Understanding the Complex role of Hormones in Muscle Building
Various hormones play a vital role in muscle building. Anyone who is serious about achieving muscle hypertrophy would do well to be aware of their names. They must also strive to know how they could stimulate the muscle-building hormones to achieve muscle hypertrophy.
That’s what we aim to do in this article. We’ll look at the various muscle-building hormones and what you could do to stimulate them. We’ll guide you on the various exercises, diets and lifestyle choices using which you can rouse each of your muscle-building hormones to action.
That’s not all. Various hormones act as a yin to the yang of their muscle-building counterparts. Their added levels in the body might prevent you from building muscle. In this article, we’ll name those hormones and will let you know what you could do to suppress them naturally.
Read on to know more.
What Hormones Play a Role in Building Muscle Tissue?
Various hormones including growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) play a crucial role in muscle hypertrophy. These hormones increase muscle mass and strength by binding smaller molecules into larger, more complex ones. They are known as anabolic hormones. [R]
There are various ways you can stimulate anabolic hormones to build muscle. One is intense exercise and resistance training. Think of pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, and presses stimulate anabolic hormones and increase protein synthesis in the body. This helps the muscles get the energy they need to grow. [R]
Nutrition also plays a crucial role in stimulating muscle-building hormones. Research has shown that eating meals rich in lean protein (chicken, steak, eggs), carbohydrates (beans, sweet potatoes), and fats (oils, avocado, nuts) throughout the day helps with muscle building. [R]
Another way is to take muscle-building supplements. These supplements work by increasing the levels of anabolic hormones in your body. This, in turn, increases the protein synthesis, leading to muscle hypertrophy. Visit Rats Army for safe and effective muscle-building supplements.
Here is a brief description of how various hormones help build muscle:
1. Growth Hormone
Growth hormone stimulates our height, muscle growth, and bone length. Its levels peak during puberty and start declining as we reach middle age. Research has shown that physical activity influences GH levels in the body. This means its levels increase when we exercise. [R]
Growth hormone works by telling your liver to increase the secretion of insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Together, both the IGF-1 and GH increase bone density, build muscle tissue and increase muscle protein synthesis. The last two processes help with muscle hypertrophy. [R]
How To Stimulate Growth Hormone?
There are various ways you could boost growth hormone naturally. All of them are backed by scientific evidence. Applying any/all of them won’t only help you build skeletal muscle. The resulting increase in GH would also decrease your risk of disease and increase your quality of life. [R]
Here’s how you can stimulate human growth hormone naturally:
Lose belly fat
There is a direct link between belly fat and GH production. Those with higher levels of fat around their stomach experience low GH production. Lose belly fat (avoid sugar, eat more protein, exercise regularly) to stimulate growth hormone. [R]
Do intermittent fasting
Various studies have shown that fasting intermittently increases growth hormone levels in the body. One study has found that participants who fasted for 1 week experienced an impressive 1,250% increase in their GH levels. [R]
Decrease your sugar intake
Increasing your sugar intake enhances insulin levels in the body, leading to lower GH levels. A study has found that those with diabetes had 3 – 4 times lower HGH levels than healthy people. Still, the occasional sweet won’t do any harm. [R]
Get adequate sleep
Both human and rodent studies have shown that getting enough deep sleep every night can elevate your growth hormone levels. Conversely, getting too little sleep might suppress GH. You should thus strive to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. [R]
Perform HIIT exercises.
One of the first studies to inspect the effects of HIIT exercises on growth hormone production found that an acute bout of high-intensity interval exercise brings about a significant increase in the body’s natural GH secretion. [R]
Other natural ways to stimulate GH production in the body and, by extension, achieve muscle mass gains include taking a protein shake 30 minutes before workout, increasing the intake of amino acids glutamine and arginine and reducing body fat.
