Everything boils down to chemistry. Energy, emotions, fitness…
Interested in which hormones are affected by exercise? Here’s a brief summary:
Growth Hormone (GH) facilitates protein synthesis in the body. as an anabolic agent, GH promotes growth, and cell reproduction and regeneration. If, for example, you have an intense workout, your pituitary gland will produce more GH to accelerate recovery. GH affects are mediated by insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1 and IGF-2), which are synthesized in the liver as a result of GH release during exercise.
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also called vasopressin, reduces urinary excretion of water. By conserving water during exercise, it helps prevent dehydration.
Epinephrine and norepinephrine are released by the adrenal medulla as part of the sympathetic response to exercise (the “fight or flight” response). These hormones play two major roles: to increase cardiac output (the amount of blood pumped by the heart) by increasing heart rate during exercise, and to cause glycogenolysis in the liver (breakdown of glycogen), so that more glucose (sugar) can be release into the blood stream. (Note:the body produces more norephinephrine when you eat protein-rich foods).
Aldosterone and cortisol are two main hormones released by the adrenal cortex. Aldosterone limits sodium excretion in the urine so as to maintain electrolyte balance. Cortisal is a glucocorticoid and plays a major role in maintaining blood glucose by release sugar into the bloodstream by the process of gluconeogenesis; cortisol, in other words, increases blood sugar. Cortisol also inhibits the production of serotonin, possibly increasing cravings for carbohydrates (needed to produce serotonin). Due to these factors, elevated levels of cortisol can lead to emotional eating.
Insulin and gluacagon are both secreted by the pancreas, but have opposite effects. Insulin is released in order to remove glucose (sugar) from the blood, and to restore blood sugar levels down to normal. But, when blood sugar is too low, glaucagon is released in order to release free fatty acids from adipose tissue (fat storage sites) so they can be used as fuel instead.
Testosterone and estrogen are the primary male and female sex hormones. Testosterone is responsible for more “masculine” effects in the body, including anabolic (muscle-building) effects. Estrogen is responsible for more “feminine” characteristics and play an important role in bone formation and maintenance. High levels of chronic exercise training have demonstrated decreases in estrogen.