It really blows my mind how most people in the industry only focus on diet and exercise without considering hormones and how they can make it easier or harder to achieve any fitness goal. As I´ve said before fat loss and muscle gains are not only about calories, knowing how everything you do every single day impacts your body and hormones is highly important.
We´ve talked about insulin and cortisol today we´re going to talk about growth hormone which is an anabolic hormone, it´s a protein and it´s goal is to maintain and build tissues of our body.
Growth hormone has different functions, some of them are help burn body fat, maintain and build muscle, it helps the body with everything related to protein not only muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage they all get benefits from this hormone and it´s also anti-aging. So it help us stay lean by maintaining muscle mass while keeping low body fat and also to build muscle mass. In order for this hormone to be able to do all this functions it needs to be high so that it can prevent the loss of protein.
In short growth hormone stimulates protein synthesis, increases fat breakdown and antagonizes insulin so if growth hormone is high your body protects protein so it is able to maintain and build muscle while breaking down fat.
There are some things that can lower or block growth hormone which are lack of sleep and stress, stress increases cortisol and when cortisol is high growth hormone is low so your body is not able to protect tissue and that´s when you can start losing muscle. Insulin can also blocks this hormone, in the presence of high levels of insulin and cortisol growth hormone will be low.
Growth hormone is higher at night but there are some ways you can increase it, some like to take it as a supplement to enhance growth hormone or improve sleep but I prefer to improve our lifestyle, enough good quality sleep and intense exercise, during an intense workout you are breaking down muscle which sends the signal to your body that it needs those muscles, and this is how you trigger growth hormone but then your body needs to recover because is during that time where your body can recover and grow.
Intermittent fasting also helps improve growth hormone contrary to what many people say, you won´t lose muscle while fasting, whit intermittent fasting you are able to keep insulin low and growth hormone high which is what we´re looking for to stay lean.
Some experts recommend not eating right before going to bed, if you´re going to have dinner or any meal do it 2 or 3 hours before you to bed, the reason for this is that our body releases greater amounts of this hormone at night but if you have a big meal high in carbohydrates or protein it will spike insulin and that can block the release of growth hormone.
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