Testosterone is a sex hormone. Produced by testicles in men and ovaries in women, it regulates libido (sex drive), muscle mass and strength, bone mass, and the production of sperm. It also regulates the production of red blood cells and may also affect your mood. [R]
Testosterone builds muscle by stimulating neurotransmitters than encourage muscle tissue growth. It also increases protein synthesis by interacting with your DNA’s nuclear receptors. Plus, it enhances levels of growth hormone. All in all, if you want to build muscle, your testosterone levels must be high. [R]
How To Stimulate Testosterone Production?
There are various ways to increase your testosterone levels naturally. Some of them require you to do nothing but to eat specific foods and supplements. Others, meanwhile, will need you to get off your couch and pound the pavement.
Here are science-backed ways to increase testosterone levels naturally:
Researchers have drawn a straight line between lifting weights and increase in testosterone levels. Resistance training, which requires you to work on a specific muscle group, has been found to increase testosterone levels, both in the short- as well as the long-term. [R]
Eat more proteins and carbs
Your eating habits play a crucial role in determining your testosterone levels. Research has shown that eating protein may help in fat loss, which is associated with rise in testosterone. Carbs, too, can optimize your testosterone production. [R]
High levels of long-term stress increases the production of cortisol, one of many hormones that disrupt your body’s testosterone production. Try to reduce stress in your everyday life by getting adequate sleep, living a balanced lifestyle and doing regular exercise.
Get some sun every day
Unless you’re living in the North Pole, getting some sun daily is one of the easiest ways to increase your testosterone production. However, if it mostly remains cloudy in where you reside, you might want to take a Vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D offers the same health-benefits as sun. [R]
Stay active throughout the day
According to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, the more active you are, the higher your testosterone levels will be. Keep in mind that overdoing it may harm your testosterone levels, by reducing energy. [R]
Remember to lower your alcohol intake to increase your testosterone levels naturally. Research has linked abuse of alcohol (and drugs) to lower sex hormone production in the body. Also, if you’re taking any medicines that lower cholesterol, they too may hurt your testosterone levels.
Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1
Insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) plays a crucial role in muscle hypertrophy. This hormone is one of the very few that has a direct impact on your skeletal muscle. This means it helps the body produce more protein, thereby making sure that the growing muscles have the energy they need to bulk-up.
In addition to stimulating muscle hypertrophy, IGF-1 also inhibits muscle degradation. It does that by preventing the proteins in the body from getting degraded. IGF-1 has also been shown to induce fusion of myoblasts, muscle cells that have to join (fuse) for muscle hypertrophy to take place. [R]
How To Increase IGF-1 Production?
Similar to other anabolic hormones, IGF-1 levels in the body also decline with age. However, it isn’t only the older adults staring at this issue. Younger men, especially those with a chronic health condition or brain injury, may also experience a drop in their IGF-1 levels.
Here’s how you can increase your IGF-1 naturally:
Eat zinc supplements.
Various studies have shown that zinc supplementation can ‘significantly’ increase IGF-1 levels in the body. One study has found that the greatest increases in insulin like growth factor 1 levels was found when users took ≤10 mg zinc /day for up to 8 weeks. [R]
According to a study conducted on women, taking higher amounts of citrus fruit (which is rich in vitamin C) or other forms of dietary vitamin C led to higher concentrations of IGF-1. Other sources of vitamin C include potatoes, peppers, broccoli and strawberries. [R]
Eat magnesium-rich diet
Magnesium has been proven to increase the secretion of insulin like growth factor and testosterone hormones. Natural deficiency of magnesium, meanwhile, leads to a reduction in IGF-1. Spinach, bananas, and avocado are examples of magnesium-rich foods. [R]
Do regular exercise
Just as is the case with other anabolic hormones, IGF-1 too experiences an increase in its levels in your body with regular exercise. Various studies back up this assertion, with one linking resistance training to increase in the level and bioavailability of IGF-1. [R]
Take sauna sessions.
