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.
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.
Do This– Make your lifestyle a healing one.
1. Change the situation.
2. Change yourself to fit the situation.
3. Leave the situation.
Avoid These Harmful Stressors.