Are you missing out on GAINS you should be making in muscle growth and fat reduction because of your caffeine intake?
Cortisol is made by the adrenal glands . Cortisol levels go up when under stress and other reasons like caffeine intake especially above 150 milligrams (NOTE that average energy drinks contain 180mg and pre-workouts contain up to 300mg per serving)
Cortisol is a necessary stress hormone designed to help you wake up in the morning and deal with emergencies, to cope with danger. The problem is that cortisol helps with real or fake stress emergencies by making your body release nutrients to create energy and one of those nutrients is amino acids from your muscles.
Elevated stress hormones puts the body into a “catabolic” state. This is the destructive phase of cell life that includes widespread tissue destruction, muscle loss, bone loss, immune system depression and even brain shrinkage! As the body ages, stress increases or caffeine intake happens, cortisol production increases and muscle tissue loss is accelerated.
Weight Gain, Heart Disease, and Diabetes
Chronic long-term exposure to stress hormones disrupts the body’s metabolism causing elevated blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and increased body fat levels due to increased appetite. Stress stimulates cravings for sweet, calorie dense foods and salty, high carbohydrate snacks. The combination of high cortisol, low DHEA and low growth hormone production causes the body to store fat, lose muscle and slow the metabolic rate. Getting off of synthetic caffeine dramatically helps stop this cascade of destruction.
Stress makes you burn fewer calories and cortisol can actually reduce the body’s ability to release fat from its fat stores to use for energy. Instead, we become sugar burners and fat storers. Stress hormones cause increased body fat in the abdominal region, exactly where we don’t need or want it.
Chronic stress can lead the body to ignore the function of insulin. Insulin resistance develops when the cells fail to respond to insulin’s message to take in glucose from the blood stream. It is thought that elevated blood sugar due to stress and diet contributes to the development of insulin resistance.
Mood Swings and Depression
Moodiness, anxiety, and depression are all consequences of elevated cortisol’s long-term effects on serotonin and dopamine production. It can even cause brain cells to actually shrink!
Studies show that students who study late on caffeine, thus elevating cortisol levels, find their short-term memory fails them on the next day’s exam.
Fatigue and Insomnia
Of course if you wake up feeling sluggish, most people will reach for a cup of coffee to artificially spike their cortisol levels up again. If you drink coffee later in the day, elevated cortisol can interfere with the body’s natural circadian rhythms. Coffee with meals can trigger cortisol surges that can cause overeating when blood sugar subsequently drops. High levels of cortisol can interfere with a good night’s sleep because it can keep you from entering Stage 3 and 4 sleep; the deep, rebuild and repair sleep your body needs for recovery.
Skin Aging and Wrinkling
Caffeine dehydrates the body. So do elevated cortisol levels. This leads to dehydrated skin and premature wrinkling. Dr. Nicholas Perricone in his best selling books, The PerriconePrescription and The Wrinkle Cure, is emphatic about quitting synthetic caffeine and coffee to prevent skin aging.
HOW TO FIX PROBLEM AND GET YOUR GAINS QUICKER
Eliminate caffeine from your diet. It’s the quickest way to reduce cortisol production and elevate the production of DHEA, the leading anabolic youth hormone. 200 mg of caffeine (one 12 oz mug of coffee) increases blood cortisol levels by 30% in one hour! Cortisol can remain elevated for up to 18 hours in the blood. This is the easiest step to decrease your catabolic metabolism and increase your anabolic metabolism. Taking in whole food forms of caffeine like Green Tea and Yerba Mate with B vitamins can supply the same energy boost without the cortisol spikes. B-Vitamins also help relieve stress.
Herbs like Gotu Kola, Rhodiola and the amino acid Taurine will not only lower cortisol levels but they will also help you decrease the effects of stress on the body by boosting the immune system.
Caffeine is highly stimulatory and a systemic vasoconstrictor. As bodybuilding athletes, we want to vasodialate not constrict our blood vessels. The more dialation of the vlood vessels, the more flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and tissues. Combining caffeine anhydrous with Nitric Oxide (vasodialating) nutrients is not smart and is only a ploy by supplement manufacturers preying on consumers that don’t know these facts.
ON MUSCLE CONTRACTION
In active males, caffeine (5mg/kg bodyweight once daily at breakfast) coingestion with Creatine (0.5g/kg bodyweight over 8 doses) differences are noted on intermittent force production where creatine was significantly greater than placebo (0.5g/kg maltodextrin), but creatine + caffeine was not. In other words, caffeine intake at the same time as creatine hinders the force/strength that you get from your lifts.
The answer is PCT Flush. This is a natural “powerful energy” formula that only uses natural whole food forms of caffeine that doesn’t raise cortisol levels and it also contains high amounts of B-Vitamins and nutrients to lower cortisol while supporting adrenal function.