Does Exogenous Growth Hormone Improve Athletic Performance?

Clin J Sport Med. 2002 Jul;12(4):250-3. doi: 10.1097/00042752-200207000-00009.


Objective: To conduct a critical appraisal of the literature to address the question of whether human growth hormone (HGH) improves performance in trained athletes.

Data sources: Used PubMed using the search terms of "growth hormone athletes" and the reference lists of previous reviews of the subject.

Study selection: Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study of exogenous HGH on muscle power in trained athletes. Only one study matched the search criteria.

Conclusion: There is no evidence of increased muscle strength with HGH in trained athletes.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Doping in Sports
  • Growth Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance*
  • Placebos
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sports*
  • Substance Abuse Detection
  • Task Performance and Analysis


  • Placebos
  • Growth Hormone