There have been a couple of studies that indicated, that through fasting, your human growth hormone (HGH) can grow rapidly. And as we know by now, kids with a lot of HGH usually grow faster. Now knowing that intermittent fasting boosts your HGH and makes kids grow faster, you may ask yourself: Does intermittent fasting make you grow?
Studies show that fasting leads to a rapid increase in your HGH levels. After a 24-hour fast, women will grow their HGH for around 1300%, while men grow them for around 2000%. While HGH has a lot of benefits for adults, for example, fat burning, growing taller is not one of them. This is because the growth plates get closed after puberty. For kids, chances are good, that there could be an increase in height, especially if their growth plates are still open.
Let’s take a deeper look into what HGH and growth plates are, how you can produce the hormones without taking any dangerous supplements, and how to combine it with intermittent fasting.
What is the human growth hormone (HGH) exactly?
HGH is a hormone that is known to spike growth for children and youths. It helps with muscle and bone development and can assist with body composition as well as body fluids. It is also known to help the digestion of sugar and fat. Research also suggests that it can help with heart work.
HGH is a hormone that can be found in various prescriptions of medication, as well as in products all over the web. It got a lot of attention from the anti-aging industry, where people claimed that the intake of HGH slows down aging. There are tons of websites that sell HGH in pill form. They usually promise similar results as with the injected form of the drug. Since there is no scientific research or proof that HGH pills actually work, you might be doing more harm than good by taking in these pills. That’s why I recommend: avoid them, and instead produce them naturally.
How can I produce HGH naturally?
There are a couple of ways to do just that. It is much more healthy than taking in HGH pills that are not scientifically backed. While some are more difficult than others, here are five of the most recommended ones.
Lose body fat
The lower the body fat, the higher is the HGH production. In the event that you have an excess amount of body fat, you are pretty much limiting your HGH levels from rising. This affects male individuals more than females. Make sure to always keep your muscle and fat ratio levels in the ordinary.
Reduce sugar intake
I’m sorry, but our favorite sweetener gets another bad reputation. Not only is it bad for your teeth and your belly – but it can also hinder your body from producing more HGH. Refined carbs and a high amount of sugar intake can raise your insulin levels. This is considered to be counterproductive for the high production of HGH. To make HGH really work in your body, you need to be careful with your food choices.
Sugar can also affect you after an effective workout. So you might want to double-check the label before eating that delicious energy bar after your workout. Also, be careful: sugar has a lot of aliases, of which the more popular ones are fructose, glucose, fruit juice, or sucrose.
No late-night snacks
Studies are limited, but you should avoid food at least 2 hours before bedtime. This is because HGH is produced during your REM phases, and if your insulin levels are high during that stage, you produce much lesser HGH. We usually don’t worry about this when we are intermittent fasting. 😉
You should especially avoid carbs and sugar right before bed. That way you can maximize your edge and optimize the production.
Do HIIT workouts
High-Intensity Interval Training can stimulate HGH secretion in a ridiculous amount. A good HIIT workout, maybe even done in a fasted state, will result in a rapid secretion of HGH. In case you are overweight, use a short HIIT workout in the fasted state to also decrease your body fat percentage.
You can find an entire guide about Intermittent Fasting and HIIT here: Intermittent Fasting and HIIT: The Perfect Combo For Fat Loss (science backed)
A lot of HGH productions get done during your REM state while sleeping, which is why getting enough of it is essential. To make sure you limit this out completely, check off the following points:
- Sleep at the same time each night.
- No alcohol or caffeine late in the day.
- Regular exercise – but not shortly before going to sleep.
- You should feel comfortable in your bedroom – dark, quiet, … just the way you like it!
- Pro-tip: if you can’t fall asleep, grab a book and read something until you get sleepy
What are the growth plates?
Every human being usually has these growth plates. They are what make our bones grow. Usually, for very long bones there are two growth plates. These growth plates can only grow when they are open, which is the case for kids. But, at some point, the growth plate will harden and form into a solid bone. When that happens, the growth bone is closed: and there is no chance the bone can grow longer.
So, when do growth plates close? That usually happens towards the end of puberty, for girls 13-15, and for boys 15-17. But that’s just an average number, for some it might be earlier, and for some later.
Intermittent fasting combined with HGH
A study has tested the production of HGH during a fasted state. What they proved was, that there is indeed a big response triggered by fasting. During a 24-hour fasting period, HGH has increased an average of 1,300% in women, and nearly 2,000% in men. This is A LOT and will make the body produce a lot of HGH since the body is low on insulin. Furthermore, your body will burn a lot of fat.
While this study was rather surprising to the researchers, and no one expected such good results, there need to be more studies like these done. That way the body’s response and its impact on human wellbeing can be completely decided.
“I believe that fasting could one day be prescribed as a treatment for preventing diabetes and coronary heart disease.” – Dr. Horne, Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute
Does intermittent fasting make you grow? Depends. As of now, there are no studies that tested if specifically, intermittent fasting will make you taller. More studies are needed, to get a solid result. But, there are a few things that we already know from other studies:
- As mentioned above, adults with closed growth plates won’t get taller by an increased HGH. But besides promoting height growth, there are many other benefits that HGH can offer for adults.
- Teens usually already have more HGH than adults, so there won’t be such a crazy increase when fasting (as shown in the study above). In case teens have not closed their growth plates yet, they do stand a chance to grow taller with fasting. I’ve taken a look at whether or not fasting is safe for teens here.
- A lot of studies have been done with short kids and a normal level of HGH. For 5 years, a group of these kids got a daily injection of HGH. The result was, that they gained an average of an inch or two of height through that. So, I think it is fair to say that this is the maximum height you could reach. And since you might have some growth plates already closed, your result will be much lower than that