There is no doubt that bodybuilding has a positive effect on the health of the human body. With the help of strength training and a competent diet, we strengthen the heart and blood vessels, increase immunity, control body weight and accelerate mental processes. However, there is one more aspect that we often forget about – the close connection of the training process with the glands of internal secretion.
Endocrine system (from the Greek words "endo" – internal, and "krine" – to secrete or secrete) is represented by the class of chemical compounds that we used to call hormones. Invisible molecules play the role of messengers and transmit information from the endocrine glands to internal organs, controlling a variety of physiological processes. Of course, that the "hormonal" management of our body was really effective, strict control over the secretion of the hormones themselves is necessary.
The training process is an excellent tool that allows us to arbitrarily change the secretion of biologically active substances and the susceptibility of organs and tissues to the action of chemical messengers. In clinical trials, it has been proven that exercise not only affects the level of circulating hormones in the blood, but also increases the number of receptors in target organs and increases their sensitivity to mediators.
Within the framework of this article, we will talk about how the endocrine system controls our life, and how sports affect its work. We will get acquainted with the key hormones and important glands of internal secretion, and also find that thin thread that connects them with the training process.
Glands of internal secretion synthesize and secrete hormones that, in close cooperation with the nervous and immune systems, affect the internal organs and control their functional state, controlling vital functions. Biologically active substances are released directly into the blood, the circulatory system carries them throughout the body and delivers to those organs and tissues, whose work depends on these hormones.
Specific membrane structures (receptors for hormones) on the surface of cells and target organs have an affinity for certain hormones and snatch them from the bloodstream, allowing envoys to selectively penetrate only to the right tissues (the system operates according to the principle of a key and a lock). Once in the destination, the hormones realize their potential and radically change the direction of metabolic processes in the cells.
Given the almost unlimited possibilities of the endocrine system of management, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of maintaining hormonal homeostasis. The secretion of many hormones is regulated by the mechanism of negative feedback, which allows you to quickly switch between increasing and decreasing the production of biologically active substances. Increased secretion of the hormone leads to an increase in its concentration in the bloodstream, which, on the principle of feedback, inhibits its synthesis. Without such a mechanism, the endocrine system would not work.
The main endocrine glands:
In our body there are organs that are not glands of internal secretion, but at the same time they release biologically active substances and have endocrine activity:
Despite the fact that the glands of internal secretion are scattered throughout the body and perform various functions, they are a unified system, their functions are closely intertwined, and the influence on physiological processes is realized through similar mechanisms.
Three classes of hormones (classification of hormones by chemical structure)
- Derivatives of amino acids. From the class name it follows that these hormones are formed as a result of the modification of the structure of amino acid molecules, in particular, tyrosine. An example is adrenaline.
Curiously, almost all the hormones of our body are protein molecules or their derivatives. Exception – sex hormones and hormones of the adrenal cortex, which are related to steroids. It should be noted that the mechanism of action of steroids is realized through receptors located inside cells, this process is long and requires the synthesis of protein molecules. But hormones of protein nature immediately interact with membrane receptors on the surface of cells, due to which their effect is realized much faster.
The most important hormones, the secretion of which is affected by sports:
Testosterone is rightfully considered the cornerstone of bodybuilding and is synthesized in both the male and female body. Male sex hormones accelerate the basic metabolism, reduce the percentage of fat in the body, give self-confidence, maintain the volume, strength and tone of skeletal muscles. In fact, it is testosterone along with the growth hormone that initiates the processes of hypertrophy (increase in the size and specific gravity of muscle tissue) of muscle cells and promotes the regeneration of muscles after microtraumas.
Despite the fact that in the female body the concentration of testosterone is ten times lower, the role of testosterone in the life of a woman can not be underestimated. Suffice it to say that it is from this hormone that the degree of sexual desire and the brightness of the orgasms tested by a woman depends. As for the regulation of the secretion of male sex hormones, this is a very difficult process.
The initial signal is given by the hypothalamus, in which a gonadotropin releasing factor is synthesized, which is sent to the pituitary gland and triggers the production of luteinizing hormone in this endocrine gland. LH is released into the bloodstream, directed to Leydig cells located in the testicles, and initiates in them the enzymatic transformation of cholesterol into testosterone.
Now let's find out how sports play a role in the secretion of testosterone. The main secret is to maximally load large muscles and do not work with the same muscle groups for two days in a row. And take on board one more piece of advice. Carry out the minimum number of repetitions, but take the maximum weight: ideally, 85% of approaches should consist of 1-2 repetitions, this will help raise the secretion of testosterone to the maximum.
