January 10, 2022 Damon Hayhow

The Truth About Grey Market Peptides

QUESTION: What do you think about peptides like GHRP6, Ipamorelin, CJC-1295 etc? I hear they are as good as taking Growth Hormone? Are they safe?

The first person who raved about GHRP6 to me claimed to have put on 5kg of pure muscle in just a few weeks from it. He told me it was among the most incredible performance enhancing drugs he had ever used.

Upon probing, he eventually admitted that he was also taking high dose steroids, with high dose HGH, and insulin, and a bunch of other PEDS, at the same time. He also did not measure his body composition, food or training. But he swore it was the GHRP6 that put 5kg of muscle on him, based on having used all those drug and doses previously without GHRP-6 and somehow gaining nothing.

Soon I was receiving regular requests for information on where and how to get ‘peptides’? New websites were regularly popping up, selling products with massive discounts for bulk purchases and raving about peptides with the usual hyperbole of a worthless fad product already going out of favour. What I read about (HGH releasing) ‘peptides’ continued to make no sense. And I still did not know a single person who could point to any kind of objectively positive outcome.

So, I decided to do an experiment on myself. I kept my diet and training measured, constant and 100% consistent, and added GHRP6 and GRF that I sourced from a reputable pharmacy. I took the 5 injections of each, per day, necessary for optimal effect. Yes, I took the 10 injections per day that I read would result in maximum HGH release.

The result: in 3 weeks I gained 3kg of fat and lost 2kg of muscle. At that point I terminated the experiment and spent the next several months trying to fix the damage to my physique.

Though I cannot quantify it, restoring the body composition I had before that experiment seemed strangely slower and harder than it should have been. Such difficulty could be expected from taking a drug that mimics Ghrelin. Unless you are a sumo wrestler, doping with a drug that mimics Ghrelin is ludicrously stupid. But this is what these peptides are designed to be.

2 years later I ran a similar experiment with CJC-1295 with Ipamorelin, but this time I added blood tests. With the same 10 injections per day, for 2 weeks, there was precisely zero change in my IGF-1 levels or body composition. So, by that measure, I can say CJC-1295 with Ipamorelin is better than GHRP6 with GRF, because it did not reduce performance and muscle mass while making me fat. It did absolutely nothing.

Unless you are a sumo wrestler, doping with a drug that mimics Ghrelin is ludicrously stupid. But this is what these peptides are designed to be.

Since then I have been fortunate to do blood tests on more than a dozen people using a variety of protocols. In the vast majority of cases there has been zero change to their IGF-1. And in the couple of instances where there were improvements, the improvement was less than some people get from taking arginine with ornithine amino acid supplements. In other words, irrelevant.

In 2013 I met an American man wanting to sell peptides in volume through the hospital I was consulting for. He confirmed all of my worst suspicions. Probably the most telling revelation came when my colleagues and I pushed back on the physical impossibility of these peptides entering the bloodstream via the skin, as promised by the transdermal cream products. “Who cares?” he said. “People want to buy them anyway”. The fact that the entire class of products was absolutely useless and based on total lies was irrelevant to him. And it was equally irrelevant to countless supplement stores and clinics in Australia that sold his garbage after we rejected him.

Beyond the fact that these products are useless to negative, I think the most damning thing of all is, most people are spending the same, or even more money on these peptides as they would spend on effective therapeutic doses of legally prescribed HGH! Whatever you want to believe about peptides, clearly it makes no sense to spend the same money as getting the real thing. In fact, even if someone tries telling you grey-market peptides are better, it would still make more sense to trial HGH for a reference point of what to expect.

In terms of taking HGH, it is well known that an effective therapeutic dose of HGH (2iu/d) is minimally profound in its effect on body composition and performance (except for very specific situations/conditions). The maximum effect of peptides has been suggested to be equivalent to taking 1iu/d, which I would argue is such a low dose as to be a waste of time for anybody in any situation.

So, after all that I can emphatically say that Ipamorelin, in my experience, absolutely does not “work” in any practical sense of the word. On the basis of its complete ineffectiveness, however, I would expect that it is safe.

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Damon Hayhow

Damon Hayhow has been in the body recomposition (Recomp) and bodybuilding industry for 30 years as a coach, competitor, gym owner, teacher, sponsor, show promoter, judge and MC. He has won National competitions in both powerlifting and bodybuilding, set world records, and coached others to the same success in strength sport and physique competition.

Body recomposition diet and training concepts based on logic and reason; not scientism