In the past three months, using a series of scientifically backed protocols, I have increased my height by almost three-quarters of an inch. In this article I will explain how I did it along with the real science behind how to grow taller.
How to Grow Taller
Standing at 5’9 ½ I have never really considered myself “short.” That being said, like most men, I have always wished I could be a little bit taller. My first stop in my attempt to become taller was the internet. Unfortunately what I found were a lot of internet marketers making outrageous claims in an attempt to peddle their e-books…
“Learn How to Grow SIX INCHES TALLER in Just 3 Short Weeks!!!”
“Newly Discovered Mongolian ‘Super Fruit’ will Make You 3 Inches Taller Overnight… GUARANTEED!”
“Learn the Ancient Chinese Art of Pressure Points to Help Release Growth Hormones for Maximum Height…”
You’re kidding me right? Does anyone actually believe that stuff?
Those e-books are SCAMS!
It’s understandable why there is so much trash out there. Height enhancement is the holy grail of men’s self improvement. Most men, if given the opportunity to change one thing about their bodies, would ask to be taller.
Unlike most of the frauds and charlatans out there, I won’t promise that I can make you six inches taller in just a few short weeks. I won’t tell you about some ancient secret potion that will cause you to grow three inches overnight. And I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you about mystical energy points on the soles of your feet that are “guaranteed to release growth hormones.” Instead, I will assume that you are a reasonable person who is suspicious of ANY claims someone makes that they can make you taller. (I don’t blame you.)
What this article aims to do is give you real methods, taken from legitimate scientific research, which I have personally used to grow slightly taller.
If you’re still reading this and haven’t slammed your laptop closed while cursing me as a fraud, you’re probably asking one question…
“So how much taller can I grow?”
As with most things, it depends. If someone followed all the advice in this article, I would say they’d probably grow about half to three-quarters of an inch in three months, and potentially up to two inches at the very max given a longer time frame.
“Two inches max?! But So-and-So Guru said they could make me six inches taller if I bought their e-book!”
I hate to beak it to you, but So-and-So Guru lied.
Like I said, I’m not going to pander to you and say that I can make you six inches taller just because that’s what you want to hear. Based on the science, two inches is probably the very maximum someone can realistically hope to achieve. But don’t despair. While two inches may not sound like a lot, in reality it is.
According to the CDC the average American male is a little over 5’9, and as most people are within five inches of each other in height, adding two inches can be the difference between being considered short and being average. Or if you’re already average height, it can be the difference between being considered average and being tall.
But if you want to run off and buy some e-book promising to make you six inches taller with “one weird trick” by all means, be my guest.
You still here? Okay good.
Through all the research I did on how to grow taller the only legitimate method I found that a person could use to actually gain height after puberty was an expensive and painful procedure known as limb lengthening surgery in which your leg bones are surgically broken, then stretched apart with rods over the course of a few months. (Yes. It is as painful as it sounds.)
Needless to say, that was off the table.
But that couldn’t be my only option. I refused to believe that with all the advances in modern science and medicine there wasn’t a single method, short of surgery, which someone could use to become just a little bit taller.
So I did some digging.
Upon further research I discovered that, while the height industry is full of scammers, there were in fact legitimate scientific studies which had been done in the area of human height enhancement. And while the results of those studies may not have been as provocative as some of the scammers’ claims, they had the advantage of not being flat out lies.
It turns out that short of the aforementioned limb lengthening surgery, there are no scientifically validated ways for a person to lengthen their bones. There are however other ways that a person can increase their height.
“But if a person can’t make their bones longer, then how can they grow taller?”
The answer lies with the spine.
The spine is comprised of 33 separate bones known as the vertebrae. Between each vertebra is a disc made of a hard, gelatin-like substance known as cartilage. And while a person’s bones may not be capable of growing, the cartilage is…
If you can increase the thickness of your intervertebral discs, you can increase your height.
MATH TIME – The human spine accounts for 33% of a person’s overall height, and the intervertebral discs account for 25% of the spine’s height. Therefore 8.33% of a person’s overall height is based on the thickness of these intervertebral discs.
33 x .25 = 8.33
So if a man is 5’9 (69 inches), 5.7 inches of his height are from these intervertebral discs.
