The Way to Recover • 12/10/2020Does training affect hormones?
Hormones play an important role in bodybuilding and strength training. Some hormones build muscle (anabolic) and some hormones breakdown muscle tissue (catabolic). Hormones which build muscle include testosterone, insulin, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Other hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline cause muscle tissue breakdown. Testosterone is the most important hormone for body building and is known for its potent effects on building muscle. Males have elevated levels of testosterone which help men to grow facial hair, gives them deeper voices and anabolic properties which aid muscle building. Exercise stimulates the release of testosterone, but the amount is variable between people and the type and intensity of training. The amount the body produces naturally reduces with age. Testosterone is also naturally produced by women but in lower quantities. Growth hormone helps to build muscle. It stimulates the release of IGF-1 which works in two ways. Firstly, to promote muscle growth and secondly it acts on tissues, resulting in fat breakdown IGF-1 stimulates growth and protects against muscle breakdown. It is made in the liver and influenced by the growth hormone. Insulin is the hormone which is largely influenced by exercise and diet. In relation to building muscle, insulin assists amino acids to repair damaged tissue and build muscle mass. Cortisol often referred to as the stress hormone, promotes muscle breakdown. Cortisol is released in response to stress, both physical and emotional. The brain perceives exercise as a form of physical stress and releases cortisol as a result of overtraining. Adrenaline (epinephrine) is the hormone which helps you to react quickly to stressful or dangerous situations. Adrenaline is a catabolic hormone breaking down muscle.