030616 "Coffee and Cortisol"

Oh Cortisol. The Stress Hormone. About 10 years ago this word popped up in a Nutrition Seminar and has stuck around since then. I have paid close attention to it as both a naturally occurring hormone as well as a performance detractor. What was not so well known about it was the effects that your coffee intake has on your cortisol levels. And... As we touched on food pairing yesterday, I thought we could discuss the pairing of our hormones and the stimulant of caffeine in coffee!

But first, A Brief history of Cortisol.

Cortisol came about many many many years ago when we were our Primal selves out on the savannas of Africa getting chased by saber tooth tigers and other big ass predators. Cortisol became a hormone secreted in the body to literally keep us alive. When we were hunting (or being hunted) we needed our metabolism and our Central Nervous System to respond by turning up to an 11 and get us moving. Along our adaptive evolution this hormone has helped us regulate our blood sugar, our heart beat, our blood pressure and even our immune system! So that is why this one little hormone is considered VITAL to our existence.

Today Cortisol production is at a all time high. With technology in our faces, stressful jobs, commutes that drive us nuts, relationships, and an otherwise fast paced life... our endocrine system is working overtime.

And this is where the Coffee comes in..

Like any other organ in the body, there are checks and balances and subsequent triggers to let you (the dumbass running the show) know when too much is too much. When Cortisol Production reaches peak levels fatigue happens. Signs are decreased cognitive ability, lack of motivation, crappy sleep, high blood pressure, and generally feeling like crap.

So what do we do... WE CAFFINATE!!

Coffee is the easiest stimulant that is thought to cure most of the ailments that I just mentioned (aside from the high blood pressure). WE wake up in the morning, slam a cup or 5. We get sluggish in the afternoon, we inject a little more... All the while our body is like, "DUDE.. Give me a break".

Cortisol ebbs and flows through the day, peaking at around 7-8AM and 4-5 PM. By slamming our bodies with caffeine during these times you risk not only adrenal fatigue but more importantly, decreasing the tolerance you have to Coffee! Definitely no good!

Drinking Coffee is and should be an enjoyable experience for both your brain and body. Pairing the caffeine in Coffee with your hormones is important so perhaps you can try holding off on your first intake until around 9am and then doing your mid day dose around 1:30 PM -3 PM. This will ensure that your Cortisol levels will be at their lowest and you will get the most JACKED!!

As with everything you put into your body, pay attention to their effects. No matter what it may be, if you are investing it... understand it. This will not only help your performance in the gym but also keep your bodily systems running smooth. Health is a constant experiment.

Baseline: Double Tabata Row 8 Rounds of: :40 work :20 Rest

Lunge Flow

Rotator Cuff Drills

Skill Development:

Gymnasty 10 3 Pull Up Negatives :20 Handstand Hold 12 L Sit CrossOvers 12 Weighted Bulgarian Split Squats (Heavy)

WOD:

4 Rounds For Time 21 Cal Row 15 Chest To bar Pull Up 9 Strict Handstand Push Up