Manage episode 153126024 series 1082177
Are intense physical training and general life stress putting important hormones at risk in your body?
The need for hormone replacement therapy is reaching epidemic levels, caused by nutrient deficient diets and exposure to environmental toxins.
For athletes, maintaining an optimum ratio of hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA, is vitally important for both men and women. Intense training causes the body to release cortisol, known as the stress hormone. The more you train, the more cortisol you release. In addition to exercise, stress from work and family life can also keep cortisol levels elevated.
Unfortunately, the glands that produce hormones in the body have limited capacity. When an overabundance of cortisol is released, the body’s ability to make other beneficial hormones becomes reduced. This is called the “cortisol steal” where cortisol blocks other important hormones, putting our bodies in a catabolic, or breakdown state.
What does this mean from a health perspective? An athlete with too much cortisol and not enough testosterone could wind up training hard only to be “skinny fat”, meaning they might look lean, but not have an optimally low percentage of body fat.
The first step in hormone optimization is resetting cortisol levels, which is addressed in this video. The second step is improving your sleep cycle, which depresses cortisol and helps you recharge and reset for the next day so your glands can produce more of the hormones you want. In fact, 80 percent of the growth hormones we produce are made at night while we’re sleeping.
Check out other videos that address specific hormone optimization tips for men and women as well as overall balance.
by Robert Seik, PharmD