8.33% of 69 inches = 5.7 inches
If he were to increase the thickness of each intervertebral disc by an average of just 5%, he could gain 0.285 inches in height – or a little more than a quarter of an inch.
5% of 5.7 inches = 0.285 inches
What’s great about this is that science has known for years that the intervertebral discs are extremely flexible and are constantly changing in size. In fact, every 24 hours your spine changes in length by about 3/4th of an inch.
You read that right. If you were to measure yourself as soon as you got up in the morning, and then measure yourself again right before you went to bed, you’d find that you were 3/4th of an inch shorter.
The reason for this is that as you go about your day to day business, gravity is pushing down on you and compressing the intervertebral discs of your spine, forcing fluid out of them.
Luckily with a full night’s rest your body has time to decompress these discs and return them to their original thickness.
But what if you could make them even thicker…
SECTION 1 – How to Gain Real Height
I will assume that everyone reading this has passed puberty and is no longer actively growing. For those of you who are still growing, if you are seriously concerned about your height, I encourage you to approach your doctor about the issue. You are at a stage where something can still be done about it. Take advantage of your situation and act now. Once this window closes there is nothing you can do to open it again.
For the rest of you – short of limb lengthening surgery – there are only two realistic options for growing taller…
Increase the thickness of your connective tissue
Improve your posture
Let’s take them one at a time…
Increase the Thickness of Your Connective Tissue
Method 1: Nutritional Supplementation
While countless online advertisements may have you believing that you can be 6’3” by purchasing their secret Chinese formula, no pill is going to make you grow 3 inches in just a few short weeks.
That being said, out of all the scams and trash and fake products out there, there is one supplement which has been scientifically shown to slightly increase a person’s height. You’ve probably heard of this supplement, and you may even have it in your medicine cabinet already.
That supplement is glucosamine sulphate.
A 2002 double blind, placebo controlled study lead by Dr. Peter McCarthy of the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic at Glamorgan University showed that 1500mg of glucosamine sulphate daily for four weeks can cause an average increase in height of two to four millimeters.
(NOTE: I know that four millimeters doesn’t sound like a lot – and it’s not – but when combined with other methods, every little bit adds ups. A few millimeters from one method, a couple millimeters from another, and eventually you’ve gained noticeable height.)
Let’s take a look at the specifics of the study.
Thirty-six healthy volunteers were measured and then split into two groups of eighteen. One group was given 1500mg of glucosamine sulphate daily and the other group was given a placebo. At the end of four weeks, each of the participants was measured again. Those participants who were given glucosamine sulphate were an average of two to four millimeters taller than their original measurements.
Now before you go out and start popping glucosamine pills by the dozen hoping to make yourself as tall as Chris Hemsworth, let’s explore this a little further.
While the study did show an increase in height, Dr. McCarthy states in his conclusion that “The results of the present study do not allow the determination of the reason for the underlying changes. However, it is considered more likely that these are the result of a reduction in diurnal spinal shrinkage.”
If you’ll remember, the average person loses about 3/4 of an inch in height over the course of the day due to the effects of gravity on the body. What glucosamine sulphate appears to do is reduce the amount of “shrinkage” that occurs over the course of a day. So while glucosamine sulphate may not make you “grow”, you will walk around taller than you normally would.
Method 2: Hydration
Maintaining an adequate level of hydration is vital if you want to be as tall as possible, as dehydration has a significant effect on spinal height.
Research has shown that when the body dehydrates, it pulls water from the ligaments, tendons, and intervertebral discs first before moving on to the organs and eventually the brain.
Cartilage – specifically the intervertebral discs of the spine – is composed of approximately 80% water, and a loss of just 12% of the water from these discs can cause a decrease in their thickness by as much as 50%.
This means if you are chronically dehydrated you could potentially be losing out on over 4% of your maximum height just because you’re not drinking enough water.
(Disc height accounts for 8.33% of overall height.) 50% of 8.33 = 4.165
Proper hydration is also linked to a many other health benefits including:
- Increased athletic performance
- Improved mental function
- Better skin, hair, eyes, etc
- Increased immune function
- Better digestion
- And more…
In fact, increasing the amount of water you drink is probably the single best thing you can do for your body.
