Do you know what Homeostasis is? Homeostasis in the human body is maintained through complex processes of the nervous system and the endocrine system. Every single process in the body is regulated by some type of receptor or sensor. The human body manages a multitude of highly complex interactions to maintain balance or return systems to functioning within a normal range. These interactions within the body facilitate compensatory changes supportive of physical and psychological functioning. More importantly and simply, Homeostasis is the balance of all these processes.
If you want to stay in great shape whether you are a competitor or the average gym buff, Homeostasis, is important for keeping your body in top physical and mental condition. As a long-term competitor in martial arts and other competitive sports, it is essential that you balance mind, body, and spirit, which I have talked about in my martial arts books.
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It is often said the the difference between an Olympic athlete and the average workout buff is drive and determination to succeed. However, pro athletes must succeed and to do so, they work hard. This work, especially in training, places a great deal of stress on their bodies. Competition cycles in training assure that the athlete is ready to compete, whether a pro football player, martial artist, or soccer player. They pro’s and others like them enter the field of combat as it were. Just walking into such fields of play puts the athlete at risk of physical harm from other players or competitors. Likewise, going to the gym is somewhat similar. The workout will cause stress, especially if it is intense and while players aren’t around to injure you, cracking a shin on the nearby weight bench is always a possibility. Regardless of the training situation you find yourself in, stress is always present. It is the nature of training.
Consequently, stressors that push your body to its limits should be dealt with or counteracted internally with good nutrition and supplements. Doing so will help you maintain a high level of intensity in training and avoid deleterious effects within your body. And there you have it, balance is necessary. This balance internally is homeostasis. It is crucial to long-term health and performance, as well as preventing illness and imbalance.
What are the Basic Functions of Homeostasis?
We have discussed some of them above and in other articles in this issue, but primarily, and to reiterate, Homeostasis refers to bodily processes that constantly and actively maintain your body’s internal environment. If you wish to achieve optimal, as well as the most efficient performance, balance is critical no matter if you are a pro athlete or average gym buff. Let’s look at some of the processes of Homeostasis.
When you exercise, your bodily functions generally increase, which means that both nutrient and energy delivery within your system needs to be elevated to an increased rate. Doing this will cause an increase in blood pressure, which will routinely help deliver the necessary quantities of oxygen and nutrients to specific parts of the body. Also, exercise increases the body’s oxygen demand, which is helped through this process, ensuring that needed oxygen is delivered to muscles.
As you begin to workout, your heart rate gradually increases, and your muscle slowly increase the need for oxygen. To deliver these needs, hormones are released that signal the heart rate to increase. As the heart begins to beat faster, oxygenated blood is pumped through all your veins and delivered to muscles where it is needed. Working within your optimal heart range for you age will help you to obtain the necessary oxygen to your system and which is part of the Homeostasis balance. The more conditioned one is, the more they are able to relax during workouts, but not in the normal sense, and thus, are able to deliver oxygenated blood as needed.
Blood Glucose Levels
When you work out, your energy levels, due to exertion during workout, will cause your blood glucose levels to decrease. As this happens, the body begins to break down carbohydrates into glucose and that energy is delivered as needed to various parts of the body. One issue is that as you exert increasing effort into your workout, training, or competition, the glucose reserves deplete rapidly. Therefore, it is critical to balance the necessary sport-specific training with your nutrition and supplements to keep the glucose reserves needed to maintain functionality of the body and muscles without undue fatigue. Wrestlers, martial artists, hockey, football, and similar contact sports have this as a criticality. Therefore, good nutrition will help to maintain a state of homeostasis. And, it is now known that CBD can help in this process.
Heat is produced by the body as it converts food into energy during exercise. Generally, as you may have guessed, the more you exercise, the more heat is produced, which causes a rise in body temperature. Climatic factors such as increase air temperature also cause body temperature to rise. To maintain balance in such situations, it is necessary that balance of your body’s systems through homeostasis be kept as fine-tuned as possible. As you sweat, and it evaporates, there is a natural evaporative cooling effect on the body, which helps in the Homeostasis process. And generally, blood vessels enlarge and are near the skin so that blood temperature is also cooled. The expulsion of air, now hotter, also helps cool the body.
During training, the body needs to maintain a constant supply of oxygen in cells to support muscle functioning. As an average, about 15-25% more oxygen is required as you ramp up intensity compared to your resting state. Thus, you will notice that as your training intensity increases so too, does your breathing or respiratory rate. In some cases, the individual is unable to get the proper oxygen content and may hyperventilate, which can lead to fainting.
Before beginning, please read our other article in this issue related to training and insomnia. For the Homeostasis process to work best, you need a good night’s sleep. Your body, for all its daily functions, whether business, fitness, average routines, or other, is dependent on rest. This means you need adequate REM and NREM cycles as you sleep, which means you need to reduce stress levels and fuel your body properly. If you get too ‘wound up’ getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult thus, balance is important. cing homeostatic drive for sleep. This is the result of the body’s need for rest after exertion. Therefore, you must be cognizant of sleep cycles and how they work and how CBD can help them. See …….
Body Fluid Levels
The body requires about one gallon of water per day and if you’re working out hard, more. Water assists in maintaining body temperature and many other physiological functioning processes. As you increase water intake, there is a slight increase in blood volume, but the opposite is also true. If you decrease water intake, there can be a decrease in blood volume and, since the blood carries necessary oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, a decreased water intake is detrimental to performance, regardless of level. As oxygen and nutrients are decreased through insufficient water intake, both endurance and muscle strength – linked to oxygen and nutrient flow of the blood – are impaired. It you are a pro athlete or in any kind of competition this is very detrimental to success.
There are multiple things you should not do when competing. These include: cutting your weight to fit into a certain weight glass (primarily through dehydration); calorie deficient meals; over-hydration (this can flush the system of needed nutrients), which can cause weakness and even seizures; and drinking too much energy drinks that are high in caffeine.
How can CBD Help?
This entire issue has already described many of the benefits of CBD. As mentioned, CBD will help you sleep longer and more restful. Part of this process is accomplished by causing drowsiness by inhibiting the re-uptake of melatonin in the prefrontal cortex and, by stimulating the mood-boosting neurotransmitter – serotonin. Also, muscles become sore for those intensely pushing themselves during training. So, enter CBD. The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and their small nerve endings, which works with the endocrine system. The endocrine system regulates all the functions of the entire body by releasing hormones that produce a physical response to achieve general homeostasis. Thus, additional beneficial effects of CBD include release of dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and decreased cortisol (as stated earlier in a previous article in this issue).
Another part of the brain is the hypothalamus, which regulates homeostasis and links the endocrine and nervous system. And, it is believed also links the body’s endocannabinoid system as well. This is accomplished by producing releasing and inhibiting hormones that stop and start the production of other hormones throughout the body. Research has shown that the hypothalamus contains cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids such as CBD bind to these receptors to help regulate homeostasis.
The evidence linking CBD is improved homeostasis is mounting daily. Thus, in addition to practicing proper nutrition and supplement intake, getting adequate rest, staying properly hydrated and just practicing good health, the addition of CBD to your supplement and nutritional program should help you improve your performance in training or out. Balance is the key, taking all things in moderation. So, investigate CBD and determine if it is right for you.