Cortisol. It’s a weird name that I hear rarely. One time, in the gym, a guy told me to be careful about it. When I asked him what is it, he told me: “It’s the stress”. Follow this logic, we stress every day, it means each day we lose a little bit of muscle? It makes no sense. The first time I tried to learn about it, I didn’t understand anything. Cortisol is a hormone and you have to learn some medical things. I didn’t like this situation, because I wanted to know how to control cortisol to keep muscles.
week, someone told me about cortisol and his explanation was very
vague. I see that many people are afraid of it because they don’t
understand it. It’s time to go deeper to understand Cortisol, because
the body doesn’t create it to destroy itself.
What is its role
is a stress hormone and it works like a type of alarm system in your
body. It controls your fear, motivation, mood to handle dangerous
situations. This hormone has several role:
the energy of the stores
organizes all type of energy that your body has to always be
functional for a dangerous event. It means amino acids from muscle
tissue, muscle and liver glycogen and fatty acids from body fat.
blood sugar levels
your blood sugar levels are very low, it helps to keep normal
Boost your stamina and attention
boosts Phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT). PNMT is an
enzyme that transforms noradrenaline to adrenaline. This method
increases your adrenaline’s rate.
the power of muscle contraction
is a consequence of a high rate of adrenaline.
the power of heart contraction and rate
an effect of a high adrenaline’s level. Oxygen move better to muscle
the immune system
there is a threatening situation, the body needs all the resources
possible. For example, a fight. The high rate of cortisol will weaken
the immune system to have the maximum of energy possible. When the
rate decreases, the immune system has the full power back to repair
the damage from the fight.
these roles help you to get through an unsafe situation and survive.
The thing is if the cortisol has a high rate for a long time, it can
create problems in your body. Let’s see in different areas how
cortisol can be bad.
high rate of cortisol for a long period can impact muscle in a
unhealthy way with these methods:
is less feed by food
receive fewer amino acids to create new tissue. Restocking of
glycogen stores is decline too.
is a high level of protein damage (catabolism) than protein synthesis
(anabolism). This is why we say “stress (cortisol) eat the
take more time to repair
immune system is very important to repair muscle. When a high rate of
cortisol is recurring, it weakens the immune system.
is a myokine, a protein created by the muscle and it limits its
growth. It means when you have a high rate of myostatin, it limits
your muscle gain.
the long term it declines testosterone rate
is a hormone that creates testosterone and cortisol. To have a high
rate of cortisol, your body needs a huge amount of pregnenolone to
make it. It means there will be less pregnenolone to create
the end of your training session, the level of your protein synthesis
is big for around 24-30 hours. This is the period where your body
repairs your muscle and add new tissue. When your immune system is
fragile, your body uses these amounts of hours to only repair the
breakdown you caused. Your body is not able to produce new muscle, it
means you don’t gain muscle.
long period of high rate of cortisol can impact your recovery in
the production of growth hormone
night you have a natural spike of growth hormone and a high rate of
cortisol disrupt your recovery. When your recovery is not optimal,
you don’t progress.
muscle glycogen storage
is critical in the process of recovery.
down the reparation of muscle
hormone maintains, build and repair tissue. It means it also builds
muscle mass. You gain muscle by repairing muscle. When the cortisol
decreases the production of growth hormone, you don’t have results.
(or epinephrine) is a helpful hormone before a workout session. It
boosts your cardiorespiratory activity (more oxygen to the muscles).
It also improves your metabolism, your mood, and your body is more
reactive. Before to go to bed, it doesn’t help you to sleep.
The famous coach Charles Poliquin said that when you have too much cortisol, it stores your fat in abs. There is a problem here because cortisol has also as function to organize stored energy. Fat is a kind of energy for the body. It means cortisol doesn’t store fat, you know, fat is energy.
function of cortisol is that is a fat loss hormone when the rate is
high while a short time. If the high rate is recurring, it
complicated the action to fat loss.
the transformation of hormone T4 to T3
little explanation about these hormones. The thyroid is a gland in
the neck. It creates three hormones: triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine
(T4) and calcitonin. T3 and T4 adjust the temperature of your body,
your metabolism, and your heart rate. T3 usually sticks to protein in
thyroid creates a lot of T4 to change it in T3. T3 modifies the
metabolism rate. When you have a high rate of metabolism, you burn
more calories. In the case where your body has a low level of energy,
the thyroid creates less T4. Fewer T4 means fewer T3 and the result
is a low metabolism rate and the body burns fewer calories.
you remember what happens in a situation when your body lacks food?
The cortisol rate is high to keep blood sugar stable and organize
stored energy. This is a mechanism of the body to survive since the
prehistoric era. Today is good because access to food is better.
Unfortunately, cortisol can have a high rate because of other stress
boosts the blood sugar rate in a crisis event (lacking food, running
away or fighting). These emergency circumstances allow the body to
release glucose for energy. When people are sedentary and the blood
sugar level is high, it’s not good. The level stays longer high and
can drive to hyperglycemia. The body to avoid it creates insulin to
decline the rate of blood sugar to a normal level.
a situation where cortisol’s rate is high a lot of time. It boosts
the blood sugar levels and the body produces insulin every time. The
result of this is insulin resistance. In the plan to lose fat, settle
a caloric deficit is crucial. Unfortunately, insulin resistance and a
metabolic rate low make the process more difficult. It can even
create a surplus of fat.
be things clear, insulin alone doesn’t make you fat, it stores the
elements of your food. It’s when insulin has a high rate that is
tough for the body to use fat in a good way.
resistance means that the cells work badly with insulin. The result
is the body needs to create more insulin to do the same task with the
cells. When there is a huge amount of insulin, it takes more time to
go back to the normal level. When there is a big quantity of insulin
for a long time, the body has trouble to use fat.
is the same thing for cortisol. Alone, cortisol doesn’t make you fat.
It’s when cortisol has a high rate that is tough for the body to use
it in a good way.
this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.