Maintaining a good lean muscle mass to fat ratio is essential to a man’s health in many ways. You do not have to be a bodybuilder or have the body of an athlete to benefit from building and having more lean muscle.
Muscle is so important to a man’s health because muscle, even in its resting state, raises your metabolism and helps you to burn fat. Having the benefit of that higher metabolism due to adequate lean muscle mass also means you will turn calories into energy more easily, so you will feel fitter, more vital, and have more energy to do everyday tasks.
Of course, having more muscle means you will have greater physical strength, which also will help you with any physical activity and will also improve performance in recreational sports you may participate in and help you to get more at of your workouts.
Muscle is also the foundational support for your bones and joints, so more lean muscle will improve joint and bone health and lessen your risk of developing degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis, as well as lessen your risk of developing osteoporosis-related fractures.
And finally, having more lean muscle mass can help maintain your levels of two hormones critical to men’s health, testosterone, and human growth hormone.
Which Hormones Affect Muscle Growth?
There are three critical hormones for men that influence your ability to build lean muscle, these are:
- Growth hormone
- Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)
Testosterone influences muscle growth by its anabolic effect. You cannot build muscle without an adequate supply of testosterone. You may have heard of testosterone being referred to as an “anabolic steroid.” In biological terms, a compound that has “anabolic” properties literally means that it has the ability to enhance protein synthesis and help build lean muscle.
Testosterone builds muscle by the way it bonds to the androgen receptors within muscle tissue. Proteins are the building blocks of muscles. During everyday wear and tear, and particularly during exercise, muscles break down and repair. This is how muscle is built. Protein synthesis is the natural process in which protein is produced within the muscle cell to repair muscle damage caused by physical activity.
As the androgen receptors in muscle cells react to the presence of testosterone, they signal muscle cells to increase the production of protein. Over time, this increase in protein synthesis leads to bigger, stronger muscles.
Equally as important to muscle growth, or perhaps even more important, is human growth hormone or HGH. Growth hormone is technically not a steroid like testosterone, but it too has “anabolic” properties because it is instrumental in your body’s ability to build lean muscle.
Muscles, and in particular skeletal muscles, derive their strength and durability from their fibers. Think of these as the same kind of tensile cables that hold up a bridge. Just as those bridge cables can strain and weaken over time, that also occurs to your striated muscle fibers. HGH has been shown to lessen as well as reverse this deterioration of muscle fibers that cause weakness and loss of stamina as men grow older.
Growth hormone is also instrumental to muscle growth, because HGH stimulates the production and release of IGF-1.
Insulin-like growth factor, or “IGF-1,” also has an important role to play in muscle growth. It, too, is an anabolic hormone. IGF-1 is produced in the liver in response to the release of growth hormone, so it has a synergistic effect on muscle growth along with HGH.
Like testosterone, upon release, IGF-1 binds to receptors in muscle cells and stimulates the protein synthesis that is necessary for the growth and repair of muscle tissue.
Does HGH Deficiency Inhibit Muscle Mass?
As mentioned above, HGH is one of the most critical hormones necessary to build muscle mass. This is exactly why it is a banned substance in most sports and particularly in bodybuilding and weightlifting.
One of the most common symptoms of growth hormone deficiency, or GHD, is a loss of muscle tissue, also known as “muscle wasting.” Muscle wasting also occurs in other diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other degenerative muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy. One of the FDA-approved uses of HGH injections is to reduce the muscle wasting in these conditions.
How to Boost HGH Levels Safely and Effectively?
There are some ways to raise your HGH levels naturally. Exercise, particularly strength training and weightlifting, has been known to raise your HGH levels. Other ways to naturally increase your growth hormone levels include:
- Lose weight
- Eat a heart-healthy diet, reduce sugar intake
- Get more restful sleep
- Try certain supplements such as GABA, beta-alanine, or arginine
- Try intermittent fasting
However, the safest and most effective way to increase your HGH levels and improve your ability to build muscle is with hormone replacement therapy for men.
HRT for Muscle Growth in Men at the HFM Clinic
Hormone replacement therapy via testosterone injections or HGH injections has been shown in clinical trials to significantly increase the ability to build lean muscle in men suffering age-related hormone loss.
Both of these hormones decline as men age. If you are between the ages of 45 and 65 and find that you are having trouble building and maintaining muscle mass even while working out, it is a good chance that you have low testosterone or are growth hormone deficient, or both.
If you are found to be suffering from age-related growth hormone loss, you will be prescribed a daily dose of HGH to meet your needs and lifestyle.
HGH injections are usually prescribed for a course of six months.
Do I Need to be Concerned About Taking HGH for Muscle Growth?
The only real dangers of taking HGH are doing so on your own without a prescription. HGH is a controlled substance and is illegal to purchase or use without a prescription. However, if you have been prescribed HGH by your doctor, it is generally regarded as safe and has few if any side effects.
The benefits you can gain from HGH injections if you have been diagnosed with age-related growth hormone deficiency usually far outweigh its risks. Almost all of our growth hormone therapy patients go through the course of their program with few if any issues. If you do experience any side effects from your growth hormone injections, these can usually be relieved by merely adjusting your dose or changing your brand of HGH.
How to Start With HFM Clinic?
Getting started with HRT at the HFM clinic is simple. Just click on the contact us link on this page. One of our representatives will contact you and, after asking a few questions about your age and symptoms, invite you to make an appointment for a complete physical exam, and then we will take it from there.
If our doctors think you may be the right fit for growth hormone therapy and/or testosterone replacement, we will schedule lab work to have your hormone levels tested. Should your lab tests reveal that you have low testosterone or age-related growth hormone deficiency, or both, you will be prescribed the necessary dosage and regimen of hormone replacement therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions About HGH and Building Muscle
Any exercise will build muscle. But certain exercises will help you build muscle faster. Two to three days a week of strength training or high-intensity interval training with a day of rest in between, and you could start to see results in about a month or two.
Men start to pack on muscle with the intense increase in testosterone that occurs upon entering puberty. That same testosterone that stimulates sexual maturity and all the other changes that make a boy become a man, also influences increased muscle growth.
Fitness professionals agree that the best age to build muscle rapidly is between 20 and 30 or when you have reached your full adult height. Testosterone peaks in your early twenties and starts to decline once you are over 30. Also, once you have achieved full adult stature, the HGH produced by your body is no longer needed for ordinary “growth” and can be more devoted to building muscle.
Having troubles with slow muscle growth? Contact our endocrinologists to find the root causes of this condition and get the best treatment.