While discussing bodybuilding and anti-aging tips, we usually come across the term ‘Human Growth Hormone (HGH)’. So, what is Human Growth Hormone? How does it work? Does it actually help in making us look younger? Can we increase these levels naturally?
Well, all the answers to these questions are here. Read this article to find out more about HGH.
HGH - WHAT IS IT?
Human Growth Hormone or Somatotropin is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland – a tiny pea-sized gland located in our brain.
It is important for ourgrowth, cell regeneration and cell reproduction. It stimulates the metabolic processes in our body to increase the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It also stimulates bone and muscle tissue growth.
HGH is essential for the growth and development of babies and teenagers. It promotes their growth in height.
Even in adults, it is responsible for maintaining the following functions in our body-:
HOW DOES HGH WORK?
When growth hormone is released from the pituitary gland, it stimulates the liver to release a second hormone, called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). The process occurs as undermentioned-:
Together, growth hormone and IGF-1 stimulateour bones, muscles, and other organs and tissues to grow by adding more cells.
But, as we age, the HGH levels in our body tend to decrease; due to which bone density, muscle growth, body composition, wound healing and metabolism suffer. However, we can mitigate the effects of this decline, through natural ways.
NATURAL WAYS TO BOOST HGH LEVELS
There are various stages of a sleep cycle, from light sleep (where we will wake up relatively easy) to heavy sleep (when we sleep soundly).
During Stages 3 and 4 of our sleepcycle, the Slow Wave Sleep cycle, is when we release the most amount of HGH. Studies have demonstrated that HGH release occurs before midnight and in the early hours of morning.
Therefore, getting enough good quality sleep is essential to enhance our HGH levels.
Exercising is another effective way of spiking HGH levels. Even though all forms of exercise are beneficial, high-intensity exercises have the most significant effect on HGH levels.
We can perform hard exercises like sprints, CrossFit, weight training, no-rest gym circuits, etc. that boost lactic acid concentration in our muscles.
Lactic acid is another growth-hormone-releasing signal. Therefore, increasing growth hormone levels in our body.
Researches have shown that intermittent fasting – fasting for 12-24 hours a day – is beneficial in increasing growth hormone levels in our body. Intermittent fasting helps to optimize HGH levels in two main ways.
- It reduces our body fat, which helps to raise our HGH levels.
- It keeps our blood sugar and insulin levels low, which also prompts HGH release.
A nutritious and balanced diet helps to maintain good health in general. Including the following food types in our diet helps us to have a good amount of HGH in our body-:
- Melatonin rich foods
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates our blood pressure and sleep cycle. Therefore, foods like raspberries, grapes, nuts, mustard seeds, pomegranate, etc. increase the release of HGH significantly.
- Serotonin releasing foods
This hormone is a neurotransmitter that relaxes us and induces sleep thereby, elevating HGH levels. Foods that are a good source of serotonin include pineapples, cheese, salmon, etc.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency severely affects the HGH levels in our body. Raw fish, dairy products, egg yolk, etc. are good sources of Vitamin D.
- Protein-rich foods
These include chicken, beef, dairy products, nuts, soybeans, eggs, etc. Several amino acids like L-Arginine, L-Ornithine and L-Glutamine are found in these protein-rich foods that raise our growth hormone remarkably.
Certain oils such as coconut oil, help in boosting our HGH levels during certain times of the day.
Foods like banana, fava beans, etc. produce dopamine that triggers the pituitary gland to produce more HGH in our body.
Low HGH levels can be a cause of concern, especially for people who want to look young and fit. After all, who does not want to look younger? The practices suggested above not only boost our HGH levels, but also benefit our overall health. Follow these natural practices and see yourself transforming into a healthier person.