Growth hormone somatotropin – main functions and role in bodybuilding

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Hello! Today I decided to publish a biochemical note. Let’s talk about one of the most important hormones in bodybuilding – human growth hormone or growth hormone ( somatotropin ). What functions does growth hormone perform and how important is it for those who practice bodybuilding? In short, it is responsible for muscle growth, muscle retention, fat burning and increased immunity. But I’m sure you want to know a lot more …

Therefore, in this article we will consider all the nuances that are required for familiarization to all bodybuilders who are more or less serious about bodybuilding as such. Such articles are boring, because you have to explain complex things, use complex terms. Although personally I am sometimes very interested to delve into something like that, there are all kinds of hormones, molecules and other chemistry. But since you are here , then you are also interested in similar topics. And this is already good! Let’s start …

General concepts, development and main functions

Growth hormone consists of 191 amino acids and therefore is a peptide hormone. It is produced by the anterior pituitary gland and the endocrine system (in small volumes). The secretion of growth hormone increases at night, so sleep and rest is so important for people who are seriously involved in sports. The intensity of production depends on age, the highest level is in children and adolescents, the lowest in people of advanced age. The most favorable period for hormone production is up to 20 years. From 20 to 30 years, its production decreases by 15%.

It performs the following functions:

  • Normalizes metabolic processes in the body, using proteins as a building material for muscles, and leaving fats in reserve in minimal quantities.
  • Enhances the breakdown of fats.
  • Slows down catabolism (muscle breakdown).
  • Strengthens bones, ligaments and joints.
  • Improves skin condition.
  • Boosts immunity.
  • Accelerates the wound healing process.
  • Increases sex drive.
  • Increases body length if bone growth zones are open (up to about 25 years)

Now let’s take a closer look at where this hormone is produced and how it happens.

The main character in this whole story is the pituitary gland. This is such a small part of our brain, which is located at its base. Weighs only 0.5 grams. It produces up to 25 hormones, 6 of which were obtained in pure form and well studied. The most important are thyrotropin and, in fact , our somatotropin .

The mechanism of action is that the pituitary gland receives a signal from the hypothalamus, a small area in the diencephalon, to produce growth hormone . Once in the blood, it affects the liver with the subsequent release of insulin-like active substances, growth factors that affect the development of all cells and tissues of our body (i.e. bones, muscles, adipose tissue, etc.)

One such growth factor that directly affects the growth of our muscles is the famous insulin-like growth factor IGF-1. The anabolic and fat-burning properties of this hormone have led to the widespread use of drugs based on it. But leave taking supplements as a last resort, first, let’s figure out how to increase the production of growth hormone in a natural way. To do this, you need to understand the patterns of its secretion. More details here

Methods for stimulating growth hormone

  • The hormone reaches its greatest peak during sleep at night from 12 to 3, so it is recommended to sleep at this time.
  • During daytime and nighttime sleep, secretion increases, most pronounced in the first two hours.
  • When a person falls asleep, a surge is also noted, the more often you sleep per day, the higher your hormonal background.
  • Growth hormone in the body is stimulated by protein diets. The more protein in your diet, the higher the growth hormone, and the rate of protein absorption also affects.
  • Fast Proteins – Boiled egg yolks, protein shakes, lean fish, low fat cottage cheese and milk all contribute to its production.
  • And fast carbohydrates – white bread, sweets, pastries and baked goods, on the contrary, depress, just like saturated fatty acids.
  • Eat low-glycemic complex carbs before workout – oatmeal, durum pasta, legumes, bran bread, natural fruit juice without sweeteners.
  • Any physical activity provokes the release of somatotropin , but the most pronounced effect is aerobic exercise – running, walking, cycling.
  • For bodybuilders trying to build muscle mass, it is necessary to alternate strength and aerobic exercise to achieve the desired result.
  • The training should last 45-60 minutes at an intensive pace, 3-4 times a week.
  • Avoid snacking before bed, especially simple carbohydrates. This provokes an increase in blood glucose levels and the release of insulin, which is the main enemy of growth hormone and suppresses it.
  • Use the amino acids Arginine and Ornithine, which can be purchased at special sports nutrition stores. In their natural form, they are found in meat, milk and pumpkin seeds.
  • Arrange stressful situations for your body, leave your comfort zone. For example, take a steam bath and then take an ice cold shower. Or starve for a day.
  • Use glutamine supplements. But it’s better to take glutamine alone. When I last used glutamine , I remembered that it melts in my mouth))). Plain white powder.
  • Change the type of exercise at regular intervals during your workouts, because the body becomes accustomed to training programs and is less responsive to them.

The above methods, how to increase somatotropin , help to increase production by 3-5 times without the help of hormonal agents. Try to follow all the recommendations for maximum results.