On a scale of 1 to 10, how much stressed are you ? 10 being the Highest stress level? I’m probably around 8 and this is NO GOOD for my gains !
Few weeks ago a took a cortisol level test and this made me realised a lot. I just want to share with you what cortisol is, what effect does this have and how you can lower it.
Cortisol: What is it?
We all create cortisol in our body, it’s an steroid hormone that our adrenal gland releases into our blood when we are under stress. It’s really important to have a balanced level of cortisol for your overall health. It can be very problematic to have too much or not enough cortisol.
The release of cortisol can help with:
- Inflammation reduction
- Metabolism of glucose increase
- Fast respond to stress, danger or high emotion
- Blood pressure control
So imagine someone jump out of nowhere and scare you, then your gland is suppose to create the right amount of cortisol! Same when you workout.
High or Low Cortisol Level Effects
If your gland works perfectly then great! However if your level aren’t right the below can happen.
With a low level of cortisol you can:
- Feel muscle weakness ( not lifting as heavy as usual for example)
- Lose weight ( too fast )
- Feel tired all the time
- Go through some belly pain
- In extreme times you might feel sick and have nausea
With a high level of cortisol you can:
- have some irregularities in your period and grow facial hair
- start having acne
- gain weight easily
- have a very sensitive skin
- have trouble building muscle mass
My Cortisol Test
As I’m trying to grow muscle in some areas and struggle at it, I wanted to know if there was a specific reason for it, this is why I took that test.
I’m not a big fan of doctor appointment so I find this company called LetsGetChecked. They basically send you everything to take the test at home. All you have to do is follow the instruction and send everything back to them by UPS.
For the cortisol level test I had to do a blood test, right after I woke up (best to see the cortisol level). Make sure to not drink or eat before the test. I cleaned one of my finger with special wipes and used a lancet. The first blood tear needs to be wiped and then you can start filling the vial with blood. ( Make sure to stand up while doing it). When it’s done you just have to put everything in a sealed bag and then in the envelop (everything is provided) and drop it at your closest UPS store.
Just wait a few days and your results will be uploaded to their site. You will receive a call by a nurse who is going to talk you through your results.
Personally my results came out positive… The average Cortisol level is between 6 – 18.4 ug/dL and my were 36.80 ug/dL. WAY TOO HIGH.
This can be explain by a lot of things going in my life and my lifestyle too ( training everyday, working full time in a stressfull environment, moving to a new country etc) But there is few things I can do to fix this.
How to decrease your cortisol level?
Ok so I’ve read a lot of things about how to reduce my high level of cortisol and here are my findings!
Natural Way to reduce cortisol levels
- Sleep, Sleep, SLEEP! Yes that’s right, getting the right amount of sleep will help you regulate and lower it! So make sure to stop playing on your phone at least 15 minutes before going to bed. Make sure that the temperature in your bedroom isn’t too high. If you sleep less than 7 hours, then you might have sleep deprivation after a while.
- Relax with some yoga classes or breathing exercises.
- Be happy
- Make sure that your work isn’t overstressing you!
- And… workout out… but apparently not too much ( that’s probably where I’m failing)
Not Natural Way
You can also use supplement to help you reduce your cortisol level like:
- Gingko Biloba
- CALM from IdealRaw ( that’s what I’m currently using)
How to increase your cortisol level?
If your body doesn’t produce enough cortisol then you might want to go see your doctor and get some Corticosteroids prescribed. This is a synthetic type of cortisol and will help you with your levels of cortisol and also possibly with asthma, some skin conditions etc.
Keep in mind that this is NOT like Anabolic Steroids ( Bodybuilder Taking steroids).
Let’s Get Checked – Tests
If you are interested in taking a test I got you you a 15% OFF until the end of July with the code GET15OFF.
Have a look at their website because they have a lot of different tests for your overall health or fertility etc etc.
*By clicking on the image above, I get a commission for any sales made. You don’t have to use it but this helps me. 🙂
Enjoy & Smile