June 16 – Adrenal Fatigue


Adrenal fatigue is a group of signs and symptoms know as a syndrome, resulting in the adrenal glands not being able to function properly. The term adrenal fatigue is used to describe poorly functioning adrenal glands in athletes/people. Adrenal fatigue usually flares up when an athlete/person is experiencing bouts of mental, physical and/or emotional stress.

The signs of adrenal fatigue are not always obvious as they are for chicken pox or a growth. Anyone can have adrenal fatigue but show no outward signs; you can look fine from the outside but inside you will generally feel unwell, tired and rundown.

If adrenal fatigue goes untreated it can become very serious to the point where you may even struggle to get yourself out of bed in the morning as your adrenal glands have become diminished. When your adrenal glands become diminished this can have a catastrophic effect on the rest of your body as it begins to affect all of your other bodily functions.  When these changes start to happen within your bodily functions (organs/systems) your metabolism, fluid/electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and even your sex drive, can be affected quite dramatically. Cellular and biochemical changes also start to take place to help compensate for the decrease in adrenal hormones being produced.

adrenal glands

Your adrenal glands sit above your kidneys making a pyramid shape and they are no bigger than a walnut. Although your adrenal glands are small they are very powerful endocrine glands which make and secrete the steroid hormones cortisol, oestrogen and testosterone.  In order for your body to maintain homeostasis all of these hormones must function efficiently together. The main purpose of these hormones is to help your body to cope with and react to stress.

Cortisol and Adrenal Function 

The cortisol produced within our bodies is a life sustaining adrenal hormone which is essential in helping the body with homeostasis. Cortisol is often known as the “stress” hormone as it regulates and modulates many changes that occur in the body in response to a stress or stresses put upon it.

Where possible it is advisable to try to keep your cortisol levels as regulated as possible, especially if you are taking part in a lot of sport. If your cortisol levels become unbalanced then this can lead to the onset of adrenal fatigue, every athlete’s nightmare.

Abstract word cloud for Adrenal fatigue with related tags and terms

Signs of Adrenal Fatigue

*  Brain fog *  Cloudy head

*  Mild depression *  Low thyroid function

*  Fatigue *  Blood sugar imbalances

*  Sleep disturbances *  Low immune function

*  Irritability *  Bloated feeding

*  Feeling full and not hungry

How to prevent Adrenal Fatigue 

Take rest – Make sure that you set aside a few rest days within your training programme. It is important to make sure that you also rest from work as well as the gym, so make sure you have scheduled holidays in place.

Sleep – Make sure that you try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

Diet – Make sure that you are eating a balanced diet trying not to over eat on carbs and make sure you are getting lots of good sources of fats from avocado and nuts.

Lay off stimulants – Lay off caffeine if you are finding this is the only way you are able to function throughout the day. You should not be reliant on a caffeinated drink to be able to get your body moving and functioning.

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June 16 – Optimise your recovery

We are all very good at going to the gym and hammering ourselves with our workouts but when it comes to recovery we are not so good. Our recovery is key to optimising our training and performance. This is especially important if you are taking part in a competition over a weekend of post competition.

So why is it that we do not take enough care over our recovery? In this article we are going to look at some of the easiest and best ways to help your recovery and optimise performance.

  1. Sleep – This is one of the most important, if not the most important, elements of recovery. If you do not get enough sleep, no matter how many supplements and the food you eat, or any other kind of stretches you try, nothing will work. So why is sleep so important? Sleep is so important because it helps to regulate the secretion of the important recovery hormones throughout the body, especially our growth hormones. You should try to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night and 9 if possible.sleep
  2. Post work out nutrition – What you eat after your workout is very important as this will help your recovery and will ultimately fuel you for your next workout. Your body needs to return to homeostasis as soon as possible so that you can build muscle and get stronger. The quickest and easiest way to start recovering is to have a protein shake as they are fast-acting, easy to digest and contain all the ingredients you need to start recovering. However I would always suggest trying to get a meal in if possible. If you are competing in a major competition then food is the best option and not a shake. A great option is to get all your food premade for you so you do not need to worry. I always use BuffBox to fuel me throughout my competitions. The best decision I ever made.postwork
  3. Hydration – Make sure that you drink enough fluid during and after your workout to account for the water you would have lost as sweat during your training. It is also very important to rehydrate to reduce swelling and soreness. You can even look to have a bottle of pure coconut water to help recovery after training to help get all of the electrolytes back into your body.coconut water
  4. Active Recovery – Even when you are having a rest day you need to make sure that you keep the blood flowing. A recovery row, run or anything of extremely low intensity will help to optimise your recovery and eliminate muscle soreness. Carry out a recovery row or run for around 30 minutes. You may also like to add in some light squats or sets of an exercise to keep any tight muscles moving. Although active recovery is important it is also important to make sure you have one complete rest day a week to allow your body time to repair and come back stronger for the next weeks training.WOD%201-34-L
  5. Supplements – Supplements should never be taken instead of gaining nutrients through food; they should only ever be used as an addition. The top 3 best supplements to take to aid recovery are: ZMA, Fish oil and D3.  ZMA is a mixture of magnesium and zinc, sometimes with vitamin B6 added in. It is important for athletes to take ZMA as most are deficient due to the physical exertion our bodies are put under. ZMA has also been suggested to help with testosterone production and all cellular activity from oxygen uptake to ATP production alongside helping to relax muscles and tendons. Fish oil is important for athletes as it can help to reduce inflammation, improve oxygen uptake and help improve overall health and wellbeing.  Finally, D3 can help to increase your power output during your workout, optimise testosterone levels and help to enhance your overall immunity. I also like to take Synbiotics SB3 from PurePharma to help keep my body balanced enabling me to preform better due to the high content of live probiotic bacteria and prebiotic fibres.Suppliments
  6. Cryotherapy – Cryotherapy dates back many years and is the idea of jumping into a cold bath or shower after training in order to reduce inflammation. However, scientists have now suggested that to enhance recovery even more you should jump into a cold bath or shower then straight into a hot one in order to flush the body, as staying in a cold bath or shower can lead to cellular death and increase the risk of DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness).

If you are finding it hard to recover then why not try all of the above and see how much of a difference it makes to your recovery time and performance the next day when training. If you choose to carry on as you are then you can end up with adrenal fatigue. This I will cover in my next blog.


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June 16 – Whatever It Takes London! 

The ASOS of the Crossfit World…
Like most sports people, athletes or general Crossfit enthusiasts, I spend the majority of my time in gym gear. Consequently, it is also what most of my wardrobe money is spent on! I have found that, unlike regular high street fashion, it is difficult to find and compare your favourite sports brands all in the same place. Is it just me or do you guys feel the same?

It wasn’t until recently that I found out that the ‘ASOS’ of sports gear actually exists! Whatever It Takes (WIT) is a super cool, Crossfit specific store based in Shoreditch, London. Stocking brands such as Reebok, NoBull, Under Armour and Nike, this is definitely going down as my best find of the year so far.

A few famous Crossfit faces have graced this place with their presence since it opened. WIT has a great atmosphere and the staff couldn’t be more helpful. The store is run by two guys who are very passionate about sport and who want to provide the best clothing brands in the industry to the masses. This is definitely my favourite place to visit whenever I’m in town.

WIT has become a very popular go-to for all Crossfit essentials, and already has expansion plans with new stores opening in Clapham, London and a number of other locations around the world.

If you are ever in the area make sure you stop by and check it out. You won’t be disappointed


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