How To Control Cortisol To Keep Muscles (Part 1)

cortisol hormone organ body

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.

This 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

role

Cortisol 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:

Organize the energy of the stores

It 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.

Stabilize blood sugar levels

When your blood sugar levels are very low, it helps to keep normal levels.

Boost your stamina and attention

Cortisol boosts Phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT). PNMT is an enzyme that transforms noradrenaline to adrenaline. This method increases your adrenaline’s rate.

Boost the power of muscle contraction

This is a consequence of a high rate of adrenaline.

Boost the power of heart contraction and rate

It’s an effect of a high adrenaline’s level. Oxygen move better to muscle

Weaken the immune system

When 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.

All 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.

Muscle Gain

gain muscle

A high rate of cortisol for a long period can impact muscle in a unhealthy way with these methods:

Muscle is less feed by food

Muscle receive fewer amino acids to create new tissue. Restocking of glycogen stores is decline too.

Boost muscle damage

There is a high level of protein damage (catabolism) than protein synthesis (anabolism). This is why we say “stress (cortisol) eat the muscle”.

Muscle take more time to repair

The immune system is very important to repair muscle. When a high rate of cortisol is recurring, it weakens the immune system.

Boost myosatin

Myostatin 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.

On the long term it declines testosterone rate

Pregnenolone 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 testosterone.

At 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.

Recovery

fat loss weight

A long period of high rate of cortisol can impact your recovery in these ways:

Decrease the production of growth hormone

At 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.

Decline muscle glycogen storage

Gycogen is critical in the process of recovery.

Speed down the reparation of muscle

Growth 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.

Increase adrenaline rate

Adrenaline (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.

Fat loss

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.

Another 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.

Decline the transformation of hormone T4 to T3

A 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 your body.

The 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.

Do 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 factors.

Insulin resistance

Cortisol 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.

Imagine 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.

Let’s 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.

Insulin 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.

It 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.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Throwing Injuries In Children

children baseball throwing injury Little Leaguer Youth Pitcher Elbow

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

In baseball, especially at the beginning of the season, there is an increase in elbow problems amoung young players. The most common elbow problem is the medial apophysitis named « Little Leaguer or Youth Pitcher Elbow ».

The elbow joint is composed of 3 bones : upper arm bone (humerus) and 2 bones in the forearms (radius and ulna). Muscles, ligaments and tendons keep the elbow joints together.

Little Leaguer Elbow

little leaguer Youth Pitcher Elbow humerus ulna radius medial apophysis epicondyle

This injury occurs when repetitive throwing creates an extremely strong pull on the tendons and ligaments of the elbow. The pain felt to prominence inside the elbow.

« Pitcher’s elbow » can become serious if the case gets worse. Repeated pull can tear ligaments and tendons of the bones. The tear can take tiny pieces of bone like when a plant takes piece of the soil when it uprooted. This can destabilize bone growth, which can create a deformity.

Symptoms

« Pitcher’s elbow » can cause pain in the elbow. If any of these symptoms occur, it’s recommended to stop the throws :

  • Elbow pain
  • Decreased movement amplitude
  • Locking or snagging in the elbow joint

Treatment

Elbow injuries by lanching movements can become complicated cases, if they’aren’t treated.

Non-surgical treatment

Younger children respond better to non-surgical treatment :

  • Stop throwing because continuing to do this can create major complications and may reduce a child’s ability to remain active in a throwing sport.
  • Use an ice bag to decrease swelling
  • If the pain continues after a few days of complete rest in the affected area or if the pain reoccurs when the throwing starts, stop the activity again until the child is treated.
  • Improve the technique of launched

Surgical treatment

Surgery is sometimes necessary for serious injuries, mainly for girls older than 12 years old and boys older than 14 years old.

Depending on the child’s injury, surgery may includes bone fragment removal, bone grafting or reattaching a ligament back to the bone.

Recovery time

The recovery time depends on the age of the athlete and the severity of the injury. If the injury detected early and the modification of the activity begins, there will be little time required for the athlete to start the sport again.

