(dup) Adrenal Health

In this section find an introduction to the adrenal glands, an essential little known gland that drives our vitality through the production of key hormones involved in hydration, motivation, stress and libido.

As an endurance athlete, I can guarantee you that you have or you will feel the affects of your adrenal glands at one time or another. Adrenal Gland authority James L Wilson, estimates that of the general population, 80% will experience sub optimal adrenal function at some point. This number has to be even higher within endurance athletes because of the catabolic nature of the training. Your adrenal glands are your vitality powerhouses and should be treated with great respect.

Part of your endocrine system and responsible for hormone secretion, your tiny adrenal glands really pack a punch. The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys close to the spine and just underneath the last rib. Each gland is about the size of a walnut. Everything we do, from drinking coffee to training, has an adrenal response and causes a hormonal rise in our body.

21st century living goes a long way to compromising adrenal health- there is a great prevalence of stressors that are opposed to our natural gene expression.

The hormones managed by the adrenals affect the utilisation of carbohydrates and fats, the conversion of fat into energy, the distribution of stored fat (in particular around the waist and face), blood sugar control, and healthy cardiovascular function and digestion.

If that’s not enough, the adrenal glands control the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant hormones to reduce allergic reactions to alcohol, drugs, medication, supplements, food, and environmental allergens. Once you enter the age group of about 35 to 50 and beyond, the adrenal glands eventually become the major source of sex hormones that circulate in the body in both men and women.

Every little stressor, unless properly managed, reduces healthy adrenal function. Changes occur in carb and fat metabolism. In addition, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart function, and sex drive all experience unwanted modifications.

This is pretty important for endurance athletes; adrenal function often lays the groundwork for respiratory infections, allergies, asthma, frequent colds, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypoglycemia, type II diabetes, autoimmune disease, sugar cravings and even alcoholism.

To sum it up, the ability to have sex, utilise fat as your primary fuel, maintain a lean physique and live healthy is acutely affected by the adrenals. You can forget about recovering from exercise when your adrenals are compromised. Therefore, your adrenal health should become an immediate priority.

At the bottom of the page you’ll find an interview with Philip Weeks, master herbalist, natural medicine and nutrition expert talking about his approach to health and ways to ensure that you stay on top of your adrenal health.

The Adrenal Glands

In the next video we’ll take a look at the symptoms that are tip off’s that you may be experiencing sub optimal adrenal function.

Adrenal Fatigue – The Symptoms

What can you do about it?

Do This– Make your lifestyle a healing one.


  • Get to sleep early. Aim to be in bed for 10-1030. The hours of greatest adrenal recovery are between 7 and 9am- That’s between 9-11 hours sleep whenever you get the chance, a great recommendation for an athlete, adrenal fatigue or not.


  • Avoid energy vampires. Learn to say no to situations that compromise your energy.
  • Adjust your response- Every event has a response that brings about a certain outcome. You can only ever control your response, if you want a different outcome, change your response, here are your three options-

1. Change the situation.

2. Change yourself to fit the situation.

3. Leave the situation.

  • Focus upon gratitude for all you have.


  • Avoid training to tiredness, ensure that when you finish you feel and remain energised from your training. The Cruiser and Sports intensities should be avoided completely when your adrenals are compromised.
  • Do exercises that rebuild and regenerate: Qigong, Tai Chi, Meditation, restorative breathing, walking and very light/restorative Yoga or Pilates.
  • Depending on the level of your adrenal fatigue, when lifting weights, keep it form focused, moderate weight and low reps- avoid exhaustive strength training lifting rep maximums for high reps.
  • Play at every opportunity and be in the moment! Look for things that make you laugh every day.


  • Slow down at mealtime. Chew thoroughly and stay relaxed.
  • A well balanced Paleo diet matching your activity level – focus on quality proteins and fats, add starchy carbohydrates pre and/or post workout as-needed for energy and recovery.
  • A wide variety of organic Vegetables and Fruit- avoid eating fruit in isolation.
  • EFAs (omega 3 fatty acids) to manage inflammation and quieten the loop that feeds into higher cortisol production.
  • Add Maldon Sea Salt to your food and water.
  • Avoid eating to discomfort- Adjust your CHO; Protein and Fat (macronutrient) balance in each meal by taking tip off’s from your emotion, energy, mood, digestion and satiation response to each meal.


Avoid These Harmful Stressors.


  • Getting over tired.
  • Staying up past 10:00PM.


  • Pushing yourself.
  • Energy suckers.
  • Being harsh or negative with yourself.
  • Feeling sorry for yourself.


  • Pushing yourself.
  • Cruiser and Sports intensity.
  • Competition.


  • Caffeine, sugar, alcohol and white flour products.
  • Foods you are addicted to and foods you suspect you may have an allergy to.
  • Never skip breakfast.
  • Avoid fruit in the morning.
  • Never eat starchy carbohydrates or fruit by themselves.
  • Do not eat foods that affect you adversely, no matter how good they taste or how much you crave them.