Exercise is a potent stimulus for growth hormone (GH) release, although aging appears to attenuate this response. The aim of this study was to investigate GH responses to different exercise stimuli in young and early middle-aged men. Eight men aged 18-25 y and 8 men aged 40-50 y completed 3 trials, at least 7 days apart, in a random order: 30 s cycle-ergometer sprint (sprint), 30 min resistance exercise bout (resistance), 30 min cycle at 70% maximal oxygen consumption (endurance). Blood samples were taken pre-, during, and post-exercise, and area under the GH vs. time curve was calculated for a total of 120 min. Mean blood lactate concentrations and percentage heart rate maximum at which the participants were working were not different between groups in any of the trials. In both groups, blood lactate concentrations were significantly lower in the endurance trial than in the sprint and resistance trials. There were no significant differences in resting GH concentration between groups or trials. GH AUC was significantly greater in the young group than the early middle-aged group, in both sprint (531 (+/- 347) vs. 81 (+/- 54) mu g.L-1 per 120 min, p = 0.003) and endurance trials (842 (+/- 616) vs. 177 (+/- 137) mu g.L-1 per 120 min, p = 0.010). Endurance exercise elicits a greater GH response than sprint and resistance exercise; however, aging per se, factors associated with aging, or an inability to achieve a sufficient absolute exercise intensity results in a smaller GH response to an exercise stimulus in early middle-aged men.
- growth hormone