Carbs and Cortisol, Sugar and Stress
WEDNESDAY’S WORKOUT (CAP)
Week 6: MENTAL TOUGHNESS
10 Pull ups
AND COMING THURSDAY (CAP)
Week 6: PRACTICE
A) 3 sets on the 4:00 of
1 DL @ 95%+
B) EMOM 5-min
H.Power Clean & H. Squat Clean, for Load:
C) 5 rounds, for max strict chin-up reps (3:1)
Max reps strict chin-upsOver the last couple of years I’ve come to focus on two areas of my health that while I thought I was present to them in the past, I really wasn’t. I feel healthier now than I have in many years, and it’s due to the modulation of two things – sugar and stress. Or, in different words – carbs and cortisol. And basically, I was getting a lot more of both than my body needed, or could even deal with.
So what if I suggested that your performance could change, the way you feel in the morning could change, and your body composition could change without adding more training sessions? In fact, it might be fewer training sessions that you need, or simply different training sessions. What if you got more sleep, drank more water, and chilled out on a regular basis (call it meditation, mindfulness, or staring at the wall, I don’t care)? I will tell you that by cutting down on sugars (and by sugars I mean fruit and sweet potatoes, as well as things you typically think of as “sugar”), sleeping properly, and going for regular walks that I feel infinitely better.
I remember a few years back when I was cutting weight for an indoor rowing competition and I was finding it supremely annoying that every part of me got lean except my belly. Well, I was still drinking coconut water and I was indeed stressed the %^#* out from training, weight cutting, lack of sleep, and surplus of work. So, yeah, the fun thing about sugar and stress is that they both go right where you don’t want them – your belly. That belly poof that just won’t go away might not be due to a lack of cardio. It might be due to too much. It might be due to a lack of sleep. It might be due to too many hours in the office. And that puff under your eyes you wake up with each morning? That might be water retention from your carby food as well. And frustratingly enough, it’s those exact foods we reach for when we’re feeling pressures in life.
But what if feeling better was a matter of less something, rather than more anything?
Carbs and cortisol, sugar and stress. These things are related – in our heads, in our lives, and in our bodies. Modulate them both and you’ll see some major changes to your mind, life, and body as well.
Becca Borawski served as Program Director at CFLA for seven years and is now part of the extended coaching family. She is the managing editor for Breaking Muscle, a website designed for real athletes and real coaches. She lives in Portland, OR and is most likely preparing a paleo meal at this moment.