Cortisol is another hormone that can play a role in burning fat and losing weight, but often in the opposite direction. Cortisol is produced by the body to counteract the negative effects of stress. While this is its primary function, the side effect of too much cortisol in your system is the inability to lose weight properly. Not only can high cortisol levels lead to increased appetite, they can also reduce your ability to process amino acids effectively to build muscle. This comes in a one-two punch as excess cortisol can also inhibit growth hormones levels by stimulating the release of HGH antagonists.
Everyone Experiences Stress
With our busy modern lives, stress seems come as part of the package with career, family, and a social life. However, there are ways to counteract cortisol's effect on the body. The best thing you can naturally do to lower cortisol in your bloodstream is to consistently get a good night's rest. This means uninterrupted sleep. If you've been overly stressed, either from work or other factors, you may need to crank up your sleep schedule to 9 to 10 hours a night for a while to begin to get back into balance.
Reduce Caffeine to Manage Cortisol
Cutting back on, or quitting caffeine altogether is something else you can do to reduce cortisol. Caffeine works by forcing your adrenal glands to produce adrenaline. The adrenaline is the extra energy you feel after having your morning coffee, not the caffeine itself. But remember the stress we've been talking about? Well in nature, adrenaline is produced as part of the fight-or-flight reflex to keep us alive in the wild. Excess adrenaline is a stress signal to the body, which then triggers additional cortisol production. While quitting cold turkey can be difficult, and result in headaches, slowing backing off the caffeinated drinks over the course of a few weeks should help you kick the habit fast enough. This will also help you sleep better which will lead to reducing your cortisol as well.
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