Most of us would like to be leaner and stronger. The hormones that have the biggest effect on body composition are growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). HGH, or human growth hormone, also known as somatropin or simply GH, is a peptide hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. A non-steroidal hormone, it regenerates tissues for growth and repair of many cells in the body.
Low GH levels cause erratic sleep patterns, bone loss, increased body fat and decreased muscle mass, strength and mental function.
Anything we can do to keep levels up will help us look and feel younger?
- Take in only low-glycemic or slow-digesting carbohydrates throughout the day. Low-glycemic examples are apples, pears, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice or wheat pasta. Simple sugars that are high-glycemic spike insulin levels. Not only does this lead to body-fat storage, but it severely blunts the release of growth hormone.
- Perform weight-training intensely with high repetitions. The burn you will feel in your muscles is the build-up of lactic acid. Lactic acid signals our bodies to produce more growth hormone. Try a range between 12 and 30 repetitions to reach the lactic threshold.
- Take the amino acids L-arginine and L-lysine together before exercise and sleep. The combination of these has shown to increase growth hormone production by up to 700 percent. As little as a gram will do, but take 3 to 5 grams for optimal results.
- Take 1.5 to 3 g of GABA immediately before bed. GABA, or gamma aminobutyric acid, has been shown to increase growth hormone production by 200 percent.
- Take 2 to 10 g of glutamine after a workout or before bed. As little as 2 g may boost GH levels.
- Get adequate sleep to ensure high growth hormone levels. Most of our GH is produced in the first few hours of sleep.
- Consume a high-protein, low-carbohydrate snack before going to bed. The amino acids will help to boost GH, while avoiding too many carbs will keep insulin at bay so that it cannot inhibit growth hormone production.
For an appointment or consultation with Dr. Gary Bellman, please contact the office or call 818-912-1899