Hormones are an often forgotten part of any health and fitness regimen. Sure, everyone knows the name of some hormones and might vaguely have an idea of their purpose. Very few people actually have any idea at all which hormones are important to know, and why though.
Getting your hormones in order is a necessary part to making any diet and fitness program successful. It doesn’t just happen overnight though. You have to put in the time and effort of eating well, working out, and getting plenty of sleep. Over time though you can make these hormones work to your advantage.
are the 5 hormones that will get you the body of your dreams.
Testosterone is the hormone we red blooded males have the most familiarity with. It’s what makes us desire to rip the clothes off your lady right when you walk through the door, it’s responsible for the face fur we grow, and the reason why we can build muscle so much more rapidly than women.
Testosterone isn’t a hormone that you need to fuck around with though. Too much testosterone and you’ll be no fun to be around at all. You’ll be on edge, angry, and have a constant boner. Keeping testosterone production at optimal levels is perfect to keep a healthy sex life and make gains in the gym.
Cholesterol is actually a precursor to testosterone, which is one of the reasons why a low fat diet is one of the worst things you could possibly do for testosterone production. Eating a healthy amount of fat, specifically saturated fat, will keep your testosterone production high. You can check out more in depth info about testosterone production here.
Insulin is a highly important hormone that can hold the key to better health, bigger muscles, and carrying less body fat.
Insulin isn’t just for diabetics and roided out body builders to worry about, either. Insulin’s main purpose is to facilitate the absorption of glucose in the muscle cells and liver cells. The more sensitive you are to insulin, the better. This is often the reason you see people slam fast digesting carbs after a workout. This is when you are most sensitive to insulin, and will absorb carbs much more efficiently.
Insulin can often be remembered as a hormone necessary for growth. How that growth happens is up to you though. Mismanagement of insulin or insulin resistance (the reason for type 2 diabetes) is often one of the reasons for excess fat accumulation.
On the flip side, proper management of insulin and insulin sensitivity is one of the reasons in which you take those measly water pistols and turn them into shot guns that break out of shirt sleeves. Insulin also has a relationship with another hormone we need to talk about. That hormone being…
Growth hormone is one of the single most powerful compounds your body produces. When it comes to hormones, growth hormone is the major badass of the group. Kind of like Andre 3000 in relation to Big Boi, or Bun B in relation to Pimp C (RIP Pimp).
Growth hormone itself has a major influence on your ability to build muscle, burn fat, and recover from tough workouts. Without adequate growth hormone, you might as well give up. There’s a reason bodybuilders and athletes love to shoot this stuff up.
Growth hormone secretion is highly influenced by things like diet, sleep quality, and exercise. What’s really awesome about lifting and growth hormone though is this: the more strenuous the exercise, the more growth hormone you release.
Almost 75% of your growth hormone is secreted at night while you sleep. Which is another reason why sleep is massively important to your overall wellness regimen. Secretion of growth hormone actually stops with your first meal (when insulin production ramps up), which is another reason fasting is so beneficial. Fasting = extended growth hormone secretion.
When growth hormone production is low we compromise our ability recover from workouts, and invite the body to ramp up production of cortisol. Which conveniently brings us to…
Cortisol, or the stress hormone, often gets a bad rap. Just like anything else in life except for hookers and cocaine, too much of anything is a bad.
Cortisol is released in response to workouts and whenever you’re faced with a fight or flight situation. It’s often called a catabolic hormone, because it’s responsible for breaking things down. This isn’t all bad though. In order for us to run from a pissed off sabertooth tiger ready to fuck your shit up, you need to break down stored fuel.
When your cortisol production gets ramped up too much though, it can lead to bad things. Cortisol and growth hormone have an inverse relationship. We work best when they are near equal. When cortisol is too high thanks to excess stress, lack of sleep, and shitty diet we wind up with terrible recovery and fat gain.
This is part of the reason why we in the western world suck so bad at this health thing. We neglect that things like stress, lack of sleep, and practicing things like meditation actually can have an impact on our waistline. Get your stress in check, and cortisol production goes down. Cortisol production gets back to normal and losing belly fat becomes a whole lot easier.
Without IGF-1, or Insulin like Growth Factor 1, growth hormone wouldn’t be near as cool as it is. Growth hormone, which is stimulated from the pituitary gland, acts on the liver, where IGF-1 is produced. When IGF-1 is secreted, the magic happens.
IGF-1 gets the name because it is really similar to insulin, which if you’ve been paying attention you remember insulin is a hormone that is responsible for growth.
IGF-1 is a highly anabolic compound that is responsible for the growth of skeletal muscle tissue. When you lift heavy ass weights, go through an extended fasting period (16 hours or more), and take care of yourself you release more growth hormone. Which of course means you make more IGF-1. Which in turn means you get jacked and have abs. IGF-1 is the tits.
Another cool fact about IGF-1 is that it actually has neurotrophic factor in your brain and can help you create new brain cells. Not only does it help you get more jacked, it actually makes you smarter. Pretty powerful freaking hormone, huh?