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Overtraining: The Effect on Hormones & Testosterone- Thomas DeLauer… When we work out, we’re causing stress in our bodies. That’s a given, everyone has said that. But what we want to understand is how this stress can lead to overtraining, and how this overtraining can lead to diminished hormone function, and we know how important hormones are. Things like testosterone obviously play a critical factor in how much body fat we accumulate, how much body fat we burn, and overall how much muscle we build. So now there are some direct links with overtraining and testosterone decline. So let’s dive into the science and let’s understand if you’re truly overtraining.
Alright, so first off we have to understand what the symptoms of overtraining are, and the problem is they’re a little bit vague because they hit everyone a little bit different. But in general, we’re talking serious, serious fatigue. Then we’re also talking sleeplessness. When you’re overtraining you are in a situation where your catecholamines like your adrenaline, your other fight or flight hormones are skyrocketing, meaning you don’t sleep very well. But you’re also going to find yourself in a situation where you’re getting sick a lot. You’re not able to recover. And also when you don’t recover, you have declines in performance. So if you’re feeling like you’re at a plateau, there’s a very good chance you’re overtraining. Well, let me rephrase that. No matter who you are, there’s a good chance you’re overtraining, ’cause it doesn’t take much.
But the big factor here is testosterone. What kind of effect does truly overtraining and does stress have on testosterone production? And not only men, but women too. Of course, it’s going to have a bigger impact on men because we’re driven a little bit more by testosterone, but it still applies to both genders. Now when we look at the science, it’s easy to think that it could be the cytokine hypothesis. Now the cytokine hypothesis shows that whenever you train harder, whenever you work out, or whenever you work out for a long period of time without adequate rest or recovery, you end up in a situation where you have vast amounts of interleukins that injure the body, or they’re produced. So we’re talking interleukin one, interleukin three, five, six, 10, 15. These interleukins trigger specific inflammatory responses within the body. We have to remember, with training we want inflammation. Inflammation is what heals us and recovers us. But if it happens too much, it takes energy away from the rest of the body.
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