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where is the line when it comes to overtraining you know all over the place we’re always here now overtraining is one of the quickest ways to actually sabotage your progress well I want to dive into what exactly overtraining is and how it can affect your overall hormone balance and your endocrine system in the first place you see believe it or not overtraining can actually affect how much of your hormones you produce and at the end of the day if you end up way to overtrained you can actually reset your hormone levels down to a bare minimum state where all of your hormones are completely out of whack but let’s focus a little bit on cortisol to begin so when you look at working out it’s a stressor right you’re putting stress on your body physically well it’s no different in a lot of ways than emotional stress the kind of stress that you may have when you’re say stressed out at work well are your financially struggling or you’re having family issues all those things trigger the same kind of stress response when it comes from a hormone standpoint so when you’re looking at physical training combined with emotional stress you can have a whirlwind of hormonal issues so let’s look at how cortisol is actually affected when you train one study by the Journal of strength and conditioning a couple of years ago found that those that worked out for longer than 59 minutes of high-intensity exercise actually had elevated saliva levels of cortisol compared to those that worked out for 30 minutes what that ultimately tells us is that over 60 minutes of exercise you start to elicit more of a cortisol response now again that’s not always bad we need cortisol and cortisol is always going to respond when we have any kind of stress in our system what with a problem is is when we start having chronically high levels of stress or chronically high levels of course that’s when we start having issues so if you’re chronically overtrained and your body is eliciting that hormone response and listening that cortisol response every single day of the week or every single time you go into the gym that’s when you start developing a problem and the next step after that is your adrenals can become fatigued so once your adrenal system gets taxed then that can send you into a whole different spiral of core monel effects another study that was interesting was one that was done a couple of years ago that took two separate groups of people that conducted the exact same workout now Group A was emotionally stressed Group B was not so when you take a look at these two groups and what their actual hormone response was what their cortisol response was after undergoing the same workout for said period of time those that were emotionally stressed had almost twice the overall cortisol levels of those that weren’t emotionally stressed so ultimately what I’m saying here is if you’re emotionally stressed and you’re over trained you can compound and sometimes increase the negative effects of cortisol by 2x so what ultimately can this do if your cortisol levels are elevated for a long period of time the first thing is going to do is going to put you in a catabolic state what that means is your body is going to start breaking down muscle tissue as a mechanism of survival you’re under stress so your body starts breaking down whatever it can to try to store fat because it is more calorically dense so it starts breaking down protein it starts breaking down sugars it does whatever it can simply to survive it’s simply survival but when levels of cortisol are chronically elevated that is when your testosterone levels will drop that’s when your estrogen levels will drop and that’s when your progesterone levels will drop what that means is it ends up cascading into a further effect of elevated cortisol because the lower that those levels are the lower your testosterone levels are the lower your estrogen in the lower your progesterone the harder is for your body to actually balance cortisol so eventually you go down this road where it just compounds each other and you end up getting a worse and worse overall condition until eventually you ultimately exhaust your adrenals when you exhaust your adrenals all your hormone levels including your cortisol levels plummet down to the bottom and when your cortisol levels are low that means that you have low blood pressure which can mean lower nutrient delivery it can be lower nutrient uptake but worst it just means that all your hormones are coming to a screeching halt and that’s going to leave you feeling fatigued it’s going to leave you feeling quite honestly horrible and worst of all you’re not going to be able to get the body that you want so if you feel yourself going into an overtraining state you’re going to have a lot more success if you just back off to workouts a little bit and increase your adherence to a diet because honestly you’re better off to slack a little bit on the workout but be more attentive to your diet to get yourself recovered get your cortisol levels back and check then you would be to keep on slamming it in the gym and ruin all the hard work that you’re already putting forth the effort in in the kitchen so I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s hard to look your best if you’re freakin dead so do what you can to recover eat right and stay out of the gym if you’re feeling like you’re overtaxed as always keep it locked in here in my videos and I’ll see you in the next one
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Are You Overtraining? | The Effects of Overtraining on Hormones- Thomas DeLauer:
Balancing Workouts, Diet, Career, and Family is all a balancing act, and that’s why I specialize in it at
So you found the inner fire inside of yourself and it is go time – time to eat healthy and workout hard! But you have heard that it is good to start slowly and work your way up. It may surprise you that this is not only for the purpose of not injuring your body. Working out is one of the quickest ways to affect your hormone production. Working out is a stress on your body. When you have healthy amounts of stress your body has time to heal and recover, leaving it stronger than it was before. When you do not give yourself that time to recover from stress, this can lead to a whole bunch of issues.
We all know that too much stress is a bad thing; chronic stress has been linked to headaches, overeating and obesity, restlessness, illness, and digestive problems. Our body’s stress response is similar when we exercise as when we experience a life stress, such as traffic or losing a job. Signals are sent that queue the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, into our blood from our adrenal glands. Elevated cortisol levels can signal that your body is undergoing chronic stress, which could be caused by life situations or by over exertion during workouts.
One study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that cortisol levels in saliva were higher for those who underwent long duration, high intensity exercise (over 59 minutes of high intensity cardio.) Studies have also found that a similar increase in cortisol is experienced during heavy weight training workouts.
Another study looked at cortisol levels in those performing the same workout under two conditions: no additional emotional stress and additional emotional stress. Those that were exposed to emotional stress at the same time as working out had higher cortisol levels. This signifies the importance of both our wellbeing and our workout load on our hormone levels.
Alright, so we see that high intensity exercise can lead to raised cortisol levels. How does this impact us?
If you work out too hard and do not allow adequate recovery time, you may suffer from OTS.
-Disrupted mood and behavior
-Hindered athletic performance
-Sexual dysfunction – reduced sexual desire, even infertility
-Weakened immune system
-Difficulty losing weight
-Amenorrhea (absence of menstrual bleeding)
What causes these symptoms? One of the large factors is an imbalance in your hormones.
Chronically high cortisol levels can lead to your body being in a catabolic state, where your body is not breaking down fat but rather muscle for fuel. It can also lead to a weakened immune system. If you have one hormone that is out of whack, it is likely to impact your other hormones. Chronically elevated cortisol levels lead to a decrease in the level of testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. These are the sex hormones, and are very important to our daily wellbeing. These changes reflect a change in the balance of catabolic hormones and anabolic hormones. This danger is particularly of concern for women. When your sex hormones are imbalanced you can experience amenorrhea, when your body enters a state where it no longer is able to menstruate. Eventually the adrenal glands go into a state of exhaustion, known as adrenal fatigue, where hormone production overall is slowed. In this state your body is not as capable of dealing with stress. At this state even your cortisol levels are low, leading to many of the down feelings associated.
If you think you may be experiencing OTS, it may be time to take a step back and do what is best for your body. Give yourself time to recover.
If you are experiencing high stress at home or work, do a more relaxing exercise, such as yoga. This can help to reduce your cortisol rather than raise it, which will happen if you run hard for a long time or lift heavy weights.
1. Effect of Exercise at Three Exercise Intensities on Salivary Cortisol
2. Overtraining, exercise and adrenal insufficiency
3. The overtraining syndrome
4. Cortisol and overtraining syndrome
5. Overtraining syndrome
6. Fatigue and Underperformance in Athletes
7. Overtraining, exercise and adrenal insufficiency