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    Stress' effects on the body

    Over the past few years you have heard a lot in the media about stress affecting cortisol levels and fat storage. I have to admit that it seemed a little unbelievable to me. Maybe it was just because the commercials were so hokie. But could anyone explain this to me.
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    This is as basic an answer as I could find;

    "Cortisol is catabolic, meaning that it leads to the breakdown of stored substrates. During exercise, this can be useful since it'll breakdown stored glycogen into glucose and stored fat into fatty acids to provide energy for the working muscles. However, post-training it'll continue to breakdown glycogen which slows recovery. It also breaks down muscle tissue into amino acids, making it harder to add muscle mass.

    Furthermore, since both cortisol and Testosterone are both made from the same raw material (pregnenolone), constantly elevated cortisol levels will eventually lead to lower Testosterone levels."

    As for fat gain;

    "Cortisol directly effects fat storage and weight gain in stressed individuals. Tissue cortisol concentrations are controlled by a specific enzyme that converts inactive cortisone to active cortisol (9-11). This particular enzyme is located in adipose (fat) tissues. Studies with human visceral (fat surrounding the stomach and intestines) and subcutaneous fat tissue have demonstrated that the gene for this enzyme is expressed more by obese conditions (11). It has also been demonstrated in research that human visceral fat cells have more of these enzymes compared to subcutaneous fat cells. Thus, higher levels of these enzymes in these deep fat cells surrounding the abdomen may lead to obesity due to greater amounts of cortisol being produced at the tissue level. As well, deep abdominal fat has greater blood flow and four times more cortisol receptors compared to subcutaneous fat (8). This may also increase cortisol’s fat accumulating and fat cell size enlarging effect."
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    Registered User denee422's Avatar
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    O.k. so I get how the cortisol effects the fat storage, and thanks for that. But does your stress level affect your cortisol level is what I was getting at. I get to a point where I lose a little, then feel better, then don't feel as well if I can't bridge the next gap.

    Originally Posted by nervesgone View Post
    This is as basic an answer as I could find;

    "Cortisol is catabolic, meaning that it leads to the breakdown of stored substrates. During exercise, this can be useful since it'll breakdown stored glycogen into glucose and stored fat into fatty acids to provide energy for the working muscles. However, post-training it'll continue to breakdown glycogen which slows recovery. It also breaks down muscle tissue into amino acids, making it harder to add muscle mass.

    Furthermore, since both cortisol and Testosterone are both made from the same raw material (pregnenolone), constantly elevated cortisol levels will eventually lead to lower Testosterone levels."

    As for fat gain;

    "Cortisol directly effects fat storage and weight gain in stressed individuals. Tissue cortisol concentrations are controlled by a specific enzyme that converts inactive cortisone to active cortisol (9-11). This particular enzyme is located in adipose (fat) tissues. Studies with human visceral (fat surrounding the stomach and intestines) and subcutaneous fat tissue have demonstrated that the gene for this enzyme is expressed more by obese conditions (11). It has also been demonstrated in research that human visceral fat cells have more of these enzymes compared to subcutaneous fat cells. Thus, higher levels of these enzymes in these deep fat cells surrounding the abdomen may lead to obesity due to greater amounts of cortisol being produced at the tissue level. As well, deep abdominal fat has greater blood flow and four times more cortisol receptors compared to subcutaneous fat (8). This may also increase cortisol?s fat accumulating and fat cell size enlarging effect."
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    The more stressed you are (and that includes lack of sleep, loud kids, bills to pay, food intolerance/allergy etc), the higher your cortisol levels rise, and the harder it will be to lose fat (or easier to gain fat).

    Was that your question?
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    Recovery is key. Massages, epsom salts baths, foam rolling, sleep masks, contrast showers, it all adds up. Get a foam roller, The Stick, a tennis/baseball, use them and stay healthy, pain and injury free.
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    Oops! I guess that would've been an important correlation to make.

    Sorry!
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    Yes, that was my question, because I do have loud kids, barking dogs, bills up to the sky, a husband who's a pack rat, a house to take care of, and all of the stuff that goes along with that. My 5 1/2 year old is very high maintenance, he's SEVERELY A.D.H.D. and we haven't figured out what works best for him yet, which is probably about 85% of my stress. And I'm just wondering if I'm not quite progressing to my potential, because of some of this. He does start Kindergarten this year, which should take a load off.
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    Originally Posted by nervesgone View Post
    Oops! I guess that would've been an important correlation to make.

    Sorry!
    No big deal. I still learned from what you told me, now I know how it works.
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