Training, either Crossfit or physique, can be the best and worst action for your health.
Here's a typical scenario that I see on a weekly basis from the athletes that hire me to fix their metabolisms.
Individual X trains multiple times per week, some times twice per day and they eat a very healthy but low calorie diet. On top of their time at work, they have an above average stress level. Throw all of this into a pot and you have some tired athlete with high cortisol. They visit their doctor who tells them that they have a hypo-thyroid (slow thyroid) and their Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is very high. As a result, their MD wants to put them on thyroid medication.
Now I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on the internet but I know about hormones and exercise. Let's take a look under the "hood" and why I always recommend a TSH blood test.
Quality nutritional supplements can be very helpful as well.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is produced by the pituitary gland in you brain that then signals your thyroid, that butterfly sized gland, in your neck to produce both T3 and T4,
If T3 is not converted to T4 your brain will tell your thyroid gland to produce MORE TSH than normal to uptick the T3-T4 conversion.
But why doesn't anyone stop to ask why the T3-T4 conversion is sluggish or less than optimal?
Why are thyroids burning out?
Why do most women need adrenal support supplements?
In my experience with athletes, there's four issues.
Stress is not just a fight at work. Stress can manifest through a variety of functions such as the aforementioned intense training, poor sleep, poor diet or reliance on sugar and caffeine.
High cortisol levels cause your thyroid receptors to be in overdrive. Your body will continually pump out TSH but your receptors don't receive the TSH.
How else can you explain a recreational exerciser who works 40-50 hours a week yet exercises twice per week but still has a hypo-thyroid? It has nothing to do with exercise but likely their lack of calories and high stress levels.
Is there a link between low carbohydrate diets and thyroid problems?
Studies do show a direct link between low carbohydrate intake and drops in T3. Some link the drop in T3 to a lack of incoming glucose. Yet studies show that these are very low carbohydrate diets over an extend period of time.
Might the issue actually be with total calories over that period of time? While it is true that your body can produce glucose from protein and fat, it's a slower, less volume process so I wouldn't rely on protein and fat to help my thyroid.
How To Keep Your Thyroid Working, Your Cortisol Low And Your Training On Point
1) Pay close attention to your training sessions and volume. Make sure to throw in extra rest days.
2) Use refeed or cheat days multiple times per week.
3) Supplement with The Physique Formula Adrenal Support
I'm not going to lie to you, if you're training hard then you need to recover BETTER.
And that's why I've created an unique blend of adaptogenic herbs, all natural nutrients that can enhance muscle recovery and optimize your hormones.
Or you can watch the video below