Dietary supplements, including peptides, are often part of the journey to success of bodybuilders. So, the question that is commonly asked is: What peptides do bodybuilders use?
Growth Hormone Releasing Hormones (GHRH), Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides (GHRP), and Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF)-I are the top peptides used in bodybuilding. It’s important to note that all peptides are illegal in bodybuilding as their safety is not yet clear. Peptides can help with muscle growth, but there’s too little research for them to be legally safe.
Read on to know what peptides are and the individual definitions of the peptides commonly used by bodybuilders. The effects of peptides on the human body will also be discussed, as well as their legality.
- What Are Peptides and How Do They Work?
- Peptides Bodybuilders Use
- Are Peptides Illegal?
- What Do Peptides Do to Your Body?
- What Peptide Is Best for Muscle Growth?
- What Is the Best Peptide for Fat Loss?
What Are Peptides and How Do They Work?
Peptides are short chains of amino acids joined together by a bond. The chain usually comprises 50 amino acids (not enough to be protein).
Essentially, they are the building blocks that create protein. These compounds exist in our bodies naturally and are produced naturally. But we can consume them through food, and they are synthesized artificially.
Peptides are very useful in the efficient production of hormones, especially the growth hormone.
The primary reason bodybuilders use peptides is how they improve growth hormone production. Human Growth Hormone (HGH) helps massively in improving lean muscle mass. Our bodies use peptides to increase the secretion of HGH.
To put it simply – peptides make it easier for the person using them to increase their muscle mass.
Their usage may also increase strength, and some studies have found that peptides could boost testosterone production.
Another reason bodybuilders use peptides is that they shorten the recovery period. Everyone should know that rest is as important as working out.
Our muscles grow by slightly tearing them and then re-growing muscle fiber at the place of the tear. This makes them stronger than they were before.
The issue about this is that it’s a slow, slow process. By rule, you shouldn’t use a muscle until it’s rested and recovered properly – and for bodybuilders, that means a lot of valuable time goes to waste. Sometimes days can pass before they can use a muscle again.
Peptides help in delivering oxygen to muscle cells, helping them recover faster.
Another benefit is the improved level of endurance. That’s why it’s popular among athletes other than bodybuilders.
Peptides Bodybuilders Use
Growth Hormone Releasing Hormones (GHRH)
These peptides help in the stimulation of growth hormone secretion.
The duration of induced secretion will depend on the specific type of peptide that you use.
It’s important to know that these substances have their limit, and after passing them, they become ineffective.
Some peptides that fall under the GHRH category are MOD-GRF (1-29), CJC 1295 DAC, HGH Fragment 176-191, and Sermorelin.
Modified GRF (1-29)
This peptide is known to be beneficial in promoting muscle growth and in helping in burning fat.
This peptide may also be useful to those looking to slow down their aging. Some users have also reported that it helped them sleep better.
CJC 1295 DAC
This is the opposite of MOD-GRF (1-29). The biggest difference between the two is the length of the effect, with the half-life of this peptide being about a week long.
The half-life of MOD-GRF (1-29) is about half an hour. This makes CJC 1925 DAC ideal for those who want to escape the stress of using peptides frequently.
HGH Fragment 176-191
This peptide is a fragment of the human growth hormone. Bodybuilders mainly use this before competitions, when they have to minimize their fat percentage.
This peptide is very useful in promoting fat loss and making muscle growth more noticeable.
This is considered to be much more potent and useful than regular growth hormones. Another positive experience you can get out of this peptide is its anti-aging benefits.
This is a peptide commonly used for anti-aging purposes, especially by middle-aged bodybuilders. However, it’s also considered to be useful for building muscle.
29 out of 44 amino acids that make up the growth hormone can be found in this peptide. So, it’s considered to be very potent in improving HGH levels.
Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides (GHRP)
Considered to be an upgrade version of the GHRH, they cause an even greater growth hormone secretion in the human body.
A big advantage these have before GHRH is that you don’t have to aim to use them at specific times when your body produces pulses.
Growth hormone-releasing peptides will start a burst of growth hormone production virtually any time you take them.
This peptide is very potent, and it’s used for three important purposes: anti-aging, muscle building, and fat loss.
Users have reported that it also helps massively with fighting inflammation, and it boosts recovery, shortening the time span before they can exercise again.
It’s believed that some professional bodybuilders use it in combination with steroids for maximum potency.
The reason for this peptide’s potency lies in its two activities. The peptide stimulates the pituitary gland in order to produce more HGH, and it simultaneously suppresses Somatostatin, a hormone impeding the release of HGH.
This peptide is considered to be the improved version of the aforementioned GHRP-6. The reason is the lack of the intense appetite boost that comes after the intake of GHRP-6.
That’s why people looking to build lean, clean muscle mass may find it more interesting in comparison to GHRP-6.
This peptide does not desensitize the user after being taken in low doses without breaks in between.
This peptide is a favorite for some users. It’s very similar to GHRP-6, as it stimulates the pituitary while simultaneously suppressing Somatostatin.
The difference is that this peptide won’t cause your appetite to surge drastically, and it won’t cause your prolactin and cortisol levels to rise.
Neither GHRP-6 nor GHRP-2 help in secretion and subsequent release of HGH as much as this peptide does.
Users experience an even greater release of HGH from this peptide as it’s useful for muscle building, fat loss, and anti-aging simultaneously.
This peptide is stronger than virtually all other growth hormones releasing peptides. However, this means that it has a higher potential to desensitize the user, regardless of dosage or possible breaks in between.
Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF)-I
This class of peptides enhances the insulin-like growth of muscles by bodybuilders. This is very useful for users looking to target specific muscle groups.
