Those of us interested in health and fitness have probably heard of growth hormone. Found in all living creatures, growth hormone is a peptide hormone responsible for just what its name would imply: stimulating growth.
In humans, we call it human growth hormone, or HGH, and it’s secreted by the pituitary gland. HGH is most vital during the early years, when it fuels childhood growth, but continues to serve an important function throughout life, maintaining tissue and organ growth.
The supply of growth hormone the body produces isn’t the same from person to person, however. In fact, your own body doesn’t secret consistent amounts of HGH; a number of factors can affect how much your pituitary gland puts out. This can range from things like getting adequate sleep to performing intense exercise, from low blood sugar to the vitamin niacin, all of which help to increase your HGH production. On the other hand, there are just as many things that can stymie your pituitary function, things like:
- chronic stress
- high blood sugar
- poor/inadequate sleep
- glucocorticoids: steroids typically used to treat inflammation, like prednisone
Keeping these things in mind can help you boost your body’s production of HGH, leading to more effective workouts and anti-aging effects. However, not all of the factors contributing to growth hormone levels are controllable. One big player in how much HGH your body will churn out? Gender.
Contrary to what common sense would dictate and the average person would assume, women are the ones who produce more HGH; anywhere from six to 120-times as much. This would seem counter-intuitive to the idea of men as the bigger, stronger $ex, but studies have found the culprit for this strange tidbit: estrogen.
In comparisons between men and premenopausal women of the same age, it was found that women had both higher HGH secretory bursts and higher mean HGH levels overall. Because of the huge role estrogen plays in growth hormone regulation, HGH levels peak during the point in the menstrual cycle when estrogen is high and can be higher when taking estrogen-based birth control.
With such a profound difference in HGH secretion, why are that ma tend to find it easier to build muscle? The answer again lies with hormones. Testosterone is an important part of muscle building, and women are simply lacking. Naturally high levels of HGH do mean that women who capitalize on growth hormone output and methods to increase production will enjoy amazing results. What this entails is pretty simple: intense workouts lasting longer than ten minutes that push past the lactate threshold; eating protein after a workout, which has been shown to increase HGH levels; intermittent fasting, lasting 24 hours; taking supplements like arginine, ornithine, or niacin; and getting adequate, restful sleep.
When it comes to taking care of your body, there are ways to maximize the good you’re doing with your routine. When it comes to HGH, adjusting your lifestyle to increase your pituitary gland’s function is a healthy, natural way to build muscle, burn fat, increase bone density, and raise your body’s capacity for exercise. With how simple and easy it is to accomplish, why not take your health into your own hands and give your body what it needs? You’ll enjoy lasting well-being and your body will thank you.
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