Unterzucker – Eine andere Form von Stress

Hypo - Another form of stress

Researcher Hans Selye coined the term “stress” in 1977. According to brain researchers, whether something is individually classified as a stressor depends on the experiences people have had. It depends on whether something is new or familiar, what feelings are associated with it and how the corresponding situation is evaluated. By definition, stress to me is giving something more attention than it deserves.

Stress can be many things, or there are many things that can stress us individually. For some, it's stressful when they're not allowed to talk. It is stressful for the other person when he has to talk. Modern road traffic, for example, can be perceived as stressful. According to stress researchers, today we have over 100 times more stress at work and in everyday life than our grandparents' generation. Constant availability, information overload and radiation from technical devices are modern stressors to which our grandparents were not exposed for a large part of their lives. Likewise, pollution and toxins such as plastic or chemicals in our food are stressful for our bodies.

All of these are stressors that you have more or less control over, because most of them cannot be avoided entirely due to external factors, the behavior of other people or job-related circumstances. We can only control our reaction to them and the extent to which we expose ourselves to these stressors.

But as different as the stressors are, the reactions that are subsequently triggered in the body are still the same as they have been since the earliest human history. In 1915, the stress researcher Walter Cannon used the term “ fight or flight ” to describe the physical reactions to a subjective assessment of danger. If something stresses us, a chain of reactions is triggered in the brain.

The nervous system signals the adrenal medulla to release adrenaline and puts the body into an alarm mode. Among other things, blood pressure, pulse and muscle activity increase and intestinal activity is inhibited. About ten minutes after the adrenaline release, the cortisol release follows. The stress hormone cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands and acts like a milder type of adrenaline. It is designed to protect the body from the negative consequences of too long and high activation by adrenaline. Cortisol is a vital hormone and, when released in the right amount at the right time, is a very useful hormone. But high cortisol levels over a long period of time are also unhealthy.

Cortisol increases during physical exertion and primarily via the hormone glucagon, which is produced in the islet cells of the pancreas, increases the blood sugar level in order to provide the body with readily available energy in the form of glucose. Glucagon breaks down glycogen, i.e. glucose/carbohydrates in their stored form, in the liver and promotes glyconeogenesis. Glyconeogenesis is a catabolic process in which the body converts the protein in the muscles into glucose. So muscle is broken down to generate energy. However, this form of energy generation is practically irrelevant in practice, since only about 3g of glucose per hour can be produced from protein. If the blood sugar rises again due to the released glucose, the hormone insulin is released from the pancreas. Insulin is the antagonist of glucagon and lowers blood sugar again by stimulating the transport of glucose into the cells. When blood sugar levels drop too low because the body's stores are depleted and there is no replenishment from food or drink, hypoglycemia occurs. A condition that the body will try to ward off with a food craving. 

Another form of stress

Hypoglycaemia, commonly known as low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia, describes in medicine a blood sugar level that is too low or a glucose concentration in the blood that is too low.

The definition of hypoglycaemia is based on non-diabetics, since diabetics by definition have a different glucose tolerance due to their underlying disease. In severe cases of diabetics, the so-called sugar shock is spoken of. This is severe low blood sugar with unconsciousness, which can even lead to death if the blood sugar levels are very low over a long period of time. Sugar shock can occur in diabetes mellitus as a complication in connection with an excessively high insulin intake, often in connection with missing a meal or long and heavy physical exertion.

Hypoglycaemia during exercise in healthy people is associated with a sudden drop in performance, dizziness and generalized nausea, and is dubbed "the man with the hammer" or "the hunger pangs" especially by endurance athletes. Causes are...

...a blood sugar level that is unbalanced by the intake of carbohydrates too soon before exercise, which then falls more quickly during exercise.

…a drop in blood sugar levels due to not eating enough or not at all before exercise.

...a very long endurance exercise (e.g. triathlon, marathon) with insufficiently filled glycogen stores without the supply of carbohydrates during exercise.

As already mentioned, these processes are biochemically related to the hormones cortisol, adrenaline, glucagon and insulin, which are released one after the other like a wave and thus regulate the blood sugar level.

So, the state of hypoglycemia occurs when we do not eat for a long time and can be accelerated by intense physical exertion. Not eating for a long period of time is stressful for our body. Fasting is unnatural. No animal fasts voluntarily. Regular meals are crucial to avoid hypoglycemia. How regularly depends on your goal. If your goal is maximum hypertrophy, it's up to 8 meals a day. Three meals and two snacks are enough for maximum physical and mental performance and efficiency in everyday life. With less, you run the risk of developing hypoglycemia and getting caught in the vicious cycle of high cortisol, insulin secretion and food cravings.

Since high cortisol values, which are noticeable in the YPSI skinfold measurement & analysis in a high abdominal fold, suppress appetite and increase blood sugar, a high hip fold can also be measured even with a low-carb diet - which is otherwise primarily associated with a too high related to carbohydrate consumption. This also explains why you can get fatter without eating. Everyone knows such people. The human body and the hormonal system is complex and body fat reduction cannot be reduced to pure calorie consumption.

Eating the right things (animal protein, vegetables, healthy fats) on a regular basis is an easy way to consistently stabilize your blood sugar and avoid exposure to the stressor hypoglycemia.

Good luck avoiding hypoglycemia!

Image: Regular meals as a basis for stabilizing blood sugar levels are one of the most important principles of optimal nutrition that we use very successfully with all our customers, athletes and before'n'after transformations.

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