Women’s Health: Cortisol, Part 1 (Hormone Edition)

CrossFit, endurance, Fitness, Health and wellness, Hormones, Uncategorized, Women's Health

Hormone health: we are doing a 3 part series on cortisol because…

1.It’s a fascinating hormone
2. It impacts a lot of people, especially female professional athletes, endurance athletes or CrossFit athletes and they don’t even realize it.
3. It’s a huge culprit for fat gain, specifically the hip/belly fat, you know, that puffy inner tube around your belly you can’t get to go away.
Part 1, we are diving into the Where and What of Cortisol.

1. Where it comes from.
2. What it impacts.

With that being said, we can’t talk about the hormone cortisol without bringing up a hot word, the adrenals, where it’s produced.
You may have heard of adrenal fatigue or adrenal dysfunction, these terms get thrown around like hot cakes in an IHOP at 2:30 AM after a late night bar crawl with the girls. But do you know what it really means?

What are adrenals?

These two tiny walnut shaped glands sit right on top of our kidneys. They produce hormones that range in function throughout our body. They’ve made a statement in the health world specifically for their ability to regulate metabolism and help our body respond to stress.
Adrenals also:
Aid in our bodies ability to properly utilize carbohydrates and fats
Helps distribute stored fat
Gut health support
Our adrenals release one of the most vital hormones for our overall health and wellness, cortisol.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone we need in the body to do things like:

regulate blood sugar levels
✨acts as an anti inflammatory
✨influences our memory

We naturally release cortisol throughout the day. Cortisol is highest in the morning and slowly declines as we get closer to bedtime. Cortisol and melatonin act as a teeter totter in our bodies. As cortisol declines naturally throughout the day, our melatonin levels increase. Another way cortisol is released is when our body is under stress. Mental, physical, emotional, our body doesn’t know the difference. This is extremely important for endurance athletes to watch out for. We are constantly releasing cortisol during high training days, we walk a fine line on how far we push it. When your cortisol levels go haywire and are elevated for too long, we start seeing a decline in…

✨resilience to stress
✨body composition
✨our mood

Stay tuned for part 2 of the 3 part series coming at ya soon!

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