Dr. Yurth recently spent the weekend in LA with several other faculty members of Seeds Scientific Research & Performance (SSRP) to record a new mastery course for physicians on hormones. With her extensive background in orthopedics and treating athletes, she lectured on the role of hormones and athletic performance, sharing details about just how important hormones are to strength and injury prevention. She sat down with us in a brief Q&A to share a little more on what you should know about your hormones’ role in athletic performance.
A Focus on Hormone Replacement in Athletes
While Dr. Yurth’s lecture was aimed at updating physicians on the ins and outs of hormone replacement in athletes, this information is applicable to the everyday athlete or, more broadly, anyone active – not just high-level athletes.
Hormones play a key role in musculoskeletal health. Many of us may think initially of the importance of testosterone, both for professional and amateur athletes, as its role in muscle building is well documented. However, testosterone is just one of the hormones essential to maintaining musculoskeletal integrity.
Testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone all play a similarly vital role: Helping athletes avoid major injuries to joints, ligaments, and tendons.
Estrogen is essential to the integrity of tendons. The typically lower levels of estrogen in men leads to the higher risk of tendon damage in males. The danger of tendon injury is further impacted by low testosterone levels, as estrogen imminates from testosterone.
The level of estrogen in the body also impacts the flexibility and mobility of ligaments. Women are more prone to catastrophic ligament injury (like ACL tears), due to the higher estrogen in their bodies making their ligaments more mobile.
The conversation around estrogen levels provides a perfect example of how hormone replacement can benefit the amateur athlete. For women especially, birth control methods like “the pill” function by reducing testosterone levels and increasing estrogen, thus resulting in a combination that can increase risk of injury.
Increasing testosterone through different replacement therapies and supplements (for athletes not bound by testing and regulation) can help balance hormones and aid in injury prevention.
Athletes of all sexes and levels could benefit from hormone monitoring as early as their 20s. Given the aforementioned importance of hormones to musculoskeletal health, having a comprehensive understanding of your hormone levels can help athletes focus on areas that will prevent injury.
Injury prevention is obviously important to professional or high-level athletes but is also vital to amateur athletes aiming to stay active and mobile well into their later years. 90% of individuals who endure an ACL tear go on to develop arthritis. Preventing injury is important to overall wellness and long-term health. Early hormone testing and monitoring can help prevent catastrophic injuries in all types of athletes, thus preventing higher odds of enduring musculoskeletal ailments.
A Mastery Course for Physicians and Patients Alike
The Boulder Longevity Institute focuses on educating everyone. Patients taking control of their health is essential. While the course Dr. Yurth recorded in LA was geared toward physicians, the information is just as valuable to the rest of us.
If you are curious to learn more about how your hormones play a role in helping you to prevent injury and improve overall athletic performance, Dr. Yurth shares more details inside our BLI Academy membership site.
For even more information about how hormones impact your overall health, check out our BLI Academy QuickCourse, What to Fix First, created to guide you to a higher level of understanding of hormones, your healthspan, and what you can do to positively impact your physical well-being.