What is CORTISOL? A better understanding! AG Fitness | Health & Fitness Insight

  1. AG Fitness Health
  2. January 23, 2024

What is CORTISOL? A better understanding! AG Fitness | Health & Fitness Insight

Ever come across the word cortisol? Do you know how cortisol is related to your health and fitness? So, let’s understand what cortisol is and why we must know about it. So, I can say cortisol is a steroid hormone. It is produced by our adrenal glands. These glands are on top of each kidney. It is related to your stress level; with the increase in stress level increased cortisol is released. It’s important to have the correct balance of cortisol for a healthy body. Producing very high or low cortisol can cause different health problems.

As it is known, cortisol is related to many important functions of the body. Let’s understand the importance of cortisol in our body :-

  • It’s because of the presence of cortisol your body can react to stress or danger
  • Cortisol can help in increasing your body’s metabolism of glucose
  • Cortisol is also related to blood pressure
  • The right balance of cortisol helps to maintain inflammation

Cortisol is also essential for your body’s ‘fight or flight’ reaction to any perceived threats. Usually, the amount of cortisol developed during a certain situation is managed by your body, which ensures the balance is correct.

What pushes the adrenal glands for production of cortisol?

As I mentioned, cortisol is produced by your adrenal glands. It is related to your pituitary gland. It is a pea-sized gland which is at the base of your brain. This gland is also known as the ‘master gland.’ It is named so as it affects your body on different levels. Starting from the time you wake up, exercise, or feel stressed, it’s your pituitary gland that reacts to those situations. This signals your adrenal glands to produce the essential amount of cortisol.

Cortisol Relation with Exercise

The more intense the exercise, the higher levels of cortisol will rise. Does this mean that high-intensity exercise is harmful to your well-being? The most scientifically valid studies prove that exercise in all forms, particularly high intensity, is among the best ways to live an extended and healthy life. Without cortisol, we will not be able to participate in or adjust to any exercise. Without cortisol, we’d not be able to mobilize energy or react appropriately to any kind of external stressor. In addition, in the case of a higher energy expenditure, cortisol is likely to rise. This isn’t an issue since cortisol plays a crucial role in energy mobilization. This is why the belief that cortisol levels increase when exercise is performed and causes fat accumulation does not have a scientific foundation. Instead, cortisol increases are indicative of a positive correlation to the anabolic effect of exercise. Additionally, exercise can boost cortisol immediately, but it will also lead to the long-term reduction of cortisol.