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Stimulants vs Cortisol

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  • Stimulants vs Cortisol

    Taking 200 mg caffeine pre-workout....

    PROS

    - Increased mental focus
    - Increased strength

    So you get a better workout (can focus more and more likely to bust plateus)

    CONS

    - Increases cortisol levels (which is bad since cortisol is muscle burning & fat promoting)


    Do the pros outweigh the cons? Does your answer change based on whether you're dieting or not?

    I know dave palumbo advocates against the use of stimulants while dieting. Not sure how what his opinion is for the offseason, however.

  • #2
    If 200mg of caffeine affected cortisol levels to any significant degree then 9/10 of the public would be suffering from Cushing's syndrome.
    Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
    kind of a douche

    Comment


    • #3
      Cortisol is not always bad...
      -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
      -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
      198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
      -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
      198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
      -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
      198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

      Comment


      • #4
        Here is the Q&A that got me wondering about it:

        Q: If I am not mistaken, you don't recommend stimulants because they raise cortisol levels? Why is it recommended that one should use caffeine to aid in weight loss? Is using a stimulant counterproductive for maintaining lean mass while dieting?

        Dave Palumbo: People like the feeling of stimulants; and caffeine does have a benefit for weight loss but the concomitant increases in cortisol (a catabolic steroid that breaks down muscle, suppresses the immune system, and causes increases in abdominal fat deposition), blood pressure, and cardiac risk profiles, don't make it worth it.

        Comment


        • #5
          I haven't read boatloads of research on this... but here is what I don't get about that reasoning.

          Cortisol causes the breakdown of tissue... It makes no sense that it would cause muscle breakdown, yet at the same time cause fat storage.

          "In reality however, cortisol is a primary signal hormone for carbohydrate metabolism and is related to the glycogen stores in the muscle. When glycogen concentrations in the muscle are low, to gain energy other substrates (proteins) need to be catabolized." -Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning 2nd edition 2000 pg 111

          So from what I can decipher from that (and the other stuff printed I didn't copy) it would seem if you had decent levels of carbohydrates/glycogen then you shouldn't have any issues with losing muscle. Now when dieting down to very low BF levels when carbs get cut this could become an issue.

          It makes sense why Dave wouldn't be a fan of this since he utilizes a ketogenic diet where glycogen stores are often very low...
          Last edited by bbjeff86; 05-21-2013, 07:46 PM.
          -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
          -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
          198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
          -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
          198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
          -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
          198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bbjeff86 View Post
            Cortisol causes the breakdown of tissue... It makes no sense that it would cause muscle breakdown, yet at the same time cause fat storage.
            If cortisol is coming in and your blood sugar levels are increased, insulin's going to kick in.

            Paging Smammich and his endo textbook
            #docswholift
            PGY-1 FM
            "No idea is above scrutiny and no people are beneath dignity." -Maajid Nawaz

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by nexa View Post
              If cortisol is coming in and your blood sugar levels are increased, insulin's going to kick in.
              What's your point though? Just because Insulin is present doesn't mean you are going to store/get fat... unless you have a surplus of glucose in your blood, which judging from the text I copied you wouldn't...
              -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
              -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
              198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
              -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
              198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
              -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
              198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

              Comment


              • #8
                I didn't get what your question about cortisol was until now.
                #docswholift
                PGY-1 FM
                "No idea is above scrutiny and no people are beneath dignity." -Maajid Nawaz

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by nexa View Post

                  Paging Smammich and his endo textbook

                  I'll let Sammich get this one because just because I'm sleepy and maybe hypoglycemic, and he'll probably phrase the response better than I will.
                  "If you're ready to do DC, you're not gonna give a flying f*(k about fatigue from the previous exercise. You get under the bar and kill it, each and every time." - homonunculus

                  "Nothing better than coming to IM and seeing a Wall of Text next to that big Tricep pic." - Lonnie123

                  “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” - Homer

                  The scale doesn't show a number. When he steps on it, it simply reads: Big Mother Fucker. - Skip

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bmp View Post
                    Do the pros outweigh the cons? yes Does your answer change based on whether you're dieting or not? not for caffeine, no
                    :ear:
                    Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
                    kind of a douche

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      that damn swirling frog makes me unable to logically process anything

                      Comment

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