A few supplements are believed to increase the body's secretion of growth hormone (GH). In addition, fava beans and velvet beans may naturally increase growth-hormone
levels. Following is information about consuming or supplementing with these natural GH boosters.
Mucuna pruriens is a legume, also known as the velvet bean, that contains about 15% L-dopa (L-dihydroxyphenylalanine), which acts on the brain to increase GH release. A few research projects in animals and humans show this connection. Dose: Try 300-800 milligrams (mg) per day - taken as two separate doses, one 30 minutes before your workout and the other before bed.
Fava beans are another legume and, like Mucuna pruriens, they are also rich in easily absorbable L-dopa. Now we know why they were Hannibal Lecter's favorite side dish. Human studies show that eating the beans leads to significant L-dopa levels in blood about an hour after consumption. Favas are also rich in arginine, an amino acid that has been shown to enhance GH release. One word of caution before you throw these potential mass-building beans on a plate next to your favorite entree: A very small percentage of the population (particularly Greeks and Italians) lacks a particular enzyme, making them highly susceptible to hemolysis anemia (destruction of red blood cells) due to fava bean consumption; the condition is known as favism. Dose: Eat lA to one cup of cooked fava beans 30-60 minutes before your workout.
Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (alpha-GPC), derived from soy lecithin, may cause an increase in GH secretion by inhibiting a chemical in the brain that shuts down GH release. A recent study found that when young males were given a combination of alpha-GPC and Mucuna pruriens before a workout, their GH levels were significantly higher after the workout than when they trained after taking a placebo. However, it's hard to say whether the GH-enhancing effect was from the alpha-GPC, the Mucuna pruriens or the combination. Dose: Take 200-600 mg per day of alpha-GPC as two separate doses, similar to Mucuna pruriens.
In addition to consuming the above, you can also try some of the commercially available products that contain a combination of alpha-GPC and Mucuna pruriens. If you buy one, make sure it contains at least 100 mg of alpha-GPC per serving.