What is Intermittent Fasting | Intermittent Fasting benefits | Human Growth Hormone (HGH) | Effects of Intermittent Fasting on HGH | Benefits of Increased HGH | Improving Muscle Mass with Intermittent Fasting & HGH | Incorporating Intermittent Fasting and HGH
Intermittent Fasting Effects on Growth Hormone – lets dive in! As common people, we usually consider breakfast to be our first and most important meal of the day to break the fast. But do you know, to obtain optimal health and a robust metabolism you must continue with your fasting rather than having your morning meal!
Fasting is an age-old tradition that has been practiced for centuries to reap its numerous benefits starting from regulating metabolism to enhancing longevity to obtain better health. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, believed that fasting helps the body repair and restore itself by abstaining from food intake for a longer period of time ranging from 12 hours to several days.
On the other hand, intermittent fasting is a fasting strategy that hovers between short periods of fasting and eating. It has gained popularity over recent years due to its various health benefits, such as increased energy levels, increased insulin sensitivity, weight loss, obtaining lean body mass, and many more.
Yet many of you may not have the idea that intermittent fasting also plays a significant role in regulating human growth hormone (HGH) levels in your body.
So, let’s dive into the details of exploring what are the intermittent fasting effects on growth hormone. Also, we will understand the effects of intermittent fasting on HGH.
What is Intermittent Fasting and How Does it Work?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that entails abstinence from food for a set period of time called the fasting window to a period of time wherein you can eat freely known as the eating window.
During the fasting period you are not allowed to have any caloric intake, be it any kind of food or beverage. However, you can always have plenty of plain water and other calorie-free beverages like unsweetened black coffee or green tea.
Usually, the body uses glucose as its primary source of energy to perform its functions. When the body enters into a fasted state during intermittent fasting, the body’s glycogen reserve starts to deplete fast. Then your body switches from glucose to the body fat stores to utilize it as energy. This process is called ketosis which leads to fat burning and eventually to fat loss.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has several health benefits, which primarily include:
- Weight loss
- Improved metabolism
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Reduced inflammation
- Induces autophagy
- Decreases insulin levels and insulin resistance, resulting in reducing the risk of diabetes
- Improved heart health by lowering blood pressure levels, blood glucose levels, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, which are the precursors of heart disease
- Reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases like cancer
- Improved cognitive function
- Increased longevity
However, intermittent fasting may not suit everyone. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is recommended to consult a registered healthcare professional before getting into it.
Understanding Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Human growth hormone is an amino acid produced by our pituitary gland. It has a crucial role in ameliorating metabolism, growth, and cellular repair.
Once the growth hormone is released from the pituitary gland, it stays in the bloodstream for a couple of minutes and then directly travels to the liver. The liver then metabolizes it and converts it into various other growth factors, of which the most important growth factor is insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1).
Growth hormone usually gets secreted from your body when you are asleep. This hormone is also called counter-regulatory hormone because growth hormone along with cortisol and adrenaline upsurges your blood glucose level by minimizing glycogen synthesis and neutralizing the effects of insulin.
However, these hormones are released just before you wake up in the morning (approximately at 4 a.m.). It is intended to prepare your body for the entire day ahead by supplying some glucose from the glycogen store to the bloodstream, where it can be utilized as energy. This is why you feel least hungry in the morning even if you have not consumed food for a long duration of time (say for 12 hours or so).
Although HGH production naturally declines with age, it can also be improved by incorporating lifestyle changes including diet and exercise. A growth hormone deficiency can give rise to many health issues like increased fat mass, loss of muscle tissues, and reduced bone density.
Synthetic HGH injections may be prescribed to treat the HGH deficiency in the body, but they can have potential side effects and also are quite expensive. On the other hand changing lifestyles such as regular exercise, having a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can naturally increase the HGH levels in your body.
It is also evident that strength training has been proven to effectively promote HGH levels along with muscle growth.
Intermittent Fasting Effects On Growth Hormone Levels in the Body
Research indicates that intermittent fasting helps increase human growth hormone levels in the body remarkably. After hours of fasting when you enter into a fasted state, human growth hormone is released by your body in response to lessen the blood sugar levels and increase the energy requirements.
In a recent study of 47 individuals, it was found that HGH levels have increased five times with a 24-hour fast. Other studies have also established that HGH levels increase significantly after 2 to 5 days of fasting. Hence, it is indicative that intermittent fasting can efficiently improve the growth hormone production in the body.
