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The Fountain of Youth - Growth Hormone

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

In adolescence, your body's level of growth hormone peaks and then begins its slow, gradual decline.

Human growth hormone stimulates protein production and promotes the utilization of fat, so it is easier to stay strong and keep the weight off. It is also believed to smooth wrinkles, tighten saggy skin, increase energy, boost sex drive, and improve concentration and mood.

Human growth hormone seems to be the basis for the fountain of youth!

People (read: rich and famous; bodybuilders and athletes) have tried supplementing with injections of growth hormone and there seems to be some small benefit, but it is expensive and there can be side effects. Also, it doesn't seem to work as a stand-alone treatment, the person needs to be exercising and eating right to see full benefits.

Happily, there are ways to naturally boost your growth hormone production, at any age:

  1. Excercise - For best benefits, exercise at two different times a day and make sure you 'feel the burn' for at least 10 minutes. The body secretes growth hormone after exercise - specifically after about 10 minutes of 'lactic acid' build up - meaning when your muscles start getting sore during the exercise. That is why resistance training consistently gives a good boost of growth hormone. Resistance training includes something that your body has to work against like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, sit-ups, and activities like weightlifting or TRX or spinning or even carrying groceries or young children! Endurance activities can also give a boost, but, again, the exercise needs to push into the lactic acid phase to ensure the benefits.

  2. Sleep - For best benefits, maximise your slow - wave - sleep. Human growth hormone is released at night during slow-wave sleep. Good sleep practices like: taking magnesium, maintaining a strict sleep-wake cycle, blocking blue light 2 hours before bedtime, and ensure an optimal sleep environment like a dark room or use white noise to combat sounds.

  3. Fasting - For best benefits, fasting for 72 hours can triple your growth hormone! Actually, even 24 hours of fasting can give you a small boost depending on how metabolically flexible you are. Start with a 12 hour fast multiple times a week and increase the hours weekly.

  4. Lose weight - For best benefits, cut out seed oils, processed foods and added sugars. Not much is known about the mechanism, but it is well established that obese people have lower levels of growth hormone. Even obese children have lower levels of insulin than their lean counterparts.

  5. Sauna - For best benefits, sit in a humid sauna for 30 minutes at temperatures between 80°-100°. This can increase your growth hormone level up to five times! Lower temperatures and shorter times stimulate lower growth hormone secretion. Also, your own metabolic health can inhibit the benefit of a sauna. One word of caution: just as you would not go run a marathon on your first day of running, you should start with short, bearable times for sauna bathing and lower, bearable temperatures. The stress high heat puts on your body is similar to a cardiovascular workout!

In conclusion, children and young adults are in growth mode. Their bodies build muscle and maintain it at rest. That is largely due to growth hormone. (It is why my children complain about eating healthy food if it doesn't make them bigger/faster/smarter than their junk-food consuming counterparts. I have to remind them that they are in growth mode and the benefits will become worthwhile later in life). It is also why there are so many fit 20-something diet gurus. Pretty much any healthy changes they make are going to be possible with the plenty of circulating growth hormone available to them.

For those people older than their 3rd decade of life, benefits can be achieved by a healthy lifestyle and including as many of the above suggestions as possible.


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