Cortisol Stress How does Cortisol Level Affects the Body and Stress Influence on Your Health
Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced on the basis of cholesterol. It is secreted from the outer part of the adrenal gland (adrenal cortex) caused by many reasons overall called stress. Its biochemical effect is supplying the body with excess of energy to be able to overcome a critical situation and this happens through oxidizing the glucose, amino acids and fatty acids. Furthermore, Cortisol inhibits inflammations, increases blood flow in traumas and makes faster the healing of tissues.
The normal level of Cortisol helps for the maintenance of vital functions and contributes for fats burning. But its high level breaks down many muscle mass, slows down the metabolism, reduces testosterone levels, slows the thyroid function and stimulates the accumulation of fats. Therefore, the control of Cortisol is very important. Learn how to do this:
Cortisol secretion is the highest when you are under stress - physical or mental. Therefore, you have to do everything possible to decrease it. Of course the workout also is a kind of stress but this is the stress which you should not deny. You just have not to overdo. You should minimize all other types of stress for the body which are many: toxins, infections, traumas and injuries, extreme diets, anger, depression, inadequate sleep, excess coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, environment, workspace, disputes and etc.
Of course you can not block all stress but at least to limit the impact of certain factors, for example:
- to sleep and rest more
- to avoid stress situations
- to reduce the impact on yourself of the stress which you can not avoid and etc.
And do not worry the full avoidance of stress is impossible and is not recommended. Useful part of the stress is that exactly it says to the body when something is wrong and activates our development and evolution. The stress which is important to be avoided is the daily stress. You should give yourself rest from it every time when you can.
Duration and intensity of the workout are directly proportional to the secreted Cortisol. You should train no more than 45-50 minutes at the high intensity sessions and 75 minute in workouts with moderate intensity.
It can have both positive and negative effect on Cortisol levels. Let to begin with the negative:
The accumulation of fat and higher cholesterol in the blood increases Cortisol. This also can be caused of starvation and irregular eating. Three cups of coffee increase the Cortisol level for about 18 hours. This does not mean to forgo the coffee just limit it to cup or two per day.
To limit the negative effect of Cortisol you should eat 5-8 small meals a day which to be only quality sources of protein, fat and carbohydrates. In reference to the stress caused by workout, and that you have not to worry for it, here is one more reason to “load” fast Carbs and Protein after workout – higher insulin level, which will follow reduces the Cortisol level.
Whey protein after workout is a good choice. To the protein, you can add L-glutamine and BCAA (branched chain amino acids). To cope better with daily stress and toxins is important to supply the body with enough antioxidants. Good “old” vitamin C will do this.
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