Stress and Cortisol

We all get stressed from time to time and knowing how to deal with it is a lesson that everyone needs to learn. So what causes stress and why is it so bad for me? There are many reasons to avoid being stressed, but there is one substantial element that can cause your body to become a fat gaining machine. That element is called cortisol.

Cortisol is produced in the body when it`s faced with stressful conditions. Kids, family, work, school can all become stressful if preventative measures are not taken. When there is simply to much work to be done in a days time than what seems that can be done, your almost guaranteed to become stress. Stress is not the only cause of cortisol: overtraining, lack of sleep, and undereating can also make your body produce this harmful chemical. When your body is in a catabolic state, which simply means that your body doesn`t have enough nutrients to repair broken muscle fibers, cortisol will enter your body and try impairing you.

Fat gain and muscle loss will be the main problems your body has. You should also expect to suffer other side effects such as your body not getting the adequate nutrients it needs to function.

Stress will not only have a negative impact on your bodybuilding, but will have an impact on your everyday life. According to the Medical Encyclopedia, stess is often accompanied by physical symptoms, including: twitching or trembling, muscle tension, headaches, sweating, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain (may be the only symptom of stress, especially in a child.) Sometimes other symptoms accompany anxiety: dizziness, rapid or irregular heart rate, rapid breathing, diarrhea or frequent need to urinate, fatigue, irritability, including loss of your temper.

Controlling cortisol is easier once you plan to stop it. The most important thing you can do is try keeping stress to a minimum. Sure, this is easier said than done but finding ways to eliminate stress is a step toward keeping cortisol to a minimum. In the gym, make sure you don`t overtrain. Your body easily becomes stressed by doing this. Finally, you should be eating enough protein in your diet to repair damaged muscle fiber that are broken down from the result of your training.

There are many products available that keep cortisol levels at bay, but following these techniques can save you money in the long run. The more time you spend educating yourself on proper ways of doing things, the better your body will be. You can either pop pills expecting a miracle with your body or you can use a method that has worked for hundreds of years, hard work!

Zach Bashore
December 07, 2005

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