The Institute of Medicine recommends 125 ounces (about a gallon) of water a day for men and 91 ounces for women.
During my experiment I filled up a one gallon milk container with water ever morning and attempted to finish it by the end of the day.
Method 3: Spinal Decompression
Another way to increase the thickness of the intervertebral discs is with spinal decompression.
Used consistently, this method can help you increase the overall thickness of your intervertebral connective tissue.
Research has shown that it is possible to rehydrate the spine by “sucking” water back into the intervertebral disc through engagement in cycles of compression and traction.
This repetitive traction and compression produces “imbibation and osmosis” of water into the discs which act to regenerate the discs’ thickness and height.
It has been shown that in addition to disc rehydration, cycles of compression and traction on the spine temporarily reduces the elastic potential of the intervertebral discs by up to 95 percent.
For the purposes of height enhancement it is important to temporarily reduce this elastic potential because during normal function, the spine will rebound against any force applied to it and continue to maintain its current structure. However when the spine is soft, it is easier to mold it into a new structure.
For this experiment I purchased an inversion table which allows me to recline to an inverted position.
I engaged in a daily regimen of spinal decompression exercises over the course of my experiment – the details of which I discuss later in this article.
Improve Your Posture
Most people who spend a good portion of their day sitting (almost everyone) have some form of the postural problem known as kypholordosis.
Together these postural problems increase the spinal curve and result in a decrease in height.
Poor posture in healthy individuals can usually be explained by two things. Overly loose muscles on one side of the body, and overly tight muscles on the opposing side of the body.
Therefore the quickest way to improve your posture is to stretch out the tight muscles in order to balance your body. This will ensure you are standing as tall as possible.
Kypholordosis is usually caused by overly tight quads and overly loose glutes which cause the hips to tilt forward, and an overly tight chest and overly loose back which causes the shoulders and head to hunch forward.
The following two stretches will fix these problems and re-align your body…
It is important to hold each stretch for an extended period of time. Opinions differ, but twenty seconds is generally considered the bare minimum.
The reason for this is that when you begin stretching your body activates its myotatic reflex. The myotatic reflex is your body’s unconscious attempt to prevent injury or tearing of the muscles. It does this by slightly contracting the muscles as they begin to stretch.
You can feel this reflex for yourself when you attempt to do the splits. After holding the split position for an extended period you will find that you can slowly relax down into the stretch a little further than you could when you started. This is because the myotatic reflex has stopped.
I recommend holding each stretch for ninety seconds for maximum effect.
SECTION 2 – How to Gain Fake Height
This section is dedicated to methods that will help you appear taller, but won’t actually make you grow taller.
Method 1: Boots
The first thing I would recommend is buying a good pair of thick soled boots. I own the above pair of Diesel boots which give me an extra half inch over standard shoes.
Wearing boots is a personal choice, and they don’t go with every style, but if they work with your outfits, use them.
Method 2: Shoe Lifts
Height increasing insoles are by far the quickest and easiest way to gain some extra fake height.
The brand I tested out for this article was fairly comfortable and easily added an extra inch to my height, and at just $7 the price can’t be beat. They come with an extra attachment which can add another half inch, but I would recommend against using it. When I tried wearing the insoles with the extra half inch attachment added, they were extremely uncomfortable. While without the attachment I barely noticed them.
I wouldn’t recommend wearing these insoles every day. There are two reasons for this. The first is physical in that wearing these insoles every day is bad for your posture. Your calf muscles will tighten and throw your body out of alignment.
The second reason is psychological. By wearing insoles every day your body will adjust to a new “normal” and once you take them off you’ll feel even shorter than you did before.
I made this mistake myself while researching this article. I wore the insoles every day for three weeks straight, then when I stopped wearing them I actually felt shorter than did before because I had become accustomed to being an inch taller.
Save the insoles for special occasions. Wear them on a first date to add an extra inch. Wear them to an interview to give you an extra confidence boost. Wear them for a photo shoot or your high school reunion, but don’t make them a permanent part of your life. Wear them when you want a little extra boost.
Method 3: Hairstyles
If you’re like most men, you’ve found a hairstyle you like and have stuck with it for years. Maybe it’s time to change it up.
