Cortisol : – How to exercise on mass to achieve the intended results? As is well known, effective building of muscle mass is a complex, multidimensional process. In addition to such factors as effective training methods, supplementation or diet for muscle mass, other significant measurable factors should also be considered. One of them is undoubtedly the issue of cortisol and training. What exactly is cortisol and how to exercise effectively on mass, including knowledge about how this extremely important hormone works?
Cortisol is probably one of the most frequently described hormones. Undoubtedly, it is also a hormone that enjoys an unmistakably “bad press”. From many online or colored magazines we can learn that cortisol is a “stress hormone” and its presence in our body is the same evil, both in terms of how ordinary people function, and in the case of such issues as, for example, cortisol and training bodybuilding. In reality, however, the problem is much more complicated. Of course, it is impossible to deny the fact that the excessive and long-term concentration of cortisol in the blood affects our body in a negative way, also by accelerating the catabolic processes of muscle tissues. This does not mean, however, that the ideal situation would be a complete lack of cortisol: scientific research some time ago proved that not only is excess stress, but also its total lack, which is probably related to the topic of cortisol. This hormone, in addition to being harmful in excessive concentration, also fulfills many extremely important functions in the human body.
As you know, both stress and fear are natural adaptive mechanisms of the human species, developed over thousands of years of evolution. If it were not for fear, our self-preservation instinct would probably disappear. In turn, stress in appropriate doses increases the body, in a way maintaining it in the state of increased readiness, which is not without significance from the point of view of bodybuilding.
So what can you say about the topic of cortisol and bodybuilding training? How can we counteract the negative effects of both excessive and insufficient blood cortisol levels?
Let’s look at this issue a little closer and try to answer these questions.
Cortisol and Bodybuilding Training
It is no secret that the effectiveness of strength training is not just a training plan, a diet for muscle mass and nutrients. An important role in the case of anabolic processes is also played by a broadly understood lifestyle, which affects, among others, our hormonal balance. Every experienced bodybuilder knows perfectly well that lack of sleep, stimulants, too stressful and intense lifestyle can ruin even the best-refined training, supported by elements such as a carefully thought-out diet for muscle mass and supplementation with high-quality nutrients. If our problem is too much stress, the question about the issue of cortisol and bodybuilding training should be how we can reduce the cortisol concentration in our body, and if it is not possible, at least how to alleviate the catabolic effect of excess hormone.
In the field of bodybuilding training, it is worth remembering that the efficiency of the muscle mass building process largely depends on our individual predispositions. This means, therefore, that the answer to a question such as how to exercise on mass can vary depending on the individual. If we have a problem with maintaining a proper lifestyle, we should somehow compensate for the losses caused by this fact in other areas, namely in terms of such factors as supplementation and diet for the increase of muscle massj. It should be aware that too little sleep, too stressful lifestyle or the lack of adequate supply of certain vitamins and mineral elements in the diet negatively affect our nervous system, which in turn means increased production of cortisol, which in excess can cause quite strong catabolic effects. So it is safe to say that the issue of cortisol and training is primarily a skilful mitigation of catabolic effects caused by excess of this hormone.
Effective methods of dealing with the effects of excessive cortisol in the blood include, above all, the correction of our supplementation. If cortisol and training in our case means clearly increased secretion of this hormone, it is worth significantly increasing the dosage of the most important anti-catabolic supplements, hence BCAA and / or EAA. We can also increase the dosage of creatine, preferably in its more advanced forms (they work slightly differently than the usual monohydrate).
Large services in the event of a problem called cortisol and bodybuilding training may also give us improvement of post-workout regeneration processes. It is worth investing in good hydration, thanks to which our body will be less susceptible to exhaustion. In addition, ZMA preparations that work directly on the nervous system, affecting, among other things, the regulation of cortisol secretion, are also useful for us.
Our diet to gain muscle mass, if we belong to people exposed to increased secretion of cortisol, should also be enriched with an additional dose of products that are the source of such minerals as zinc, magnesium and iron, because they exert a positive effect on the nervous system.
How to Exercise for Mass? The Simplest Means are the Most Effective
Above we described one of the possible methods of dealing with the problem of cortisol and training. However, you should be aware that the most effective method of counteracting the catabolic effects of excessive cortisol in the blood is simply a change in lifestyle. In this way, we come to the conclusion that a question such as how to exercise for mass is very often also a question of what lifestyle should be carried out. Whenever possible, we should take care of avoiding excess stressful situations, sleep every day (sleep is of great importance to our body, and its deficiency is directly related to increased production of cortisol) and lead a balanced lifestyle in which there is a place to relax and rest.
What exactly should our diet include for muscle mass if we belong to a group of people particularly susceptible to cortisol? As mentioned, in addition to high-protein and carbohydrate-rich diets for muscle mass for people with a cortisol-type problem, bodybuilding training should include products that are a source of specific minerals. You can, among others, mention oatmeal, nuts, pumpkin seeds, wheat bran as well as some fruits, in particular those that contain magnesium and potassium (mandarins) or are mainly rich in potassium (bananas). It is also worth rethinking the answer to the question on how to exercise on mass? We should be aware of the fact that too intensive training works exhaustively on our entire body, including the negative effect on the nervous system, this, in turn, is the straight way to increased production of cortisol. So if we have the impression that our training is too intense and it puts too much strain on the body, it is worth shortening the training sessions and / or reducing their intensity. We can also, although occasionally, use the outdoor gym: they provide better oxygenation of the body during exercise and thus more effective post-workout regeneration.