You’re getting older. It’s inevitable. After age 30, all bodies dramatically reduce the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Men enter a period known as somatopause, when the amount of HGH in the body drops by half. The result? Putting on weight, especially fat around the middle, fatigue, less lean body mass, and muscle tone, and lower sex drive and performance.
But you don’t have to accept these consequences of somatopause and aging. There are several health, wellness, and nutritional solutions. These include diet, exercise, and hormone supplements such as Somaderm to help bring your body back to peak performance.
There’s a lot of information out there about HGH, testosterone, and other natural and synthetic hormones and homeopathic remedies. HGH and testosterone supplementation produces some of the same benefits for men in terms of building muscle, improving stamina, and boosting libido and sexual function.
Read on for a comparison of HGH vs. testosterone to help you decide which hormone supplement is right for you.
HGH vs. Testosterone: What’s the Difference
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and testosterone are both hormones in the human body. HGH is produced by everyone, regardless of genitals or chromosomes, by the pituitary gland in the brain. HGH is responsible for triggering our bodies to make and repair various types of cells, especially bone and muscle.
HGH spikes in adolescence to spur the change from youth to adulthood. It peaks in young adulthood, then dramatically falls after age thirty, and is less than half its former levels by age forty. The body never stops producing HGH — it’s vital to heal from injury and make new cells.
However, lowered HGH levels is a primary trigger of the adverse effects of aging. Lower HGH is one of the main reasons why your body takes so much longer to heal the older you are.
Testosterone is primarily associated with men, as it is produced in the testicles and is responsible for male puberty. However, women have small amounts of testosterone, produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands.
Testosterone levels in men also spike in adolescence and diminish with age, though not as drastically as the drop in HGH. Low levels of testosterone are associated with loss of muscle, increased fatigue, and reduced sexual performance, among other symptoms.
If both testosterone and HGH drop in the body around middle age and both create problems with weight gain, lack of energy, and low libido, then which one should you supplement to reclaim your strength and stamina?
Taking a look at the effectiveness of each supplement and their side effects will help you decide.
HGH vs. Testosterone Delivery Mechanisms
If you have chronically and severely low HGH or testosterone due to an underlying medical condition, a doctor can prescribe HGH or testosterone injections. This is the fastest and most effective way to deliver hormones into the body.
Medical studies have proven the positive effects of supplementing HGH and testosterone through injections, so we know it works.
The difficulty for obtaining HGH or testosterone injections is two-fold: prescription and cost. You need a doctor to prescribe HGH or testosterone injections, and in order for them to be covered as medically necessary, your levels need to be dramatically lower than average for your age, and you must be experiencing negative effects.
If your HGH and testosterone are low, but not low enough to meet the medically necessary threshold, your doctor will not likely prescribe injections.
Second, testosterone or HGH injections are expensive, even when considered medically necessary. The costs put injections out of reach for many men who would benefit from the increased levels of either HGH and testosterone.
So, getting testosterone or HGH injections is similarly tricky for most men. What about other ways of supplementing each hormone?
Both HGH and testosterone are available as topical creams, which help your body absorb additional hormones through the skin.
That said, there are supplements and foods you can eat that will help stimulate your body’s production of HGH or testosterone. Vitamin D, DHEA, and ashwagandha all are remedies that encourage higher production of testosterone, while GABA, arginine, and beta-alanine will help stimulate higher HGH production.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Testosterone Supplements
Supplementing your testosterone levels helps with:
- More red blood cells and better heart health
- Less fat, and more lean muscle
- Improved mental clarity and memory
- Improved levels of energy
- Stronger bones
- Better libido and sexual functioning
- Improved mood
- Improved sleep
Other effects of increased testosterone include:
- Hair loss
- Aggression and violent tendencies
- Fluid retention
- Decreased gonad size
- Decreased sperm production
- Breast enlargement in men
Benefits and Potential Side Effects of HGH Supplements
Increasing the levels of HGH in your body can result in:
- Increased muscle and lean muscle mass
- Decreased fat, especially around the midsection
- Higher bone density and stronger bones
- Improved hair and nail strength
- Increased energy levels
- Improved mental clarity and mood
- Improved sleep
- Increased libido and sexual functioning
- Improved cardiovascular health
Other potential side effects of increased HGH include:
- Increased insulin resistance, which can lead to higher risk of diabetes
- Joint and muscle pain
- Swelling and fluid retention (edema)
- Breast enlargement in men
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Higher cholesterol levels
- Numbness or tingling of the extremities
Still confused about HGH vs. Testosterone?
If you’re a woman, the choice is easy. Unless you want your voice to deepen or to grow facial hair, testosterone supplements aren’t the best solution to improve your stamina, lean muscle mass, libido, bone strength, and memory.
HGH supplements are a clear choice. Learn more about HGH supplement delivery systems in our article on the subject.
If you’re a man, choosing between testosterone and HGH supplements is tougher. Both have similar benefits, though the potentially harmful effects of too much testosterone appear to be greater in number and severity.
Furthermore, testosterone supplements taken over time will reduce the body’s ability to produce testosterone, creating a vicious cycle of needing to supplement more.
It’s possible for men to supplement both HGH and testosterone. Strenuous exercise, reducing stress, and getting adequate sleep will help do just that: increase both hormones in your system.
The two supplements don’t cancel each other out, so a combination may be your best option. And if you’re taking supplements while improving your exercise and diet, you’ll maximize the health benefits.