The Fountain of Youth – Human Growth Hormone for Free!

The Fountain of Youth – Human Growth Hormone for Free!

Three Free Ways to the Fountain of Youth

You’ve probably heard a lot of testimonials about how human growth hormone (HGH) is a fountain of youth for aging baby boomers.  We discussed what HGH does for you and the problems that too little or too much can cause in an earlier article.  Unfortunately  injected, pharmaceutical grade, human growth hormone treatment can cost upwards of $10,000 a year and even herbal formulas designed to cause your body to release more of its own human growth hormone can cost $100 per month and more.

While researching the earlier article I found a number of ways that we can cause our bodies to release more HGH at no cost except for a little time and energy.  With further research I uncovered even more studies that support the use of these regimens to help you extend your life with healthy, functional years.



In my article “Human Growth Hormone HGH“, I showed that exercise, particularly vigorous exercise,  is one of the normal activities of life that cause our bodies to release HGH.

Treadmill WorkoutBeyond HGH, a 2012  study [1] noted that “a decline in mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial protein quality control in skeletal muscle is a common finding in aging.”   Mitochondrial biogenesis, the process by which new mitochondria are formed in the cell, is critical to long-term heath because mitochondria generate most of the cell’s supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the source of chemical energy that keeps our cells running smoothly.

The researchers looked at the possibility that moderate exercise would stop or reverse this decline.  In tests on mice, they found “exercise training, consisting of treadmill running at 60% of the initial Vo(2max), reversed or attenuated significant age-associated (detrimental) declines in mitochondrial mass. Exercise training also decreased the gap between young and old animals in other measured parameters.”  They concluded  “that exercise training can help minimize detrimental skeletal muscle aging deficits by improving mitochondrial protein quality control and biogenesis.”

It’s not clear whether the exercise boosted growth hormone production which led to the benefits associated with mitochondrial mass.  Regardless,  this is another positive effect of exercise beyond weight management, aerobic function and muscle building.

Research has shown human growth hormone increases of 300 to 500% and even more in some cases, following vigorous exercise.  This is far and away more than you can get from taking dietary supplements for this purpose.  So, what exactly is the exercise regimen?

Recommended Exercise Regimen

I recommend high intensity interval exercises, sometimes known as Sprint 8 or Peak 8 exercises.  The concept is discussed in detail in an earlier post titled 20 Minutes to Health and Fitness.  Not only is this type of exercise ideal for releasing the highest levels of HGH, it will help you lose weight and get in better shape overall.  Further, you only need to really exert yourself for four minutes, during the 20 minute program, every other day to achieve these benefits and more.



Research has shown that “In men, approximately 70% of the daily GH (growth hormone) output occurs during early sleep throughout adulthood. In women, the contribution of sleep-dependent GH release to the daily output is lower and more variable.” [2] Clearly sleep is important for proper human growth hormone levels.

The same study found “Extensive evidence indicates the existence of a consistent relationship between SW (slow wave) sleep and increased GH secretion andReading in Bed, conversely, between awakenings and decreased GH release. ”  This is really bad news if you have untreated sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea causes pauses in breathing that can lead to awakening while gasping for breath.  The awakenings will decrease the amount of HGH your body releases overnight.

Finally, the study found “Pharmacological stimulation of SW sleep results in increased GH release, and compounds which increase SW sleep may therefore represent a novel class of GH secretagogues.”  While I can’t recommend drugs as a sleep aid due to the various potential side effects,  there are a number of supplements that  claim to improve sleep.

Getting Better Sleep

If you snore, wake up gasping for breath or simply don’t feel rested after a night’s sleep, you may have sleep apnea.  Talk to your doctor about it and, if recommended, get a sleep test to determine whether or not you have a problem that needs treatment.  If you do need treatment, follow through with it.  I can attest that a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device works well to improve sleep and also led me from poor heart function to normal heart function – although it didn’t resolve all my arrhythmia issues.

The best sleep aid supplement that I have found is Valerian Root Extract.  It has the effect of relaxing muscles and that helps induce deep sleep.  The National Institutes of Health Says:

“Valerian is most commonly used for sleep disorders, especially the inability to sleep (insomnia). It is frequently combined with hops, lemon balm, or other herbs that also cause drowsiness. Some people who are trying to withdraw from the use of “sleeping pills” use valerian to help them sleep after they have tapered the dose of the sleeping pill. There is some scientific evidence that valerian works for sleep disorders, although not all studies are positive. “

Other steps you can take to improve your sleep include:

