Ghrelin – The Hunger Hormone


Ghrelin is the sister hormone to Leptin and has a similar job in the body, produced in the stomach and released in the body just before we eat and stops when the body feels it has enough energy to function hence why it is known as ‘The Hunger Hormone’. Although primarily known as a hormone Ghrelin is also an amino acid.

Ghrelin influences our eating patterns by sending signals to our brains when the stomach is empty. A study was carried out with 18 men and women all aged 23 who fasted overnight and where injected with Ghrelin and shown high and low calorie foods and told to rate then 1 to 5, they carried out the test twice, once after being injected with Ghrelin and another time under normal circumstances. Whilst they where looking at the foods their brains where being monitored to see what impact the hormone was having. The results showed that when more Ghrelin was present in the body the participants rated the high calorie foods higher. This has led experts to believe that Ghrelin is a major factor in obesity and there has been suggestion of medicines that block Ghrelin to being a cure of obesity, but why not do it a safe and natural way?

Ways to keep The Ghrelin hormone in check:


Getting proper sleep keeps the production of Ghrelin to a minimum, it is recommended that you get 6-8 hours sleep per night, by leading a healthy lifestyle (eating organic foods and regular exercise) you will improve the quality of your sleep and therefor reduce your hunger.

Eat breakfast!

Often said to be the most important meal of the day and not without good reason, the Ghrelin hormone is most active when the stomach is empty and after being in a fasted state whilst asleep (6-8 hours of no food) it is important to eat a healthy nutritious breakfast, try some porridge, fruit or boiled eggs.

Eat small and often!

Eating small nutritious meals 5-6 times a day will keep food in the stomach and therefore limit the release of Ghrelin keeping the hunger to a minimum, in this case portion control is key!

Joe Neill
Personal trainer @ Liverpool Personal Training studios
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About Author

I am an ex-professional athlete & personal trainer based in No Limits Strength & Conditioning Gym in Liverpool I have the first-hand experience of first class training and nutrition. I can build a program to suit your goals and needs, teaching you everything you need to make that transformation. A keen interest in Nutrition and exercise has led to me to enrolling on Exercise and Sport Science Degree which allows me to bring advanced and ground breaking methods into practice. Whether you’re interested in muscle gain, fat loss or performance I have proven strategies to produce continual progress with my clients.

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