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The 6 most influential hormones in bodybuilding

December 19, 2019

1: Testosterone

The king of all bodybuilding hormones, testosterone promotes the growth of many bodily tissues and is essential for health and well-being. Testosterone is a steroid hormone that stimulates the development of male secondary sexual characteristics, produced mainly in the testes, but also in the ovaries and adrenal cortex.

Effects of Testosterone

Muscle:Muscle growth; Increased strength; Increased endurance

Sex organs:Sperm production; Erectile function; Prostate growth

Skin:Hair growth; Collagen growth

Brain:Sex drive; Improved mood; Confidence; Aids cognition and memory

Bone marrow:Red blood cell production

Bone:Bone density maintenance

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2: Growth Hormone (GH)

Growth hormone, which stimulates growth, cell reproduction and the release of insulin-like growth factor (to boost protein synthesis), is an integral component in supporting fat burning and safeguarding against muscle losses.

3: Insulin

Unlike GH and testosterone, insulin is one hormone that has the potential for doing either great good, or much harm. It must therefore be manipulated accordingly. Released in excessive amounts at the wrong times, insulin, produced by the beta cells of the pancreas and central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism, may promote fat storage. Used strategically, however, it may create an anabolic environment to elevate muscle gains and promote fat loss.

To increase insulin output, a high carbohydrate intake is necessary. The perfect time to consume more than your normal carb intake is just before, and directly after, training. Around 50 grams before and 60-70 grams after your workout of rapidly absorbed carbs such as waxy maize (place relevant ALLMAX product here) (a period when your muscles will, respectively, use them to fuel tough training and where they will more rapidly be transported, along with proteins, to hungry muscles) may work for a 200lb person (scale up or down accordingly). By contrast, keep your carbs comparatively moderate for the remainder of the day to maintain low insulin levels, to minimize fat storage.

4: Estrogen

Estrogen is a sex hormone that is produced in the body. Traditionally, it was believed that estrogen was only important for females, but we now know that even men have a certain amount of healthy estrogen-grouped hormones in the body.

To lower your estrogen levels, the following steps can be taken:

Decrease body fat: fat tissue increases levels of the enzyme aromatase, which turns testosterone into estrogen; the fatter we are, the more aromatase we produce.

Consider supplementing with an all Natural Aromatase Inhibitor

Consume a diet high in cruciferous vegetable such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage (indole compounds found in these foods may interfere with estrogen absorption and uptake into our bodily tissues)

Limit alcohol consumption

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5: Cortisol

Cortisol is famously known as a stress hormone – meaning it helps you deal with stress in the body, but it is so much more than that. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation and assist with memory formulation. It has a controlling effect on salt and water balance and helps control blood pressure.

To negate the accumulation of Cortisol, do the following:

Minimize stress, relax often, and avoid pointless, unnecessary arguments

When dieting, ensure that 2-3 post workout feedings per week are very high in simple sugars (fat free cookies, sugar coated rice cakes, sweets)

Reduce caffeine intake: 200mg of caffeine from a strong cup of coffee may increase blood Cortisol levels by 30% in one hour!

Sleep deeper, and for longer

Keep blood sugar stable

Take stress-busting supplements such as the antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, chromium and zinc

6: Thyroid Hormone

Primarily responsible for the regulation of our metabolism, the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) also support protein synthesis and fat loss. A major problem with all calorie restricted diets is the concomitant diminishing of thyroid hormone levels. When thyroid levels drop, we experience a corresponding reduction in protein synthesis, calorie burning and metabolism, and our gains may begin to stagnate.

To improve thyroid function, do the following:

Eat foods rich in iodine (a substance which is necessary for the production of thyroid hormone): such as, eggs, cow’s milk, saltwater fish, seaweed and shellfish

Incorporate periodic cheat days: to prevent your body from adjusting to constant low calorie eating, and to trick the thyroid into up-regulating so as to boost your metabolic rate, up the calories once every 8-10 days (on this day, three carbohydrate grams per pound of bodyweight may be eaten) and an additional 15-20 grams of fat may be consumed.

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