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High Levels of Ongoing Stress Contribute to Muscle Deterioration
Cortisol is a particularly bad hormone in high quantities. It leads to a ton of health problems, from expedited aging to a lack of sleep. Two of the often overlooked problems associated with high levels of cortisol are muscle deterioration and stunted muscle growth, both of which can be highly irritating and can pose a lot of problems moving forward.
If you’re trying to work out and you’re not seeing any muscle buildup, even after many months of working out, then you might be suffering from high levels of stress. When you have too much cortisol, it starts to block off the parts of your muscles that accept protein, which can cause a lot of issues.
Protein helps your muscles grow and keeps them healthy. When you lift weights, you’re basically making a bunch of tiny rips and tears in your muscles, which protein then goes and fills in.
By filling in and building upon these tears, your muscles not only grow, but also become stronger, which is why weightlifting does what it does. By blocking your ability to take in proteins, cortisol is leaving your muscles without any good means of repairing themselves.
One key problem associated with this is soreness. Without protein, any physical activity will leave you much more sore than you usually are, because your proteins aren’t able to do their jobs.
This is why many people with high levels of stress experience things like back pain on a regular basis. This also means that you won’t really be able to get stronger if you’re trying to work out.
You’ll just become sore, and won’t see any real progress. This can be incredibly frustrating and can lead to you getting even more stressed out, creating a bad cycle to get into.
To break the cycle, you need to first address what it is that’s stressing you out. By decreasing your stress, even just for a few days, you’re allowing your cortisol levels to drop back down to where they normally are.
This gives your body time to essentially reset, reverting back to its natural levels. You can accomplish this with a few days off at home or even a vacation. Really, as long as you’re getting rest and clearing your mind, you should be able to come back from a chronic form of stress and will see better results when you return to your routine of working out.