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- Fit Nutrition Fix Team
The key to losing fat and building muscle is healthy hormone balance
Hormone control truly is the cornerstone of health. Your hormones control everything from weight and mood to your unwarranted emotional response when Richie chooses Alex instead of Nikki in The Bachelor finale. Truth is, when fat loss or muscle gain are your goal, hormonal control must be too. It’s not as simple as eating less and moving more, but about being in balance. And we aren't just talking about ladies here.. Hormones play an equally important role in your health too men! As your testosterone declines with age, it’s certainly not a coincidence that your beer belly grows. Capiche?
Now when it comes to hormone balance there’s one particular hormone that can really shake things up – introducing estrogen! Low energy, fatigue, cravings, weight gain, anxiety, low sex drive and fluid retention are just a handful of the delightful symptoms which can come into play when our pal estrogen is out of balance. For those of you not yet acquainted, estrogen is a feminizing hormone present in both men and women, yet more abundant in the female body. Estrogen is made from testosterone and plays a critical role in maintaining healthy bones, skin, nails and cardiovascular health. It’s a super important hormone to have, but like anything, if we have to much it begins to be problematic – hello man boobs.
Estrogen is proliferative, meaning it stimulates growth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stimulate muscle to grow, it stimulates fat to grow. For this very reason, those who are estrogen dominant find it hard to lose weight, particularly in estrogen fat locations like the belly pouch, love handles, saddle bags, tuck shop lady arms, man boobs and we can’t forget the mum bum. And if that wasn’t enough, estrogen dominance can also exacerbate blood clotting, fluid retention, circulation issues, headaches, lumps, bumps, bloating, stress, anxiety and cravings. Just what you want, right?
Basically, high estrogen levels suck and can evidently cause a whole host of hideous symptoms, which is why stripping the body of excess estrogen can be extremely beneficial for both lads and ladies. It is important to note that we’re not talking about blocking estrogen production or activity here, but working with the body’s natural pathways to make and use estrogen for all its essential health benefits (menstrual cycle and fertility etc.) but then ensuring it is efficiently detoxified and eliminated from the body rather that accumulating and resulting in undesirable love handles.
Dietary and nutrient modification through supplementation can be just as powerful as medicine in this process since both means have the ability to influence estrogen synthesis, receptors, and detoxification pathways. This is evident in ATP Science’s Alpha Venus and Alpha Mars which both contain broccoli sprout sulforaphanes, natural folates and rosemary, which work to offset excessive estrogen by making estrogen deactivation, detoxification and elimination efficient. This thereby allows the body to make, release and use estrogen for all of the healthy functions we spoke about earlier and then quickly and efficiently clear it out of the system so it doesn’t loiter around and cause hormonal dysfunction. High five ATP Science! So what’s the difference between ATP’s two estrogen-blocking bad boys? Let us delve a little deeper!
Alongside estrogen comes androgens. Androgens do the exact opposite to estrogen so you can have estrogen dominance due to a deficiency of androgens or you may have excess estrogen and normal androgens. Regardless, if you increase androgens while dropping estrogen you will see faster change. If you drop or increase both and ratios stay the same, you won’t see a great deal of change. Truth is, ratios of hormones are more important than amounts and therefore it is more effective to alter ratios of hormones rather than just decrease body load.
This is where is becomes tricky… While both Alpha Venus and Alpha Mars contain exactly the same estrogen detoxification ability, they vary in the way they build androgens to offset the estrogen. Alpha Venus supports a healthy menstrual cycle by building up the androgen progesterone and clearing away estrogen excess (ta-ta PMS symptoms!) Alpha Mars on the other hand, takes a different approach, by increasing androgen testosterone, while ridding excess estrogen – hello fat burning and muscle building!
So there you have it, the connection between hormonal health and the capacity to burn fat and build muscle is much more influential than you think! Want to learn more? Come and chat with one of our Nutrition Mentors!