Short answer, yes. Now let’s examine why that is so you can combat this because knowledge is power when APPLIED.
When you stress your body starts to excrete a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone produced by the adrenal glands and the levels vary throughout the day.
For example, around 9am cortisol is peaking and begins lowering around 1 to 5pm and already by 11pm it is even lower and this is actually referred to as the circadian rhythm.
This rhythm and level is controlled by different variables like age, stress levels along with some other externalities that control the cycle of cortisol. So depending on these variables you may have your highest levels of stress between 1-4pm and then start cycling down later in the evening. The bad thing is when your levels peak your bloodstream has a lot of cortisol in it and then this increases the oxidative stress and inflammation.
What does this mean to you? Let me tell you…
Increased FREE RADICALS… free radicals happen in our bodies but as they increase we age faster and increase our chances of our bodies not being able to expel some which could turn into cancerous cells not a chance I would want to take.
Now on the flip side of this coin the result of decreased conversion of glycogen to glucose which bottom line increases our body fat and we waste muscle in this fashion.
Now that we have seen where do not want to go we need to know how can we alter our lives to stay away from these outliers. First, a good balanced diet is always a way to combat almost any health concern. We need to modulate our cortisol levels and we can do this as we stated by our diets, reducing stress and not over training (cortisol is catabolic).
- Some signs of high levels of cortisol are:
- mood swings
- lack of motivation to train
- loss of muscle
- loss of appetite
- over training (yes thats right!)
- exercising in a carbohydrate depleted state (increases cortisol)
- Decreased menstrual periods in women
Besides using some of the methods above for modulation the other thing I do is taking properly calculated supplements. I try to include the following foods into my day and if I cannot I supplement via products.
I start my day with some green tea (or ginger tea) which gives me L-teamina then oilseeds in the morning to get my beta-sitosterol, green juice and in my case its the green beast smoothie so I can take in my phosphatidylserine, phytochemicals, magnesium, vit. C among many others. Hibiscus tea because I love the flavor but more so for the functional aspect of getting my phenolic value add.
However, for those that were paying attention inflammation is a big part of this and what I include in my daily regimen for this is some well known anti-inflammatory foods. Now we don’t eat these foods every single day so I supplement with chromium picolinate, vitamin C, L-glutamine which are all scientifically proven to help modulate cortisol levels.
Well my friends time for me to go mix up my green beast!