It is proved that training in the morning hours are more effective, since they coincide in time with the daily maximum concentration of testosterone in the blood. Accordingly, it is at this time that your chances to increase the power indicators are extremely high. We get that the secretion of testosterone is increased by incredibly intense, but comparatively short anaerobic training sessions. But the duration of aerobic training should not exceed 45 minutes, since after overcoming this time mark, a noticeable decrease in testosterone production begins.
Growth hormone is synthesized in the pituitary gland and is the most important hormone of bodybuilding. It stimulates protein synthesis and strengthens bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and cartilaginous tissue. In passing, somatotropin accelerates the metabolism of fats and reduces the use of carbohydrates during exercise. This leads to an increase in the use of fats and the maintenance of a stable level of glucose, so you can exercise longer and more efficiently (of course, do not exceed the 45-minute threshold, which allows to achieve the maximum testosterone release).
The increase in the secretion of growth hormone is accompanied by a variety of beneficial effects, including the acceleration of energy metabolism, increased concentration, increased sexual desire and masculinity. Long-term effects include increasing aerobic performance and strength, strengthening hair, smoothing wrinkles and improving the skin condition, reducing visceral fat and strengthening bone tissue (including against the background of osteoporosis).
With age, the secretion of somatotropin drops sharply, and some people have to take growth hormone. However, the increase in secretion of somatotropin (not up to sky-high indicators, of course) can be achieved in a different way – with the help of training. To enhance the synthesis of growth hormone, an exhausting, exhausting anaerobic exercise is ideally suited. Apply the same strategy as for increasing testosterone production and load large muscles. And to achieve the maximum increase in production of growth hormone, train no longer than 30 minutes. The same recommendations are also relevant for aerobic exercise, which should be carried out with an intensity bordering on anaerobic load. Interval training is best for these purposes.
Female sex hormones, in particular, their most active representative 17-beta-estradiol, help to use fat reserves as a source of fuel, raise the mood and improve the emotional background, increase the intensity of basal metabolism and increase sexual desire (in women). Also, you probably know that in the female body the concentration of estrogens varies depending on the state of the reproductive system and the cycle phase, and with age, the secretion of sex hormones decreases and reaches a minimum at the onset of menopause.
And now let's see how the secretion of estrogen affects sports? During clinical trials it was proved that the concentration of female sex hormones in the blood of women aged from 19 to 69 years increased noticeably after both 40-minute endurance training and after training, during which exercises with weights were performed. Moreover, a high level of estrogen persisted for four hours after the training. (The experimental group was compared to the control group, whose representatives did not go in for sports). As we see, and in the case of estrogens, we can monitor the hormonal profile with a single training program.
The synthesis of this hormone is entrusted to the follicular cells of the thyroid gland, and its main biological purpose is to increase the intensity of the basic metabolism and stimulation of all metabolic processes without exception. It is for this reason that thyroxine plays such a prominent role in the fight against excess weight, and the release of thyroid hormones contributes to the burning of an additional amount of kilocalories in the body. In addition, weightlifters should take note that thyroxine takes a direct part in the processes of physical growth and development.
During the training session, the secretion of thyroid hormones increases by 30%, and the elevated level of thyroxine in the blood persists for five hours. The basal level of hormone secretion on the background of regular exercise is also increased, and the maximum effect can be achieved through intensive, grueling training.
The mediator of the sympathetic department of the autonomic nervous system is synthesized by the cells of the adrenal medulla, but we are more interested in its effect on physiological processes. Adrenaline is responsible for "extreme measures" and is one of the stress hormones: it increases the frequency and intensity of heartbeats, raises blood pressure and promotes redistribution of blood flow in favor of actively working organs, which must receive oxygen and nutrients first. We add that adrenaline and norepinephrine belong to catecholamines and are synthesized from the amino acid tyrosine.
What other effects of adrenaline can interest active life-style advocates? The hormone accelerates the breakdown of glycogen in the liver and muscle tissue and stimulates the use of fat stores as an additional source of fuel. It should also be noted that under the influence of adrenaline selectively expand the blood vessels and increase blood flow in the liver and skeletal muscles, which allows you to quickly supply working muscles with oxygen and helps to use them for one hundred percent during sports!
Can we increase the adrenaline rush? Without problems, you just need to raise the intensity of the training process to the limit, because the amount of adrenaline secreted by the adrenal medulla is directly proportional to the intensity of the training stress. The stronger the stress – the more adrenaline enters the bloodstream.
