How Cortisol & Testosterone works together?
These two hormones influence each other yet both are important and their balance can help your health and fitness goals.
The main stress hormone - fuels your body's 'flight-or-fight' instinct
Boosts energy levels
Controls sleep/wake cycles
Helps control blood sugar levels
Manages how your body uses carbs/fats/protein
Helps reduce inflammation
The main sex hormone
Development of muscle mass
Manages the way you store body fat
No matter how much testosterone you're making, if you have too much cortisol and long-term chronic stress, you will struggle with testosterone suppression. This will affect the loss of muscle mass, low sex drive, inability to lose fat, poor sleep, diet, hair loss and more.
There are two main times of the day we want our cortisol to be elevated.
First, we want cortisol to be elevated in the morning because of the natural spike in the morning which helps us to wake up naturally without an alarm. But it doesn't work if you don't have a stable bedtime routine and your cortisol level are constantly elevated due to chronic stress.
The second critical time when we want to elevate cortisol is during the workout as a response to training. It's important to remember that exercise is stress for your body. When the adrenal glands release cortisol into your bloodstream, the hormone triggers a flood of glucose that supplies an immediate energy source to your large muscles. It also inhibits insulin production so the glucose won't be stored but will be available for immediate use. This is the way we want to benefit from stress levels.
Chronic stress is nothing good for your body. However, it is always about balance and optimal elevation of hormones during the day is crucial and what's better that we can not only help our bodies with hormones optimization but we can use certain hormones for our benefits. The right approach, diet and overall physical and mental adaptations are always the best choices to maximize your health and fitness goals.