Hormones are substances secreted by specialized cells located in the endocrine glands (without ducts), or also by epithelial cells and interstitial whose aim is to influence the function of other cells.
Which is the best out of them? You can learn to control them. And when you get it, you’ll look and feel better with the passing days.
Below we will show you how your hormones can help you become the man you hope to be:
1 – Regulating hunger: ghrelin and leptin
These two hormones are waging a constant battle for your body to know how much food you should eat. Ghrelin makes you feel hungry, it is secreted by the walls of the stomach. Leptin, released by fat cells, tells your body that your energy reserves are full.
In the bloodstream, these two hormones flow to the hypothalamus. Once there, the one that appears in greatest number, wins. If you take care of yourself, your body becomes resistant to leptin; ghrelin, the hormone that causes hunger, he begins to wane in the battle more.
How to control ghrelin and leptin: create a good sleeping habit
According to the researchers at Penn State, people who sleep less than 6 hours a night note that their ghrelin levels increase at the same time that a decrease of leptin occurs. If you want a flat belly, you need to rest enough.
2 – Drivers of metabolism: thyroid hormones
The thyroid, a gland located in your neck, produces the hormones T3 and T4, which are in charge to tell each cell how much energy you must produce and spend. That determines your basal metabolic rate (how many calories you burn just to maintain vital functions of your body).
Even the smallest of declines in the hormones T3 and T4 can cause your metabolism to stagnate, and to increase your weight.
How to control thyroid hormones: eat foods that are rich in iodine.
If your body weight increases, see your doctor. A simple blood test can determine if you suffer from any disorder of the thyroid.
Otherwise, keep the gland to full capacity consuming approximately 150 micrograms of iodine per day. This mineral is essential for the production of T3 and T4. Seafood and dairy products are wonderful sources of iodine.
3 – Creating muscle: IGF-1 and HGH
You may have heard rumors of professional athletes and bodybuilders who illegally use human growth hormones (HGH, also called somatotropin). HGH triggers the production of a series of substances (growth factor) similar to insulin-1 (IGF-1). In conjunction, these two hormones break down fat and use the energy to strengthen the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Your body produces HGH naturally, but soon after reaching the age of 20, your levels begin to decrease by
15% more or less each decade.
How to control the IGF-1 and HGH: train hard in the gym.
To naturally increase production of HGH, you train until the point of fatigue. Use heavier weights that you can manage to do 3 or 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. Between series and series, limit your rest to no more than 60 seconds.
If you feel that your muscles burn, you’re doing it right. That means that the chemistry of your body is becoming slightly acidic, which increases the production of HGH.
4 – Inducing sleep: Melatonin
In an ideal situation, your production of melatonin inducing sleep would be inactive during the day and reach its peak between the 2 am. and the 4 am., but that is not always the case.
Your pineal gland regulates the melatonin in function of your exposure to blue light, the waves of short wavelength stimulants emitted by the sun or technological devices, such as mobile and television. If you stay in front of an illuminated screen after the sun goes down, you delay your sleep cycle naturally.
How to control melatonin: reducing the use of electronic devices before sleeping.
Eliminates the use of any appliance containing a luminous screen at least two hours before you go to sleep.
5 – Driving libido: testosterone
Testosterone channel the protein into muscle cells increasing the sex drive and increasing sperm count. The levels of testosterone in a man usually decrease with age.
In a recent study by Imperial College London involving almost 3,200 men over the age of 40 years, 3 of every 4 men with low testosterone levels were either overweight or obese.
How to control testosterone: do not take more than two drinks a day.
The alcohol may hamper the chemical reactions that protect the testosterone. A concentration of alcohol in the blood of only 0.05 (still within the legal limit for driving) can cause a decrease of 9% in the testosterone in men between 21 and 25 years, according to research published by the journal Alcoholism.
6 – Energy-Importing: Insulin
Insulin is responsible for mobilizing the fat and the sugar from your bloodstream to your fat cells and muscle for storage. If your body stops responding properly to it, the sugar levels can increase, which puts them at risk of type 2 diabetes. Your objective is to keep in balance the levels of insulin and sugar.
An insulin spike can help you immediately after an intense workout when the hormone provides a window of muscle development, that is to say, it provides more sugar directly to your muscles. That’s good: your body uses the sugar (glycogen) to keep you with energy and increase your strength.
How to control insulin: eat carbohydrates after your workout.
A review of the University of Oklahoma found that the intake of ideal carbohydrates after training is approximately one gram for every kilo of body mass.