You are in the jungle, hiding in a bush, and your enemy is coming around the corner. Nothing is going to stop you from annihilating the approaching foe and celebrating in all your emoting glory. Your heart rate is elevated, you are breathing fast and shallow, you are ready for the kill. None of it is real...all of it is real.
Three Hormones of Note
- Adrenaline (epinephrine) is the first responder to a stressful situation. It surges through your body, constricting blood vessels and bringing focus and energy to any perceived danger. Diving the backline of the enemy team (and finding out it was a terrible decision)? Adrenal surge.
- Norepinephrine is adrenaline’s backup. It does a lot of the same stuff adrenaline does, and can tag in for adrenaline if your body can’t produce anymore. Team mate just dove in the backline and you are obligated to follow? Yeah, nor-e coming in.
- Cortisol takes a little bit longer to kick in, but is responsible in stressful situations for many aspects of saving your life, like regulating digestion, converting fats, carbohydrates and proteins into energy, helping control your blood pressure, maintaining fluid balance, and it works in tandem with other hormones to manage your overall immune response. Even though cortisol is super important for saving your life, it’s also the stuff that in overabundance can increase your blood sugar, shut down your immune system, wreak havoc on your sex drive, increase inflammation, and even give you acne. Cortisol does a lot of stuff, and it's going to need its own article.
Over time these elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol, which are so useful in the short term, can have very bad results on your health over the long haul. While you don’t have to constantly keep up your guard to make sure a tiger isn’t prowling around your door these days, your body doesn’t know the difference between physical threats and digital ones.
We all game because it’s fun, and it’s thrilling and because adrenaline rules. We are not going to stop, but we are going to emphasize that when we play excessively or compulsively, our body’s stress response gets repeatedly activated by these modern threats, and we need to be aware of that. Some people claim this repeated activation can lead to adrenal over-stimulation and adrenal fatigue.
Is Adrenal Fatigue a Thing?
Adrenal fatigue is a relatively new concept and term with its scientific validity in dispute due to its wide range of symptoms and lack of robust research on the topic.
The problem is, unlike what our ancestors faced, many of our modern threats never go away or are in a constant state of generation. Work, emails, competitive gaming, social media, etc. constantly provide us with one stressor after another. As these continue to build on each other your body is in a constant state of production, preparing you to fight or flee by pouring stress hormones into your bloodstream without ever giving you a break.
A lot of doctors call BS on adrenal fatigue as a disease, but no one calls BS on the effects of chronic stress and digital addiction on the body: lethargy, weight gain, ‘brain fog,’ moodiness, irritability, disturbed sleep, decreased sex drive, cravings for sweet and salty foods, and more.
Increasing awareness of your body and its instinctual programming will allow you to learn how to control your behaviors, inputs and responses in order to keep your stress hormones in check.
What can you do?
Extended bouts of playing games without physical relief is when our cortisol builds up, and that's when most of that bad stuff we talked about before starts happening.
Is the solution less gaming? No. Not necessarily. But it’s definitely important to divide sessions of gaming with physical check-ins to break up your cycle of stress, even if you are on an adrenaline-fueled win streak.
The formula for success is what we usually preach: movement, hydration, nutrition, and sleep.
- 10 minutes of stretching, breathing, and body weight exercises for every hour that you game. GOAT YOGA!
- 3-5x 45-75 minute workouts every week
- Snack on nuts, seeds, jerky instead of chips or candy
- Drink water instead of soda
- Eat carrots, broccoli, and brussels sprouts
- Get enough protein
- Be nice to yourself
- Be nice to your friends & family
Get high quality sleep
We sell products to help with most of these things. If you have questions, reach out, or, if you know what you want, order up!
Available now for pre-order, Reboot is a sleep aid designed to combat blue light insomnia. We combine modern compounds with lesser known roots and herbs to assist your body and brain to fall asleep more efficiently and recover more effectively after long bouts of screen time.
Available now for pre-order, Prelixir is a pre-workout that combines clinically effective doses of well known modern compounds with lesser known roots and herbs.
Coming soon, RageQuit helps decrease anxiety and jitters, while improving mood and focus with three simple ingredients; hemp extract, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and Vitamin D3. Your adrenal glands will thank you!
Coming soon, Strength Potion combines proteins (whey/collagen/hemp), branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), fungi, vitamins, and herbs so that you don't have to guess at what to take for maximum recovery, strength, mobility, and health.
Your opponent lies vanquished, neutralized by the ferocious surprise unleashed upon their soul. You raise your arms in triumph and sprint away from the bush towards your enemy's base, now defenseless. Victory is at hand, and it is very real.