Boosting Growth Hormone Levels Post-Workout

Mark Sisson has an excellent post on how to maximize human growth hormone (HGH) levels. The basic steps are:

1. Do intense resistance training (i.e. Power Law workouts)
2. Have a high-protein post-workout snack (no carbs)
3. Every once in a while, fast after your workout
4. Get lots of sleep every evening

It’s a pretty simple regimen, but I find it quite ironic how the fitness and endurance sports communities have eschewed this in favor of high levels of cardio training at both ends of the day coupled with glucose-fueled diets.

And the reality is that you actually negate the health benefits of all this training if you do not allow your HGH levels to peak as nature intended.

As possible proof of this, we can cite a recent study by the National Cancer Institute that indicated that physically active women who averaged less than 7 hours of sleep each night had a 47% higher risk of developing cancer than physically active women who were not sleep deprived. And while it was not completely clear exactly how getting too little sleep may make one more susceptible to cancer, the researchers cited the “effects of exercise on the body’s hormone levels, immune function and body weight” as potential factors. (Note: although this study was limited to women, I’ll wager that this applies to men as well)

Bottom line: Hit it hard, hit the sack, and go to bed hungry every once in a while. Because that’s exactly what your ancestors did for thousands of years.

2 Comments

  1. srhernan
    November 23, 2008

    Wow…great stuff. I’ll have to try this out. Thanks!

  2. Steven Munatones
    November 20, 2008

    Asian swimmers, including the Olympic medalists, use a different natural method of increasing their Human Growth Hormones. There is an exercise methodology used in Japan and elsewhere throughout Asia called “KAATSU” – loosely translated into English as “applied pressure”. Simply described, it involves placing bands around the upper arms and legs, reducing the venous flow back to the heart. With the major muscle groups are engorged with blood while the athlete is exercising (or stretching), the build-up in lactic acid is immediate and intense. The sudden increase in lactic acid leads to the secretion of Human Growth Hormones by the pituitary gland. This methodology is being used by professional baseball players, golfers and Olympic track-and-field athletes in addition to the swimmers. Different ways to achieve the same goal.


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