Titus Thorne

Last Updated March 15, 2023

Titus Thorne

 March 15, 2023

Interested in researching…GHK-Cu for bodybuilding?

GHK-Cu potentially offers several effects that may be relevant to bodybuilding, including increased blood flow and faster tissue repair.

But is there any truth to this? Or is GHK-Cu for muscle growth and bodybuilding a “scam” in some ways?

To help separate fact from fiction, we have reviewed the available literature to help qualified researchers understand more about GHK-Cu’s potential for bodybuilding.

Below, researchers will find an overview of GHK-Cu, including some of…

  • Its documented benefits
  • How GHK-Cu has been dosed in past experiments
  • Potential directions for future research

Researchers looking to conduct research with GHK-Cu will find the details of our preferred peptide vendor below, as well.

Let’s begin!

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Disclaimer: Peptides.org contains information about products that are intended for laboratory and research use only, unless otherwise explicitly stated. This information, including any referenced scientific or clinical research, is made available for educational purposes only. Peptides.org makes every effort to ensure that any information it shares complies with national and international standards for clinical trial information and is committed to the timely disclosure of the design and results of all interventional clinical studies for innovative treatments publicly available or that may be made available. However, research is not considered conclusive. Peptides.org makes no claims that any products referenced can cure, treat or prevent any conditions, including any conditions referenced on its website or in print materials.

What is GHK-Cu?

GHK is a peptide, which is a chain of amino acids that is not quite as long as a protein. It is naturally made in the body and consists of three amino acids: glycine, histidine, and lysine. When this peptide bonds with a molecule of copper, it becomes GHK-Cu peptide [1].

GHK-Cu is responsible for keeping DNA healthy and activating the genes that repair tissue. At the same time, it turns off the genes that are responsible for inflammation and the breakdown of tissue [1]. High levels of GHK-Cu have been directly linked to the rate at which wounds and injuries can heal.

GHK-Cu was first discovered by Dr. Loren Pickart and his team in 1973 [2]. They noticed that liver tissue from older adults began to behave and repair itself like young liver tissue when it was incubated in the blood of younger adults. In other words, the blood of younger people seemed to revive the liver. High levels of GHK-Cu were identified as one of the main reasons behind this observation.

This peptide is plentiful in the body during youth but declines substantially with age [3]. A relative decline in GHK-Cu production may be one of the reasons why the body’s natural healing processes decline with age.

In the following section, we’ll explore some of the purported benefits of GHK-Cu.


Benefits of GHK-Cu

Researchers have conducted extensive research into GHK-Cu in vitro, and in both animal and human test subjects and have found that it offers numerous benefits including skin rejuvenation and anti-aging properties [3, 4, 5, 6]. 

GHK-Cu is available to researchers in a variety of forms including creams, skin serums, tablets, and injectable solutions and powders. Some of its potential benefits include:

  • Skin repair, wrinkle reduction, and anti-aging effects [4]
  • Hair growth [1]
  • Antibacterial effects and infection reduction [5]
  • Tissue remodeling [7]
  • Repairing wounds [1]
  • Lung and gut tissue healing [1]
  • Nerve regeneration [6]
  • Psychological benefits, including anti-pain, anti-anxiety, and anti-aggression effects [3].

While data from cosmetic trials and wound healing studies has not indicated any link between GHK-Cu and major side effects [1].

GHK-Cu Dosage Guide | What Researchers MUST Know

While existing research data suggests that GHK-Cu peptide offers several cosmetic benefits such as reducing visible signs of aging [4], there is no clear data regarding the most effective GHK-Cu dosage. In this section, we will review how GHK-Cu has been dosed in past trials and experiments.

GHK-Cu Injections

First, we will take a looking at dosing GHK-Cu in an injectable format:

Injectable GHK-Cu Dosage

GHK-Cu works systematically and may be administered to test subjects anywhere in the body, either subcutaneously (under the skin) or intramuscularly (into the muscle) to have an effect throughout the body—and not just in the area where it is injected.

