Is Cortisol Killing Your Gains?
OFFICIAL TRAINING ARTICLE
Is Cortisol Killing Your Gains?
Cortisol is often referred too as our bodies stress hormone. It plays a crucial role in numerous functions within the body, such as regulating metabolism and controlling blood sugar levels. However while cortisol plays a critical role for our bodies; In the context of muscle gain and fat loss, cortisol can be our arch nemesis.
In short, yes and no. As mentioned previously, cortisol plays some pretty functional roles within the body. However, high levels of cortisol can be detrimental.
High levels of cortisol within the body can attribute to the following:
- Reduced growth hormone and testosterone production.
- Impaired learning and memory.
- Reduced muscle mass (catabolic).
- Increased abdominal fat.
- Immune system problems.
- Reduced glucose utilization.
None of these is particularly advantageous to getting that lean ripped physique most of us are after.
What is the Cause of High Cortisol?
There are numerous contributing factors to high cortisol levels, especially in today's day and age. Such factors include:
Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone, this is because it is one of the two primary hormones released when the body is exposed to an external or internal stressor.
Basically speaking, when the body is exposed to stress, our body signals the release of hormones from the adrenal glands, two of these hormones are adrenaline and cortisol. These two hormones are released in order to immediately deal with the stressor.
However, when cortisol levels are high, it inhibits many of the body's functions which it deems to be non-essential at that point, such as growth, metabolism speed and immune responses.
Typically this natural response commonly referred to as fight or flight is self-regulating. Enabling itself to turn on and off when needed. However, when the body is constantly exposed to this stress, it is unable to turn off this cortisol release. Leading to a constant high level of cortisol within the body and all of its negative side effects.
Sleep is where our body recovers from the stress of the day, it is also where cortisol and other chemical hormones typically balance out. Have either not enough or an interrupted sleep will increase fatigue and stress, adding to the situation.
While high cortisol can often lead to the feeling of lethargy, caffeine is sometimes the easy way out to feeling energetic for a while.
However, in reality, the increase in stimulant intake is only contributing to the problem. Every time we consume caffeine it triggers the cortisol reaction of signalling our adrenal glands to secrete cortisol and significantly elevating the levels of cortisol in our blood.
Excess consumption of caffeine can eventually lead to adrenal fatigue. Which is essentially where to body is unable to provide a sufficient response to stimulants. Leaving you feeling in a constant state of lethargy.
Cardio will help for 2 reasons...
It is important to keep your heart health as fit as possible. Ensuring this will keep your cardiovascular system strong and help you live a longer and more fruitful life.
As mentioned, metabolism declines with age. Regular cardio sessions will keep your body fat in check as when performed, you burn fat instantly.
We suggest sticking to 3-4 sessions of cardio per week. Keep it at a low intensity (avoid running as we want to keep safe and protect our joints) and perform for 20-30 minutes.
As mentioned, metabolism is another factor that unfortunately slows down with age. As we age we do need to be more calorie conscience and weary of consuming extra carbs. At an older age the goal is gain muscle and avoidi fat gain. To do this, you will need take your portion control seriously and eat in a slight calorie deficit.
We suggest you also be aware of your cholesterol levels and intake. Ensure you are eating many rich healthy fats. Also ensure you are eating plenty of protein and getting adequate fibre intake.
We recommend you supplement a Protein Powder into your diet. Protein will assist with recovery, muscle maintenance, protein synthesis and muscle growth. Spartansuppz have a wide variety of Protein Powders to suit your needs!
Branch Chain Amino Acids will keep you hydrate, aid in muscle maintenance, recovery and many health benefits!
Our top BCAA's are...
Glutamine is a general health and well being supplement. It will also assist greatly with recovery and improve and aid in gut health!
It is very important to protect your joints as you age and ensure they keep in tact to prevent injury. It is important you have rich healthy fats included in your diet to assist with lubrication in the joints. It is highly recommended you supplement a joint formula into your diet to assist in ligament and join maintenance.
As you age, testosterone levels decline. You may like to supplement a Testosterone booster into your diet to assist in keeping levels maintain, improve mood, libido levels and provide extra strength in the gym.
Taking a multi vitamin is highly recommended to give you that extra boost and ensure you are getting extra vitamin and mineral intake.
A greens formula is a great and easy way to get some extra vitamins, minerals, fruit and vegetables in your diet.
Greens are a supplement which you may not notice direct benefits or performance. However, it will boost general health, wellbeing, healthy digestive tract and help overall body functioning.
This is a very high quality Vitamin C supplement. As we have stated, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is crucial for many bodily functions and general health.
Now Foods is a very high dosed (a whopping 5000 IU) Vitamin D supplement. Containing Vitamin D through food can be done, but does not provide large or enough amounts to keep the body healthily functioning.
Heres a List of Our Top 3 Muscle Building Supplements
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