Cortisol is referred to as the “stress hormone.” This hormone is produced in the adrenal cortex in the adrenal gland. One of Cortisol’s key functions is to increase amino acid supply to the liver when there are low levels present.
However, this also increases protein catabolism, or eats away muscle. What sucks even more is that cortisol is released by any type of exercise you perform.
It’s also an integral hormone for human existence. This fact is show by certain diseases related to cortisol production. For example, individuals who are unable to product cortisol have something known as Addison’s Disease.
This condition results in hypotention (low blood pressure), shock, and eventual death. Hence, without any cortisol in your body, you would eventually die.
Cushing’s disease, on the other hand, is when you product too much Cortisol. These individuals develop diabetes and becomes extremely obese. Excessive cortisol also causes insulin resistance (which we covered in the last article).
Individuals with Cushing’s disease also develop osteoporosis. And because Cortisol breaks down muscle tissue, these individuals become extremely weak and tender skin.
They develop a unique body shape with small legs and arms and puffy body. But the main idea here is that cortisol is extremely vital for your survival. I would be weary of those pills they advertise on TV telling you that Cortisol is the primary reason you’re fat.
Don’t mess with the Cortisol hormone with pills you see on TV!
But, luckily, there is a way we can manipulate Cortisol to help you reduce your belly fat. If you store excessive fat on your lower belly fat, chances are, you’re suffering from high cortisol.
Exercise also releases another hormone, one that I’ve talked about many times before: Growth Hormone. Growth Hormone, or GH is exceptional at combating the effects of Cortisol.
The training you use to combat Cortisol and to increase Growth Hormone, is Lactic Acid Training. Lactic Acid is what athletes claim causes that intense pain during exercise.
The truth is, that it’s pyruvate that causes this sensation of pain. I’ve actually talked about this before, lets just do a little copy and paste from one of my previous articles:
What is Lactic Acid?
- Formed from the breakdown of glucose when glucose from dietary carbohydrates reaches muscle after bypassing the liver and entering general circulation.
- Then, goes back into the blood and returns to the liver. Here it is used to make liver glycogen.
- Known as the “Glucose Paradox.”
What does Lactic Acid Do?
- Fuels glucose and glycogen production in the liver
- Helps us use dietary carbohydrates more efficiently
- Serves as a quick energy fuel preferred by the heart and muscles
- Important to mechanisms involved in how we adapt to stress
- Important key to athletic success in high intensity sport
- Stimulates testosterone production
- Signals release of human growth hormone from pituitary gland
- Can be transported between cells to supply additional energy for work
Why Do I feel the Burning?
- Lactic Acid is not what is creating the burning sensation. It is actually hydrogen ion, the acid in lactic acid which interferes with electrical signals in nerve and muscle tissue. Hydrogen ion is made when lactic acid splits into lactate ion, and hydrogen ion.
- When Lactic Acid enters our blood faster than our ability to remove or control it, hydrogen ions begin to lower the pH of muscle, creating an acidic environment. This process interferes with our performance.
The Connection Between Lactic Acid Training, Lactic Acid, and Growth Hormone
- Short, intense bursts of exercise work best to stimulate the natural production of growth hormone.
- Lactic Acid Training is a form of intense exercise which releases Lactic Acid as a method of providing energy for the muscles
- When Lactic Acid splits into a lactate ion and hydrogen ion, the hydrogen ions begin to lower the pH of muscle, creating an acidic environment, as discussed earlier.
- When the pH is lowered, it triggers a release of HGH as a way to aid in muscle recovery and repair.
- The more HGH you release, the bigger and leaner you’ll get.