This has become one of the more popular peptides used for muscle building over the last decade. Dorian Yates, Mr. Olympia for six years in a row in the 90s, is thought to have been a devoted user.
This has contributed to the collective decision of many professional bodybuilders to incorporate it into their regimen. This peptide comes in different types as well.
This peptide is the most popular variant of IGF-1 peptides, and it’s available on the market today.
It comprises 83 amino acids, meaning that it adds another 13 amino acids to the sequence of standard insulin-like growth factor-1.
It’s considered to be more powerful than normal IGF-1 as it has a half-life of up to 30 hours, while the regular IGF-1 only has 15 hours.
This peptide is also commonly used to burn fat, shorten recovery periods and slow down the aging process.
Mechano Growth Factor (with PEG)
This peptide is not only promoting muscle growth but also initiating the formation of new muscle cells, a study reveals.
Its half-life length increased from minutes to days, and it’s ideal for post-workout use because it’s activated by mechanical stimulus. This peptide also helps with quicker recovery time.
Are Peptides Illegal?
Yes, peptides are illegal, and rightfully so. As with any story, this one also has two sides.
It’s legal to use peptides for research, but research only.
Sellers of this product getaway by a technicality. On the bottle packaging, they include a disclaimer stating that it’s illegal to use peptides for any purpose other than research.
You can be arrested and prosecuted if you’re caught using peptides.
A lot of testing is yet to be done before appropriate institutions approve it for public use.
A lot of countries, most notably Australia, have noted a disturbing increase of recorded and suspected peptide use by athletes. This means that we might be witnessing a problem arising.
Peptides are hot topics because of the fact that there’s no notable bad side effect on the people who use them.
It’s staggering to see just how many people chat in online forums about casual use of an illegal substance and exchanging experiences and advice.
Peptides have become commonly accepted under a low profile, and people are seeing less and less purpose in their illegality.
Unlike steroids, the side effects of peptides aren’t as nearly as dangerous, which has caused people to widely accept them as if they were legal.
As the author of this article, I would like to stress that I do not condone any illegal activity, especially the illegal usage of opiates or other restricted substances. I’d advise you not to use peptides and to grow muscles naturally, using protein and creatine.
Peptides are too unexplored for anyone to use casually and are only allowed for research and medicinal applications.
What Do Peptides Do to Your Body?
It’s important to keep in mind that peptides are naturally synthesized chains of amino acids our body produces for itself. They have natural coding which allows them to manipulate other cells into doing what it wants them to do, be it growth, loss, or other things.
Peptides help muscle mass gain, fat loss, recovery time, endurance, overall performance, etc. They are also often used in medicine, especially dermatology, for treating skin conditions.
Peptides can manipulate our bodies into growing muscle faster, losing fat faster, and lessening the effects of aging (something a lot of athletes have an issue with).
What Peptide Is Best for Muscle Growth?
Now that we’ve defined what each peptide does, let’s divide them by use! You’ve certainly learned by now that peptides can have a massive effect on both fat loss and muscle growth.
However, there are numerous peptides to choose from, which makes it difficult to single out just one and declare it ‘the best peptide for muscle growth”.
Here’s a list of a few that we consider being the best for this purpose, with explanations as to why.
GHRP – GHRP-6 is widely considered (by bodybuilders) to be the most effective GHRP on the market. It’s been of great use to bodybuilders who have experienced issues in meeting their high-calorie count.
This peptide stimulates your appetite – about half an hour after taking it is usually the time when the user starts starving.
This peptide increases appetite, enhances energy levels, improves muscle and strength gains significantly, increases lean body mass, improves sleep quality, shortens recovery time.
Ipamorelin – This peptide decreases body fat, increases lean muscle mass, improves recovery. It has virtually no impact on cortisol levels, and it has noticeable anti-aging properties.
Hexarelin – This peptide increases cell regeneration and reproduction within the muscles, and it also helps increase bone density (potentially reducing the risk of osteoporosis and other issues related to the skeleton).
It helps excellently with muscle growth and strength gain. It causes an overall improvement in performance, lowers levels of body fat, and increases healing properties.
CJC-1295 DAC – This peptide works similarly to all the others, and if you want to know more feel free to scroll up to the section dedicated to this peptide.
Its effects are: shorter muscle recovery time, improved muscle definition, increased muscle mass and strength, enhanced fat metabolism, reduced body fat levels, reduced signs of aging, improved sleep quality.
What Is the Best Peptide for Fat Loss?
A lot of people have issues with visceral or belly fat, and no matter how hard they worked at the gym, do ab workouts, or how meticulously they choose their diet, they just can’t get rid of it.
Thankfully, there are peptides that can help with that.
MOTS-C – this is called an exercise-mimic. It’s been used in medicine when treating and regulating longevity, obesity, diabetes, and helping physical performance.
Multiple studies have demonstrated MOTS-C’s ability to enhance lipid beta-oxidation, increase thermogenic brown fat, decrease the fat gain on a high-fat diet, and improve glucose uptake during glycolysis.
Other helpful benefits of this peptide are improving insulin sensitivity, energy production, and longevity.
Tesamorelin – This peptide is one of the rare ones with cognitive effects, as well. It’s used and recommended mostly for fat loss, but it’s had a documented effect on cognitive functions in healthy adults with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
AOD9604 – this peptide possesses the fat reducing activity of HGH without the negative effects. A trial was conducted in Melbourne in 2004, where 300 obese patients reported successful weight loss over the course of 12 weeks (while using this peptide).
It’s perfectly fine to use supplements, but you should always be careful.
You have just learned the different peptides that bodybuilders use and how each of them works in helping you grow your muscles. So, the choice of which one to use depends on you.
However, you must bear in mind that the use of peptides is considered illegal because it still requires further studies.
Last update on 2021-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API