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The steroid hormone cortisol and its implications, produced by the adrenal glands; has a catabolic effect — it breaks down tissue — the very thing you do not want when you’re building mass.
Cortisol and its implications is released during periods of high physical and mental stress (and at high temperatures.) At normal levels, it’s part of the body’s “fight or flight” reaction and as such, is highly beneficial.
When we have cortisol and its implications coursing through our blood.
However, if you want to facilitate sustained muscle growth; you have to control the potential for the excess release of cortisol.
Too much cortisol and its implications not only leads to lower levels of testosterone; it contributes to osteoporosis, increased abdominal fat; reduced glucose utilization, impaired immunity; and a reduction in memory capacity and learning ability.
Carbohydrates and proteins are essential at these times; and BCAAs cut one step out of getting the most beneficial aspects of protein into your bloodstream.
Take 5-10 grams of BCAAs at breakfast, and in your pre- and post-workout shakes.
Look for products with a 2:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine and valine.
That means if you take 5 grams of BCAAs, you’ll be getting about 2.5 grams of leucine and 1.25 grams each of isoleucine and valine.
To further control a build-up of cortisol, limit your caffeine intake to the equivalent of 2-3 cups of coffee (285-300 mg per day) and up your consumption of Vitamin C.