The endocrine section of the pancreas is represented by the pancreatic islets of Langerhans, the beta cells of which synthesize insulin. The role of this hormone can not be overestimated, because it is insulin that is responsible for lowering blood sugar levels, participates in the metabolism of fatty acids and indicates the amino acids the direct way to muscle cells.
Almost all cells of the human body have receptors for insulin on the outer surface of cell membranes. The receptor is a protein molecule that is capable of binding blood circulating insulin; form a receptor two alpha subunits and two beta subunits combined by a disulfide bond. Under the influence of insulin, there is activation of other membrane receptors, which snatch glucose molecules out of the bloodstream and direct them into the cells.
What external factors increase insulin secretion? First of all, we should talk about eating, because every time after a meal in our body there is a powerful release of insulin, which is accompanied by the accumulation of fat stores in the cells of adipose tissue. Those who too often exploit this physiological mechanism significantly increase body weight. In addition, a number of people can develop resistance of tissues and cells to insulin – diabetes mellitus.
Of course, not all fans of "high cuisine" develop diabetes, and the severity of this disease is largely determined by its type. However, gluttony is guaranteed leads to an increase in the total body weight, and you can correct the situation and lose weight with the help of daily aerobic loads and strength training.
Doing sports help control blood sugar and avoid many problems. Experimentally proved that even a ten-minute aerobic load lowers the level of insulin in the blood, and this effect increases with the duration of the training session. And as for strength training, they increase the sensitivity of tissues to insulin even at rest, and this action is confirmed in the course of clinical trials.
From the point of view of biochemistry, endorphins are peptide neurotransmitters consisting of 30 amino acid residues. This group of hormones is secreted by the pituitary gland and belongs to the class of endogenous opiates – substances that are released into the bloodstream in response to a pain signal and have the ability to stop pain. Among other physiological effects of endorphins, we note the ability to suppress appetite, cause a state of euphoria, remove a sense of fear, anxiety and internal tension.
Do athletic activities affect the secretion of endorphins? The answer is yes. It is proved that already in 30 minutes after the beginning of moderate or intensive aerobic load, the level of endorphins in the blood increases fivefold in comparison with the resting state. Moreover, regular exercise (for several months) contribute to an increase in the sensitivity of tissues to endorphins.
This means that after a certain period of time you will receive a more powerful endocrine response to the same physical activity. And note that although long training in this regard and look preferable, the level of secretion of endorphins is largely determined by the individual characteristics of the organism.
Like insulin, glucagon is secreted by pancreatic cells and affects blood sugar levels. The difference is that this hormone has a diametrically opposite effect to insulin and increases the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream.
A little biochemistry. The glucagon molecule consists of 29 amino acid residues, and a hormone is synthesized in the alpha cells of the islets of Langerhans as a result of a complex chain of biochemical processes. First, a hormone precursor is formed, the proglucagon protein, and then this protein molecule undergoes enzymatic hydrolysis (splitting into shorter fragments), up to the formation of a linear polypeptide chain, which has hormonal activity.
The physiological role of glucagon is realized through two mechanisms:
- With a decrease in blood glucose levels, secretion of glucagon increases. The hormone enters the bloodstream, reaches the liver cells, binds to specific receptors and initiates the processes of the decomposition of glycogen. Decomposition of glycogen leads to the release of simple sugars, which are released into the bloodstream. As a result, blood sugar rises.
A group of scientists from the University of Montreal managed to prove that exercising increases the sensitivity of liver cells to glucagon. Effective training increases the affinity of hepatocytes for this hormone, which facilitates the conversion of various nutrients into energy sources. Usually the secretion of glucagon is increased through 30 minutes after the start of training as the level of glucose in the blood decreases.
What conclusions can we draw from the proposed material? Glands of internal secretion and hormones produced by them form a complex, branched, multilevel structure that is a solid foundation for all physiological processes. These invisible molecules are constantly in the shadows, they just do their job while we are busy solving everyday problems.
The importance of the endocrine system can not be overestimated, we are wholly dependent on the level of hormone production by the glands of internal secretion, and exercise helps us to influence these complex processes.
In addition to the above, anabolic steroids also act on the functioning of the thyroid gland. As a result of their intake, the thyroid gland stops the production of the TSH hormone, which has a very negative effect on the overall level of metabolism. However, this reaction is insignificant and its consequences are quite within the norm.
Science has proven that anabolic steroids can trigger the development of diabetes in people who are addicted to the disease. Such conclusions were reached by scientists, having conducted experiments on rats, whose organism was to a small extent inclined to diabetes.
Hello, please tell me how women are engaged in bodybuilding, so as not to cause hormonal failure?
Bodybuilding activities NORMALIZE hormonal background, rather than contribute to disruptions