However, if the athlete continues to play despite the pain and other symptoms, it will take several months to heal the injury. Or it’s possible that the injury becomes permanent.

Prevent

The recommendation for a child to be safe is 15 for 8-10 years old, 100 for 11-12 years old and 125 for 13-14 years old. This involves training and competitions. To avoid pitching injury, young pitchers should play 3-4 inning each game.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Manage Your Amino Acids

amino acids

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

To put it simply, protein is an assembly of amino acids which means that you have to eat protein so that your body can have amino acids. There are a total 20 amino acids, 8 are essential and 12 nonessential. Be careful, nonessential amino acids are also needed. When you see an amino acid with the word « star », it means that it’s an important amino acid to be in shape.

What we call essential amino acids are those that our body doesn’t not produce. That’s why you have to look for them from an outside source. This outside source is the food you eat in the form of meat, egg, fish, dairy product, etc. And it’s possible that the outside source is whey protein powder in concentrate, isolate or hydrolyzate form.

Each amino acid has one or more important functions that’s why I’m only going to talk about important functions to be in shape.

amino acids table

Essential amino acids

Here are the 8 amino acids :

Lysine

This amino acid transports calcium to your body and reduces the tryglycerin’s rate.

Isoleucine, Leucine and Valine are BCAA (amino acids star)

These 3 amino acids have the function of giving energy, repair muscle tissue, anticatabolic, helps in congestion (pump) and helps burn fat.

Methionine

This amino acid is an antioxidant, helps in burning fat in the liver.

Threonine

This amino acid creates elastin and collagen, it’s for the skin. This is beneficial for slowing down old age.

Phenylananine

This amino acid increases alertness.

Tryptophane (amino acids star)

This amino acid reduces appetite and promotes sleep. It’s also a precursor of serotonin, that is to say gives you a good mood.

Nonessential amino acids

Here are the 12 amino acids :

Histidine

This amino acid helps recovery and growth.

Arginine (amino acids star)

This amino acid is the Viagra of amino acids. It’s also the precursor of nitric oxide which helps with congestion.

Glutamine (amino acids star)

This amino acid helps to be focus, to have more energy and helps with recovery.

Aspartic acid

This amino acid increases testosterone but is not definitive. There has been a lot of scientific studies concerning this amino acid but unfortunately, it has not been 100% proven that aspartic acid naturally increases testosterone. This is why it’s interesting to read the latest scientific studies on amino acids because we’ll discover new things.

Gutamic acid

This amino acid is a neurotransmitter and it’s also used as a fuel of the brain.

Cysteine

This amino acid a detoxifier for the liver, fat burner and antioxidant.

Ornithine (amino acids star)

This amino acid derived from arginine. It increases your growth hormone, increases your sleep and gives you more vitality.

Glycine

This amino acid increases your energy and helps the synthesis of creatine.

Proline

This amino acid protects your joint.

Serine

This amino acid increases your energy, your memory and focus.

Taurine

This amino acid increases your energy, focus and endurance.

Tyrosine

This amino acid is important for the body because it regulates your hormones which are dopamine, epinephrine and adrenaline.

Amino acid derivatives

These amino acids are not part of the list of essential and nonessential amino acids because they derive from these 2 lists.

L-Carnitine (star)

This amino acid derives from Methionine and Lysine. This increase your energy, helps burn fat in your liver and burns fat.

Citrulline Malate (amino acids star)

This amino acid derives from Arginine which allows you to produce more Arginine in your body, helps to create more nitric oxide, more vasodilatation, more congestion, more endurance and more recovery buffer of lactic acid.

Choline and Inositol

These amino acids derive from Methionine and Serine. This helps in burning fat in the liver, helps to focus and it’s a fat burner.

amino acids food source

amino acids food source bcaa

If you don’t read my article about protein, click here.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Manage Your Protein

protein food

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

I write this article about nutrition because when I started to seriously lift weights to build muscles, I didn’t know what to eat. There was a lot of people around me with impressive bodies but their muscle weren’t visible. So the problem I had was that when I ate too much, I had a big belly with swollen skin because of water. And when I ate a little, I didn’t have the energy to train in the gym.