As surprising as it might seem, taking a sauna does increase your IGF-1 levels. One study has found out that exposing yourself to dry heat, 2 hours a day every week, results in the increase of your insulin like growth factor 1 levels. [R]
Increasing your IGF-1 levels won’t only help you achieve skeletal muscle mass growth. It will also help you lose body fat, speed-up recovery after workouts and muscle injury, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. That’s why you should strive to build your IGF-1 reserves.
What Hormones Are Bad For Muscle Growth?
All the catabolic hormones are bad for muscle growth. These hormones inhibit muscle growth by breaking down molecules and releasing energy, in contrast to their anabolic counterparts (mentioned above) that fuse cells together and store energy for muscle growth.
If your body has high levels of catabolic hormones, you’d begin to lose muscle mass. That’s why it’s crucial for you to know what catabolic hormones are and how you can (naturally) suppress them. Doing so is necessary if you’re serious about putting on muscle mass.
Following hormones are bad for muscle growth:
Cortisol is known as ‘the stress hormone’ for a reason. Released by the pituitary gland when you’re feeling overwhelmed, cortisol raises your heart beat and blood pressure to manage your body’s response to stress. All of that is good and fine, however, there is one thing cortisol does which we don’t want it to.
This catabolic hormone inhibits protein synthesis, making it harder for your muscle to grow. It also expedites the breakdown of your body’s protein reserves into sugar and amino acids. This leaves your body to use your muscle as an energy source, leading to muscle atrophy. [R]
How To Lower Your Cortisol Levels?
There are various ways to lower your cortisol levels naturally. They include getting the right amount of sleep, exercising moderately every day and doing mindful breathing. People who laugh and have fun and heavy healthy relationships with their loved ones also tend to have lower cortisol levels.
Yet another way you could bring down your stress levels is by learning to recognize the patterns of stressful thinking. Identify the stress-provoking thoughts and counter them using mindfulness-based practices. Staying busy, but not burning yourself out, may also reduce your cortisol levels.
Myostatin is found in skeletal muscles (muscles used for movement). Its basic function is to inhibit muscle cell growth and differentiation. That’s why it’s crucial that you inhibit Myostatin production in your body. Otherwise, its increased levels will cause skeletal muscle atrophy. [R]
Various studies have shown that successfully inhibiting Myostatin levels in the body leads to increase in muscle mass. So significant is the impact of inhibiting this catabolic hormone that researchers are now questioning whether its inhibition is a performance-enhancement strategy. [R]
How To Inhibit Myostatin Naturally?
Research has shown that Myostatin decreases with aerobic exercise. Think of activities like brisk walking, running, swimming or cycling. Resistance exercise is another way you can attenuate your body’s Myostatin expression. [R]
People with type 2 diabetes also have higher-than-average levels of this hormone, showing that bringing your body’s sugar levels in control may also inhibit Myostatin. Smoking is also associated to higher Myostatin levels, giving credence to assumption that smoking inhibits muscle growth. [R]
Different hormones play different roles in crucial building. Anabolic hormones such as testosterone, human growth hormone and IGF-1 aid in muscle growth. They do that by increasing your body’s protein synthesis, supplying the muscles the energy they need to grow.
Catabolic hormones, on the contrary, inhibit muscle growth. The likes of cortisol and myostatin hamper muscle growth by inhibiting muscle cell growth and differentiation. That’s why you need to make sure that the concentration of catabolic hormones in your body is within the safe range.
Doing so isn’t that hard. All you have to do is to maintain a healthy diet, get some exercise every day and get adequate sleep every night. These simple lifestyle habits will bring your body’s cortisol and myostatin levels in control, helping you build muscle.
If you intend to take supplements to increase the levels of anabolic hormones in your body, we suggest you order them from Rats Army. All of Rat’s Army products are 3rd party tested, verifiable by lab reports and come with a moneyback guarantee. This means they’re safe and effective.