How To Grow An Inch (In Height)
Everyone grows at different rates throughout childhood, as inches and feet bring us to our adult height. But for those who want to maximize chances of adding those extra inches, there are certain practices that can be incorporated into a regime that can help to grow taller. This also applies after you have finished growing, through a dedicated routine it is very possible to stand taller.
So how is this possible?
Alongside the natural growing process, exercise, diet, and sleep can help influence your adult height. After growth has finished, however, your bones will not grow and longer, but through posture correction, core strengthening exercises, and supplement intake it is also possible to grow taller by regaining "lost" height.
At What Age do we Stop Growing?
If we take a look at some statistics, the average male will finish growing around age 16, with females aged 14 or 15. This does not mean growth stops there for everyone.
In some rare cases growth continues into adulthood (early '20s) but this is mainly determined by genetics. You could ask family members such as parents and grandparents when they stopped growing, as there is a possibility this has been passed down through the genetic code.
How Long Does it Take to Grow an Inch?
This is impossible to answer as everyone is different. However, it is impossible to grow an inch in a day or a week, and anyone who tells you differently is simply lying.
If you are going through a growth spurt then growing an inch can happen faster, within a month or two. Diet, exercise, sleep, and a good amount of sunlight can help influence growth through this phase - See below for more details.
If You Are Still Growing
The Benefits of Exercise And Height Growth
Growth hormone (GH) is a is made by the penurity gland and is a protein that is secreted into the bloodstream that helps us grow. Exercise-induced growth hormone response or (EIGR) has been proven to aid height growth.
It helps by releasing human growth hormone (HGH) into the bloodstream which fuels growth during childhood (1). A number of physiological activities can help to release growth hormone, yet with the evidence collected it is advised that higher intensity exercise is more beneficial for GH release.
Resistance training has positive results and reps + intensity plays a factor here, with a high intensity pushing above the lactate threshold, with exercise over a period of 10 minutes seeing positive results. Endurance training has fewer positive effects on HGH, but activities such as running, jumping, or anything that results in the body working at a higher intensity can also be beneficial for height growth.
Diet Plays a Huge Role In Growth
This one is easy to understand, as by feeding the body with the right vitamins and minerals, you can greatly increase your chances of reaching your potential height. However, putting it into practice can be tricky, as many vitamins and minerals can help aid growth.
The body needs the best chance to be able to digest minerals and vitamins into the body, and some foods can improve digestive health, such as creating an environment where more vitamins and minerals can be absorbed. This increases the chances of feeding the bones with the correct nutrients for them to grow.
Bananas, for example, are fiber-rich and contain inulin, a complex of sugar that feeds healthy bacteria in the gut, enabling a greater absorption of minerals such as calcium, which is essential for bone health.
Calcium is an important mineral for growth, as it is necessary for bone growth and skeletal development. It reaches its peak absorption into bones during a growth spurt in puberty, so it is important to get enough of it while you are growing! Calcium can be found in foods like dairy products such as milk, cheese and also green leafy vegs such as kale, mustard greens, and broccoli.
Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium and promotes bone growth and mineralization. Without it, our bones would simply not grow properly. Sunlight is a great source and 20 mins a few days a week should suffice for a healthy does. In foods, Vitamin D can be found in red meat, oily fish, and egg yolks.
Protein is another important factor for growth, as every cell and tissue contains it so it is needed for growth and bodily maintenance for good health. This can be found in lean meat like beef and lamb, fish and seafood such as prawns and crabs, or dairy products such as Greek yogurt and cheese.
Other minerals that are essential for growth include zinc, Iodine, phosphorus, and with the right diet, you can easily grow an inch of height during a growth spurt!
Sleep Releases Growth Hormone
HGH is released at night during sleep, and the amount of sleep we get is important during growth, as with a deficiency of sleep growth can be stunted, as growth hormone will not be fully released.
Those who follow the natural circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) will see great results. This regulates how alert or sleepy we feel during the day, and at night due to light changes the body releases melatonin, a chemical that makes you tired, and this is the time to sleep and allows the body to follow the full sleep cycle to repair and grow.
Sleep is also closely linked to bodily health, such as regulating mood, energy levels, and general wellbeing, and is as important to life as breathing, as without it we would die!
Growing Taller as an Adult
If you are looking for how to grow an inch as an adult, then it is down to effort. Once the growth plates have fused then your body no longer gets taller through the growth of long bones, so height gains are no longer possible this way.
However, the average adult isn't practicing ways to improve posture, core strength, or taking supplements that can feed the spinal disc cartilage, all of which can make you stand taller, and therefore with some dedication and time, it is possible to grow a little taller. Whether you can reach an inch is questionable, but half an inch is very possible.
Lying Down Will Decompress The Spine
When laying down the spine will decompress and you will regain some lost height from standing. A nap during the day is a perfect way to regain some lost height and prevent you from ever falling to your lowest height during the day. Lying flat on your back is the best way to let the spine stretch out, and the flatter the pillow the better as your neck will also stretch out.
Posture Correction Unlocks Hidden Height
Few of us stand at our maximum height and walk with a perfect posture, and we can unlock some hidden height by correcting this. By walking correctly you will lose less height as you are putting less pressure on the spine. Treatments such as visiting a chiropractor or osteopath can also help to align the spine correctly and help to recover lost height.
Pilates or Yoga Routine
Performing a stretching routine in the mornings for 5-10 minutes can help your back muscles to strengthen and to support the spine, which can help you to maintain height throughout the day and to stand straighter and taller. The way this works for height gain is that it will support the spine, by holding it in position and easing pressure on the discs.
Imagine it is 6 pm, and by practicing a core strengthening routine you could be standing 1cm taller than you would normally at this time, so in a sense you have grown compared to your usual height at that time of the day.
Supplements Can Help Spine/Disc Height
Cartilage-building supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin can help you to stand taller throughout the day. According to research, those who took glucosamine can alter the availability of cartilage building blocks and help counter pain and walk taller (2).
I have personally tried taking 500mg of glucosamine daily for over a year now and it has helped me to grow taller by 3-4 millimeters.
This doesn't sound like much, but if you combine this with morning stretches, strengthening exercises, and hanging, it is very possible to grow a noticeable amount.
The Best Time of Year to Grow
The fastest rate of growth occurs during a growth spurt, which can occur at any time in the year.
Yet, for optimal chances then during Spring/Summer months are some of the best times in the year to influence growth, as it is easy to be physically active outside, and this can help to release growth hormone and the vitamin D from sunlight is absorbed into the body and helps the bones to grow.
Is it Possible to Lose an Inch of Height?
As we age, we will gradually lose around 1cm of height each decade after the age of 40. That means by the time we are around 65 we would have lost an inch of height. This is average, and some people may lose less or more height depending on different factors.
For example, if working a physically intensive job, lifting daily, the spinal discs may degenerate faster than someone working an office job resulting in losing height at a faster rate.
Conversely, someone who takes care of their posture through core strengthening exercise, spinal stretches, and a healthy diet may very well lose only a fraction of height by age 65.
There are no guarantees you will grow an inch by using everything discussed on this page. If you are still growing then it is very possible to aid the growth process by following a dedicated routine.
After growth has finished, by combining all of the above, such as core strengthening exercises, stretching, correcting posture, and supplement intake, the average person is going to stand around half an inch taller throughout the day.
This does make a notifiable difference in height, and for man will also help you to sit and stand with less pain. This takes effort and a daily regime to maintain, but if extra height is what you desire, then this effort may be worth it.