Human growth hormone (HGH) is essential for growth during childhood and adolescence, and is also necessary for proper functioning of organs and tissues. HGH is produced by the pituitary gland, but production decreases during adulthood. This leads to lower energy levels and is a factor in the gradual deterioration of the body. Some people take synthetic HGH supplements, but these are linked to harmful side effects. You can naturally increase your HGH levels instead with a few different methods.
1. Avoid eating simple and refined carbohydrates, such as foods made with white flour and sugar, along with white rice and white pasta. These spike blood sugar and production of the hormone insulin. The rapid increase in insulin triggers release of somatostatin to suppress insulin. Somatostatin also suppresses HGH, as explained by chiropractor Peter L. Holleran on his Mountain Runner Doc website.
2. Avoid overeating and eating too close to bedtime. Growth hormone levels increase when insulin levels are low, about four hours after eating. Growth hormone is also released during sleep, with the largest amount being released in the first few hours of sleep, according to Holleran, but the body must not be busy digesting food.
3. Participate in multiple daily sessions of strenuous exercise with at least 10 minutes of exercise and at least three hours rest between sessions. This can elevate HGH levels, according to the Peak Performance Sporting Excellence website. This type of exercise is called anaerobic or lactate threshold exercise and is strength-based, involving exertion and high-intensity movement. Examples include sprinting, fast bicycling, push-ups, sit-ups, weight lifting, and jumping rope. If you’re not accustomed to exercising regularly, you’ll need to build up to this level. Don’t eat within two hours of exercising, as that raises insulin levels.
4. Drink plenty of water during exercise and otherwise. Peak Performance notes that dehydration can significantly decrease the HGH response to exercise.
5. Take 1.5 g of the amino acid arginine or 2 g of the amino acid glutamine after exercise, as these can elevate HGH secretion, according to Peak Performance.