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The Human Growth Hormone, abbreviated as HGH, functions much like it sounds. The hormone stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and regeneration of bones and tissue in humans. Produced naturally by the pituitary gland, the hormone is a protein made out of 190 amino acids that is secreted into the bloodstream.
HGH was originally used as a prescription drug for both child and adult growth hormone deficiencies. Those who received the drug form of HGH benefited by growing properly. However, HGH can also be medically administered to athletes for other medical benefits as well.
The metabolism is a chemical, digestive process in the body that helps break down food into tissue, energy, and waste. Everyone has a certain metabolism rate where calories are used or burned off. HGH helps regulate the metabolism rate by building up protein, maintaining stable levels of blood sugar, and most notably, breaking down and utilizing fat. In relation to athletes, HGH will help reduce body fat.
Develops Lean Muscle
With the reduction in body fat, HGH will also help maintain and increase lean muscle tissue for athletes. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, lean muscle mass increased by 8.8 percent for a group of older men who used the drug. The findings were similar for children and young adults in regard to the increase in lean body mass and the decrease in adipose-tissue (fat) mass.
Increases Physical Performance
According to a study led by Dr. Ken Ho, HGH was found to positively affect an athlete’s physical performance, especially in the case of sprinting. Tests found improvement in run time by 0.4 seconds over 10 seconds in a 100 meter sprint. Moreover, both the increase in muscle mass and the reduction of body fat is believed to further increase physical performance as an athlete would have a stronger core and foundation.
Banned by both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), HGH is under much scrutiny in the high-profile athletic community. Mainly, the misuse of HGH is thought to create an unfair advantage over other athletes.
However, HGH is legal by a prescription from a licensed doctor. Although there are many forms of the synthetic hormone on the market, an athlete should consult with his or her doctor before use. HGH can be dangerous when not taken properly, and there is no guarantee that the drug a person buys without a prescription is actually the FDA approved medical drug.