On Cortisol

Cortisol has been a bit of a mystery to me. Things I’ve gathered about cortisol include:

  • Cortisol is a hormone
  • Cortisol is elevated by exercising
  • Cortisol is elevated by drinking alcohol
  • The presence of cortisol spurs weight gain, and specifically, fat accumulation in the gut for men
  • Cortisol can impair the immune system
  • Vitamin C before bed (And getting plenty of sleep) can reduce cortisol (See Robb Wolf’s comments on this post)

Some reading on cortisol from the usual suspects:

There’s a lot of information out there on the subject of cortisol. As someone who is exercising and periodically imbibing alcohol, how should I deal with cortisol to mitigate its detrimental effects on my goals?

And what is overexercising anyway? What is over-training? If you tack on some low to medium intensity cardiovascular exercise to weight lifting / high-intensity exercise, do you cross the line between “just right” and “too much”? I have no doubt that the answers to these questions are case-specific.

What is a good mix of exercise for a relatively sedentary web entrepreneur?

One reply on “On Cortisol”

Hi Justin,
This being my first introduction I will say that I love your Implode series. What a great support for those affected by the implosions and explosions of industry.

I don’t know much about Cortisol but I am familiar with the belly fat. Work stress, being behind a computer for 10 hours a day with a Guiness or 5 after the workday, and no exercise was bringing on the fat and the migraine headaches.

Two years ago I started exercising 3x/week for about 40 minutes. Not the typical weight work outs but fun stuff like running, jumping, and hopping around. This interval type of training is fun and has rid my stomach of fat and my headaches. I found a video of Troy Palamalu on YouTube that shows the types of work outs that have helped me.

(I don’t work out at the place in the video but Troy does during the offseason; I saw it on ESPN)

This is a good mix of exercise for a relatively sedentary web entrepreneur.

Jim Adams
New Homes

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