Being in the fitness and mental health field for years as a coach and mentor, one of the things I hear some men (35 and older) complain about is their discomfort with certain bodily changes. They complain about their decline of energy, strength, muscle mass, sex drive, as well as their lower ability to burn fat as they used to.
Those are issues that can’t be ignored. They are not only physically uncomfortable and bothersome symptoms, but emotionally distressing. In actuality, these symptoms are associated with lower secretions of growth hormone (GH), which are normal with the course of the years. Unfortunately, lowers GH levels cause a decrease in testosterone levels.
You have probably heard of human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is a synthetic form of GH. It can be prescribed by a doctor to treat medical issues but it is also used by athletes (along with other things) in order to increase strength, power and muscle mass. HGH helps fight cell degeneration, which brings numerous positive benefits.
Generally, GH increases energy levels, positive feelings, athleticism, sexual drive, performance, muscle mass, bone density, as well as the ability to burn more fat.
But before putting any synthetic additives in your body, it’s best and recommendable to increase GH levels naturally. Fortunately, there are different ways in which you can influence your hormones positively.
You can create huge changes by incorporating an adequate exercise routine, a healthy balanced diet, as well as healthy habits into your life.
One of the greatest growth-hormone boosters is exercise. However not all types of exercise affect your hormones equally.
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIITT) is an exercise strategy that boosts growth hormone. The idea is to alternate between short periods of intense anaerobic activity with periods of recovery. A common formula is 2:1 ratio of work, where for example you sprint for 30-40 seconds and alternate with 15-20 seconds of jogging or walking.
- Another way to increase GH is weight training. It works best when lifting heavy and having a frequent routine during the week.
GH is produced in the resting period due to the harsh bursts and muscle damage created during the sessions. On the other hand, be mindful not to overtrain in order to avoid affecting the hormone negatively.
The right foods
Now that you understand the training concept to release GH into your system, it is time to evaluate your diet. The diet plays another vital role.
One of the compounds that negatively affect GH is sugar. Processed sugar, sugary snack and drinks, and baking goods should be avoided. They increase insulin (blood sugar) levels and decrease GH levels, facilitating fat storage. It is best to avoid sugar post-workout and before sleeping as to obtain the boost of GH.
Incorporate the right foods to get your body on the right track. Some great foods that stimulate growth hormone naturally are:
- Water: hydration is necessary for proper hormone functioning (not necessarily a food but an essential compound)
- Whey Protein
- Algaes (found also in supplement form: spirulina, chlorella, blue green algae)
- Coconut Oil
- Raw dairy
- Grass-fed Beef
- Fava Beans
- Goji berries
Supplementation can aid to raise GH levels. Some of the supplements associated with higher GH are:
- Vitamin D
- Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (A-GPC)
- One of the factors that promote the natural boost of GH is SLEEP. It is recommended to sleep at least 7 hours. It is while you sleep that most GH secretions are released by the brain into the bloodstream, which help the body to repair and restore.
- Another factor related to inadequate GH levels is STRESS. Stress negatively affect the production of this hormone, among many others.
Remember, in the quest to help raise GH levels in the body make weight training and HIIT a part of your routine. Additionally, sleep enough, avoid regular sugar consumption, eat the right foods, take the right supplements, and deal adequately with stress. In this manner, you will be more apt to gain more muscle, lose fat, remain strong and agile, have a healthy sex drive and be in better spirits.
To a Fitter Healthier You
The Fitness Wellness Mentor