Growth hormone and testosterone are the two most important hormones in relation to muscle building. One of the most important distinguishing characters between the two is that growth hormone actually causes the body to build new muscle cells, while testosterone does not.
There is no question that testosterone is the king of muscle building, however it lacks that one important characteristic. That is why boosting both growth hormone and testosterone levels together have such a powerful effect on muscle building.
The most effective way to do this is with anabolic steroids and synthetic growth hormone. There are a few problems with this approach though:
- Both are illegal without a doctors prescription.
- Synthetic growth hormone can increase the size of bones and organs and increase hair growth.
- Testosterone has many possible side effects from gynecomastia to many more serious ones.
Many people will tell you that anabolic steroids and HGH are safe if you use them correctly and this may be true for some people, but everybody reacts differently to drugs and you may not have the same experience as someone else who uses these drugs. The other thing to keep in mind is that the long term data on steroid and HGH usage is limited and nobody knows the possible long term damage they could cause to a healthy person.
I'm not going too deep into all of the pros and cons of steroids here because I'm not promoting their use, simply because there are safer routes, that can get you really impressive results if you're somebody who is dedicated to your diet, training and supplement routine. Besides, unless you're competing in Mr. Olympia, there's no point for most people.
By taking synthetic drugs the body will actually shut down its own production of these chemicals to regain homeostasis. For this reason anabolic steroid users have to finish their cycles with post cycle therapy (PCT) to stimulate the body to produce its own hormones again.
Many of the supplements used in PCT are, themselves, very effective natural testosterone boosters. They work with the body, rather than causing the body to shut down hormone production. In many ways they could be considered the exact opposite of steroids. They are safe and effective and, for the most part, side effect free.
There are supplements that naturally boost growth hormone and ones that naturally boost testosterone. First let's look at the growth hormone boosters:
Growth Hormone Boosting Supplements
GABA – An amino acid that stands for Gamma-Aminobutryic Acid. GABA is a very unique amino acid in that it actually acts as a neurotransmitter, rather than aiding in protein synthesis, like many other amino acids. When people say “amino acid” they are normally referring to alpha amino acids however GABA is not an alpha amino.
Some pre-workout supplements, such as While Flood by Controlled Labs, are beginning to include GABA in the mix. Of course you can also buy GABA in the powdered or pill form which is a good option because you can take larger doses that way. Of all of the natural growth hormone boosters, GABA is probably the most highly regarded.
Other amino acids that have a "growth hormone boosting" effect include Ornithine, Lysine, Glutamine BCAA's, Taurine and Arginine. Taking these amino acids together in sufficient amounts can produce noticeable results.
There are supplements like Fountain of Youth's HGH Complete that include all of these amino acids along with other HGH and testosterone boosting ingredients. Amino acids are the basis for all supplements that aim to naturally increase HGH levels.
Testosterone Boosting Supplements
Supplements that naturally boost testosterone usually include natural herbal extracts. However, one of the most popular natural testosterone boosters available today is not an herb at all, it is a combination of vitamins and minerals. Many of the most potent natural testosterone boosters on the market today include a combination of all of these ingredients. Lets take a look at them:
ZMA - zinc magnesium aspartate is a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 in some cases. This relatively new development in bodybuilding supplements is really nothing new. We have known the benefits of zinc and magnesium for hundreds of years, but it was only recently discovered that the two together, in a high enough, dose could a substantially raise testosterone levels.
Not only is zinc necessary for testosterone production, but it is a powerful antioxidant that speeds up healing time. Magnesium is necessary for muscle function and over 300 reactions in the body. What's more is that many Americans are deficient in their dietary magnesium intake.
Many users of ZMA report deeper and more restful sleep (which in itself is important in testosterone and HGH production). ZMA was first sold as a supplement on its own, but now most supplement companies that make testosterone boosters include it as one of several ingredients, which verifies its effectiveness.
Other popular testosterone boosting ingredients include, but are not limited to, yohimbe bark, fenugreek, tribulus, saw palmetto and D-aspartic acid (D-isomer amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter). All of these ingredients, besides D-aspartic acid, are natural plant extracts. Some may have more of an effect of increasing sex drive for some people.
Overall, most people will see results with at least one, or a combination of, these ingredients. Supplements like TestFreak, from PharmaFreak, boast an impressive list of ingredients that include both testosterone and HGH boosters.
It is actually very common for HGH boosting supplements to include testosterone boosters and vice versa. That is because supplement companies understand the benefit of increasing both of these hormones simultaneously and undoubtedly want to make their supplements as effective as possible, so that people will continue to use them.
Top 3 Ways to Boost Testosterone and Growth Hormone
While supplements can be very useful in increasing HGH and testosterone levels, the most important factors have to do with your diet, exercise and rest. It is rare for HGH and testosterone to increase or decease independently of one another, because many of the same the eating habits, exercises and sleep patterns effect the production of both of these hormones in the same ways.
First, I'm going to list, what I believe are, the top 3 ways to increase these hormones, then I will move on to other helpful pointers:
- Powerlifting - Doing squats and deadlifts with heavy weight at low repetition is probably the single most important tool for increasing HGH and testosterone. You only need to perform these exercises once or twice a week, as the body needs sufficient time to recover from powerlifting.
- Rest - If you're not sleeping enough (7-8 hours) you're robbing your body of the chance to produce these hormones. About 70% of the body's growth hormone is produced during deep sleep.
- Diet – Without the proper fuel your body can't produce enough of these hormones so weightlifting and rest won't be of much help to you without a sufficient calorie and protein intake. A high quality whey protein powder is a must!
As you can see, all three of these factors are interdependent, meaning they must all be "on point" or you really won't see much benefit from any of them. Here are some other great tips:
12 More Tips to Boost Testosterone and Growth Hormone
- A high carbohydrate diet will cause the body to produce more insulin which can counteract GH, so focus on a low sugar, low Glycemic Index carbohydrate, high protein diet, especially before bed.
- Eat a small meal about 1-2 hours before workouts and again immediately after your workouts.
- Supplement amino acids (glutamine, BCAAs, arginine) before, during and after workouts ( I love using a Pre-Workout before and BCAAs before, during and after).
- Do high repetition training with shorts breaks.
- Do maximum intensity training, such as sprints (the very best fat burning exercise there is).
- Avoid alcohol.
- Get your body-fat % down because it causes the body to produce more estrogen (sprints plus a fat burner plus CLA plus low carb diet equals my cutting routine).
- Take short 30 minute naps during the day.
- Have sex.
- Don't over-train (seriously, it's more important than you might think).
- Eat a healthy diet high in vegetables and unsaturated fats and take your multivitamin.
- Don't forget your supplements!
Take it from me (someone who has consistently followed every one of those tips), a combination of the right diet, training and supplements can stimulate your body to produce far more growth hormone and testosterone than it normally would.
For males ages 18-25, your hormone levels are already through the roof, so this is a great time to take advantage of training and nutrition. For men over 30 the supplements I mentioned will produce even more noticeable results than in younger men because both GH and testosterone levels begin to drop with age.
For women trying to build muscle natural growth hormone boosters are a usually a better choice than testosterone boosters (as high testosterone (the male hormone) levels in women can promote more masculine features in some cases). For men and women who are 50+ years of age natural growth hormone booster are a great, safe way to reverse the aging process. They can promote energy, vitality, improved vision, improved muscle tone and many other benefits.
Use the tips and information in this article and most importantly, be consistent with whatever you do! Consistency is the most important action when trying to achieve great results. That 's a little tip straight from 4 time Mr Olympia - Jay Cutler.