Effect of growth hormone on the body

Growth hormone is a substance secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. Alternative names are somatotropin, STH. This secret, supplied by the “master gland”, owes its name to its ability to accelerate the growth of long, tubular bones. In the field of sport, and bodybuilding in particular, the hormone is used to increase muscle mass and reduce fat. Male bodybuilders generally take it in combination with an anabolic treatment. Growth hormone levels vary according to the period of life and the time of day. Concentration is high in early childhood, peaks in adolescence (with maximum impact at puberty) and then gradually declines. Older people have the lowest levels of the hormone responsible for growth. In women, the level is higher – up to 17 µg/l, in men – 1-5 µg/l. Somatotropic hormone is secreted irregularly, depending on the time of day. Secretion is cyclical, with an increase in concentration every 3 to 5 hours. Peaks are observed at night. Consequently, the statement that the child grows mainly during sleep is partially true.

Effect of growth hormone

For male bodybuilders, the anabolic effect of somatotropin is of vital importance. The hormone provokes active muscle growth, making it possible to achieve the desired shape and volume. At the same time, it accelerates wound healing, reducing injuries during sports training and helping to reduce fat deposits. Somatotropin’s anti-catabolic effect, which prevents muscle breakdown, is a major asset for bodybuilders. And these are not the only useful properties of the hormone: 

  • has a rejuvenating effect ; 
  • regulates energy distribution processes 
  • stimulates the growth of internal organs and compensates for their age-related atrophy; 
  • increases blood sugar levels, boosts immunity ; 
  • promotes the growth and strengthening of bone tissue (when taken before the age of 26).

It should be noted that the first preparations of somatotropin were made from extracts of the pituitary gland of cadavers, and it is only since 1981 that they have been produced synthetically. In professional sport, the use of the hormone somatotropin is prohibited, but in bodybuilding it is actively used by men to build muscle mass. It should be borne in mind that STH does not help to increase strength performance, so there is no point in using it in powerlifting to boost performance. Nor does it have any effect on endurance.

How can growth hormone production be stimulated? The concentration of somatotropin in the body is not simply increased by the introduction of a synthetic drug. The natural synthesis of growth hormone can be achieved in several ways:

  • Special diet. Include more products rich in protein and complex carbohydrates in the diet. Reduce consumption of sweets, white rice, bakery products and potatoes. Avoid late-night snacks (to stimulate nocturnal hormonal growth).
  • Review your sleep regime. It is recommended that you rest completely and go to sleep no later than midnight. 
  • Exercise and physical activity. Even minimal physical activity contributes to hormonal growth, not to mention intensive weight training. 

Overweight people should reduce their weight, as their STH concentration is lower.

Dosages and recommendations for taking STH in bodybuilding

 The average duration of growth hormone treatment for men is 3 to 4 months, and the optimum duration is 6 months. The daily dose varies from 5 to 25 units per day to 10 units per day, with the most experienced taking more. A pronounced effect is observed when taking 10 units a day, but to move the growth of the drug gradually – after 2-3 weeks with normal health and without adverse effects. Before using the hormone, it is advisable to undergo general analysis and marker tests, detailed on this link. Follow-up by a doctor is also advisable. When used alone or in combination with anabolic substances, the maximum duration is 6 months, after which the body develops tolerance and needs a few months’ rest. Examples of diets for men specialising in bodybuilding: dry cure. Start with 5 units a day, in a single injection. After 2 to 3 weeks, use 10 units and divide the dose into 2 injections. Duration: 2 to 6 months. Cure effective for 6 months. In the event of excess sugar above 5.3 mmol – add insulin injections in multiples of the sugar gain, and in the event of thyroid suppression – use thyroxine (from 25 mcg/day) to protect the thyroid. Dehydration cure with anabolic agents. Take somatotropin + 30-40 mg stanozolol per day and 100 mg testosterone propionate every other day. Duration: 8 weeks. Mass growth cure with anabolic agents. Similar intake of somatotropic hormone + testosterone enanthate (500 mg per week) + nadrolone decanoate (300-400 mg per week). Duration of ASA cycle: 12-16 weeks, after which growth hormone can be continued for up to six months. For men aiming for bodybuilding records, it is possible to set up an individual long-term treatment based on anabolic agents, insulin and thyroid hormones. This treatment is suitable for both mass growth and dehydration. The dosage of STH in such diets can be as much as 25 units per day. But this type of recipe requires the supervision of a specialist, and it is not advisable to experiment with it on your own.

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