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Holy Hormones: Sex, Sleep, and CrossFit

By Coach Billie

Hormones. Just hearing that word brings me back to middle school and puberty. I also used to think it was just a woman thing until I got married and realized men are affected by them as well! To put it simply: hormones are a combination of chemicals released in the body that cause specific responses. For instance, the anabolic hormones build more muscle and the catabolic hormones break down the muscle. Hormones have an extensive effect on the body, so it is crucial for us to reach optimal levels for getting the desired physique, more energy and of course a higher libido! There are so many hormones, so I have listed a few of the main ones and what they do.

Testosterone – Men and women have this muscle building hormone. Of course men have way more than women do. This is probably the most widely known hormone. It helps build more muscle and recover faster. Too little of this hormone can leave you sluggish, depressed or disinterested.
Cortisol – This bad boy is known as the stress hormone. Which does have good benefits like: quickens heartbeat, feeds the brain extra oxygen and provides quick bursts of energy from fat – all good things just in very little amounts. When we start to get too much cortisol we tend to have a decrease in muscle tissue, higher blood pressure, lower immunity and increased inflammation in the body, increased abdominal fat, decreased bone density and many more problems.
Melatonin – The sleep –promoting hormone. This is a must for recovery of the muscles and body. We all probably could use more sleep, and tend to push sleep aside to get more things done.

Other common hormones consist of Oxytocin, Thyroid, Estrogen/Progesterone, Leptin/Ghrelin, HGH, and Serotonin.
Most evidence shows that in order to balance these hormones out and use them to the best of our ability, we need to have balanced nutrition, regular exercise, good night’s sleep and plenty of sex.

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