If you’ve landed here on this article, you most likely have interest in looking good, being healthy and having longevity in life. One of the most highly debated and yet largely misunderstood topic of discussion included under the anti-aging umbrella, is growth hormone (GH).
Most are familiar with the numerous amounts of benefits GH has potential to provide, such as stronger connective tissue - this would include things such as stronger bones, hair growth, better skin and muscle. Many also know of the reported benefits of GH to lend towards helping regulate body composition (fat vs muscle ratio) with its ability to help the body with fat metabolism.
If we think of it, most of us are (or were) the healthiest and most vibrant versions of ourselves when we are young and, in our teens, and twenties. Most of this is due to having healthier and higher levels of GH/IGF-1, testosterone, thyroid hormone and more. We have strong bones, we heal & recover fast, our skin is tight and elastic, our muscles are strong, and we physically feel good and energetic when we are in those young stages of life.
As we age, growth hormone levels naturally decline contributing to our bodies aging. Sometimes faster or more drastic than expected. This is where many entertain and/or engage in utilizing growth hormone to restore their levels back to more youthful and healthy levels. This, is where many questions arise.
Some of the most common questions asked about GH include the following:
- How does it work?
- How long do you have to take before seeing any results?
- Is GH effective alone?
- Does it work in the same way as testosterone does?
The goal of this article is to help the unfamiliar reader understand how growth hormone works in the easiest to understand way possible, using analogies and speaking in plain English without too much and confusing scientific language.
We should preface by first understanding that growth hormone is often used interchangeably with or in place of IGF-1 during conversations on the topic. IGF stands for Insulin Growth like Factor.
When one’s pituitary gland up in the brain releases endogenous (naturally produced) growth hormone or when one is supplementing with GH via injection, it then triggers the liver to produce IGF-1. This essentially gives us many of the benefits we are looking for. GH is however, involved directly with some of the desired benefits on its own too.
Once the liver releases IGF-1, this then goes out looking for IGF-1 receptor sites in the body. The largest and most dense populations of these are typically found in areas that have damaged tissue. Of all the different tissue we have, if we pick an area of muscle that is damaged and broken down from resistance training in the gym, odds are that receptors have then been established there, triggered from this damage and will pick up this traveling IGF-1 and then get activated to produce new tissue after. Soon, little newborn baby muscles are being born 😊
*** This is important to note: Many people in their weak dreams of acquiring a better body and regaining back some of their youthful appearance through using GH, do not or refuse to exercise. This often goes hand in hand with poor dietary habits. Nothing can overcome excuses coupled with these poor foundation choices that set the stage for us.
Everyone converts IGF-1 in the liver at different rates. Person A may convert at a much higher rate than person B due to various factors. The amount of good utilization of circulating IGF-1 will vary as well, again due to many factors with each person (lifestyle, exercise, health, etc.)
Similar, when those who choose to optimize their GH by electing to utilize Sermorelin to stimulate the body’s endogenous (naturally produced) production of growth hormone, the rates at which the body responds to this extra pulse or “encouragement” at the pituitary gland to release more, can vary with each individual as well. Again, this is due to many various factors; age, lifestyle, pituitary and liver, etc.
Unlike testosterone which has anabolic properties to help strengthen, enlarge and enhance muscle that is currently on your body – which is known as hypertrophy, growth hormone helps to “give birth” to brand new muscle tissue - which is known as hyperplasia.
Due to various reasons that would need to be covered completely in another conversation, supplementing with and optimizing one’s testosterone levels, often provides faster and some quickly noticeable results to the user with regards to strength, recovery from muscle damage and of course much more with regards to other benefits outside of muscle too (libido, cognitive enhancement, energy, etc.).
With growth hormone however, noticeable results can sometimes take up to 6 months to really start reaping the rewards or "growth" the user is looking for.
Just like when a new baby kitten is born; it is very small, fragile, weak and incapable of any significant physical abilities. It was just born and like most living things, it needs time to mature. But, just over a short 3-6 months that kitten grows quite significantly. It gets stronger. It starts to jump higher, climb trees - or on top of counters, beds and more in the house!
Given this kitten is fed well and stays physically active (which most do!!), this kitten quickly turns into an adult cat in 12 months and is significantly bigger and stronger than it was just a short year ago!
I give this story because our “fur baby” named Slash (I’m a Guns n’ Roses fan) is no longer a kitten as she is approaching her first birthday next month; she is now a beast and is 3x the size versus when we first got her a short 6 months ago. She is the boss of our furry household animals and tramples our dog Viscous on the daily now.
She was very small and fragile a short 6-9 months ago. But now she’s strong, muscular and energetically happy as she continues to grow into an adult cat saying "check Meow out now"!
When considering GH supplementation along with your doctor and if it is suitable for you, it is important to understand and apply this analogy with regards to what you can expect to happen and, when.
In our 14+ years of experience here at YOUTH-Rx, we have heard many stories of guys taking GH for only 3 months and stopping because of their perception of not seeing the level of results they may have expected (mostly unrealistic ones). Often, they may start seeing “a little more results” 3-6 months after with regards to looking better, responding to their efforts of building muscle in the gym, etc.
Given this example, the results are often from those newborn muscles that came about months prior from the extra GH but simply had no size, no maturity and weren’t doing anything yet due to being in their infant stage.
Assuming healthy diet, training and having other hormones being optimized, those new baby muscles grew into adults and now they are noticeable in addition to having a positive impact on metabolic rate, lending a hand to better glucose regulation, fat loss and more.
Like a repeated starting and stopping of a workout program to get into shape and lose weight, starting and stopping most wellness programs pre-maturely won’t yield anyone their best results.
Will results, and benefits come from a short 3-6-month bout of GH? Absolutely, yes. Will they be “seen” in that time frame? Maybe, maybe not.
Will it net the same results versus the next guy who optimizes his levels for 6-12+ months and has consistent habits in the gym and kitchen? Not even close, no. THIS person is the one who is going to reap the MOST rewarding rewards due to consistency, understanding the process of how GH works and having patience.
Spring time is around the corner. Planting some flowers or plants in your front yard will most likely take a few months before they bloom and look awesome once summer is in full effect. However, if after 2 months you cover them up and block their needed sun and starve them of any water and nutrients, they most likely will stop growing and you will no longer get to look forward to any beautiful bloom they had full potential of bringing.
Consistency + patience + effort = exciting results!
Like a car that has 4 balding tires that need replaced; replacing all four is going to have you driving better (and safer) towards your destination versus just replacing 2 of them. Similar, if we are using the hypothetical example of a man with low testosterone AND low IGF-1 levels but only opts to optimize his growth hormone levels and nothing else that needs attention, results will not be all they could be.
Understanding how GH works now, all this new tissue that has been produced due to our renewed GH levels that we have had elevated back to youthful levels for the last few of months, having an optimized level of testosterone in addition can help them to mature a hell of a lot faster versus otherwise ignoring low T (if applicable of course) and leaving it in the toilet.
Now again, this is speaking with the assumption weight/resistance training is being incorporated on a regular basis. The stimulation and breakdown of muscle needs to occur to utilize GH and testosterone as the “tools” they are in this scenario. It should go without saying that, a little bit of effort needs to be put forth and we can’t expect something for nothing (or no personal effort).
With some effort along with incorporating the right tools and support system, you have the power to transform into the best version of yourself you deserve to be!
Is Growth Hormone Right for You?
If you suspect that adding exogenous growth hormone into your regimen may be beneficial for you and you’re exploring a new program with us here at YOUTH-Rx, take a few minutes to fill out our health history questionnaire and schedule some time with one of our expert consultants to answer additional questions you may have regarding our programs and processes.
You can also look a bit deeper to discover more insight to help decide if GH supplementation makes sense for you, HERE:
New inquiring & future clients, please 1st submit the on-line form by clicking >> HERE.
If you’re an existing client and feel that having less than optimal levels of GH may be one of the key missing links to helping compliment your existing program to look and feel your absolute best, simply let us know of your interest and we can see if you qualify (via blood work, etc.).
After, you may then get a quote based off any suspected needs if applicable after. It may just be one of the missing links to help you look and feel your best!
Best in health,
Roger & the YOUTH-Rx team