Effects of hormones on hunger and satiety in sports

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Effects of hormones on hunger and satiety in sports
Effects of hormones on hunger and satiety in sports

Learn how to properly regulate your condition with hormones when you are on the go for drying or gaining lean muscle mass. All processes in the human body are regulated by hormones. It is from the concentration and ratio of these substances that our well-being and appearance depends. Many hormones affect the creation of adipose tissue as well as appetite. Today we will tell you about the most commonly used hunger and satiety hormones in sports. And how these substances can affect a person's body weight.

Hunger and satiety hormones in athletes

Help on ghrelin and leptin
Help on ghrelin and leptin

For a long time, scientists have noticed that when using hormonal drugs, people begin to lose weight. This could not go unnoticed by athletes who also began to use hormones to fight obesity. They have different mechanisms of work, but they all help to fight fat to one degree or another. For example, therioid hormones enhance metabolic processes.

Our article is primarily devoted to these substances, and we should start with them. There are two such hormones - leptin and ghrelin. They are responsible for the feeling of satiety and if their balance is imbalanced, there is a high risk of developing obesity. After eating food in the body, the concentration of glucose increases and the body synthesizes insulin to reduce it.

As soon as the level of insulin reaches a certain concentration, leptin sends a signal to the brain, or rather the hypothalamus, about saturation. As a result, appetite is suppressed. This fact, in turn, leads to a decrease in the synthesis of the second hormone - ghrelin. As you already understood, ghrelin regulates our hunger. All of the above processes cause a slowdown in the production of insulin.

As we said above, the body strives to maintain a balance between hormones. Today, scientists know for sure that excess weight is largely due to an imbalance in the concentration of leptin and ghrelin. This is due to the fact that the hypothalamus cannot receive a signal of saturation in time and insulin synthesis continues.

If at the initial stage most often obesity develops due to the low sensitivity of the body to leptin, then the problem is aggravated and insulin resistance appears. A high concentration of insulin leads to an increase in leptin levels, which breaks down a substance called amelin. This hormone has the function of regulating glucose production to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.

All the disorders of the body described above slow down the metabolism. In response to this, the reactions of creating new adipose tissues are activated, and most often in the abdominal region. Thus, one of the main tasks of losing weight people is to normalize the balance of ghrelin and leptin. You've probably already understood the importance of hunger and satiety hormones in sports.

Ghrelin in the regulation of hunger and satiety in sports

The girl looks into the refrigerator
The girl looks into the refrigerator

Let's talk about ghrelin and leptin in more detail, starting with the first substance. It is a satiety hormone that regulates energy metabolism in the body and signals the brain to complete a meal. Note that the concentration of ghrelin largely depends on the person's age and gender. For example, before the age of twenty, the body of men and women contains 15–26 n / ml and 27–38 n / ml, respectively. As you age, your hormone levels begin to drop.

Let's look at the mechanism of the hormone's effect on weight. Leptin is synthesized by the cellular structures of adipose tissues. This suggests that the more fatty tissues in the body, the more effective the process of losing weight can be, because the concentration of the hormone will be higher. This fact is associated with faster weight loss by fat people in comparison with lean people. For the same reason, weight loss is rapid when using low-calorie nutrition programs in conjunction with exercise. And then this process slows down.

All this indicates the development of the body's immunity to leptin, and it cannot send a signal to the hypothalamus to stop eating during the time. Thus, the lipolysis process cannot be resumed until the hypothalamus resistance to this hormone is eliminated.

Here are some of the main reasons why the hypothalamus is unable to respond to hormone signals:

  • Chronic inflammatory processes.
  • Increased concentration of fatty acids in the blood.
  • Disruption of the hormone production process by cellular structures of adipose tissues.
  • Eating large amounts of simple carbohydrates (fructose and sugar).

