Is There a Human Growth Hormone Diet?
Just what we need – another diet. But, the human growth hormone diet isn’t about losing weight or restricting calories. It’s about eating foods that optimize your production of growth hormone. Optimal growth hormone levels are necessary to enjoy a life full of verve, vigor, and vitality. Responsible for skeletal and organ growth during childhood and adolescence, growth hormone has many other key functions essential to health in adults. And, its levels can be influenced by what we eat.
Growth hormone promotes tissue healing, increased muscle mass and strength, higher energy levels, decreased body fat, and sexual function. It improves immune function, increases bone strength and density, and increased physical and psychological well-being.
By eating well you can increase your body’s secretion of growth hormone and live to enjoy all its benefits.
The Ins and Outs of Growth Hormone
Growth hormone is produced and secreted by the pituitary gland. The pituitary is a small gland in the brain that also produces several other important hormones. A relationship between low growth hormone levels and head trauma is beginning to emerge. Some symptoms attributed to head trauma may be related to low growth hormone levels. Even a single concussion can disrupt growth hormone production long term.
Growth hormone is produced and released in response to many stimuli. These stimuli include certain amino acids, hormones like growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), ghrelin, testosterone, and estrogen. Other important stimuli include deep sleep, fasting, and vigorous exercise. Growth hormone release is inhibited by high blood sugar, and medications like glucocorticoids (Prednisone).
Eating to Stimulate Growth Hormone
Amino acids that have been shown to increase the production and release of growth hormone include arginine, ornithine, lysine, glycine, and glutamine. Amino acids come from protein. So, adequate protein consumption optimizes growth hormone levels.
Approximately 25 grams of protein should be consumed with each meal and 10 to 20 grams with each snack. It’s difficult for the body to absorb more than 35 grams of protein in one sitting.
Watch Out for High Sugar and Insulin Levels
Most of our growth hormone is released at night especially during deep sleep. Insulin competes with growth hormone for receptors on our cells. If insulin levels are high at night, growth hormone is blocked from doing its job. Excessive insulin is released in response to blood sugar levels that rise quickly. You can prevent insulin from spiking and competing with growth hormone by avoiding alcohol, sugars, processed foods, and junk foods in the evening.
Foods that cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin levels are called high glycemic foods. Avoid them. Most protein/nutrition bars are made with sugar and are high glycemic, so be careful if you consume these bars as a snack. PureFitTM Nutrition Bars (www.purefit.com) are low glycemic, and are a good choice for those looking to get additional protein from a nutrition bar.
Don’t forget the importance of getting good restful sleep, as it is just as important as nutrition when it comes to optimizing growth hormone levels. Kids sometimes seem to grow over night. That makes sense when you understand that it is during sleep that most of our hormone is released. See “Sleep and Increased Longevity“.