Healthy Sleep, an element of Sports Nutrition

, Good Health Nutrition

Recent studies have shown that a good night’s sleep should be a crucial element of sports nutrition, with controlling cortisol levels playing an important role in athletic performance.

Popularly known as the “stress hormone”, cortisol functions as a natural inbuilt alarm system, controlling your moods like motivation and fear. When the body reads stress signals, the adrenal glands pump cortisol into the bloodstream, regulating blood pressure, increasing blood sugar and keeping the body on high alert, ready for attack. While cortisol enables one to function at a peak, high levels of its occurrence can also be harmful. As cortisol is primarily associated with psychological stress, it is often present in high levels in athletes while due to mental pressure about winning and performance.

The physical effects produced by cortisol are very helpful for an athlete, but the natural triggers are only psychological. However, research has shown that the most natural way to regulate cortisol levels is through better sleep cycles. Sleeping for lesser than 6 hours at night can cause lesser REM cycles, which is responsible for repairing and consolidating memory, and releasing hormones. Other side effects of lack of sleep include lesser accuracy, lag in decision-making and concentration. It also slows down post-workout recovery and increases the possibility of fatigue during. Along with a fitness regimen and diet supplements, make sure to include a good night’s sleep of 6 hours to be at the top of your game, be it sports or everyday life!

For a better understanding, we suggest you sleep on it. Ensure the best sleep completely stress-free with Good Health Nutrition.