Choosing a hairstyle which is longer on the top while remaining shorter on the sided adds to the appearance of height and can also help make your face look thinner.
Method 4: Slim Down
By lowering your body fat you are not only able to fit your clothes better, but you create an optical illusion of height. People naturally see slimmer objects as longer than their thicker counterparts even when both objects are the same size. The same principle applies to the human body.
Method 5: Fashion
Clothes are about utility, but fashion is about illusion.
While there are a many ways to create the illusion of extra height with the right clothes, the basic idea is draw a person’s eyes upward. The easiest way to do this is by adding mass and drawing attention to the upper body. When people judge the height of an object, they tend to judge is on its center of mass, not it’s geometric center.
If I asked you to put your finger in the center of the triangle below, you would probably place your finger along the red line. That’s because you have an intuitive understanding of the triangle’s center of mass. In actuality though, the geometric center (in terms of its height) is along the blue line. You can trick the brain into thinking an object is taller than it really is by making it’s center of mass appear higher.
Another simple way to make a person look taller is by raising the waist of their pants which gives the appearance of longer legs.
- The man on the right is slimmer.
- His pants have a higher waist. (Giving the appearance of longer legs.)
- The cuffs on his pants were removed. (Also giving the appearance of longer legs.)
- He has a “taller” hairstyle.
Those four simple changes make him look noticeably taller.
SECTION 3 – The MAN v CITY “How to Grow Taller” Regimen
Below is the program I have devised to help you gain three-quarters of an inch in real height within the next three months.
(NOTE: The following regimen requires an inversion table. If you don’t have one you can take out the exercises that utilize it and simply focus on the posture exercises and nutritional supplementation, however you will not make the same gains.)
Each morning immediately after you wake up and use the bathroom, drink a glass of water and take 1500mg of glucosamine sulphate.
Do a warm-up of 100 jumping jacks, 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups, and 100 body weight squats to get your blood flowing.
When you’re finished, spend next two or three minutes doing torso rotations. Stretch from side to side and forward and backwards, holding each position for five seconds. Then twist to the left and to the right, again holding each position for five seconds. This will loosen up your spine and warm up your intervertebral discs.
Upon finishing, immediately strap yourself onto your inversion table to begin your spinal decompression exercises.
Gripping the sides of the inversion table, apply negative pressure to your spine, stretching your head as close to the ground possible.
If it becomes too uncomfortable sit up for a few seconds before returning to an inverted position and stretching some more.
The entire process should take around twenty minutes.
(NOTE: The reason for doing the spinal decompression exercises in the morning rather than at any other time of the day is because most of the height a person loses during the day from the effects of gravity happen within the first three hours upon waking. The purpose of the decompression and traction is to slowly stretch and increase the fluid capacity of these discs. The only way to do that is to stretch them when they are already full. Otherwise you are just stretching the already compressed discs back to their original size.)
After finishing these spinal decompression stretches, move on to stretching your muscles to improve your posture.
Start off with the hip flexor stretch. (Ninety seconds on each leg.)
Then place each arm on either side of a door frame and stretch your chest. (Ninety seconds total.)
Other than that, fill up a one gallon milk container with water each morning and try to finish by the time you go to bed each night.
Bonus Method: Swimming
You’ll find many people on the internet claiming that basketball and swimming will make you taller. To back up this claim they will usually say something like, “Take a look at basketball players and swimmers. They are all really tall. Therefore if I play basketball and swim I’ll be tall as well.”
This kind of thinking expertly illustrates a classic mistake in logic – interpreting correlation as causality.
Basketball does not make you tall. It’s just that people who are tall have a natural advantage at basketball and are therefore are more likely to play it.
Bad logic aside though, swimming is one sport that can actually make you taller. Spending long periods of time in water will decompress the spine in the same way that floating in outer space will. It can also improve your posture by increasing your flexibility and strengthening your back muscles which, together with the rest of the posterior chain, are what supports your spine.
As an added bonus swimming is a great cardio workout which, when combined with proper nutrition, can help lower your body fat.
So there you have it. No scams and no magic pills. Just real, scientifically validated methods you can use to grow taller.
Using these methods I have increased my height by three-quarters of an inch within the past three months. Not the biggest increase, but still nothing to slouch at – no pun intended.
Until next time,