The Essential Guide For Your Hormones

Have better stamina, success, strength, and sex by taking control of your hormone balance.

The Essential Guide To Your Hormones


There’s a lot going on inside your body when you’re getting your sweat on. That “exercise high” you may feel after an intense lifting session, along with gradual muscle growth and fat loss, is due to the work of the hormones insulin, glucagon, cortisol, human growth hormone (HGH), epinephrine, and norepinephrine. They’re responsible for adding lean mass and firing up your metabolism.

Take Advantage Of Your Fat-Fighting Hormones.

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that helps control fat and carb metabolism. It also reduces glucose in the bloodstream and can cause fat to be stored as adipose tissue instead of being used as energy. Glucagon is released when blood­sugar levels are low, and it discharges free fatty acids (FFAs) from adipose tissue. So how can you harness them to burn fat effectively? Start by avoiding carbs 30 to 45 minutes pre­workout if you’re doing low­ intensity cardio, says Pete McCall, exercise science faculty member at Mesa College in San Diego, CA. “The carbs will elevate insulin and will be used for fuel rather than free fatty acids being used.” 

Find Your Nutrient Window. 

To build muscle with these hormones, you’ll have to influence an insulin spike, which depends on the time between when you work out and when you eat. In general, aim to consume a combination of protein and carbs, such as a protein shake, within 30 minutes of working out. When you exercise, the insulin receptors on muscle fibers are activated; when insulin molecules from the carbs in your diet latch on to receptors, the muscle cells take up both glucose and protein more easily, which can enhance muscle growth. 

Grow Some Muscle.

HGH facilitates muscle growth, fat loss, and enhances immune function. Unfortunately, as we get older, HGH levels drop, leading to less lean muscle and more body­fat stores. To stimulate HGH, keep on hitting the weight room—especially after the age of 30. “Lifting weights is very critical to prevent HGH levels from dropping drastically,” says McCall. And make sure you’re mixing things up in the gym: The American Physiological Society published a study that found HGH levels were more enhanced with moderate to heavy workout regimens with a varied weight load. 

SEE ALSO: 7 Reasons You Need HIIT