How Ginseng is Used in Mountain Ice Muscle Therapy Gel
Ginseng, renowned for its energy boosting potential, is one of the many powerful ingredients in Mountain Ice's new Muscle Therapy Gel. But how does it work to propel your body to peak athletic performance? Read on to find out!
Ginseng contains compounds called ginsenosides, which appear to be involved in the production of the body's main stress hormone, cortisol. This is the hormone that fuels your body's "fight-or-flight" instinct, helping to control your mood, motivation, and fear. When released, cortisol suppresses a number of bodily functions that aren't useful in a flight-or-flight situation, boosting your energy. In fact, it plays a large part in boosting energy in response to stress even in situations that don't approach crisis levels.
When not being used as your body's alarm system, cortisol plays a role in many other ongoing processes that have implications on sports performance:
- Increases glucose production (blood sugar).
- Manages energy use: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Regulates blood pressure.
- Controls your sleep/wake cycle.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Boosts energy to manage stress.
Cortisol and Stress
You probably saw the first entry on the previous list and wondered why an increase in glucose production is a benefit. Glucose is heavily involved in the body's reaction to stress. A typical stress response works like this:
- A person encounters a source of stress.
- The adrenal glands release cortisol in response.
- Cortisol increases glucose production, flooding the body with an immediate energy source that muscles can utilize.
- Cortisol inhibits insulin production, which makes the body prioritize using all the glucose that was just released.
- Cortisol narrows arteries while the hormone epinephrine increases the heart rate; this causes blood to pump faster.
- The person deals with the source of stress and cortisol levels return to normal.
This feedback loop boosts energy, and the increase in heart rate delivers more oxygen throughout the body. Increased cortisol production from taking ginseng can increase your body's energy level and oxygen level, improving your endurance capabilities.