Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the body in relation to human health, however, its levels in the body can also have an effect on the musle building.
Cortisol is a glucocorticoid in the adrenal cortex.
Cortisol levels in the body follow a circadian rhythm, peaking in the morning and then dropping to their lowest levels around midnight. In addition to being affect by circadian rhythms, cortisol levels are also affect by the intensity of exercise, with the body's cortisol levels also rising after a high-intensity workout.
Cortisol instructs the body to break down sugar, fat and protein, both by carrying fat to muscle in the form of triglycerides and by breaking down muscle and converting it into glycogen for energy.
Normal levels of cortisol help the body recover under stress, while high levels are bad for muscle growth.
A sustained increase in cortisol inhibits protein synthesis and speeds up protein breakdown, which is detrimental to muscle growth. And can affect the effects of other anabolic hormones, especially testosterone. Overtraining can lead to high cortisol levels and low testosterone levels, which can affect muscle growth.
Cortisol reduces the absorption of nutrients to muscles, making it harder for amino acids to reach them, making it harder for them to grow.
Cortisol also increases myostatin. Myostatin is a protein release by muscles that limits muscle growth. The higher the level of myostatin, the harder it is to build muscle.
Cortisol also causes the differentiation of visceral fat cells, which increases the number of fat cells, leading to the growth of visceral fat and the development of central obesity (apple shape).
When cortisol levels rise, water retention occurs. It makes the body look bloated.
Elevated cortisol levels affect the growth of osteoblasts and make it harder for bones to absorb calcium, making them weaker.
So it's important to keep cortisol levels within the normal range.
In addition to properly planning exercise and adjusting diet, Bodybuilder can add appropriate supplements to provide the body with additional energy sources (such as increasing mitochondria, boosting motivation, or making the body burn fat to power bodybuilder) and avoid the increase in cortisol levels caused by low energy levels. At the same time, with the body fully motivated, bodybuilder is less likely to get tired and will further prevent cortisol levels from rising. Therefore, it is important for bodybuilder to control cortisol levels in the body.