The Lowdown on Cortisol
The Lowdown on Cortisol
The human body is incredibly adaptable. It is able to shift its entire inner workings to adapt to most situations it encounters. Stimuli of a certain sort results in a specific response. For example, when using steroids or test-like supplements, your body will attempt to counteract the artificially high levels of testosterone in your body by producing less. Likewise, when we suffer from mental or physical stress, body compensates by producing a hormone called cortisol. While you might not deal with mental stress, if you’re a dedicated workout freak or bodybuilder, your body will undoubtedly encounter high levels of physical stress. It’s inevitable if you want to push yourself enough to grow.
What is Cortisol?
Cortisol is a necessary evil. Our bodies undergo significant stress as we fight for those extra reps - thus creating cortisol. Cortisol, a steroid hormone created in the adrenal glands, can do a lot of good for the body. For example, proper amounts of cortisol can control blood sugar levels, regulate your metabolism, help with memory formulation, balance salt and water, and control your blood pressure. For living a healthy life, all of these functions and controls are necessary. As with most in this world, however, cortisol is only beneficial in normal levels.
High levels of cortisol, unlike its natural presence that yields some benefits, can cause serious damage to your body and any progress you’ve made while working out. If you go hard in the gym or take too much of any given test booster, you run the risk of finding large quantities of cortisol in your body. But what does that mean, exactly? Why are high levels of cortisol - of something that isn’t necessarily a bad substance - so unhealthy? The answer is multifaceted, but the premise is pretty simple: Not only can high levels of cortisol completely reverse any improvements or positive effects working out has bestowed upon your body, but it can cause additional issues to boot.
Too Much of a Good Thing:
To begin, too much cortisol can cause high levels of sugar to run rampant through your bloodstream. It can alter your immune system responses and lead to counterproductive illnesses. Worse yet, high levels of cortisol can suppress your digestive and reproductive systems along with your growth processes. In other words, cortisol can kill your libido, wreck your digestion, and prevent any muscle growth you’ve been trying to achieve. It’s a nasty side effect that’s easy to plague your body, particularly if you’re a heavy worker or suffer from chronic stress. Cortisol’s biggest burdens for bodybuilders, however, are that it inhibits protein synthesis and increases muscle wasting. By living with or producing high levels of cortisol, you’re putting crosshairs on your muscle mass by eliminating your body’s ability to synthesize protein or retaining any muscle that already exists. If these worrisome side effects aren’t enough to concern you, consider the long term effects of high cortisol levels.
The overexposure of cortisol can lead to anxiety or depression, sleep issues, digestive issues, heart problems, and weight gain. By the end of a tiresome battle with stress and cortisol, you could wind up depressed and overweight - most likely the direct opposite result that you were gunning for. While managing stress, sleeping enough, and eating right are the best solutions, Blackstone Labs has a few tricks to help help you out.
Supplementation: What Can You Take?
We offer a variety of products to help you battle your high cortisol level woes. Remember, balanced levels of cortisol are actually beneficial to your body, so we’re not looking to eliminate cortisol entirely. The biggest issues come when you’re faced with prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol and its various effects. One product that can help you balance your levels of cortisol after an intense workout is Anogenin. The primary active ingredient in Anogenin is called 5 alpha hydroxy Laxogenin. Laxogenin’s primary benefit is increasing protein synthesis (by up to 200%!). Additionally, Anogenin actually decreases your levels of cortisol. If you’re aware that your cortisol levels are too high, then this product is a must have. Laxogenin is also available in our Post Cycle product, PCT V. Due to it’s cortisol-controlling properties as well as its effects on muscle growth, laxogenin a great compliment to any cycle, whether on or between.
Another Blackstone Labs product that helps protects you against Cortisol is EpiCat. EpiCat’s flagship ingredient is Epicatechin, which is found in dark chocolate. Epicatechin has many health benefits. Not only does it help blunt the production of cortisol, but it also improves cardiovascular health, reduces muscle fatigue, and there’s some research that shows that it could inhibit myostatin. Myostatin is a found in skeletal muscle that actually inhibits muscle growth. If you’re doing the work and taking the right supplements, Epicatechin can help you overcome your limits. The cortisol control is the icing on the cake!
Keep in mind, again, that cortisol isn’t an inherently negative hormone in your body, and it doesn’t pose any threats to your well-being if regulated or balanced. It’s added benefits of regulating your metabolism, balancing the water and salt in your body, and controlling your blood pressure are all really important tasks. Inversely, the overproduction of cortisol can yield severe negative results in bulk, too. From preventing protein synthesis to wasting muscle growth to ruining your sex drive, high levels of cortisol need to be dealt with. It’s something that should never linger too far out of your mind while working out, particularly if you’re beginning a new, intense cycle or pushing through extreme workouts. Luckily, we offer a few fantastic products that can help balance your levels of cortisol in the shape of Anogenin, EpiCat, and PCT V. Let’s face it: Do you really want to lose the progress you’ve made after tirelessly pushing your body to the limit? I didn’t think so; and why should you? With the means to fight against high levels of cortisol and the knowledge to do so in hand, you’ll be well on your way to that ripped physique you’ve been working so hard to achieve.