Welcome to week three of your five-week metabolic reset! This week is all about adrenalin – and getting a boost to improve your energy, focus and fat-burning. Have you ever been startled or surprised? Most of us have, at some point or another. Just think about how your body responds: your pulse quickens, your muscles tense, your pupils dilate, your airways expand and your blood pressure spikes. These innate reactions are known as the “fight or flight” response, and they are designed to prepare you to protect yourself or run away. And all of them demonstrate what happens when adrenalin (also known as epinephrine) is at work.
The adrenal glands are two small glands that rest on top of the kidneys. They produce the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol. When we’re stressed—whether by information taken in and processed by our five senses or in relation to our thoughts—the body reacts by mounting a stress response through the stimulation of our sympathetic nervous system. So let’s say your boss yells at you. What exactly happens, from a hormonal perspective?
Your hypothalamus signals your pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
Along with adrenalin, noradrenalin (NA, or norepinephrine) is released by nerve cells and the adrenal glands. NA also stimulates energy-expending fight-or-flight responses. Although it’s typically not produced in as high a quantity as adrenalin, noradrenalin has very similar effects on body physiology, including increasing the heart rate, raising blood sugar and increasing tension in the skeletal muscles. It also stimulates the brain and helps us to think quickly when we are in tricky situations.
Here’s the problem, though: constantly overproducing adrenalin and cortisol can eventually lead to that all-too-familiar “burned out” feeling, also known as adrenal gland fatigue. The result is chronic exhaustion, lack of stamina for exercise, more allergy symptoms, lack of concentration, sleep disruption, blood sugar imbalance, weight gain, depression, increased cravings and weakened immunity.
How Adrenalin Works for You
So, too much adrenalin is a bad thing. But adrenalin in the right amounts at the right times can certainly offer real metabolic and hormonal benefits.
When present in the right amounts, adrenalin is very useful in supporting fat loss. It causes the body to free up stored fats and sugars (a.k.a. glycogen), providing a burst of energy while sparing metabolically active muscle protein. In today’s day and age, when we don’t often find ourselves having to escape from or face life-threatening danger, this energy burst can still be useful. Consider, for example, that having a cup of coffee before your workout may offer an extra fat- burning boost simply because caffeine sparks adrenalin production.
Blood Sugar Balancer
The complete digestion and absorption of a meal can take several hours, depending upon its size and composition. This means the carbs that end up as sugar (or glucose) in our bloodstream after a meal may also be available for several hours—and that’s a good thing for our energy needs. But once the body’s cells work through that glucose and no new sources are provided (like between meals or when fasting overnight), a new blood glucose scenario begins to take shape. When this happens, the pancreas releases the hormone glucagon. At the same time, adrenalin and cortisol promote efforts to help maintain blood glucose levels.
In skeletal muscle, slightly elevated adrenalin promotes the breakdown of glycogen to glucose. Unlike the glucose produced from the breakdown of liver glycogen, however, this glucose is not released into the blood. Rather, it remains in the muscle to become a supportive energy source for those muscle cells, while fat becomes the primary energy source for the rest of the body. This is great news for those of us working toward fat loss.
The hormone picture that develops during exercise is similar to the one that happens during a fasting period—with a few key differences. Adrenalin is released from our adrenal glands as a direct effect of exercise, depending on the type and the intensity. In most cases, the greater your exercise intensity, the greater your adrenalin release. Both sprinting and circuit training, for instance, tend to stimulate adrenalin release. In turn, this adrenalin stimulates the breakdown of muscle-cell glycogen, making glucose available for those same cells (which are hard at work). Adrenalin also promotes the breakdown of glycogen to glucose in the liver, some of which will also circulate to working muscle.
Accelerate your fat loss with the following simple tips to boost adrenalin.
Foods and Habits
• Prioritize proper nutrition: To increase your adrenalin hormone, incorporate coffee, tea, green tea, citrus fruits, bananas, chocolate, cocoa and vanilla into your diet.
