Tweak Your Diet to Optimise HGH
The trick to get most HGH from your diet is to minimise carb intake and ideally in one sitting, consume a good amount of protein and stick to the fats known to boost HGH like coconut and MCT oils.
Calories aren’t that important provided there is not a huge deficit for an extended period of time.
Macronutrients HGH – Protein, Carbs and Fats
There are 3 macronutrients and you have heard of all of them.
Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats.
All food can be broadly categorised into one of these; chicken is a protein, rice is a carbohydrate and butter is a fat.
The reality is that almost all food is a mixture of the 3. For example, an Avocado is comprised of 5% protein, 20% carbs and 75% fat.
Tracking “macros” is a common practice in bodybuilding. Lifters will look to set a ratio of macros such as 2:1:1, meaning to get 50% of their calories from protein, 25% from carbs and the remaining 25% from fat.
Note that a gram of protein and carbs has 4 calories and a gram of fat has about 9 calories.
The purpose of counting macros is simply to ensure you get the right amount of each (obviously) because each is important for different reasons.
- Protein maximises protein synthesis, repair muscles and grow them.
- Carbs provide energy for lifting from glycogen.
- Fats are the building blocks of sex hormones like testosterone.
You want enough of each to maximise each of their roles. In a cut lifters often pay attention to lowering carbohydrates to speed up fat loss and up protein and fat to maintain muscle and hormone levels.
HGH and Macronutrients
1. Protein – As discussed across this website, protein and more specifically amino acids are the building blocks of HGH.
This is in contrast to other hormones such as testosterone where cholesterol is used (1).
As a lifter you would probably want a standard bodybuilding amount of protein in your diet, which would be about 2 grams per kg of body weight.
2.Carbohydrates – Evidence suggest that less carbs in your diet will produce more HGH. A study (3) looked at experimental diets over 10-12 days:
- a) 2300 calorie, 80% carbohydrate (8 men)
- b) 2300 calorie, 75% high-fat (7 men)
- c) 2300 calorie, 70% high-protein (5 men)
- d) 3600 calorie, “control” (40% carbohydrate, 40% fat, 20% protein) (5 men)
- e) 3600 calorie, 80% high-carbohydrate (5 men)
Each of these diets was ended with a 72 hour fast.
The results found that the high carbohydrate diet significantly reduced HGH levels at both caloric levels.
Insulin suppresses HGH production, the likely reason for the decrease found in this study. A way around this could be to eat all carbs in one sitting so insulin is only spiked once a day.
3.Fats – High fat food ingestion blunts the exercise induced GH response in adults (4).
Given the importance of fat for health, including of other hormones like testosterone, I wouldn’t not recommend going too low.
Just avoid it pre workout and stick to the types known to increase HGH like Coconut and MCT oil.
Caloric Intake and HGH
It should also be noted that caloric intake has seemingly little impact on HGH as long as it’s not too low as the study with the experimental carbohydrate diets showed.
Going excessively high on calories will not pump out additional HGH.
As the intermittent fasting article discusses on our websites, not eating food for controlled periods of time can massively boost HGH and other anabolic hormones.
However, an extended period of caloric deficit – to the point considered serious food deprivation can inhibit GH secretion. This has been shown in rats (5).
It is likely that this would be the case in humans too. It is well known that malnutrition stunts growth which will largely be due to less HGH secretion.
The ideal level of calories would be a maintenance level at a body fat percentage of 8-12% – as discussed in the low bodyfat article.
Going in a slight deficit should not reduce HGH levels to any notable degree.
HGH high protein low carb diet
To maximise HGH you should steadily diet down to 8-12% body fat.
Then eat a maintenance level of calories (or sight surplus for muscle building) with a low level of carbs, ideally in one sitting.
Eat a respectable amount of protein – 2 gram per kg of bodyweight – which will be about 140 grams to 200 grams for most readers.
Don’t cut fat intake too low – stick to fat known to boost HGH, like those containing MCT’s.