What Influences Human Performance

Human Performance Optimization

What is Human Performance Optimization

Human Performance is an umbrella term for the ability to perform consistently at our best in the environment within which we operate. It includes anything from daily activities, work, or fitness performance to how humans achieve their intimate lives.

Early Human Performance Optimization adopters are government, defense, healthcare, industry, and professional sports.

Testosterone

Low T in men is associated with diminished physical performance. In addition, physical abilities in hypogonadal men have descending oxygen supply due to decreased hemoglobin concentrations and poor glucose utilization. Low T affects metabolism — how the body gets energy from the foods we eat — appetite, mood, sexual function, reproduction, muscle growth, fat loss, sleep cycles, and more.

Hormones, in general, can alter many physiological systems, including metabolism, menstrual function, bone health, immunity, protein synthesis, and cardiovascular and psychological health.

Hormone Optimization goes beyond restoring the numbers to “normal” levels. Instead, the goal is to synergize health and performance efforts.

One of the reasons for individuals to stay on HRT permanently is to sustain optimal performance over a lifespan.

Nutrition + Exercise

Other than specific health conditions, i.e., Low T and individual needs, nutritional requirements vary across the human life cycle stages. Therefore, nutrition is critical in human performance.

While exercise is significant to our health, many tend to follow restrictive diet plans which directly recast their performance. In addition, a restrictive diet can eliminate essential food groups, impacting performance. Create insufficient energy intake (calories), energy demand for training load, and reduce the energy available for life processes.

The excessive workload can also reduce the energy available for life processes if they don’t match energy intake with energy demand.

Low energy availability is known to disrupt hormone levels. Besides the endocrine system, it can negatively affect bone health and resting metabolism, which is likely why many can’t lose weight while on a caloric deficit followed by regular exercises.

LEA links to disordered eating food intolerance, which commonly happens with restriction and reintroduction of any foods.

Keeping the balance between improving your results and maintaining your health is something many struggles with daily. However, restoring low energy availability due to too many restrictions and a heavy training load is “treatable” by taking complete rest from the exercise while focusing on nutrient-dense foods and calories.

Sleep + Stress

The recommended quantity of sleep to attain optimal health and quality of life ranges across the lifespan and individuals.

Sleep duration, quality, and consistency affect how well you function when awake — your daily activities and workout performance. Conversely, lack of sleep leads to penalties in job performance, productivity, career progression, and even sex.

Decreased sleep is immunosuppressive and increases susceptibility to upper respiratory infections in particular.

Psychological well-being, influenced by workplace stressors, has been identified as the most significant predictor of self-assessed employee performance. It affects overall productivity concentration/focus, supervisor relations, satisfaction (work and non-work related), and impatience/irritability.

Where to start

Start with self-assessment and write down everything you can about your morning routine, daily activities, work, family and relationships, exercise, sleep, and potential stress.

If you suspect hormones are to “blame” for any performance area, talk to your physician and get checked. Alternatively, IAM Clinic can help, and you can start online for free.

Self-assessment will also come in handy to your physician and prepare you for any questions they have.

Once you have a clearer idea of what’s going on, begin addressing the issues one by one. And some might be linked. Therefore you could resolve several concerns by addressing one.


References:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03345240
https://nutritionguide.pcrm.org/nutritionguide/view/Nutrition_Guide_for_Clinicians/1342043/all/Nutritional_Requirements_throughout_the_Life_Cycle
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32902400/
https://pressbooks.oer.hawaii.edu/humannutrition2/chapter/2-the-endocrine-system/
https://sportsmedicine-open.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40798-020-00275-6
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41539-019-0055-z
https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/fulltext/2017/11000/sleep_and_athletic_performance.11.aspx
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7889069/

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