Hormones and Sports

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 01.06.2018

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Like any communication network, the endocrine system will include sources of signals, the signals themselves and signal receivers. In this case, these are the cells that produce hormones, the hormones themselves and their receptors. Hormones are biologically active substances produced by the endocrine glands (glands of internal secretion) and released directly into the blood. Hormones are carried by blood and affect the activity of various organs, changing biochemical and physiological reactions, causing activation or inhibition of enzymatic processes. Hormones are actually a key that opens or closes one or another "door" in the human body.

In addition to the classical endocrine organs - the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, testicles, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, pancreas, etc., hormones can produce many other cells in the body. In addition to the endocrine action (that is, the effects on "distant" targets, which can be accessed only through the circulatory system), hormones can have a paracrine effect (influence on the processes in neighboring cells) or even autocrine (influence on the processes in the cells that produce them ). All hormones can be divided into three large groups: amino acid derivatives (for example, tyrosine or adrenaline), steroid hormones (testosterone, cortisol, estrogens, progestins) and peptide hormones that represent special short amino acid chains. The last group is the most numerous, an example of peptide hormones is insulin.

In order not to hammer your head with theoretical calculations that you, most likely, will not be useful in life, we will pass to a direct examination of the hormones most interesting to us in the human body.

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Adrenaline is one of the catecholamines, it is the hormone of the adrenal medulla and the non-adrenal chromaffin tissue. Under the influence of adrenaline, there is an increase in the glucose content in the blood and an increase in tissue metabolism. Adrenaline enhances gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis, inhibits the synthesis of glycogen in the liver and skeletal muscles, enhances the uptake and utilization of glucose by tissues, increasing the activity of glycolytic enzymes. Also adrenaline increases lipolysis (fat breakdown) and inhibits the synthesis of fats. In high concentrations, adrenaline increases protein catabolism. Adrenaline has the ability to increase blood pressure by narrowing the vessels of the skin and other small peripheral vessels, speeding up the rhythm of breathing. The content of adrenaline in the blood increases, including, and with increased muscular work or a decrease in the level of sugar. The amount allocated in the first case of adrenaline is directly proportional to the intensity of the training session.

Adrenaline causes relaxation of the smooth muscles of the bronchi and intestines, the dilatation of the pupils (due to the contraction of the radial muscles of the iris with adrenergic innervation).

It is the property of sharply increasing the level of sugar in the blood that has made adrenaline an indispensable tool in removing patients from the state of deep hypoglycemia caused by an overdose of insulin.

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For men, prolactin is a hormone with a minus sign. Prolactin is synthesized in the anterior pituitary gland, a small amount of it is synthesized also by peripheral tissues. This hormone consists of 198 amino acids, in some ways resembling the structure of growth hormone. Prolactin stimulates the growth and development of mammary glands, as well as the formation of milk during pregnancy and after childbirth. In addition, the hormone stimulates water-salt metabolism, delaying the release of water and sodium kidneys, stimulates absorption of calcium. Among other effects, hair growth stimulation can be noted. Prolactin also has a modulating effect on the immune system.

Despite the fact that neither birth nor breastfeeding men are not threatened, the male body also synthesizes prolactin. Excess of this hormone in the male body leads to a significant decrease in libido, as well as to a decrease in the level of growth hormone. The result of this excess is fattening subjects with libido at the eunuch level.

Conclusion: the level of prolactin must be strictly controlled. To reduce the level of prolactin usually use a drug such as bromocriptine. However, the level of prolactin depends on the ratio in the blood of androgens and estrogens: first this level is lowered, the second - is increased. Non-aromatizing steroids unambiguously do not increase the level of prolactin, but aromatizing - to increase.


Endorphins are the hormones of the pituitary gland, from the point of view of biochemistry they are polypeptide neurotransmitters. Endorphins are secreted into the blood, as a rule, as a reaction of the body to pain, they can muffle pain, and at the same time reduce appetite and evoke a sense of euphoria peculiar drugs, synthesized by the body for their own needs.

Interestingly, exercise is just a wonderful stimulus for releasing endorphins into the blood. And after several months of regular exercise, the body develops an increased sensitivity to the endorphins. For us, this means that regular exercises with weights allow us to set new goals for ourselves, as regards the increase in the duration of training, their frequency and intensity.

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Just like insulin, glucagon is produced by the cells of the pancreas, but the function performs exactly the opposite - it raises the level of sugar in the blood. There are two main functions of glucagon in the body, the first is that at too low a level of sugar in the blood, this hormone initiates the release of carbohydrates from the liver into the total bloodstream, which leads to a normal blood sugar level. The second is to activate the process of glycogen synthesis in the liver. This process involves the conversion into glucose of amino acids.

Studies show that physical exercises can increase the sensitivity of the liver to glucagon, that is, regular exercise exercises at the same time and the liver, increasing its ability to quickly restore the time spent in tinting glycogen.

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