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What is Cortisol?

  • By Vishwa on Health

  • April 21, 2014

Cortisol is a stress hormone. Though it is a stress hormone it is endogenously, naturally, produced hormone. It is released in greater amounts as a response to stress. Their levels are generally high in the mornings and lower at night time.

Generally, in the short term, cortisol can be advantageous. It makes us strong, fast and smart. It increases heart rate, blood pressure and dumps all sorts of good nutrients into the bloodstream so we’re ready for physical action. It sharpens cognition, sensation, learning and memory. All the above advantages are a factual occurrence in the body when you are stressed.

On a similar note, corticosteroid/cortisol injections are widely used in treating various ailments among athletes. Moreover, it is not a surprise that many have found great solace in treating injuries through cortisol shots. Cortisol shot may seem like a fast track solution to your injury. Although corticosteroid can reduce inflammation and symptoms they don’t cure the underlying condition and you may still need other treatments such as rest and rehabilitation. Also, the serious concern is that of reducing inflammation by cortisol. It might turn out to be masking a serious injury.

From a fitness perspective, cortisol is also released during workouts, for the workout is also a stressor. You should know that high levels of cortisol can hamper muscle growth in the body. So overtraining is a big NO, and more importantly emphasis should be provided towards appropriate rest, recovery, and recuperation.

Last but not the least, in the long term, cortisol acts as an endogenous poison. It shuts off long term physiological rebuilding projects, dampens digestion and damages blood vessel. It contributes to a wide range of afflictions including heart diseases, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis. People who live in extreme stressed environment may not be safe.

2 thoughts on “What is Cortisol?

  1. Sir.. what about people working in corporates..? We will be always under a lot of pressure and stress.. how do we cope up with cortisol? Let us know..
    Very informative sir.. thank u

  2. Over-training and it’s direct relation to the cortisol factor is not known to many. Like every one if your articles, this has thrown new light on the aspects of physical fitness.
    Thank you.

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