Cortisol and Muscle growth - Deepstash

Cortisol and Muscle growth

When cortisol becomes chronically elevated it can severely hurt muscle growth via several mechanisms:

  1. It directly increases muscle breakdown. The amount of muscle you build depends on the difference between protein breakdown (catabolism) and protein synthesis (anabolism). If you increase protein breakdown (which cortisol does) it becomes a lot harder to be in a significantly positive balance.
  2. It decreases nutrient uptake by the muscles. This makes it harder to shuttle amino acids to the muscle to build new tissue and restore muscle glycogen stores.

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Since cortisol is catabolic – breaks down molecules – it can inhibit protein synthesis, which means your body will find it harder to build muscle.

“Cortisol can also accelerate the breakdown of protein into amino acids and sugar, which means that you start to use muscle as an energy source ,”

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Eating too few calories

Eating too few calories can cause a major decrease in metabolism.

Although a calorie deficit is needed for weight loss, it can be counterproductive for your calorie intake to drop too low. When you dramatically lower your calorie intake, your body senses that food is scarce and lowers the rate at which it burns calories.

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Stress can prevent you from keeping a healthy weight

Stress can prevent you from keeping a healthy weight.

Every time you're stressed, your adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol. Your body releases glucose into your bloodstream to increase your energy levels for a possible fight or flight response. Once the threat is gone, your adrenaline high wears off, your blood sugar drops and cortisol kicks in to quickly top up your energy supply.

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