7 Ways to Grow

Maximize your anabolic hormones with these seven simple steps.


THE STUDY  Researchers randomly assigned seventeen resistance-trained men to either an amino acid (AA) or a placebo (P) group. The participants then underwent four weeks of total-body resistance training designed to induce a state of overtraining. Subjects assigned to the AA group ingested 0.4 g per kilogram per day, three times daily, of essential and conditionally essential amino acids.

THE RESULTS  The placebo group showed significant reductions in total testosterone, and total testosterone values were higher in the AA group than the P group. This proves that essential/conditionally essential amino acid supplementation effectively decreases muscle-strength loss during training, possibly because it reduces muscle damage by maintaining an anabolic environment. Another study found that consuming 1,500 mg of arginine and 1,500 mg of lysine under rest conditions increased growth hormone secretion.

THE PRESCRIPTION  Take 1,500 mg of arginine and 1,500 mg of lysine before going to bed to mitigate the decline in testosterone and to elevate GH levels.


THE STUDY  What is perhaps the anabolic hormone? Insulin. Also, the potential role of cortisol in inhibiting training-induced muscle growth is of particular interest, as is whether exercise-induced cortisol release can decrease by nutritional or supplemental interventions. Researchers had 32 subjects perform a single bout of resistance exercise after a four-hour fast. During the exercise bout, the subjects consumed a 6% carbohydrate solution (referred to as CHO), a 6-g essential amino acid mixture (referred to as EAA), a combination of the two solutions (referred to as CHO + EAA), or a placebo beverage.

THE RESULTS  The placebo group showed no significant change in glucose or insulin. The CHO and CHO + EAA solutions significantly increased glucose and insulin concentrations above baseline, whereas the EAA alone resulted in a significant post-exercise increase in insulin only. The subjects on the placebo exhibited a significant increase in cortisol. However, the treatment groups showed no significant change in cortisol during the exercise bout, with CHO and CHO + EAA finishing 27% and 23%, respectively, below baseline. So, both CHO and/or EAA ingestion during a single resistance training exercise suppresses the exercise-induced cortisol response, as well as stimulates insulin release. But in a follow-up study, the researchers found that the CHO + EAA combo was best for producing gains in muscle size. Additionally, researchers from the University of Connecticut (Storrs) reported that fast-digesting proteins, such as whey, and fast-digesting carbs taken after workouts increase the amount of protein taken up by the muscle cells and increase the number of testosterone receptors in muscle cells. This means that more testosterone can be put to work to stimulate muscle growth. 

THE PRESCRIPTION  Post-exercise, go for a combination of 40 g of whey and 40-80 g of fast carbs to get in ample EAAs and carbs; this will blunt cortisol and spike insulin for maximizing muscle growth. – FLEX



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