Reading time : 5 min
The endocrine system and hormonal function play a fundamental role in all cognitive, mental and bodily functions. They circumscribe life and sport, sports performance, the potential for improvement and recovery capacity.
Maintaining optimal hormonal health is key to finding balance in our sports career , as well as in life. Hormones follow circular reasoning in their operation, that is, our mood influences hormonal secretion. A hormonal imbalance can impact our emotional state.
Next, we discuss the key points to improve our sports performance through hormonal function
If your free testosterone is low and the amount of circulating estrogen is high; you will receive all the adverse effects of this undesirable hormone in men. It has to be maintained in optimal ranges of hormonal balance.
When men have high estrogen: they begin to accumulate fluids more easily, are much more irascible and tend to show a depressive tendency , as well as more marked fatigue than usual. Of course, never forget that the libido will be seriously affected in this context, and can cause sexual impotence.
2. Decrease the percentage of body fat
Being at an adequate body fat percentage is crucial to maintaining a high free testosterone . That allows us to compensate for training in a good way, perform energetic muscle contractions and maintain a state of mind at the level of the physical demand of our sport.
For this reason, adipose tissue, the possible fat that we have accumulated at the abdominal level, also has an endocrine function. It forms a large reservoir of aromatase, an enzyme that converts free testosterone into estrogen.
This means that, although we are doing regular sports and even controlling our food intake; If we do not get these tools to direct us towards a body composition with a percentage of fat of less than 15%, all the other actions we take will be useless. We can produce more testosterone at the testicular level, but our body will be unable to take advantage of it because the hormonal function of our body fat will gradually cancel it out.
Maintaining an adequate percentage of fat is key to hormonal function and, without a doubt, it is one of the best tools to promote endocrine balance in our body.
3. Stress management
A key point to maximize the bioavailability of our hormones is to create an environment conducive to the homeostasis of the endocrine system, where most of the time there is anabolism or synthesis of new structures. It is very beneficial.
Excessive day-to-day stress can over-activate you on a nervous level and cause an uncontrolled hormonal cascade of adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. These hormones, which are continuously secreted by your adrenal gland, will promote a state of continuous exhaustion and will incapacitate you to face the small physical and mental challenges of your daily routine.
Of course, this negative hormonal circle will prevent you from sleeping peacefully. It will cause an excessive release of cortisol, which, as you well know, is a highly catabolic hormone and does not benefit you at all when it is out of control.
If you are wondering why your muscles are empty and flat, as if they were retained, and it is difficult for you to recover between training sessions; you most likely have excess surrounding cortisol . As I have told you before, cortisol should be minimized if you find yourself in that situation.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is secreted in a circadian fashion and in the opposite manner to melatonin. There is a peak in the morning, while at night, its concentration in the plasma drops to half. It leaves room for the aforementioned sleep phase hormone: melatonin.
An alteration in biorhythms will cause you to wake up several times at night, causing great difficulty in resting properly and generating a vital balance. That is why, the next day, you urgently need a dose of caffeine to be able to continue working. This is something that is effective in a timely manner.
Cortisol has very important functions such as reducing tissue inflammation. But it is only evolutionarily prepared to act punctually and not chronically. It is not effective in helping us cope with everyday stressful situations. Also, being a hyperglycemic hormone, it will raise our surrounding glucose levels and cause us a state of progressive insulin resistance.
To improve these biorhythms we can carry out the following strategies:
- Carbohydrates before bed. Consumed together with a protein meal high in tryptophan, they make the secretion of insulin allow this amino acid to cross the blood-brain barrier in a good way so that it can induce a state of relaxation.
- Dose the intensity in sport.
- Perform carbohydrate fasts. As long as we don't do sports in the morning.
- Walking in the morning so that the sun signals our biological clock.
- A moderate carbohydrate diet in the first part of the day.
These actions will cause the daily hormonal secretion to start synchronizing intelligently again. It will allow you to be active during the day and relaxed at night.
There are also certain strata or food supplements that will promote an adequate hormonal or emotional environment.
5.1 Saw palmetto
It can help inhibit the action of the aromatase enzyme. Get testosterone to be maintained with much better bioavailability.
It is another very interesting extract that helps to cope with continuous stress levels from day to day. It has been proven in various studies that by curbing the load of somatized stress, it improves libido and mental energy.
Including other types of synthetic hormones, such as melatonin for sleep, can directly help improve biorhythms . And as a consequence the balance of the endocrine system.
As you have been able to verify, testosterone is a mother hormone with a large number of functions on our physiology. It is key to maintaining sports performance and recovery between sessions.
Therefore, I recommend you carry out the advice that I have given you:
- Dose the sport to a subjective amount from which you can recover
- Lower body fat percentage to an optimal range
- Manage your stress in a better way or by including food supplements that mediate the conversion of testosterone into estrogen