Does Human Growth Hormone Improve Performance?
Over the last few years there has been ongoing conversations and controversy regarding the use of Human Growth Hormone, or HGH, by professional athletes. In the body, HGH is produced by the pituitary gland, and is responsible for bone and muscle growth. Simply put, you could not grow, or build muscle at all, without HGH.
Supplemental HGH is used medically to treat some specific growth hormone deficiencies. It has also been used successfully by age-management professionals to reduce fat, build lean muscle and otherwise “turn back the clock.” Many Hollywood celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone and Jane Seymour, swear by the use of HGH.
I have no doubt that HGH can help you to achieve your peak performance at any age. That is where the controversy in the sports world comes in. Olympic and pro-sport authorities alike are not sure whether or not HGH should be classified as a “performance enhancing substance,” and therefore should be tested for, and banned as other such substances have been, such as anabolic steroids.
Bodybuilders, football players, and athletes involved in combative martial arts, boxing and other combat sports all admit to using HGH.
HGH Bans in Sports
There is no doubt that supplemental HGH can reduce fat and help you build more lean muscle, so it can make you look better, but what about perform better? That is what the sports world is trying to determine. A 2010 study that set out to answer that question found that while HGH in a pro had little impact on increases in strength or endurance, it added greatly to “explosiveness,” or that ability to turn up the juice when needed, like the last meter of a sprint, or football player charging for the goal line.
What this means is that human growth hormone probably cannot make an average runner into the fastest man alive, but it could help a well-conditioned sprinter shave a half a second or more off of his or her personal best, which could mean the difference between winning and losing.
For that reason HGH is banned in Olympic competitions, and in September of 2014 the NFL players association voted to include HGH testing for the first time under the league’s drug policy. That the NFLPA and Olympic Committee have agreed that screening for HGH is necessary to keep their respective games “safe and fair,” speaks volumes to the ability of HGH to enhance performance.
HGH and Aging
Using HGH or any performance enhancing substance to gain an advantage in the professional sports arena, should never be condoned. However, using HGH off the playing field, under the proper supervision of your medical professional is a great way to be your personal best at any age.
Think about this. Are you in your 40s, or 50s? Are you as strong, or fast, or mentally capable as you were in your 20s, or 30s? Most likely you are not, and decreases in the production of HGH are largely responsible. A 20-year-old man makes about 800 micrograms of HGH every day, while an 80-year-old man produces about 60 micrograms each day.
As you might imagine, HGH levels are high throughout your childhood, and through the teen years, where growth is essential. After that, over time, it declines at a rate of about 3%-5% a year. As your level or HGH wanes, weight gain, loss of muscle mass and bone density, disturbed sleep, and many of the other symptoms we think of as “aging” occur.
In the early 90’s, one of the first studies to look at the effects of HGH on age-management was published. The research which was carried out on elderly men concluded, “We reversed 10 to 20 years of the aging process. We saw fat diminished, muscle tissue increased, and better bone density.”
Interestingly enough, the men in this study, and men and women in later trials, also reported a general feeling of “wellness” and “feeling better,” in addition to the other tangible benefits of using human growth hormone.
HGH replacement as used in my practice:
- Rejuvenates every cell in the body
- Aids fat loss and muscle gain
- Helps the body heal faster
- Boosts energy to youthful levels
- Improves quantity and quality of life
Do you think HGH should be banned from sports?
Have you tried HGH or other hormone replacement treatments, what were the results?
Start the conversation below.