• Exercise: Interval training, such as sprinting, boosts adrenalin. In a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2005), researchers found that a group of test subjects who worked out continuously, with no rest between exercises (i.e., circuit training), had greater increases in growth hormone, noradrenalin and adrenalin during their workouts. They also netted greater muscle gains after 12 weeks than those who were instructed to rest between exercises. Here is an ideal interval workout on the treadmill:
Walk 5 mins – incline 3.5 to 4 and speed 4 m/hr
Minutes 6 – 10: light jog speed 5 m/hr
Minute 10-11: sprint i.e. 6.0 m/hr
Minute 11 – 12: jog 5 – 5.5 m/hr
Minute 12 – 13: sprint i.e 6.5 m/hr
Minute 13 – 14: jog 5 – 5.5 m/hr
Minute 14 – 15: sprint i.e 7.0 m/hr
Minute 15 – 16: jog 5 – 5.5 m/hr
Minute 16 – 17: sprint i.e 7.5 m/hr
Minute 17 – 18: jog 5 – 5.5 m/hr
Minute 18 – 19: sprint i.e 8.0 m/hr
Minute 19 – 20: jog 5 – 5.5 m/hr
Minute 20 – 25: walk incline 3.5 – 4.0 and speed 4.0 m/hr
• Turn up the music: Listening to exciting music can increase the release of adrenalin into your bloodstream, giving you yet another reason to add tunes to your workout (or hit a dance club)!
• Vitamin D3: Vive is the strongest energy supplement I have in my Clear Medicine line. T Pop one capsule of this powerful product and I promise you will feel a boost in your energy and focus in about 20 to 30 minutes taken before a workout, it’s an incredible way to increase fat-burning efforts, thanks to the boost of adrenalin and adiponectin it offers. The main ingredients that lead to these benefits are essential oils (EPA, DHA and GLA), green tea, theanine and green coffee bean extract. Do not take this product after 3 p.m., as it will keep you awake. This is also an excellent formula for ADHD, focus and attention.
• Vitamins B5 and B6: These important B vitamins play an integral role in cell metabolism. Improving your metabolic pathways boosts your energy levels and is a great way to reduce fatigue. B5 helps to produce coenzyme A, which con- tributes to cellular respiration and the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. B6 acts in several of the pathways that are used to create adrenal hormones. Take a B complex like Clear B Boost—one capsule at breakfast or lunch.
• Vitamin C: This powerful antioxidant vitamin is directly involved in the production of hormones in your adrenals. So, besides the other health benefits it provides (boosting your immune system, protecting from free radicals), vitamin C is also an essential building block for adrenal gland recovery. You can start with 1,000 mg daily and then gradually increase your dose over time. Buffered or liposomal vitamin C is generally the best form, and it should be in combination with bioflavonoids, just as it often is in nature. Vitamin C contains a mixture of vitamin C and black pepper, to enhance vitamin absorption.
• Synephrine (Citrus aurantium): Synephrine is an alkaloid that occurs naturally in very small amounts in humans and plants, but it is also made synthetically for use in some adrenergic drugs. The biggest supplier of supplemented synephrine in the world is the tree Citrus aurantium, which is native to southeast Asia. A June 2015 study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition included overweight men who received 900 mg of a citrus-based polyphenol extract, Sinetrol-XPur, daily for 12 weeks. Body composition, anthropometric and blood parameters were assessed before and after the intervention period. The study showed that taking 450 mg twice daily (at breakfast and lunch) for 12 weeks resulted in a 5.8-pound average weight loss and a 6.6 percent reduction in body fat, while placebo subjects experienced no significant weight or body-fat loss. The extract group also lost an average of two inches off their waist and hip circumference.
• Dopamine Support (Rhodiola, Tyrosine and Phenylalanine): This formula contains two amino acid build- ing blocks of adrenalin, L-tyrosine and DL-phenylalanine. L-tyrosine supplements appear to be protective for acute stressors (which tend to deplete adrenalin) and may prevent stress-induced memory deficits. I recommend a dose of three Dopamine Support (Rhodiola, Tyrosine and Phenylalanine) capsules or 500 to 1,500 mg of L-tyrosine per day on rising.