By Brad Pilon, MS
While many people think that growth hormone is simply a hormone that makes you grow taller when you are a child, this hormone is much more complicated than simply being in charge of growth.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that growth hormone should be renamed “fasting hormone”, since growth hormone plays a vital role in ‘overseeing’ or ‘regulating’ your metabolism while you are fasting.
Growth hormone acts directly on your fat cells telling them to release stored fat for energy when you are fasting. It does this by interacting with an enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase, or HSL.
Many people seem to think that we burn fat when we are fasting because of the very low levels of insulin, but scientific research has show us that even when insulin is at VERY low levels, we see very little fat being released from our fat stores if our growth hormone levels have been kept artificially low.
In other words, even when insulin is low, if there is no growth hormone, there is very little fat being released from our fat stores.
Not a good thing if we are trying to get rid of stubborn body fat.
Growth hormone is also known for its beneficial effects on muscle mass. Growth hormone’s effects on reducing body fat and building muscle mass led it to be banned by both the IOC and NCAA.
Your body releases GH every 3 to 4 hours, with your biggest release coming about an hour after you fall into a deep sleep.
There is an important and often underestimated relationship between exercise and GH release. Research has clearly illustrated that as little as ten minutes of intense exercise can have profound effects on increasing Growth Hormone levels!
The bottom line is that having healthy growth hormone levels is a very important component of your overall health. It is what directs your fat toward fat burning, and what preserves your muscle mass (even though you aren't eating any food). It may even be responsible for keeping your metabolism from decreasing while you are fasting.
So my advice is simple. Firstly, you should try following the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle by using flexible intermittent fasting (since short periods of fasting can increase your growth hormone levels). Secondly, if you want even more GH release you should perform ten minutes of intense exercise every single day. Lastly, make sure you get a good night’s sleep every night, as your largest release of growth hormone occurs while you are sleeping.
Brad Pilon is a nutrition professional with over eight years experience working in the nutritional supplement industry specializing in clinical research management and new product development. Brad has completed graduate studies in nutritional sciences specializing in the use of short term fasting for weight loss.
His trademarked book Eat Stop Eat has been featured on national television and helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat without sacrificing the foods they love. For more information on Eat Stop Eat, visit www.eatstopeat.com