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Growth Hormone



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Growth Hormone [GH] Secretion

  • Growth Hormone [GH] secretion occurs in peaks during the day and night
  • The largest and most predictable GH peak occurs about an hour after onset of sleep13
  • Having a large meal with high glycemic index [high-GI] or high glycemic load [high-GL] or both, will lead to hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinaemia that may be prolonged for many hours after the meal. If this is consumed prior to going to bed, the important growth hormone [GH] peak in the first hour of sleep will be blunted.
  • Having low glycemic index carbohydrates in small quantities [thus keeping glycemic load [GL] low] and in particular if low-GI vegetables are consumed with protein, this will be a hypoinsulinogenic [low insulin producing] meal that will be supportive of the growth hormone spike.
  • This type of meal could be consumed 2 hours before bed and will ensure amino-acid rich blood levels which will support and not inhibit growth hormone release.

Amino Acids that act as GH Secretagogues

Amino Acid Comment
  • The most abundant amino acid in human muscle and plasma
  • In one study 8 out of 9 subjects given 2 grams of glutamine after a light breakfast, were shown to have elevated GH levels about 90 minutes later15.
  • Glutamine is converted into citruline in the small intestine. Citruline in turn triggers synthesis of arginine, an amino acid found to be a GH secretagogue [stimulates secretion] in some studies.
  • Glutamine is converted into glutamate, and glutamate can directly enhance growth hormone secretion.
  • In one study where 19 normal, non-obese subjects were tested, 6.75 grams of glycine were given to these subjects and this small dose increased growth hormone levels up to 300 to 400 percent that of baseline GH levels18. The authors stated:
    "In the normal subjects, a clear and significant increase of serum human growth hormone (hGH) level was observed (p less than 0.001)"
Arginine & Lysine
  • "It was concluded that ingestion of 1,500 mg arginine and 1,500 mg lysine immediately before resistance exercise does not alter exercise-induced changes in [GH] in young men. However, when the same amino acid mixture is ingested under basal conditions, the acute secretion of GH is increased.19"
  • So these amino acids resulted in GH release during times of rest.

Hormone & Hormone Metabolite References

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Hormone & Hormone Metabolite References