Is it true that excessive exercise/training can raise cortisol levels?


I saw a YouTube video on it, one doc said that putting the body through excessive exercise routines or any exercise that seems strenuous or difficult for the body to handle will send the signal to raise levels of cortisol. I’m still not sure if I believe this one or not. What do you think? Have you ever just stopped working out for a week or two and noticed sudden weight loss? I’ll admit once I totally gave up on exercise for a couple days, went to McDonald’s, and took some really long naps. When all was said and done, I had actually lost 3 lbs. during the two lazy days. Made no sense to me. And nope, wasn’t muscle loss. I would hardly call the exercises I do “muscle-building”- (yoga, light weights, half-mile walking/strolling.) So who knows…maybe cortisol levels went down because I wasn’t doing much of anything, and that’s how I lost those magic 3 lbs. I will always remember that, it was like a strange miracle. (I tried it again and it didn’t work.)


Depends on how you look at it. a strenuous workout wil/can/does release many hormones, neurotransmitters, catacholemines into the blood. Complicated stuff, however , your body wants homeostasis and it doesnt know you’ve been getting beat up or working out. cortisol is needed for pain, inhibition of worse things( i’ll use). whats bad is when lets say heart rate and blood pressure go up from strees sitiing on your couch. Your body doesnt get the other things, like increased o2, to set off other cascades to bring it down. then when you do run or exercise it goes through the roof…too little time to explain …but AAS were thought to have more anti catabolic effects(glucocorticoids, adrenal steroids like cortisol) than truly anabolic(protein synthesis, cell proliferation) So YES… overtaxing the body if its not used to it will cause certain “bad named” steroids or tropic hormones. But, they all have good effects too.


Thanks for your response. Thats a very interesting take.


When I have time, ill put it together simply. The statement you heard on u tube is true but incomplete.


yes actually this is what i do…as one tactic…i execess train and then i do a rest for a few days and i call it…my body catching up…it works pretty good actually lol! i noticed that by accidents a years back…thought it was strange…and actually muscles defined even lol!


I completely agree, You nailed it, nice work!

Honestly I wouldn’t worry about it. The only time it could become a problem is if you were sleeping 4 hours a night, working out 5 hours a day and eating 1000 calories per day.


Not sure if this can help your question also

  • Exercise, stress and your cortisol levels. Exercise is perceived by the body as a form of stress and stimulates the release of cortisol.
  • Under stressful conditions, cortisol provides the body with glucose by tapping into protein stores via gluconeogenesis in the liver. This energy can help an individual fight or flee a stressor. However, elevated cortisol over the long term consistently produces glucose, leading to increased blood sugar levels.


You did what I said I was gonna do!!! Thank you…not to mention its even more complicated…nor epi, beta agonists…where did those other members go?


@rnmuscle what is your thinking when considering that many anabolic steroids are said to reduce and/or suppress the release of cortisol?


Real quick…that’s why remember we (our generation) thought the final word was AAS are anti catabolic…not anabolic so to speak. Like you said some do better anti catabolic supposedly…so cortisol isn’t the only catabolic(I would use all quotes because it does good things too of course.) A lot of guys used to take cytadren for blocking cortisol and estrogen. I think you know the final answer…if you cover your bases with diet, not 50 sets of failure on chest, and AAS. I doubt any of us would notice. Post cycle and people that train , drug, then party all weekend , well then the body I think ,will be under “trauma” sorry long as usual plus watching a 1972 Mercedes 350 sL with a 450 in it for emissions…the factory did this! 73 it changed. They only want 3500. My cortisol is rising!!! In the end, everyone forgets the stress feedback system is complex. CRH is really bad for bbers if your cortisol is to low…linked to depression, no appetite, all sorts of autoimmune diseases. But , none of this matters to us. Bottom line I’m sure everyone knows or should know not to worry about this topic in the long run.


Damn ADD…I need to answer from a bbing perspective and not medical. I know enough to even confuse myself. :persevere::persevere: