Ask any bodybuilder what their opinion on HCG is, and you might get a lukewarm response. Ask a male who is on TRT (Testosterone replacement therapy) due to low Testosterone production the same question, and you might get a completely different answer.
HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a popular compound in the bodybuilding and TRT world to treat low Testosterone levels, as it has been shown to help treat Hypogonadal symptoms .
But why should one even need to use this compound, and is it the magic treatment for male infertility? Will it completely save you from years of PED abuse?
Well hold on to those Leydig cells, we’re about to take an in depth look at those balls down under, and find the best HCG for Bodybuilding.
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What is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin?
Before we start looking at why people even use HCG for Testosterone therapy, we need to look at what this compound actually is.
As you may or may not know, men will naturally produce Testosterone – shocker. This process starts with gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) being produced from the hypothalamus.
This, in turn, will cause the anterior pituitary gland to release Luteinizing hormone (LH). LH will then in turn act on the Leydig cells to produce Testosterone.
HCG and LH are very similar in action, and even in pharmacokinetics. hCG is a hormone that consists of an α and a β-subunit, and LH has an identical α-subunit. There is a great difference in the β-subunit, resulting in HCG having a much longer half life in the body than LH (36 hours compared to 30 minutes) .
HCG will act like LH would, the only real difference being that HCG has a way longer half life. This makes it a far better candidate to treat low Testosterone and even testicular atrophy.
How Does HCG Work?
As described above, HCG will act like LH does in the body, stimulating the production of Testosterone. Studies have shown that HCG can increase Testosterone by as much as 60% in those suffering from Hypogonadism .
This means that HCG could be an effective TRT option compared to Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators such as Clomiphene citrate or Tamoxifen.
That said, HCG is also known to increase Estrogen levels in the body, as it has been shown to do so in the luteal phase (it will also increase Progesterone) .
That said, having increased Estrogen levels due to increased Testosterone levels is completely normal, and a decent amount of Estrogen is vital to male health.
Long term HCG treatment is not unheard of, however, most TRT and Hormone Replacement Therapy clinics will make this an addon to normal TRT to maintain fertility.
Benefits of HCG
HCG is often used by men suffering from low Testosterone, who desire fertility preservation, and those who maybe suffering from secondary hypogonadism due to drug use. Overall, HCG has a ton of benefits.
Improved Sexual Function
In men who suffer from hypogonadism, HCG helps to improve erection length, erection time, and sexual satisfaction ratings. This is due to the fact that HCG will be restoring Testosterone levels.
Men who have low Testosterone will suffer from fertility issues as well – especially those who are using Steroids. HCG can increase sperm production, sperm count, and has been shown to create a significant increase in pregnancy ratings. While Human Chorionic Gonadotropin HCG is great for fertility, there is a lot more that you can also do.
If you are experiencing weight gain, fat gain, and muscle loss, you might see benefits from Testosterone therapy or HCG, as HCG acts by increasing Testosterone levels.
Is HCG Legal?
HCG has not been cleared for weight loss or muscle strength uses, however, it is a prescribed drug for fertility and low Testosterone levels. You will find it at TRT and HRT clinics. That said, you might also find it on websites online being sold as a “research chemical”.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy vs HCG
Doctors will often have to make a choice on how to increase your serum Testosterone levels. By using TRT, you (will eventually) lose the ability to produce your own Testosterone, whereas with HCG you retain that ability.
Best for Increasing Luteinizing Hormone: HCG
LH is the hormone that will lead to the production of Testosterone and particularly intratesticular Testosterone – which is what makes it good for fertility.
Testosterone replacement therapy will downregulate the production of LH in the body via a negative feedback loop, whereas HCG will increase LH levels.
Thus, HCG could be better if you do not wish to rely on TRT for life, and it is also better for sperm production.
Best for Increasing Testosterone Levels: TRT
This is really simple. Both can treat a Testosterone deficiency, however pure Test is always going to win. That said, if you wish to maintain pregnancy potential, you might be better off with HCG, or at least using both. This will preserve spermatogenesis while on traditional TRT.
Best for Bodybuilders: Both
So, you’ve just done a cycle and it has come to an end. What do you do, do you use HCG, or do you cruise on Testosterone alone? Well, there isn’t any peer reviewed studies on people like you (and me).
Thus, you need to make a choice based on your life decisions. The longer you shut down your Leydig cells, the harder the pregnancy treatment will be, and the higher chance you have of being infertile. That said, there is a baby making protocol – see below.
If you have another cycle planned… within 8 weeks, I would not even bother using HCG. Just use a low dose of Testosterone between cycles, also called cruising. This may be as low as one-quarter of your usual Testosterone dose.
If you are doing this because you only want a bit of size, and you want to maintain fertility, you will need to use HCG and take a good 12 weeks off total between cycles to give yourself the best chance. Not exactly clinical endocrinology, but this is the general consensus in the bodybuilding world.
How to Use HCG
HCG is a peptide that will be reconstituted with water and stored in a fridge, used first thing in the morning.
HCG dosage will vary from person to person depending on their needs. For the typical TRT treatment, you might go for 2000 – 3000 IU per week.
If you are running Testosterone as a TRT and simply want to avoid infertility, you might opt for 2000 IU per week.
If you are a bodybuilder coming off cycle, you might need 5000 – 10 000 IU per week, but that range is massive, and most folks will get by fine with 5000 – 6000.
An HCG cycle is typically stacked with other hormones or compounds to increase the effects. These include:
These are more often used by bodybuilders compared to gen pop due to the possible side effects the other compounds bring.
HCG Bodybuilding Cycle: Babymaking Protocol
Bodybuilders are known to use massive amounts of exogenous hormones and exogenous Testosterone. This means that trying to treat low Testosterone levels can be extremely hard. While there is no scientific study to show this “babymaking protocol” works, there are quite a few small sample size anectodal evidences that shows it does:
- HCG: 1000 – 3000 IU (Mon, Wed, Fri)
- HMG (human menopausal gonadotropin): 75 IU (Tue, Thu, Sat)
- Carnitine (injectable): At least 500mg every day
Shoutout to Alex Kikel from whom I learned this. Great guy.
There are a few compounds to stack HCG with, but let’s look at the main ones hypogonadal men will probably end up using:
HCG with a SERM
A SERM will include Clomid, Nolvadex, and Enclomiphene. These will work slightly different from HCG by increasing follicle-stimulating hormone, which is also an important part of treating hypogonadism.
These will also block Estrogen at the nipple but promote Estrogen elsewhere meaning zero chance of Gyno, but better blood lipid levels – nice. This, potentially, has the best chance of boosting Testosterone levels.
This is usually the combo bodybuilders use due to Testosterone induced gonadotropin suppression.
“38 years old tried for a baby for many years and no had no luck (very low sperm count) Urologist put me on HCG 1500iu 3x week for 6 months. We just had a baby girl who’s now 4 months old. HCG is the bollocks! (Exude the pun) felt great in it, big balls, great sense of well-being, loads of energy. I was gutted to come off it. The only bad thing was the severe acne – mega MEGA acne on my back and neck. Apart from this I really miss being on it.”Reddit User
“I blasted and cruised for 2.5 years before adding HCG into the mix. Sex drive and orgasms are better with HCG – testicles feel ‘fuller’, I get that sensation of the boiling up in my balls pre-orgasm that I hadn’t noticed I’d missed. Load size is back to normal, and that increases the pleasure of the orgasm for me. I’ve had a vasectomy for years, so I never cared about fertility with HCG. I can’t speak to any kind of sense of ‘well being’, I always feel pretty good except when I don’t – lack of sleep, sick, etc. I started blasting 500iu 3x a week just to get thing back to normal, now I’ll switch to 250iu 2x or 3x a week and freeze each vial’s worth in slin pins.”Reddit User
HCG Side Effects
While HCG is known to be phenomenal for increasing Testosterone levels, it does have side effects that you should know of.
- Most peptides will be injected into the stomach fat, which can cause some stomach pain
- HCG is known to increase Estrogen levels
- Some have complained of a “foggy feeling” although, this has not really been studied and documented
HCG vs. Other Compounds
HCG vs Peptides
Certain Peptides like Kisspeptin and Oxytocin have been shown to improve Testosterone and sexual satisfaction levels respectively, however, HCG is going to be bounds better than either of these for those suffering from low libido due to hypogonadism.
HCG vs SERMs
This is where things become tricky to have your hypogonadism treated. Certain people will prefer SERMs while others will prefer HCG.
SERMs are great because they promote positive Estrogen while blocking “bad Estrogen” around the nipples. That said, they can cause sight issues, quite badly in some.
Personally, I have found most of my bodybuilding clients to benefit more from SERMs, however, for people wishing to preserve fertility while on Testosterone replacement therapy, HCG is better.
HCG vs Testosterone
Testosterone is going to be better for the effects it has on the body, muscle growth, fat loss, libido, etc. However, it will downregulate Testosterone production when using exogenous Testosterone.
If you are only looking for the superphysiological benefits, Testosterone might be better (but patients have reported worse sides) and HCG is going to be better for gen pop.
Is Human Chorionic Gonadotropic Hormone Legit?
Absolutely. There are various studies to show its effectiveness, and hundreds (if not thousands) of reviews online.
How much does HCG increase Testosterone?
HCG will cause an increase in Testosterone by acting like Luteinizing Hormone, which will cause the Lydig cells to produce Testosterone. This is why it is prescribed for men who suffer from hypogonadism.
Does HCG help muscle growth?
Not substantially so, but if you suffer from Hypogonadism, more so.
How quickly does HCG increase Testosterone?
This change might take anything from 1 – 3 months, depending on the individual and the reason for their hypogonadism.
Will HCG increase testicle size?
Yes, HCG is known to increase Testical size as it will reactivate the Lydig cells to produce Testosterone.
Should I take HCG with Testosterone?
If you wish to avoid infertility, yes. Bodybuilders will often take these two together to avoid complete Testosterone shutdown as well.
Should I take HCG while on Cycle?
This really will depend on who you ask. Some will have you run a lower dose, some will have you take quite a lot. That said, the general mean is about 2000 – 3000 IU per week.