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5 Ways to Naturally Boost Growth Hormone
Written by Sharon Bonnette on Feb. 18th 2019
5 Ways to Naturally Boost Growth Hormone
Human growth hormone (hGH) is a small protein made in the pituitary gland of the brain. The actions of hGH on the body differ depending on age. hGH mainly stimulates the growth of muscle and bones, the use of fat, and the regulation of blood-sugar levels. The pituitary releases hGH in bursts throughout the day. hGH release peaks during sleep and exercise, but as we age, total levels of hGH fall. The fall of hGH is associated with typical signs of aging. The most obvious include the loss of muscle tone and increase of fat deposition. There is thought that if we increase levels of hGH, we will combat some of the effects of aging. In controlled studies, doctors see evidence of this. Giving doses of hGH to elderly patients results in an 8.8% increase in muscle mass and a 14% decrease in fat mass; but there are also negative side effects (Rudman, et al. 1990). Thus, the best advice is to increase hGH naturally and avoid prescriptions and side effects. Here are five ways to naturally boost hGH:
1. Do HIIT (high-intensity interval training) sprint exercise
In some studies scientists have shown that levels of hGH in the blood increase after sprint-interval exercise (Wideman, et al. 2002). In one study, sprint exercise caused hGH to increase 10 times over pre-exercise levels (Nevill, et al. 1996). In a more recent study, using the Sprint 8® protocol, hGH levels increased almost six times ("Sprint 8®: Reduced Body Fat in 8 Weeks Without Dieting | Research" 2018) Try out our HIIT class here!
2. Get Sleep
It is well known hGH release increases during sleep. Studies show hGH levels are significantly lower after sleep deprivation (Beck, et al. 1976). To improve natural levels of beneficial hormones, it is important to get an adequate amount of sleep. The National Institute of Aging suggests several ways to get more sleep here.
3. Lose body fat
Several studies show growth hormone levels are significantly decreased in obese patients (Scacchi, et al. 1999). People who have a higher amount of belly fat have lower levels of hGH. The good news is that normalizing weight reverses low levels. Although it can be a challenging task to lose and control body fat, proper diet and exercise is a good place to start.
4. Try amino acid supplements
Taking supplements of arginine and lysine increase circulating growth hormone (Suminski, et al. 1997). Subjects who ingested 1,500 mg of arginine in combination with 1,500 mg of lysine saw an acute increase of GH within 60 minutes of ingestion.
5. Reduce sugar
High levels of insulin cause many health problems. With respect to hGH, obese patients with high levels of insulin have reduced levels of hGH (Lanzi, et al. 1999). To control insulin and avoid decreasing hGH, limit sugar intake. Follow a moderately-low carbohydrate diet and eat foods with a low-glycemic index.

Taken together, exercise, sleep, and a diet can increase hGH levels naturally. Additionally, following these tips will not only increase hGH, but will also provide overall health benefits.
“A Good Night's Sleep.” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Beck, Ulrich, et al. “Effects of Selective Sleep Deprivation on Sleep-Linked Prolactin and Growth Hormone Secretion.” Archiv for Psychiatrie Und Nervenkrankheiten, vol. 223, no. 1, 1976, pp. 35–44., doi:
Boutcher, Stephen H. "High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss". Journal of Obesity, vol 2011, 2011, pp. 1-10. Hindawi Limited., doi:
Jo̸rgensen JensO L, and JensS Christiansen. “Brave New Senescence: GH in Adults.” The Lancet, vol. 341, no. 8855, 15 May 1993, pp. 1247–1248., doi:
Lanzi, Roberto, et al. “Elevated Insulin Levels Contribute to the Reduced Growth Hormone (GH) Response to GH-Releasing Hormone in Obese Subjects.” Metabolism, vol. 48, no. 9, 1999, pp. 1152–1156., doi:
Nevill, M.e., et al. “Growth Hormone Responses to Treadmill Sprinting in Sprint- and Endurance-Trained Athletes.” European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, vol. 72-72, no. 5-6, 1996, pp. 460–467., doi:
Scacchi, M, et al. “Growth Hormone in Obesity.” International Journal of Obesity, vol. 23, no. 3, 1999, pp. 260–271., doi:
"Sprint 8®: Reduced Body Fat In 8 Weeks Without Dieting | Research". Sprint 8, 2019,
Suminski, Richard R., et al. “Acute Effect of Amino Acid Ingestion and Resistance Exercise on Plasma Growth Hormone Concentration in Young Men.” International Journal of Sport Nutrition, vol. 7, no. 1, 1997, pp. 48–60., doi:
Wideman, Laurie, et al. “Growth Hormone Release During Acute and Chronic Aerobic and Resistance Exercise.” Sports Medicine, vol. 32, no. 15, 2002, pp. 987–1004., doi:

Written by Sharon Bonnette on Feb. 11th 2019
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval exercise. HIIT involves reps of high-intensity work (such as a sprint) followed by an active recovery. There are many HIIT protocols that differ in the timing of the work and recovery period. Depending on the fitness goals, the time of the work and recovery periods are between six seconds to four minutes. For example, in the Sprint 8® program, the workout consists of eight reps of a 30-second sprint and a 90-second active recovery. Scientists have evaluated the Sprint 8® protocol as well as several other HIIT protocols. From these studies, scientists agree HIIT has many beneficial effects. The benefits include increased fat-loss, increased hormone levels, and increased fitness. Here are five ways a HIIT program will help you reach your weight loss goals:
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