To know more about the effects of intermittent fasting on HGH, read “HGH & Intermittent Fasting: Can Fasting Increase HGH?”
This increased HGH helps in retaining lean body mass in terms of both muscle and bone. One major concern while intermittent fasting is that it may cause loss of lean body mass. However, research does not agree with it. In comparison to daily calorie restriction, short-term fasting is more effective for preserving lean muscle mass.
However, there are some exceptions to the above condition as well. The effects of intermittent fasting on HGH levels can differ based on various factors like age, sex, and overall health. For example, aged people may not have the same level of HGH as compared to young people. Further, this can differ in cases of men and women.
They may not have the same responses to HGH. Additionally, if you have any existing health conditions or are under any medication, you may not be able to fast for a prolonged period of time and that may not have the same effect on HGH either.
As growth hormone declines with age, older adults tend to have growth hormone deficiency (GHD). This condition is usually characterized by encountering hormonal imbalances along with imbalances in bone density, lipid metabolism, and body composition. People with HGH deficiency may also experience heart-related conditions and accumulation of abdominal fat mass. However, as per research, intermittent fasting GH administration can help reduce overall fat mass in people with GHD. It was also concluded that the same can be achieved by combining diet and exercise.
Benefits of Increased HGH Levels in the Body
The presence of higher HGH in the body may possess various health benefits. Some of the major health benefits include:
- A well-built physique
- Higher lean muscle mass
- Reduced body fat
- Improved bone density
- Cellular repair and regeneration
- Higher energy levels
- Better sleep quality
- Improved cognitive function
Besides the above benefits, an increased HGH helps improve skin health. An increased HGH encourages collagen production leading to smoother, firmer, and radiant skin.
Another study suggested that higher HGH levels help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Improving Muscle Mass with Intermittent Fasting and HGH
Besides the potential for weight loss, HGH also helps increase lean muscle mass and strength. It helps to produce new muscle tissue and repair the prevailing muscles. On the other hand, intermittent fasting along with resistance training can help increase muscle mass and build endurance and stamina.
Since intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, it can support the recovery of muscle from damage and ameliorate further growth.
Although intermittent fasting and HGH are beneficial for the growth of muscle mass, they cannot be a substitute for proper nutrition and exercise. In order to build and maintain muscle growth, supplementing with a balanced diet and resistance training are necessary.
Usually, men have greater testosterone level, more muscle, and less body fat than women which make their metabolism stronger. For this reason, men tend to have higher resting as well as basal metabolic rates, which makes them burn way more calories than women.
On the contrary, a woman’s body tends to store more energy within it for carrying out certain purposes such as bearing a child and breastfeeding. It means women are predisposed to store more fat because their body does not efficiently convert their caloric intake into lean body mass or energy.
An elevated HGH level puts both men’s and women‘s metabolism into fat-burning mode while retaining their lean body mass. When the body gets deprived of calories during intermittent fasting, the secretion of HGH allows the liver to produce and utilize more glucose. This process promotes fat oxidation while keeping the muscle mass intact.
Incorporating Intermittent Fasting and HGH into Your Lifestyle
When you consider combining intermittent fasting and HGH into your lifestyle, the following factors should be taken into consideration.
- Begin with a slow pace and gradually increase the duration of your fasting
- Eat a balanced and nutrient-dense meal during your eating period
- Stay adequately hydrated
- Speak to a registered medical professional as to whether HGH supplementation will be right for you
- Include regular exercise into your regimen
Final Thoughts – Intermittent Fasting Effects on Growth Hormone
So, what are the intermittent fasting effects on growth hormone?
Exercise alone has the potential to increase HGH production in the body. But when it combines with intermittent fasting it can even cause greater improvements in HGH levels. Combining high-intensity interval training with intermittent fasting can effectively maximize your growth hormone levels. However, you must listen to your body first and not over-exert yourself, especially during fasting windows.
As there is no one-size-fits-all solution, before making any significant changes with regard to incorporating intermittent fasting and HGH into your lifestyle, it is essential to consider factors such as age, gender, medical history, and lifestyle habits.
If you are in a dilemma, it is recommended to speak to a registered medical practitioner before bringing any change into your lifestyle regimen.