Could overtraining affect hormones?

Could overtraining affect hormones?

by Rachel Foo 27 Jan 2020

They say that keeping active and staying fit contributes to having high energy levels and good vitality. However, there are those who may overdo the frequency and/or intensity of their training. That’s where the term, “overtraining” comes into play. You suffer from overtraining syndrome (OTS) when your body goes through an excessive amount of training and lacks the rest that it needs. When that happens, you will find yourself facing a range of problems such as a reduce in appetite, libido, motivation, strength and testosterone levels, an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, duration when it comes to healing and muscle soreness, etc..


Now, guys, I’m sure I got your attention when I mentioned reduced testosterone levels. However ladies – it affects you as well! Oestrogen may be the primary “female” hormone, but testosterone plays a vital role in regulating hormonal health, even for women. Here are some shared signs of low testosterone levels:

1.              Low sex drive

2.              Reduced muscle mass

3.              Hair loss

4.              Reduced bone density

5.              Difficulty concentrating

6.              Mood swings

7.              Fatigue


You might wonder, “am I not giving my testosterone levels a boost when I’m sweating it out during training? Well now, there are limits to how far you push your sweat sesh before it becomes detrimental to your testosterone and hormonal levels.


(Guys) Overtraining might cause low sperm count

A study in Spain showed a 50% reduction in the sperm count of over-trained cyclists. Not only were their pineal and testis glands exhausted, they needed at least three days of rest to get their sperm count levels back to normal!


Overtraining drives your hormones crazy

When you over-train, you may be easily irritable and experience sleep disruptions. That is because overtraining kills your healthy cells, increases the cytosine, cortisol levels as well as oxidative stress, and reduces the secretion of catecholamine. You may also find yourself falling sick more often as overtraining will impair your immune system.


Overtraining leads to exhaustion

Not only does your testosterone levels drop, your body will see an increase of stress hormones which will lead to you feeling exhausted faster and much easier than you felt before you over-trained.


If you find yourself with any of the above symptoms, you may want to re-evaluate your training schedule/intensity. Ensure that you NEED to have enough and proper rest in between your training days; more isn’t necessarily better! Not only is keeping active important, giving yourself enough rest is just as important. Reduce the intensity of your sessions if you have to. You don’t get better/stronger from training; you do so by recovering from training!