Intuitively I think we recognize that our body’s hormones influence our health and body composition but sometimes we forget how important they are. For example, diabetics know all too well the relationship between blood sugar levels and insulin. Melatonin helps regulate our sleeping, adrenaline kicks us into high gear during a perceived threat, ans sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen, among others) influence everything from body composition to reproduction.
In the next few posts I’m going to take a look at a few key hormones and some strategies that can help you take advantage of your physiology.
So first thing’s first. What are hormones?
Hormones are chemicals that tell your cells to do things. The endocrine system is in charge of making and releasing hormones in response to certain things (such as stress, time of day, what you eat, exercise, etc.) It is made up of several glands including the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenals, pineal body, and the reproductive organs (ovaries and testes), and also includes the pancreas.
Next, we will take a look at cortisol, commonly referred to as “the stress hormone”.