Data from scientific studies indicates that GHK-Cu has been administered to test subjects at the following doses:

  • One study found that a total treatment dose of 1.1 milligrams (mg) per kg of body weight is effective for healing [8]. That equates to 77 mg for a 70 kg test subject.
  • Other studies have suggested that a total treatment dose of 100-200 mg would also produce healing effects, but note that lower doses are likely effective [1, 9].

Although these studies found that GHK-Cu is well-tolerated by test subjects [3], it has been shown to lower blood pressure [8]. This suggests that researchers should carefully screen test subjects for hypertension and other pre-existing conditions.

A lethal GHK-Cu dose has been estimated at over 330 mg/kg, roughly 23,000 mg for a 70 kg test subject. This makes accidental overdose extremely unlikely [8].

GHK-Cu Cycle

Anecdotal reports suggest that GHK-Cu for athletic performance can be administered based on the following guidelines [10]:

  • GHK-Cu dosing: 1-2 mg each day of the cycle, via subcutaneous or intramuscular injections.
  • Frequency: 1 per day. Or, several injections a day with partial doses.
  • Cycle duration: 10-30 days.
  • Cycle: take at least one month off; repeat based on observations.

Here we must reiterate that under no circumstances do we encourage the unsupervised self-administration of GHK-Cu or any other peptide.

GHK-Cu Topicals

Researchers may opt to conduct research with GHK-Cu creams and topical ointments.

Research shows that topicals may be effective for wound healing, repairing damaged skin, reducing signs of aging, and stimulating hair growth [4].

So, how have GHK-CU topical treatments been administered to test subjects in past studies? 

GHK-Cu Topical Dosage

There have been a number of placebo-controlled clinical studies that have investigated the ability of GHK-Cu to improve skin quality in women [4]. These studies have involved once-daily application of thigh creams and facial creams containing GHK-Cu. This research has not linked GHK-Cu topicals to any serious side effects and test subjects did not experience irritation or adverse effects [1, 4, 11].

GHK-Cu For Beginners

GHK-Cu is generally seen as non-harmful by the research community and should pose no challenges to researchers who are new to this peptide.

Dr. Pickart has stated that “no issues have ever arisen during its use as a skin cosmetic or in human wound healing studies” [1]. Based on the research to date, all peptide researchers can confidently conduct additional studies with GHK-Cu.

GHK-Cu For Healing

Several studies have indicated that GHK-Cu can decrease the time it takes for skin tissue to repair itself. For example, GHK-Cu was found to increase the healing rate after a burn by 33% in mice [12]. The peptide also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which is perhaps why it has been found to help prevent wound infections [13].

The peptide may be useful in test subjects with compromised immune systems. For example, one study found that GHK-Cu helped test subjects with diabetes recover more effectively from wounds. The study found that GHK-Cu resulted in a 40% improvement in ulcer closures and a 27% reduction in infections compared to a control group [5]. Similar results were found in test subjects with ischemic open wounds [14].

Other studies have found that GHK-Cu can help to protect and repair lung tissue [1] and gut tissue, and even prevent the growth of cancerous tissue [9, 15].

GHK-Cu For Muscle Growth

The efficacy of GHK-Cu in increasing or enhancing muscle growth has yet to be tested in human clinical trials. To date, no research has linked GHK-Cu to muscle growth in human test subjects. Therefore, this peptide has no known direct effect on increasing muscle mass or speeding up muscle growth in test subjects.

What we do know is that some of the proven effects of GHK-Cu may be helpful in the muscle-building process…

Muscle Growth Happens When the Body Repairs Itself

Muscle growth occurs through hypertrophy, a process where high levels of resistance create microscopic tears in muscle fibers, and the body repairs and replaces those muscle fibers—fusing them and adding new ones [16].

Researchers should note that muscles do not grow during exercise; they grow during periods of recovery—when the body repairs itself.

GHK-Cu Helps Repair Tissue

Since GHK-Cu has some role in the body’s ability to repair itself, it may be useful in supporting muscle growth in test subjects. 

