Home Workout How to Increase Muscle Mass with Bodybuilding Hormones

How to Increase Muscle Mass with Bodybuilding Hormones

How to build muscle

Several hormones are important in bodybuilding and strength training. Testosterone, growth hormone (GH), and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) boost strength and muscle growth. Other hormones, including epinephrine, cortisol, norepinephrine, and glucagon, increase the availability of glucose, your body’s primary fuel source.

Each of these hormones is produced by the body as part of its natural endocrine response. If you want to gain muscle mass, you can stimulate hormone production without using illegal supplements.

Anabolic and Catabolic Hormones

Before we get into the individual hormones, it’s important to understand that they come in two varieties: anabolic and catabolic.

Anabolic Hormones are anabolic steroids, which stimulate protein synthesis and muscle growth, and insulin. Anabolic hormones are essential for bodybuilders because they are the driving force behind both bone and muscle growth.

Catabolic Hormones, on the other hand, have the opposite effect. They deconstruct complex molecules like tissues into smaller units like fatty acids, monosaccharides, and sugars. Typically, the body oxidizes them to produce energy.

Understanding the role of these hormones and maintaining a healthy balance between the two forms can help you gain muscle, lose fat, and avoid atrophy.

Hormones Important in Bodybuilding

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Testosterone is a male hormone produced primarily by the testicles, but also by the adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys. In women, the ovaries and adrenal glands produce testosterone, albeit in smaller amounts. Testosterone is one of many factors that contribute to muscle mass and strength development. Testosterone stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, which promote tissue growth.

Testosterone is classified as an androgenic as well as an anabolic steroid hormone. Androgenic refers to male characteristics, whereas anabolic refers to body tissue growth. According to research, this hormone is the driving force behind muscle protein synthesis.

Scientists and bodybuilders regard testosterone as the original anabolic steroid, from which all other synthetics are derived. Supplemental anabolic steroids have been used to build muscle for decades. They work extremely well, but they also pose serious health risks. As a result, any form of testosterone supplementation is prohibited in sports.

Growth Hormone and IGF-1

The pituitary gland produces growth hormone, which stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1, the hormone ultimately responsible for anabolic muscle growth. GH production, like testosterone production, declines with age.

Both hormones are inversely related to body fat, which means that the less GH and IGF-1 you produce, the more body fat you will accumulate.


In response to food intake, your pancreas produces insulin. This anabolic hormone makes use of the glucose content of these staples and stores it as glycogen within muscle cells. These reserves serve as fuel depots, supplying energy to the body during resistance training.


This raises the heart rate to more effectively deliver oxygen. Epinephrine also constricts airways, allowing for more efficient respiration. Furthermore, during strenuous activity, epinephrine directs the muscles and liver to surrender their glucose stores.


The adrenal glands produce cortisol. It is commonly referred to as the “stress hormone” because it is released in response to physical or emotional stress. Cortisol is synthesized in the form of hydrocortisone and cortisone.

Cortisol begins to convert amino acids into glucose for energy in both cases. As a result, they cannot be used for muscle protein synthesis, preventing mass gains.


When blood sugar levels are too low, this pancreatic hormone stimulates the production of glucose in the liver. Glucagon is catabolic, whereas insulin is anabolic. It inhibits protein synthesis, negating the hard work done during resistance training sessions and preventing size gains.

Enhance Hormones Naturally

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Nutrition and exercise can be used to influence the production of these hormones. Weight training intensity affects growth hormone, IGF-1, testosterone, and cortisol levels.

Exercise and diet also affect insulin and glucagon, which often contradicts the anabolic hormones. Several diet and training strategies can increase anabolic response while decreasing catabolic response.

Pre- and Post-Exercise Nutrition

The foods you eat before, during, and after exercise can have a significant impact on your performance.

Consuming carbohydrates before and during exercise can help to reduce cortisol levels. The reason is simple: when your blood glucose levels remain stable, cortisol is not required to be released, and your muscle tissues are not burned up.

Exercise raises testosterone levels as well. When you stop exercising, your testosterone levels will drop as your cortisol levels rise. To counteract this effect, eat protein after working out to balance the testosterone-to-cortisol ratio in your bloodstream.

Diet in general

Pay attention to the macronutrient composition of your regular diet for natural hormone enhancement. Eating a diet that is neither too low in fat nor too high in protein can help boost testosterone production.

Workout Strategies

High-intensity exercise increases testosterone, GH, and IGF-1 levels, but it also causes cortisol spikes. While diet can help to reduce cortisol production to some extent, how you exercise can also help.

Perform aerobic training, such as running or anaerobic interval training, on days other than bodybuilding training. When you do both on the same day, you promote inflammation and the negative effects of cortisol. Because cortisol levels peak in the early hours of the day, evening workouts are preferable to early-morning workouts.

Natural Supplements

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While some bodybuilders will try to speed up the process by using illegal performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), there is mounting evidence that they not only harm your health but are also far less effective than previously believed.

Tribulus Terrestris, zinc-magnesium supplements, ginseng, bovine colostrum, beta-alanine, and DHEA are a few examples (a prohormone banned in most sports)

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