Bodybuilders are athletes who pursue body transformation as a professional career. They often strive to achieve a rapid change in their body built, composition, and appearance for professional reasons. Hence, many of them extensively use food supplements to enhance and hasten physical exercise results, thereby striving for desired training and physique benchmarks.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is secreted from the pituitary gland. The hormone is responsible for regulating muscle growth and development and promoting lean body mass formation. It helps in fat metabolism in the body. HGH stimulates the production and release of insulin-like growth factor 1(IGF-1) from the liver. IGF-1 triggers protein synthesis, thereby contributing to muscle building. There is a simultaneous breakdown of fat also catalyzed by IGF-1. In the 1980s, HGH was popular among recreational as well as professional bodybuilders for improving their performance. However, exogenous use of HGH was not without its share of adverse side effects on the body, especially when used for the long term. Thus scientists observed the use of GHS to be a more suitable alternative to the direct use of HGH as GHS brought about similar body transformation without the negative effects of HGH.
Findings till data have observed GHS triggers the secretion of HGH or IGF-1 in humans, but it remains to be explored if it alters metabolism and promotes muscle synthesis directly at the molecular level, regulates performance outcome of exercise and muscle recovery. Interestingly, no research has highlighted the influence of GHS on well-trained bodybuilders. It is also unknown how muscle group peptides are most suitable and which workout regimen they preferentially influence. Hence the lack of knowledge demands more extensive studies.
Peptide types for bodybuilding
Bodybuilders often specifically prefer growth hormone secretagogues (GHS). Some of the GHS which are popular choices are:
Ghrelin and compounds which mimic its mode of action: Ipamorelin, lenomorelin, anamorelin, macimorelin and tabimorelin to name a few.
All of the above molecules stimulate the release of HGH, but their mode of action might vary from each other.
Each of the categories is promoted by manufacturers for different objectives. However, there has been no formal study about the influence of GHS on bodybuilders or well-trained individuals to date. Hence, the dosage is empirically determined.
Peptides & Bodybuilding – The Safety
The safety of the continued use of GHS is unknown due to the lack of proper studies in this aspect. The work done so far is of short duration only. Hence it demands a more extensive study that spans a longer period of time. Extended use of GHS can lead to enhanced appetite, an increase in blood sugar levels, and fluid retention in the body. GHS can also lead to insulin resistance and thereby making it difficult to regulate blood sugar levels.
The use of non-sterile needles to inject GHS can lead to life-threatening infections.
To date, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved of limited use of only certain types of GHS for treating specific medical conditions by a prescription from a medical practitioner only. GHS is also included in the World’s Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances in the current scenario. Despite this, one can still purchase them from dedicated websites without a prescription. Hence, it is risky as the quality of the product, and their safety remains a major concern.
Peptides & Bodybuilding – The bottom line
Supplement companies often promote the peptides as factors that help boost muscle growth, enhance fat metabolism and improve workout efficiency. Unfortunately, there is not enough scientific evidence to support such commercial claims. GHS peptides are currently banned in professional sports, and the safety of their long-term use is unknown. Only a few of the GHS are approved to be used for treating specific medical conditions. Hence, off-the-shelf use of these molecules is not recommended for health reasons.
Disclaimer: The products mentioned are not for human or animal consumption. All the information shared in this article is for educational purposes only.