Raise your growth hormone (GH) levels to lose fat and achieve a leaner body composition. We know that by training hard with a large volume and short rest periods you can significantly elevate growth hormone to lose fat fast, and two new studies show that supplementing with arginine and alpha GPC will boost GH even more.
Arginine is an amino acid that may be best known for increasing nitric oxide in the body to improve blood flow during exercise. Body builders use arginine to increase the muscle “pump” feeling, but it increases GH too. Alpha GPC is a precursor for choline, which gets turned into the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the body, to improve cognition and elevate GH.
A study in the journal Nutrition tested the acute GH response to taking only a single 1,000 mg dose of alpha GPC in young men. Results showed that in the two hours after taking the supplement, participants increased GH by as much as 290 percent over baseline. For reference, a single moderate intensity training session for 30 minutes has been found to increase GH by 210 percent! Researchers suggest alpha GPC raises GH because acetylcholine inhibits the secretion of a hormone factor from the hypothalamus that gets in the way of GH hormone response.
The second study on boosting GH was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and measured the effect of giving trained athletes 3,000 mg of arginine and 2,200 mg of ornithine twice a day for three weeks on GH response to heavy resistance training.
Results showed that the arginine/ornithine produced much higher GH levels post-workout compared than a placebo group. The arginine/ornithine group also had higher Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 levels than the placebo group after training, which will elevate protein synthesis and enhance training progress.
Ornithine is an amino acid that that can be synthesized in the body from arginine and people are rarely deficient in it. However, taking extra can stimulate tissue remodeling and spare all the arginine present to boost GH and support blood flow.
Take note that researchers suggest supplementing with arginine for a short period of time (3-4 weeks) as part of a periodized program because continuous use could lead to the muscle becoming insensitive to its anabolic effects. In the case of alpha GPC, there’s no downside to taking it, and if you don’t eat meat, eggs, or beans regularly, you could even be deficient—a group of males who ate a choline deficient diet had a significant drop in acetylcholine levels that led to decreased liver function.
Kawamura, T., Okubo, T., et al. Glycerophosphocoline Enhances Growth Hormone Secretion and Fat Oxidation in Young adults. Nutrition. 2012. Published Ahead of Print.
Zajac, A., Peprezecki, S., Zebrowska, A. Chalimoniuk, M., Langfort, J. Arginine and Ornithine Supplementation Increases Growth Hormone and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Serum Levels After Heavy-Resistance Exercise in Strength-Trained Athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2010. 24(4), 1082-1090.