, metabolism, and skeletal health, so it’s worth getting it checked out.
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HGH male supplements: who can take them
The only way to get a safe and regulated supply of synthetic GH is with a prescription from your doctor, which is only going to happen if tests reveal you need it. Whilst you can get it without a doctor’s help and obtain it illegally, we don’t recommend taking any hormones without input from your doctor.
Remember, GH is a peptide that must be injected to be effective. Any GH that comes as pills or lotions are complete scams. And we’re sure we don’t need to tell you that injecting yourself with some sketchy substance from the internet probably isn’t worth the potential gains.
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HGH: the risks and rewards
Synthetic growth hormone that is FDA-approved is identical to naturally produced GH, and it behaves in the same way and is safe.
So, guys with deficiencies see significant benefits from supplements. Plus, because it is a master hormone, you’ll see an advantage in many different areas of your life.
But what about healthy people with no deficit? Can they get the same benefits by taking HGH? Can HGH boost your muscle gains? Well, this is where things get tricky – mainly because there’s very little research that has been carried out on what happens when guys with healthy levels of GH load up.
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However, we know that if you boost too much, you risk acromegaly. This is a disorder created by having too much growth hormone in your body, and it causes a thickening of the bones in your jaw, forehead, and hands. This is sometimes seen in the bodybuilding community, and it’s what has contributed towards growth hormone having such a bad reputation.
Although HGH has the reputation of supercharging your gains, it might not be the muscle elixir you require. One study showed that non-deficient men taking HGH had higher lactate levels, which suggests taking the hormone unnecessarily could actually decrease your physical fitness instead of enhancing it.
Side Effects of injecting HGH:
- Muscle or joint pain
- Suppression of pituitary/hypothalamus gland function
- Swelling of body tissues
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Elevated blood glucose levels
So, is it worth getting tested for low GH?
Well, sure if you want to. But you should be aware that even if you qualify for low GH levels, synthetic human growth hormone is expensive. Like really expensive and usually not covered by insurance. You’re looking at least $600 a month and realistically closer to $1000 every month.
So yeah, you might achieve slight gains, a reduction in fat and a wellbeing boost, but you’re going to be paying heavily for those gains.
How to boost your HGH levels naturally
Want a cheaper and safer way to boost your HGH? Boost your levels naturally. By increasing your production naturally, you cut out any risks, and you can trust your body to balance everything out.
So, here are our top tips for boosting your HGH levels without a prescription:
Sleep is so underrated, but it’s crucial to so many aspects of good health. Sleep is when you produce the highest amount of GH, and the highest levels are in slow-wave sleep when roughly 70% of the GH pulses in men occur.
Also Read: What to do after a workout to recover
So, you need to boost your sleep hygiene and get rid of habits that ruin your body’s chances of getting into a deep sleep. So, less screen time before bed and cut out that afternoon coffee.
Hit the treadmill
The best way to boost your growth hormone levels naturally is through exercise. Most guys head to the weight rack to build muscle, but it’s aerobic exercise that raises your GH levels.
Skip the junk food
You’re essentially aiming for hormone optimization here and a significant factor in throwing out your hormones? Junk food. Cut out the unhealthy food, and your GH levels will reward you.
Get your levels tested
Remember, GH is a master hormone, so if all your other hormones are in check, then your body will produce more HGH.
So, there you have it. Synthetic GH isn’t this super-fixer that can solve all your problems and injecting it unnecessarily can lead to more problems for you unnecessarily.
Whilst you can naturally boost your HGH levels, have you considered the impact of low T levels?
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