There are numerous hormones and chemicals in our body that are responsible for our body's growth and development. None of these hormones are more important than growth hormone when it comes to growth and strength increases. Growth hormone, abbreviated as GH, provides our body with the building blocks it needs to grow, strengthen, and function properly during the transition from childhood to adulthood.
Due to the important nature of growth hormone in cell growth and development, growth hormone is arguably the most important hormone bodybuilders worry about. Many of the effects of growth hormone during early adulthood (size increase, increased strength and endurance) are the same goals that adult bodybuilders have. Growth hormone levels can influence how fast bodybuilders build muscle mass and see strength gains long after they have finished growing into adults.
Growth hormone helps bodybuilders in a few ways. First, growth hormone improves protein synthesis, which is the rate at which your muscle cells divide and replicate. Obviously, the faster your muscle cells replicate, the faster your muscles will grow in response to the stresses of weight-lifting and athletic activities. Higher levels of growth hormone also help your individual existing muscle fibers grow, which is why growth hormones help improve total strength as well.
Recovery time is usually recognized as a primary benefit to serious bodybuilders. Higher growth hormone levels allow cells to regenerate and repair themselves faster. Muscles grow in response to micro-tears caused by strenuous weightlifting. As the muscle tissue rebuilds, it gets bigger, but the body needs rest to rebuild itself. When athletes don't allow themselves enough rest period, further exercise can actually reduce muscle gains instead of improving them. Overtraining is a constant limitation to gains that bodybuilders can reach. By allowing the muscle tissue to repair itself faster with less rest time, the bodybuilder can work out more often and harder with less downtime, resulting in faster gains.
Growth hormone levels can be influenced in a variety of ways. Diet plays an important role in growth hormone levels and a diet consisting of lean protein sources and vegetables will naturally increase growth hormone production to a limited degree. Sleep is also essential to help the body increase growth hormone levels. Finally, working out, particularly with heavy weight training, will cause your body to secrete more growth hormone as well.
There are also other ways to increase your growth hormone levels for bodybuilding purposes. Some bodybuilders directly inject themselves with human growth hormone (HGH). While this is the most effective way to see results, it comes with numerous risks. Injectable HGH has serious side effects including severe mood swings, headaches, severe acne, and anger issues, among many other things. It is illegal to use injectable HGH without a prescription and its primary medical usage is for young adults who are under-sized or not maturing physically, not for bodybuilders looking for an edge in the gym.
Steroids and injections are a poor substitute for long-term health in bodybuilders. Bodybuilders can reap the many bodybuilding benefits of growth hormones by taking a growth hormone supplement and by following a healthy diet. Doing so will help bodybuilders grow muscle faster, get rid of excess body fat, and improve their overall stamina and performance without risking their long-term health.
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