Speaking with a bodybuilder, he explained me the basics of nutrition to have an athlete’s body or bodybuilder’s body but he told me that I should always continue to learn new scientific studies to be up to date.

To build good quality muscle, you have to eat healthy foods. These healthy foods are in the form of protein carbohydrate and lipids. The reason why it’s necessary to eat protein is because muscle is protein. If you cut your arm in 2 parts and you analyze inside, you’ll see that the muscle is made of protein, which means that the muscle is meat.

Here are the main sources of protein :

  • Beef

  • Chicken

  • Egg

  • Fish

  • Dairy products

  • Soy

  • Lentil

The nutritional quality source of these foods depends on whether they’re organic or not.

Protein is amino acids. Human body is composed of 80% amino acids. Your muscles, your skin, your bones, your hair are composed of amino acids. Each amino acid has an important role in the body. There are several amino acids like BCAA, glutamine, arginine, etc. I will write an article about amino acids.

To build muscle in our body, we need BCAA, especially leucine. Leucine’s role is to stimulate the synthesis of the protein that is responsible for muscle growth.

Consumption

protein healthy food plate

There are variations in protein consumption because each is different, each has a different goal and each has a different level of training (beginner, intermediate and advanced). Advanced level people are people who do amateur or pro competitions. There is the bulking phase and cutting phase.

We will use an example with a person who weighs 85kg.

Bulking

To bulk, you consume 1.5 to 2.5 gr per kg of bodyweight. For a beginner, it will be 1.5gr of protein. So the weight (85kg) multiply after 1.5gr then 1.5 x 85 = 127.5 gr of protein per day. For an advanced, it will be 2.5gr of protein. So 2.5 x 85 = 212.5 gr of protein per day.

Cutting

To cut, you consume 2 to 2.7 gr per kg of bodyweight. We lightly increase proteins and lipids to compensate for the reduction of carbohydrates to avoid losing too much muscle mass. For a beginner, it will be 2gr of protein. So the weight (85kg) multiply after 2 gr then 2 x 85 = 170 gr of protein per day. For an advanced, it will be 2.7gr of protein. So 2.7 x 85 = 229.5gr of protein per day.

With these results, you’ll organize 3-5 meals a day with about 30-35 gr of protein per meal. But beware, these meals should be balanced against carbohydrate and lipids.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Be A Curious Entrepreneur To Boost Sales

be curious

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

I read an article about Otzi, a man who died about 3255 or 3300 BCE. It’s been over 5000 years. Otzi is the name given to a frozen and dehydrated human being discovered on 19 September 1991 at an altitude of 3210 meters nears Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy. Otzi discovered with his axe in wooden handle and a copper blade. But why a copper blade because copper is soft ?

Apart from gold, the first metal used by men to make tools was cooper. It’s just because at the time, they didn’t know that by adding tin, it made a stronger alloy, bronze.

Now, it seems obvious to people with knowledge of metallurgy but for a long time nobody knew this alloy.

What I mean is that we’re all ignorant of something. This may be something that a small minority of the population knows or something everyone knows. I’m talking about it in a broad sense, it goes to confidential discoveries to widespread discoveries. We’re ignorant of many of these discoveries, no matter how popular these discoveries are.

Here is an example. Since 1977, it has been scientifically proven that when you make a request to a person (no matter the demand), if you touch the forearm or the shoulder of this person, you can even double your chance that the person tells you « yes ». There are still plenty of people who don’t know this and there are also people who know that but don’t use it. When you become aware of this, you realize that staying alone in you corner doesn’t help you to know the discoveries that there are in the world. And over time, you’ll become the last person to know what everyone starts to learn.

Stay in touch with innovations/discoveries

innovation discovery

What is important to understand for an entrepreneur is that it’s a duty, a philosophy and a way of life to always be in touch with innovations in the scientific field and also in other fields.

Today, there are many techniques or methods that have been used and proven in thousands of sectors to sell effectively on internet. What I find amazing is that there are still a lot of entrepreneurs who don’t know that selling their products on internet is possible. It’s almost a malpractice of theirs because they cut themselves off from an enormous potential for growth.