For example, we know that GHK-Cu is angiogenic, which means it helps to create new blood vessels and increases blood flow [12]. Since adequate blood flow is necessary for the proper function and growth of muscle, this is one way that GHK-Cu could potentially support muscle growth in test subjects.

Another is by supporting the health of DNA that directs the building of muscles. GHK-Cu has been found to repair damaged DNA and “reset” it to a healthier state [1]. Creating healthier DNA could, potentially, lead to better muscle growth.

Lastly, GHK-Cu may speed up tissue repair in general. Since the repair of muscle tissue is what leads to muscle growth, this effect could suggest an application of GHK-Cu in the fields of bodybuilding and athletic performance in general.

Lack of Research on GHK-Cu for Muscle Growth

We reiterate that the actual ability of GHK-Cu to play any role in muscle growth has yet to be tested. What we do know suggests that GHK-Cu could be useful in improving and supporting processes like hypertrophy and tissue repair in test subjects. The documented effects of GHK-CU, including its role in repairing tissue, repairing DNA, and increasing blood flow, are undeniably relevant to the field of bodybuilding.

GHK-Cu’s role in muscle growth is a clear opportunity for further research.


Where to Buy GHK-Cu Online? | 2023 Guide

Think GHK-Cu could be the right peptide for a future experiment?

Little is known about the effect of GHK-Cu on muscle growth, hair growth, wound healing, and skin health, etc. — and researchers may want a cost-effective solution for buying research-grade GHK-Cu.

GHK-Cu is not available in stores, but is available online to qualified researchers. In our experience, Peptide Sciences is the best vendor of research-grade injectable GHK-Cu known to man.

We love Peptide Sciences for a number of reasons:

  1. They offer great customer service: Researchers can talk to a human being if they encounter an issue with their order.
  2. Fast shipping: Peptide Sciences is based in the U.S., so shipping within the U.S. is quick, and most products arrive within a week. Shipping internationally takes longer, but it is still convenient. Researchers may receive their shipment  within a week and a half. 
  3. Convenient payment options: Cryptocurrencies and most major cards are accepted.

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Bacteriostatic Water for Injection

While it’s great that you plan to source your GHK-Cu from a reputable vendor, you still need a few more materials to be fully equipped for your research. To properly administer and store peptides, researchers must have the right tools available.

These include sterile necessities like vials, insulin syringes, and needles, as well as bacteriostatic water and alcohol prep pads. For these items, we recommend:


This provider is sure to satisfy with its deluxe supply kits that are tailored to the demands of researchers like you. Choose from two convenient packages that are packed with all you need to jumpstart your peptide studies.

The BacteriostaticWater.org selection features a solid starter research kit, packed with these essentials:

  • Bacteriostatic Water (30mL) – 3x
  • Insulin Syringes (0.5 cc/mL x 29g x ½) – 100x
  • Alcohol Prep Pads – 200x
  • Sterile Empty Glass Vial (10mL) – 1x
  • Large Needles + Syringes Combo (3cc x 21g x 1) – 10x

Clients who require more items enjoy the premium research kit, replete with:

  • Bacteriostatic Water (30mL) – 5x
  • Insulin Syringes (0.5 cc/mL x 29g x ½) – 200x
  • Alcohol Prep Pads – 200x
  • Sterile Empty Glass Vial (10mL) – 2x
  • Large Needles + Syringes Combo (3cc x 21g x 1) – 20x

Improve your research with a superior set of supplies from our favorite online retailer.

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GHK-Cu For Bodybuilding | Verdict

GHK-Cu may not be a miracle peptide for bodybuilding and muscle growth,

However, several studies have shown that it offers several benefits and could potentially support muscle growth in test subjects. GHK-Cu has been shown to increase healing speed, improve skin quality, and promote hair growth.

As GHK-Cu’s potential as a peptide for bodybuilding has yet to be researched, it is an ideal candidate for qualified researchers looking to conduct further research in this area. GHK-Cu may help with injury recovery, blood flow, and the DNA damage that occurs with age.