  • Avoid phone, tablet, laptop, monitor or TV screens for an hour before bedtime.  These devices emit light in a spectrum that causes your biological clock to get messed up and try to keep you awake.
  • Get some exercise earlier in the day, but avoid exercise before bedtime.  Exercise stimulates your body and will keep you awake.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine after lunch time.  Stimulants, like caffeine and nicotine can affect your body for long periods.  It’s best to remove them from your diet entirely (especially if you have heart arrhythmia), but at least give your body some time to burn them off before bedtime.
  • Take a warm bath or shower.  Warm water will relax your muscles and help you sleep better.
  • Read yourself to sleep, but try to keep the lights dim.
  • Keep your bedtime and wake time consistent.  This will help strengthen your sleep-wake cycle, leading to better sleep.
  • Be sure your bed is comfortable and that your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet.
  • Don’t take naps during the day.  Instead go for a walk to keep your brain alert and your body functioning.
  • Avoid alcohol.  Alcohol is a depressant that can help you go to sleep initially, but research has shown that it can disrupt your sleep later in the night.  This disruption is a “rebound effect” that occurs after the alcohol is metabolized. Your initial sound sleep is disrupted as your body changes back to and, briefly, beyond its pre-alcohol state.
  • Manage your stress levels.  Many of these suggestions will also help reduce your stress, but if they aren’t enough,  you should apply further stress reduction measures.



Human growth hormone is released in fairly unpredictable pulses through the day.  These pulses are affected by sleep and exercise and also by the nutrients we consume.  Between pulses, our HGH levels can be undetectable.

FastingOne study [3] showed that over a five-day fast, the number of pulses rose 71% and the amount of HGH in the blood rose 310% in the fifth day vs the first day.  Another study [4] showed that this had the effect of conserving protein in the body – a critical need when faced with starvation.   So,  when the body gets concerned about starvation, it releases more HGH in order to retain protein and prevent muscle breakdown.

While that sounds promising, most of us aren’t inclined to fast for five days just to increase HGH production.  Another study [5] showed that in a 2.5 day fast, the number of pulses didn’t change, but each pulse produced more HGH for an increase of 300%.

In an April 3, 2011 presentation at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology, researchers from Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute described their research.  They showed that during a 24-hour fast, HGH increased an average of 1,300 percent in women, and nearly 2,000 percent in men.  I suspect that this large difference from the other studies has more to do with the way they measured HGH levels than with the fasting period being shorter.  Nonetheless,  we are seeing increased HGH levels in much shorter fasts.

There are a some fasting plans that take advantage of the research.  For example:

  • The Fast Diet, developed by Michael Mosley, recommends eating regularly for five days then dropping calorie intake to 25% for two days and then repeating.
  • The Every-Other-Day Diet, that calls for fasting every other day.

It takes about 10 to 12 hours after eating for the human body to finish burning available glucose and start burning fat for fuel.  With that fact and the research on fasting, Dr. Joseph Mercola has developed a regimen of very short-term fasting that he suggests will provide many of the benefits of longer-term fasting in a way that can be practically applied.  I’ve tried this approach and find it to be practical as well as helping me generally feel better.

In Mercola’s words:

“If you’re ready to give intermittent fasting a try, consider skipping breakfast, make sure you stop eating and drinking anything but water three hours before you go to sleep, and restrict your eating to an 8-hour (or less) time frame every day. In the 6-8 hours that you do eat, have healthy protein, minimize your carbs like pasta, bread, and potatoes and exchange them for healthful fats like butter, eggs, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts — essentially the very fats the media and “experts” tell you to avoid.


“This will help shift you from carb burning to fat burning mode. Once your body has made this shift, it is nothing short of magical as your cravings for sweets, and food in general, rapidly normalizes and your desire for sweets and junk food radically decreases if not disappears entirely.


“Remember it takes a few weeks, and you have to do it gradually, but once you succeed and switch to fat burning mode, you’ll be easily able to fast for 18 hours and not feel hungry. The “hunger” most people feel is actually cravings for sugar, and these will disappear, as if by magic, once you successfully shift over to burning fat instead.”

Besides increasing HGH production, fasting has benefits for weight loss in that it reduces blood sugar levels allowing the body to burn fat for fuel.  Reducing fat stores also reduces the chance of developing diabetes and other ailments.



Even if we didn’t desire to increase human growth hormone levels in our bodies,  these three approaches would benefit our health in the long run.   More exercise and better sleep have been recommended for as long as I can remember.  Short-term or intermittent fasting seems to be a newer concept and one that shows a lot of promise.  Start applying these techniques in your life and you’ll soon have The Power to Explore!



1. Hart N et al. Age-associated declines in mitochondrial biogenesis and protein quality control factors are minimized by exercise training. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology. 2012 Jul 15;303(2):R127-34.

2. Van Cauter E, Plat L and Copinschi G. Interrelations between sleep and the somatotropic axis. Sleep. 1998, 21(6):553-566

3. K Y Ho, et al. Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man. J Clin Invest. 1988 Apr; 81(4): 968–975.

4. Nørrelund H, Nair KS, Jørgensen JO, Christiansen JS, Møller N. The protein-retaining effects of growth hormone during fasting involve inhibition of muscle-protein breakdown. Diabetes. 2001 Jan;50(1):96-104.

5. Bergendahl M et al. Short-term fasting suppresses leptin and (conversely) activates disorderly growth hormone secretion in midluteal phase women–a clinical research center study. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 1999 Mar;84(3):883-94.

Please Share

If you have any questions or comments,  please enter them below and I’ll see if I can find answers for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This