HGH: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Everyone wants to build muscle and lose fat, that is a given. It’s the reason we all attempt to either train hard or consume a structured and healthy diet. For those who are genetically superior it could be all they need to build up a powerful and well muscled physique. When it comes to other normal humans however, it’s not so simple or easy.
In the minds of these individuals, patience may not be an option. It could take forever to see results and that means more time looking or feeling weaker, something that individuals want to mitigate as fast as possible. No one wants to go to the gym to look like they don’t even lift. For these individuals, they may turn to performance enhancing drugs. There is a lengthy list of steroids and other hormones that can pack on muscle or get you shredded in a short period of time, and one of them is human growth hormone (HGH).
While there are certainly a large amount of benefits of HGH, it also has its downsides. Let’s dive into all things involving HGH.
What does human growth hormone actually do to you? Growth hormone fuels childhood growth and helps maintain tissues and organs throughout life. HGH is produced by the pituitary gland (located at the base of the brain). Growth hormone is a key component in shedding body fat and building muscle. Some even refer to HGH as “the fountain of youth” as it has a reputation for keeping you young in a sense.
However, starting at middle age and continuing as you grow older, the pituitary gland slowly reduces the amount of growth hormone it produces. This is where supplementation or introducing ways to combat the lesser amount of HGH would come in. First, let’s look at some different natural supplements and methods to increase growth hormone.
Over the Counter Growth Hormone Supplements
Just as with something like testosterone boosters to counter the effects of low T, there are supplements to counter the effects of low HGH. Supplements like HGH-X2 from CrazyBulk and GenF20 are some top examples of HGH boosting supplements. There is also Nugenix GH Boost, which comes from a fairly reputable brand.
What these supplements do is stimulate the pituitary gland to naturally produce more human growth hormone. This results in being able to drop body fat faster, as well as put on and maintain more muscle mass.
Ibutamoren, typically known as MK-677, is a potent, long-acting, orally-active, selective, and non-peptide agonist of the ghrelin receptor. It is a growth hormone secretagogue, mimicking the growth hormone-stimulating action of the endogenous hormone ghrelin. It is not approved for human use, however it has crept into the bodybuilding community, as people have discovered it’s strong benefits for putting on size and keeping body fat low while increasing strength.
Ibutamoren may seem attractive for your gym goals, but don’t be fooled. As well as the health risk, it is prohibited both in-competition and out-of-competition under the World Anti-Doping Code. It is listed explicitly in the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.
The side effects reported with MK-677 use include increased appetite, swelling, anxiety, numbness and muscle pain. It also causes bone mineral density to decrease and causes increased fasting blood glucose and decreased insulin sensitivity.
HGH as a PED
While there may be many natural supplements to increase your HGH levels, many people choose to supplement the actual hormone itself in order to have all of its benefits. Sometimes, doctors will even prescribe it if they deem necessary.
There certainly are a ton of benefits to increased HGH levels. Besides increased muscle production and fat loss, you gain increased strength into the bargain as well as increased bone fracturing healing and overall bone strength. It also promotes better brain function and sleep.
But HGH can also have some nasty side effects if not used properly or under proper supervision. Let’s take a look at those.
Body Part Enlargement
Okay, okay, get all the jokes out now, but HGH is not just for growing muscle, it enlarges everything. HGH actually can enlarge body parts such as fingers and toes as well as lengthening the jaw. Skeletal changes can also occur as well as enlargement of the internal organs including the heart which can lead to cardiomegaly, a common cause of death connected to HGH abuse. It also is believed to be the cause of the abdominal distention amongst many bodybuilders, where their abdomen sticks out.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Another effect of HGH usage is carpal tunnel syndrome. This is due to the side effect of skeletal muscle increase, often time users have reported muscle weakness and an occasional uncomfortable feeling of a “pins and needles” sensation. This symptom is associated with those who take an increased amount of HGH.
Something else that comes out of increased HGH levels is the thickening and coarsening of skin. It’s a consequence of increased protein synthesis and while it may sound cool to have thicker skin, keep in mind that it can be considered a sign of overproduction of HGH. The combined side effects can ultimately mean that the life span of a person with an overabundance of HGH can be considerably shortened.
How to Naturally Increase HGH
While there are plenty of supplements and other substances that increase your production of human growth hormone, what if you do not want to take anything? What if you want to just increase your levels as much as you can naturally? Well, luckily, there are a few different ways to do so.
Here are some possible ways to increase your overall HGH production:
- Reduce sugar intake
- Lose body fat
- Exercise at a high intensity
- Take beta alanine around your workouts
- Optimize sleep
Overall, human growth hormone certainly is something that is crucial for putting on and maintaining muscle as well as keeping body fat low. As you get older, your body produces less and less and there are supplements to combat that. However, many people turn to HGH in the form of a PED, which can have nasty side effects.
Sure, using HGH can definitely pack on a lot of muscle pretty quickly, but it comes at the price of risking your health. Occurrences like enlarged organs and skeletal tissue can occur as a result, causing an array of health issues.
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