Buy GHK-Cu from our #1 recommended vendor...


  1. Pickart, L., Vasquez-Soltero, J. M., & Margolina, A. (2014). GHK and DNA: resetting the human genome to health. BioMed Research International, 151479. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/151479
  2. Pickart, L., Thayer, L., & Thaler, M. M. (1973). A synthetic tripeptide which increases survival of normal liver cells, and stimulates growth in hepatoma cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 54(2), 562-566.
  3. Pickart, L., & Margolina, A. (2018). Regenerative and protective actions of the GHK-Cu peptide in the light of the new gene data. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(7), 1987.
  4. Pickart, L., Vasquez-Soltero, J. M., & Margolina, A. (2015). GHK peptide as a natural modulator of multiple cellular pathways in skin regeneration. BioMed Research International, 648108. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/648108
  5. Mulder, G. D., Patt, L. M., Sanders, L., Rosenstock, J., Altman, M. I., Hanley, M. E., & Duncan, G. W. (1994). Enhanced healing of ulcers in patients with diabetes by topical treatment with glycyl‐l‐histidyl‐l‐lysine copper. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 2(4), 259-269.
  6. Ahmed, M. R., Basha, S. H., Gopinath, D., Muthusamy, R., & Jayakumar, R. (2005). Initial upregulation of growth factors and inflammatory mediators during nerve regeneration in the presence of cell adhesive peptide‐incorporated collagen tubes. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System, 10(1), 17-30.
  7. Pickart, L. (2008). The human tri-peptide GHK and tissue remodeling. Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition, 19(8), 969-988.
  8. Pickart, L., Vasquez-Soltero, J. M., & Margolina, A. (2012). The human tripeptide GHK-Cu in prevention of oxidative stress and degenerative conditions of aging: implications for cognitive health. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2012. Doi: 10.1155/2012/324832
  9. Pickart, L., Vasquez-Soltero, J. M., & Margolina, A. (2017). The effect of the human peptide GHK on gene expression relevant to nervous system function and cognitive decline. Brain Sciences, 7(2), 20.
  10. Ben Green Fitness (n.d.). The Little-Known Russian Wonder Compound & The Fringe Future Of Anti-Aging Medicine. https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/anti-aging-articles/how-to-use-peptides/
  11. Abdulghani, A. A., Sherr, A., Shirin, S., Solodkina, G., Tapia, E. M., Wolf, B., & Gottlieb, A. B. (1998). Effects of topical creams containing vitamin C, a copper-binding peptide cream and melatonin compared with tretinoin on the ultrastructure of normal skin-A pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study. Disease Management and Clinical Outcomes, 4(1), 136-141.
  12. Wang, X., Liu, B., Xu, Q., Sun, H., Shi, M., Wang, D., … & Feng, B. (2017). GHK‐Cu‐liposomes accelerate scald wound healing in mice by promoting cell proliferation and angiogenesis. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 25(2), 270-278.
  13. Kukowska, M., Kukowska-Kaszuba, M., & Dzierzbicka, K. (2015). In vitro studies of antimicrobial activity of Gly-His-Lys conjugates as potential and promising candidates for therapeutics in skin and tissue infections. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 25(3), 542-546.
  14. Canapp Jr, S. O., Farese, J. P., Schultz, G. S., Gowda, S., Ishak, A. M., Swaim, S. F., … & Martin, F. G. (2003). The effect of topical tripeptide‐copper complex on healing of ischemic open wounds. Veterinary Surgery, 32(6), 515-523.
  15. Siméon, A., Wegrowski, Y., Bontemps, Y., & Maquart, F. X. (2000). Expression of glycosaminoglycans and small proteoglycans in wounds: modulation by the tripeptide–copper complex glycyl-l-histidyl-l-lysine-Cu2+. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 115(6), 962-968.
  16. Leonard, J. (2020, January 8). How to build muscle with exercise. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319151

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