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Updated October 31, 2020
HGH Supplements | Do They Work? Are They Legal? What Are the Side Effects?
Supplements have been long known to help achieve a chiseled physique and increased muscle size. From natural dietary supplements such as proteins and amino acids to pharmaceutically engineered steroids and boosters, the list of supplements is quite exhaustive. Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is one such supplement that has caught the fancy of bodybuilding athletes since the 90s, despite the fact that it is not cleared by FDA for weight loss.
Let’s take a quick look at how HGH can help with shedding fat and beefing up muscle.
An Introduction to Human Growth Hormone – What is HGH?
HGH is a naturally occurring hormone, produced in the pituitary gland. True to its name, HGH is not only vital for normal growth and development of kids, but also for optimizing physiological functions in the body. However, the levels of HGH in the body tend to reduce with age, reportedly a 25% decline every decade over the past 30 years. An HGH deficiency in children affected their normal growth, while in adults it can occasionally lead to decreased muscle mass and lack of energy. Supplementing HGH was observed to offset these symptoms, improving lean muscle, lipid profile, bone density and mental health, apart from cutting down fat; and has since been an integral part of a body builder’s inventory of supplements.
What are the Benefits?
- The benefits of HGH are as follows:
- Uses energy from food to promote protein synthesis, builds new lean muscle and repairs damages
- Strengthens bones
- Speeds up recovery
- Enhances the protein synthesizing capabilities of testosterone
- Can improve energy levels and sleep patterns
- Does not surface in drug tests
How Do You Take HGH?
HGH is available in the form of injections, powders, as well as pills of varying dosages. It has been known to work effectively when the insulin level in the body is low – ideally when the body is at rest. The hormone has a half life of about 15 – 20 minutes when injected, with concentrations in the blood stream spiking in about one to three hours. However, it is known to be more effective when taken as an injection, as it cannot get past the digestive process to reach the blood stream when ingested.
What are the Side Effects?
Side effects are reportedly negligible when dosage is optimized; however, HGH can cause:
- Elevate blood sugar levels
- Increase fluid retention
- Noticeable development in jaw and nose areas with extended use
- An overdose of HGH is more likely to result in one or more of the following anomalies:
- Acromegaly, an excessive muscle growth across the body, which is in effect not very functional without training
- Joint and muscle pain
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Increased risk of cancers
HGH supplement injections are at present illegal. There are, however, alternatives to boost production of HGH naturally. Many body builders have managed to use HGH supplements effectively to leverage their benefits in a safe manner.