Bodybuilding 101: Muscle Growth and Fat Loss Hormones

woman weightlifting

Hormones are divided into two types: anabolic and catabolic.

Anabolic hormones are responsible for the formation of larger, more complex molecules. They are vital for bodybuilders because they promote bone and muscle growth.

Meanwhile, catabolic hormones degrade complex materials like tissues into simpler chemicals like fatty acids and carbohydrates. Normally, the body oxidizes them to produce energy. While these catabolic hormones inhibit or restrict muscle gain, your body needs trace levels of them for regular metabolic function.

Read on to discover more about muscle-building and fat-burning hormones and how this could affect your bodybuilding goals.

Muscle Growth And Fat Loss Hormones

  • Testosterone

  • The testes create the majority of testosterone in men, with only a minor contribution from the adrenal glands. It is generated by the ovaries in women.

    Testosterone is an androgenic and anabolic steroid hormone that promotes the development of your penis throughout puberty, gives you a deep voice, and allows you to grow a beard.

    The anabolic characteristic of testosterone encourages tissue growth, particularly muscular hypertrophy. This hormone plays a role in the synthesis of muscle protein.

    Furthermore, testosterone has been demonstrated to help with weight loss by boosting lipolysis (fat breakdown).

    • Growth Hormone

    The Grown Hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. It retains the ability to regenerate cells, cartilage, muscle, and organs until adulthood. As a result, it is an important anabolic hormone for serious weightlifters.

    Furthermore, growth hormone induces the production of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), which increases muscle protein synthesis and leads to significant bulk gains. Increasing growth hormone also has been proven to hasten fat loss.

    In muscle cells, this anabolic hormone stores glucose generated from these ingredients as glycogen. These reserves are employed to provide energy for resistance activity.

    Insulin is also an amino acid transporter. When protein availability is increased, muscle protein synthesis increases, resulting in a greater bulk gain.

    While insulin is an anabolic hormone, high levels may lead to excessive fat storage.

  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Thyroid hormones are not anabolic, but they help with muscle gain and fat removal.

    The thyroid gland in the neck produces three hormones: T4, T3, and calcitonin. These substances are popular among bodybuilders because they enhance energy production and increase your metabolic rate. This means your cardiovascular strength, heart rate, physiological oxygen consumption, and blood flow are all raised for more efficient activities.

    Moreover, thyroid hormones encourage sufficient sleep because this is when the body produces the most testosterone and growth hormone. They also produce amino acids (excluding citrulline and glycine).

  • Estrogen
  • This female hormone released by the testes is anabolic, contrary to conventional perception. Estrogen is required for muscle protein synthesis and muscle mass increase.

    Avoid, however, feminine hormone medications that could skew the balance of your natural testosterone-to-estrogen ratio. Too much estrogen may cause gynecomastia and erectile dysfunction.

  • Glucagon 
  • Ghrelin is a hormone that is produced in the body (Ghrelin). It is known as the "hunger hormone" and influences your food consumption (to eat more).

    Produced by the gastrointestinal system when the stomach is empty, Leptin counters Ghrelin’s effect. Fat loss can thus be improved by reducing ghrelin and increasing leptin. Exercise, according to experts, is the most natural way.

    Hormones of Catabolism

  • Cortisol

  • Experts believe that cortisol is the most catabolic hormone, and is often released when you are stressed and have low blood sugar. This is when cortisol starts converting amino acids to glucose, they are unable to generate muscle protein, impeding bulk gain.

  • Adrenaline

  • Adrenaline (Epinephrine) is a chemical produced by the adrenal glands and the brain's medulla oblongata.

    The "fight or flight" hormone is produced in response to stress. It increases blood flow to the muscles, heart rate, oxygen uptake, and blood sugar levels. As a result, adrenaline is beneficial during physical activity. 

    Furthermore, exercise is a precursor to adrenaline—the more you exercise, the more adrenaline you produce.

    However, adrenaline has a catabolic effect on the body. In order to gain quick energy, this hormone destroys glucose and energy storage in the muscles. This keeps your muscles from growing and forming.

  • Glucagon
  • The pancreas secretes this hormone, which induces the liver to produce glucose. While this is beneficial for lipolysis (fat loss), it suppresses protein synthesis, negating the benefits of resistance exercise and slowing growth.


    It could be frustrating to follow a strict workout routine yet see no desirable results. Perhaps you have difficulty growing your muscles and burning away your fat. If you’re in this situation, you may want to look into muscle-building and fat-burning hormone supplements. This way, you can maintain a proper balance of these hormones to promote muscle growth, fat reduction, and atrophy prevention. 

    Purpose Nutritions offer a select collection of branded bodybuilding supplements for enhanced energy and endurance. Shop our products today!