Exercise causes a series of physical changes to the body.
It’s very simple to notice external changes like increases in muscle tone, weight loss, and muscle gains.
On the other hand, it is nearly impossible to examine hormonal responses and changes inside the body.
Most professional athletes understand the effects hormones give to maximize performance with an effective strength training program.
Hormones are chemical signals that move throughout the body and regulate complex activities, like growth, metabolism, fertility, and also the body’s reaction to physical stress.
Endocrine glands secrete hormones in the body and regulate the function of body cells, tissues, organs or systems.
Moreover, Hormones are released directly into the bloodstream until they reach their targeted destination.
They travel all throughout the body, carrying messages that help communicate and initiate changes given by the brain
Hormones are released from a number of glands, such as the pituitary, testes, ovaries, pancreas, thyroid and the adrenal cortex.
Hormone production during exercise can vary; factors such as nutrition, sleep, and overtraining can affect your body’s ability to release a normal dose.
Anabolic and catabolic hormones have conflicting effects and need to be balanced, or one will overpower the other.
Knowing these hormones will better help you with Hormone Optimization.
Anabolic hormones, like testosterone and growth hormones, contribute to protein synthesis within the muscle.
Accelerated growth of muscle, bone, and red blood cells aid athletes to build strength and increase energy.
Also, they promote life extension, well-being, immunity, energy, and fat-burning.
Growth hormones are discharged throughout the beginning stages of deep sleep, and both growth hormones and androgenic hormone build strength in muscles, in response to exercise.
Catabolic hormones, like Cortisol, promote muscle deterioration.
Cortisol is discharged in response to stress.
The brain perceives moderate exercise as a form of physical stress and releases cortisol to assist the body “fight or flight” response.
As a result of this reaction, Cortisol stimulates protein breakdown within the muscle to deliver fuel into the blood quickly.
Also, cortisol suppresses immune operation and bone formation.
Lack of sleep, mental stress, and poor diet can increase the release of cortisol as well.
Strength training and athletic performances are negatively affected by cortisol.
A healthy exercise program improves anabolic hormones to release less cortisol.
During resistance training, testosterone and growth hormones compete with cortisol.
Overtraining skyrockets the production of cortisol whether it be with higher volumes or greater intensity.
The stress of overtraining increases cortisol production and breaks down muscle.
This makes it nearly impossible to build strength.
When experiencing Excessive Cortisol Production, you may show signs of water retention, bloating, excess stomach fat, or failure to increase muscle size and strength.
Too much cortisol can cause conditions and symptoms like:
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Impaired brain function
Low cortisol levels can cause Addison’s disease or other symptoms like:
Low blood pressure
Although, ingesting carbs during or after your workout hinders cortisol release.
Some studies have suggested that 400mg of Phosphatidylserine daily supports healthy levels of cortisol.
Relora, a Traditional Chinese herb, is another supplement that supports healthy cortisol levels.
Ashwagandha and Fish Oil have also shown the ability to reduce cortisol levels and are excellent for Hormone Optimization.
Too much cortisol in your blood can be damaging to your health, especially if the levels remain high over an extended period.
Reducing stress and eating a healthy diet will naturally lower your cortisol levels.
Exercising regularly and getting a good nights rest will also help aid in lowering cortisol.
Taking supplements is a great proactive way to balance your hormones.