We all know people who have recently learned things that everyone knew. We have already discovered something and realize that everyone already knew that (or almost).

What is necessary for you to be successful in the long term and build your legacy is that you need to be constantly on a process of meeting people in your field and outside of your field to learn all the time from new things. Which means that you have to read books, follow trainings, follow Youtube educational channel. You also have to go to place to meet people who inspire you and people who motivate you.

Think about it : « If you’re always in a room where you’re the smartest person, you’re in the wrong room ». It may work for a while, but soon you will not evolve and during this time, the world is moving very fast. Be part of the people who take a few steps forward to learn and execute new things and let others stand-still.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you .

-Steph

Should You Arch Your Back ?

exercise arching back

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Audio file:

For people who don’t have vertebral pathology, arching their back during an exercise isn’t a problem. Arching a little bit the back for exercises such deadlift or squat is necessary because the spine is rounded so arching a little bit the back helps avoid injuries.

But for some people, arching the back during an exercise can be very dangerous :

  • This concerns people suffering from congenital spondylolysis (absence of welding of the vertebral arch). The lumbar spine’s extension may cause the vertebrae to slide (spondyloystesis), which can seriously compress the nervous elements and cause sciatica.

    spondyloystesis

  • This concerns people who have demineralization due to age (osteoporosis) or people who haven’t yet completed their growth. The lumbar spine’s extension may cause spondylolysis by fracture of the vertebral arch. This fracture which has broken the posterior attachement system of a vertebrae can slide and seriously compress the nervous elements and cause sciatica.

    osteoporosis

spondyloystesis

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Partnership Affiliation

affiliation

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and there is good stuff.

What’s it

Amazon is the best example. Amazon begun to do partnership affiliation in 1997 and it always has success.

How it work

Once you’re registered in the Amazon’s affiliation program, you can create a special link for all Amazon’s products. This special link allow you to have commission if a person buy an Amazon’s product. You can use your special link everywhere in internet like in a blog’s article. What is cool with this concept, it’s Amazon pays you a commission without change the final price for the customer.

Fore exemple in a blog’s article THEstephaneANDRE.com, when a person click on my Amazon’s special link for a book than I recommend and buy this book, I receive on sale around 6 %. It’s not a big deal but that’s how it works.

It’s important

important

Yes, it’s important because it’s difficult to have conversion rate more than 10 % of your audience. And 10 %, it’s huge, usually most companies have 1-2 % of conversion.

No matter what you do, you will always have 90 % of your audience who will never buy you anything. This is explained for several reasons, for exemple, companies that sell information, « personal branding » is very important. People who follow me, do it because they like my personality and among them, 90 % of my audience find good what I do but it’s not special then they will buy any of my products/services.

On the other hand, this 90 % can buy in another company a product/service similar but with some differences and it’s theses differences that make it special for them.

You see when you have a company, you know that 90 % of your audience will never buy your product and it’s the same situation for your competitors.

Well, is it better that everyone stays in his zone with 90 % of the audience who will never buy or propose a partner’s product that might interest them ? In which case there is the best growth ? It’s in the case where all partners promote other. Do you see how it’s cool ?

Partnership

partnership

Now you understand partnership affiliation, I think you’re wondering if you’re going to have to promote something you don’t like ? To avoid it, I recommend you to have only 4-6 partners that you like really. Parnters with whom you share same values and they have a good ethic. By this way, you know their products are good and they will never betray their clients. Sorts your partners.

If a partners no longer fits your values, say it and stop working with him. Don’t hesitate.

When you find good partners, you improve you company and partner’s companies.

You will be able to reach levels that you could never have reached on your own.

Of course, everything isn’t perfect, there may be different but it’s possible to have a groupe of friends you can trust.

My advice is to make affiliation, find companies that compete with you and have the same values as you to use in a better way the 90 % of the audience who doesn’t buy anything.

Remember, Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Steve Jobs (Apple) worked together several times and look at what they have become.

-Steph