The point of exercising, as many of us understand it, is to build muscle, reduce fat, and improve our physical condition overall. To put it another way, when we expend so much effort into something like exercising, we expect some kind of result. While it’s true that exercise is the key to muscle building, there are a few things that can get in the way of achieving the results we want. One of the things that might interfere is the hormone cortisol, AKA the “stress hormone”. The problem with high-intensity workouts is that they cause cortisol levels to rise, which actually inhibits our muscles from growing.
What Is Cortisol?
Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal gland and fluctuates throughout the day. Any kind of stressful activity causes these levels to rise, whether it’s from physical activity or an emotional situation. There are many bodily functions influenced by the hormone, most notably the “fight or flight” response triggered when we experience fear. This hormone can also contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
While the hormone is vital for controlling blood sugar, regulating metabolism, and many other bodily functions, it can also be detrimental in a number of ways. Too much of the hormone has been linked to a number of cancers as well as some mental disorders. It has also been linked to high blood pressure, increased blood sugar, and many other potentially unhealthy effects. It’s important for your cortisol levels to be properly balanced in order for your brain and body to function properly.
Cortisol and Exercise
The problem with high-stress workouts is that they cause cortisol to be released. As a catabolic hormone, cortisol actually reduces protein synthesis and halts tissue growth. It’s almost an exact opposite of other hormones like testosterone, insulin, and growth hormone. Essentially, the hormone breaks down your muscles and slows down their growth. Anything from heavy weight lifting, intense running, or even overheating can cause your cortisol levels to rise dramatically, diminishing the effectiveness of your workout.
Managing Cortisol with CBD OIL
One way to counteract the effects of cortisol is by using CBD as an effective anti-catabolic substance. Several studies have shown the therapeutic benefits of CBD in treating a number of different issues involving stress and anxiety. By working in harmony with the endocannabinoid system, CBD has the ability to naturally improve moods, calm anxiety, and regulate stress. It actually works to counteract cortisol from being released.
While CBD can be obtained through the use of several products, including marijuana, it should be noted that most of these products will not help your exercise regimen. The THC in marijuana can actually increase your levels of stress and anxiety, thus causing your cortisol levels to rise. CBD oil from hemp is the best option for those who are focused on building muscle, as it has a very low THC percentage; around 3% or less.
In the worst case scenario, excessive cortisol from your workout can actually worsen your physical condition. Overly high hormone levels can cause high blood pressure, low bone density, and even deteriorating muscle tissue. Using CBD oil as a supplement before and after your workout can help to keep your cortisol levels in check, thus allowing your muscles to replenish and grow the way they should.
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