Recovery Uncategorized

Is stress stunting your muscle growth?

The flight-or-fight hormone allows us thrive and survive, but the daily stresses of modern life affects our ability to manage adrenaline effectively. All is not lost, says Mike Mahler

Mike Mahler is a hormone optimisation researcher and supplement designer. He is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

We need adrenaline to thrive and survive. That’s why it’s often known as the flight-or-fight hormone because it spurs us into action when we are faced with an external threat.

But in today’s world we are producing adrenaline all day long because of constant internal stress, typically work pressure, financial uncertainty or troublesome professional or personal relationships.

The effect is that your body becomes overwhelmed and your adrenaline responders don’t act in the way they are supposed to. And because you brain only works on perception, it thinks you’re in a famine-type state. So you crave more sugary and salty foods, and you store more of the food you consume as fat, especially around stubborn fat areas, so stomach for men, and glutes and thighs for women.

Restoring your adrenaline sensitivity means you can tap into these fat stores for fuel to you improve body composition and overall health.

The stress solution
Stress management and stress eradication are the most important steps you can take to improve your adrenaline response. I find meditation – just 20 or 30 minutes per day – and getting out into nature are two great ways to unwind and focus on being present in the moment.

Getting better-quality sleep is also crucial. If you sleep badly you likely wake up tired and struggle all day, only to have anxiety energy at night when you should be tired. It quickly becomes a vicious cycle. But certain supplements, including adaptogens, can help reset how your body responds to and manages adrenaline.

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