Anabolic Hormones

Anabolic Hormones

Anabolic Hormones

The primary anabolic hormones involved in muscle development are the following:

  • Growth hormone
  • Testosterone
  • Insulin-like growth factors (IGF) 
  • Insulin

Before we review each hormone, let's keep in mind that age, gender, sleep, nutrition, supplementation, and exercise will all vary our anabolic hormone response. 

Growth Hormone

When protein and BCAAs are combined with exercise, growth hormone enhances the ingestion of amino acids and the synthesis of protein into the muscles for growth. Growth hormone will also help develop cartilage growth in our joints and help the production of collagen production. 


Testosterone is the primary hormone that interacts with our muscles. The following exercises can help elevate testosterone production:

  • Barbell movements - snatch, clean and jerk, back or front squat, deadlifts, bench press
  • Interval training with rest of 30-60 seconds
  • Bodybuilding exercises that involve single or multiple muscle groups with multiple sets, repetitions, and different exercises. 

Men and women differ slightly in testosterone. Women have approximately 15-20% lower testosterone production than men. Testosterone is typically highest in the morning after we wake up. 

Insulin-Like Growth Factors

Insulin-like growth factors travel throughout our body and help facilitate the binding of proteins. The binding of proteins is important for muscle, nerve, and bone tissue development.


This hormone stores muscle glycogen from complex carbohydrates. It guides glucose into the cells for proper functioning and helps with muscle protein synthesis. 

When we are exercising, our insulin and glucose levels are slightly depleted. Insulin has a vital role in your success after your training sessions. I call this “The Secret” in the third chapter of my first book, NSG Nutrition Lifestyle.


NSG Athletes Whey Protein will help elevate our anabolic hormones for more efficient muscle recovery, especially when digested immediately after training.  After you complete an exercise training session, the body is requesting two food sources: a simple sugar and whey protein.

The reason for the simple sugar, such as a banana, apple, or orange, with protein (food or supplementation), is that this combination will elevate your blood glucose levels. This combination will deliver the protein into the muscles that need it for recovery, at a faster rate, because of the insulin spike. 

Animal-based proteins, whey protein, and BCAAs will help elevate your anabolic hormones when the body is at rest and during sleep. 

Book Reference

Smith-Ryan,  A. E. & Antonio, J. (2013). Sports Nutrition and Performance Enhancing Supplements. Linus Learning.

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