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The Role of Hormones in Fitness

role of hormones in fitness

What Are Hormones?

Hormones are simply chemical messengers. Which are released by your endocrine glands throughout the body and are transported in the blood.  The hypothalamus, located in the brain, controls the endocrine system. In order to regulate the release of hormones from the pituitary gland, it serves as the gatekeeper, integrating internal body messages with external factors like exercise and sleep. The endocrine glands, such as the thyroid, adrenal, ovaries, and testes, receive hormones from the pituitary gland.

These glands release hormones such as thyroxine, cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone in the bloodstream.

Hormones play a vital role in fitness. Hormones facilitate the type of adaptation to exercise, such as stimulating certain proteins for building muscle or synthesizing enzymes that improve the handling of glucose in a cell and are crucial for endurance.

The adaptations to support improved fitness actually occur after exercise and during recovery. Rest and recovery are important parts of any training schedule. It is only during these periods of rest that hormones are released. They back up and drive the longer-term adaptations for endurance and power athletes. Hormones are not only key for health but for athletic performance as well.

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How exercise helps balance hormones

supplements and medications to treat hormone-related health issues like stress, depression, sleep deprivation, weight gain, and mood swings. But the key to balancing your hormones may be boosting your physical activity. Hahns Petty, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center, recommends exercise to enhance your quality of life and help regulate hormonal imbalances.

In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven society it is more important than ever to make time to exercise. Exercise is a productive outlet that stimulates feel-good transmitters that help boost overall well-being.


A peptide hormone produced by the pancreas, insulin regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism. When blood sugar is elevated, insulin is released to promote the storage and absorption of glycogen and glucose. Insulin helps reduce glucose levels in the blood by promoting its absorption from the bloodstream to skeletal muscles or fat tissues.

It is important to know that insulin can cause fat to be stored in adipose tissue instead of being used to fuel muscle activity. When exercise starts. The sympathetic nervous system suppresses the release of insulin; consequently. it is important to avoid foods with high levels of sugar (including sports drinks) before exercise because it can elevate insulin levels and promote glycogen storage instead of allowing it to be used to fuel physical activity. Wait until the body has started sweating before using any sports drinks or energy gels.

Epinephrine and Norepinephrine

During cardiorespiratory exercise, these amine hormones are crucial in assisting the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) in producing energy and regulating the body’s functions. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are hormones that are distinct but related and are categorized as catecholamines. Epinephrine, which is produced by the adrenal gland and is referred to as “adrenaline” because it raises cardiac output, raises blood sugar (to help fuel exercise), encourages the breakdown of glycogen for energy, and helps the metabolism of fat.

Norepinephrine performs the same functions as epinephrine while constricting blood vessels in parts of the body not involved in the exercise.

Human Growth Hormone

Human growth hormone (HGH) is an anabolic peptide secreted by the anterior pituitary gland that stimulates cellular growth. HGH, like all hormones, interacts with specific receptor sites and can elicit a variety of responses. such as supporting the immune system, boosting bone mineralization, and encouraging lipolysis, also known as fat metabolism.

The body produces HGH during the REM sleep cycles. It is stimulated by high-intensity exercises such as heavy strength training, explosive power training, or cardiorespiratory exercise at or above the onset of blood lactate (OBLA, the second ventilatory threshold).

Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor

A neurotransmitter known as a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) aids in stimulating the growth of new brain cells. Exercises that raise HGH and IGF levels also raise BDNF levels, which are closely linked to the production of those hormones.BDNF, which can help improve cognitive function and stimulate anabolic hormones for muscle growth, can be elevated through high-intensity exercise. You can develop effective exercise programs for your clients by knowing how exercise affects the hormones that control physiological functions.

role of hormones in fitness


Hormones are affected in both the short and long term by exercise. In the immediate post-exercise acute phase, T, HGH, and IGF are produced for tissue repair. T, HGH, and IGF can be used more effectively for muscle growth and tissue repair as the number of receptor sites and binding proteins grows over time. for clients who want to buy more. During resistance-training exercises, the amount of mechanical stress is what causes the levels of T, HGH, and IGF to rise. Perform moderate to heavy loads until momentary fatigue results in a high mechanical force. This forces the production of T, HGH, and IGF to repair protein and encourages muscle growth.


Cortisol is a catabolic steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress, low blood sugar, and exercise. It supports energy metabolism during long periods of exercise by facilitating the breakdown of triglyceride and protein to create. The glucose necessary to help fuel exercise.


When the body is under too much physical stress or has not fully recovered from a workout, cortisol is released. Although cortisol aids in the metabolism of fat, excessive exercise can raise cortisol levels and catalyze the breakdown of muscle protein into fuel rather than conserving it for tissue repair.

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