There are real enemies of healthy high levels of testosterone in your body, and in the top three of that list is the testosterone killer called cortisol.
Cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, induces muscle breakdown and causes visceral fat gain. It also slows down the immune system and lowers testosterone levels in the process.
When cortisol spikes it signals the brain to demand high calorie foods as a survival tactic to supply the body with more energy. This would be fine if you were faced with a fight or flight situation but not in the case of mental stress.
The number one producer of cortisol in your body is ongoing and chronic stress. Not only does chronic cortisol production wreak havoc on your test levels, but it negatively impacts your body in so many other ways.
There are numerous ways to proactively raise your testosterone levels including being prescribed straight testosterone by your doctor, taking over-the-counter testosterone booster supplements, eating a diet rich in testosterone boosting foods, and doing exercises that have been shown to naturally boost testosterone as well.
Let’s talk about something you need to really keep an eye on that can kill testosterone levels in your body – STRESS! Usually when men read that they need to control stress levels as part of their testosterone maintenance plan, they tend to just yawn and gloss over it. I know I did, that’s for sure! We’re men, and part of being a man is having stress in your life, right? It’s true that we as men typically have quite a bit of stress in our lives:
Yes, we as men usually have quite a bit on our plates with regards to stress. The trick is making sure that you are managing stress and not letting it completely take you over and throw you around like a rag doll because the long term chronic effects of unbridled stress can be devastating to a body on a number of different levels.
Let’s talk specifically just about what it does to testosterone levels. Please don’t marginalize the effect that stress has when it comes to killing testosterone levels. The effect is so substantial. When you’re under stress, your body produces cortisol.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released when your body is under stress. Cortisol is the hormone that is produced in a fight or flight scenario. It’s a great hormone produced when needed short term for these fight or flight scenarios. And the positive effects of cortisol when needed include a quick burst of energy for survival, heightened memory functions, a burst of increased immunity, and lower sensitivity to pain.
The problem comes when your body doesn’t have a chance to return to normal state, and all of sudden short term cortisol production turns into prolonged extended periods of time. This is called chronic cortisol production.
When you are constantly stressed out and sleeping poorly, your cortisol level will be elevated. Elevated cortisol levels directly correlates to lowered testosterone levels. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone which means it breaks down tissue, while testosterone is an anabolic hormone which means it builds or strengthens tissue.
Elevated cortisol levels over prolonged time can effect your body negatively in numerous ways including the break down of muscle, decreased bone density, resistance to insulin, increased abdominal fat, suppressed thyroid function, and impaired cognitive function.
In fact, cortisol contributes to metabolic syndrome which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease like heart failure and diabetes while testosterone works directly to combat and alleviate metabolic syndrome.
I thought this video by Dr. Walsh was very informative and well-communicated so I wanted to share it with you! He does a great job at explaining what is happening from a physiological perspective with regards to chronic cortisol production. Be prepared to be shocked! But remember, knowledge is power, and with the right knowledge, you can guard and protect yourself by making educated and informed adjustments to your overall health plan.
Recently, I read a quote in a report that really impacted me:
Guys, we just can’t gloss over the powerfully negative effects of stress anymore! We can see the connection between stress, elevated and prolonged cortisol production, and weight gain as it relates to the reduction of testosterone as well as numerous other negative effects outlined in this article. It can have such a multi-dimensional devastating impact on our physical health which will drip down to our mental and emotional well being also.
Use the knowledge in this article to identify what role stress and cortisol production is playing in your life, and if you feel like stress is getting the better of you, the first step is to acknowledge it and identify it, and then you can work on fixing it through various means such as:
Making sure you have the best natural supplements is a major and integral part of your overall health and fitness strategy, but it’s not the ONLY one.
Doing things like actively reducing stress and chronic cortisol production is just one thing among many that you can do along with supplementation to improve your health and fitness.
When you employ other natural strategies like reducing stress, getting the proper sleep, eating the right foods, high intensity burst training, lifting heavy, and getting plenty of sunlight, it will give you exponentially greater results to go along with your test boosting and hgh boosting supplements!