Cortisol is the main stress hormone in the body and whilst it plays a vital role in creating positive stresses it can also get out of control and create a number of negative effects in your body.
Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that can break down muscle, prevent fat utilization and lower one’s immune system. As mentioned in our previous article, cortisol is testosterones antithesis and can prevent the production of testosterone needed in your body.
Surprisingly it does not take a great deal of stress to start over-producing cortisol. In a society where we consume processed foods, drink a great deal of coffee and alcohol, do less activity than we should and face higher levels of stress, cortisol levels can very quickly and quietly rise out of control.
Our bodies are designed to deal with stress, the testicles for example produce a hormone called 11BHSD which controls the effect of cortisol. The negative effects of stress come into play when the levels of cortisol being produced are greater than the production of 11BHSD.
The key to correctly managing stress and reducing the negative effects is body management. Below are 7 key points to help you manage stress and increase your testosterone levels.
- Train effectively
If your chosen sport requires long periods of endurance work, ensure that you’re training energised.
Unless you are training for a specific event keep your training sessions short and intense. Cardio work should be concentrated on short sprints or interval work and strength work should be performed in regular short high-intensity structures.
- Monitor your caffeine intake
Although there are known positive effects of pre-workout caffeine, caffeine also has the effect of increasing cortisol in the body. Try to reduce your general coffee intake and have just one coffee before your workout.
- Increase your vitamin C
Vitamin C has been shown to have positive effects on testosterone levels in the body.
- Take Rhodiola Rosea
This herb has been proven to have great effects on controlling stress in the body while assisting with quality of sleep.
Sleep is your time to recover and rebuild. Ensuring you have enough quality sleep is essential to helping control the levels of stress on the body and ultimately increasing your testosterone levels.
- Quality relaxation & time-out
Like sleep, you need to find time to mentally and physically re-boot. Whether it is dedicating some time to yourself or practices such as meditation, it is all essential to getting results.
- Find time to laugh
Laughter has been proven to be one of the best ways to fighting stress.