To eliminate the leptin resistance of the brain, it is necessary to change the habitual lifestyle and dietary habits. First of all, you need to start playing sports, since a sedentary lifestyle negatively affects the production of the hormone. Until a few years ago, we were assured that fructose is a safe substitute for sugar.

However, today it is reliably known that industrial glucose is no better than sugar. However, food manufacturers continue to actively use this substance in their products and you need to minimize their use. The ideal option would be a complete rejection of sugary carbonated drinks, muffins and convenience foods.

Here are some guidelines to help you restore sensitivity to your hypothalamus:

  1. Do not use dietary programs that involve severe restrictions.
  2. Simply multiply your body weight in pounds by 10 to determine your required dietary energy score.
  3. Reduce the amount of fatty dairy products and meats in your diet.
  4. Include in the diet fish oil that can normalize the synthesis of leptin.

Among other things, you should remember that the hormone is synthesized best in those situations when it is well rested. To do this, you need to sleep at least eight hours a day. But the use of an exogenous hormone is not recommended. Ghrelin is produced by the cellular structures of the gastrointestinal tract and when the concentration of the substance falls, the feeling of hunger increases. The maximum level of the substance is observed in people using low-calorie nutrition programs or in those with anorexia.

As you've probably figured out by now, ghrelin is responsible for our eating habits. If a person does not have health problems, then the production of ghrelin slows down during meals and gradually this process stops altogether. If the process of hormone synthesis is disrupted, then even under the condition of saturation, ghrelin continues to be synthesized. As a result, people with overweight problems do not feel full for long.

For a long time, scientists were convinced that ghrelin has only a signaling function. However, after a series of studies, it became clear that this is not the case. Among the consequences of a violation of the hormone synthesis process, we highlight the main ones:

  • There is a powerful craving for fatty and high-calorie foods.
  • Food portion sizes increase.
  • The person begins to enjoy eating.
  • Alcohol dependence develops.
  • The number of adipose tissues increases.

To activate the lipolysis processes, it is necessary to reduce the concentration of this hormone. First of all, for this it is necessary to change eating habits:

  • Reduce the consumption of alcoholic beverages, or even better, stop drinking them altogether.
  • Try to avoid stressful situations.
  • Do not allow stomach distension and do not drink food with water, as a large stomach volume increases the concentration of ghrelin.
  • Exercise for about an hour each day.

In a normal state, the concentration of the hormone in the blood drops after a meal. This happens the moment we begin to feel full. An exception to this rule is the fructose we mentioned above. Foods containing industrial glucose do not reduce hormone levels.

What other hormones affect body weight in sports?

Overweight hormones
Overweight hormones

Thyroid hormones

Therioid hormones are involved in many processes in our body. However, the main function of these substances is to regulate metabolism. Here are the main effects of thyroid hormones:

  • Stimulates metabolic processes.
  • Suppress appetite.
  • Possesses powerful fat burning properties.
  • The effect of heat production is enhanced.


We have already mentioned this hormone in our conversation. It is no secret that among the hormones of hunger and satiety in sports, insulin is used very actively because of its anabolic properties. The main task of the hormone is to maintain normal blood sugar levels.


This substance, like insulin, is synthesized by the pancreas and is extremely effective for weight loss. Here are the main functions of glucagon:

  • Interacts with the cellular structures of the liver and thereby stimulates the production of glucose.
  • Accelerates lipolysis processes.
  • Suppresses the level of lipoprotein compounds.
  • Improves the processes of blood circulation in the kidneys.
  • Stimulates regenerative processes in the cellular structures of the liver.
  • Accelerates the process of removing insulin from tissue cells.
  • Increases the rate of sodium utilization, which has a positive effect on the work of the heart muscle.


It is one of the stress hormones synthesized by the adrenal glands. Every person involved in sports knows a lot about this hormone. After all, it is capable of causing the processes of destruction of muscle tissue. To activate the lipolysis processes, it is necessary to reduce the concentration of cortisol.

For more on how hormones affect weight, see the following video: