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For the sake of your hair, don’t exercise on an empty stomach

exercise hair Feb 14, 2021

Are you the person who likes to work out on an empty stomach? Perhaps you’re thinking you’ll lose more fat or you just can’t tolerate breakfast so early?

Well, you may be losing more than just weight.

You see when you exercise, your body releases the hormones adrenaline and cortisol in response to stress and low blood-glucose concentration. An excess of both hormones can damage hair follicles causing hair loss and dry frizzy hair. 

It typically takes 5,10 or even 15 years of hair follicle damage inside your body before you see the results of hair-loss - so if you’re thinking “I’ve been exercising before breakfast for years and my hair looks great”…wait as you get older because this happens to everyone, including men.

Eating something light like a banana or oatmeal before a morning workout can prevent follicle damage, and help the body to maintain blood glucose levels and absorb excess cortisol and adrenaline.

I like to exercise in the morning so I typically grab a banana or two depending on the intensity of my workout and then 20-30 minutes into my workout, I drink/sip my celery juice instead of water to absorb and neutralize excess adrenaline.

If you’re a runner or bike ride marathon level distances, I highly suggest you eat a breakfast of oatmeal with some fruit and a dollop of maple syrup so as not to allow cortisol damage to the body. Trust me it’s worth waking up the half-hour earlier. It’s either that or staring at your scalp showing through your hair a few years from now!

One thing I’ve noticed is that women experiencing hair loss and hair thinning at a young age is extremely high. I’ve personally noticed this with my younger nieces (in their 20’s and early 30’s) and my younger friends. This is because, in addition to exercising on an empty stomach and going for long periods of time without eating, they’re consuming large amounts of caffeine in coffee, ice-coffees, lattes etc. which will actually burn out healthy hormones that our adrenal glands produce which help to keep hair follicles alive. 

So, let’s discuss the steps you can take to start reversing the damage and re-growing your hair. 

Repairing damaged hair follicles: 

It’s important to note that the use of thyroid medication, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals used regularly will contribute to hair loss and thinning. Reduce or remove these if possible. 

In order to repair damaged hair follicles, we need to provide them with living, hydrating foods so the damage can be reversed, and eating adrenal supportive snacks every 60-90 minutes.

These foods must have important nutrients, trace minerals, phytochemical compounds, critical enzymes and antioxidants in order to purge the damaging toxins from the body caused by the excess cortisol/adrenaline damage.  Additionally, we also need to add glucose-rich foods to restore the depleted adrenal glands and prevent the release of damaging hormones.

Some hydrating foods full of electrolytes, silica that help hair to grow are:

  • Coconut water 
  • Celery juice
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Red/ blue/black grapes
  • Pomegranate 
  • Apricots
  • Papaya
  • Cucumber
  • Turmeric
  • Nettle tea
  • Horsetail tea

 

 The re-growth process:

Now here’s the part you need to read carefully because I need you to be patient. I bolded that on purpose :)

It can take anywhere from 4-6 years for your hair to get back to the fullness you enjoyed when it was at its best. It will continue to grow thicker if you maintain a healthy diet and reduce stress. Read that again. 

Remember your hair has to grow from the hair follicle (imagine a newborn baby growing hair for the first time). New hairs will appear along your part, along the hairline near your forehead and also near your temples. It may help to think back to how long it takes for a child to get a full head of hair. If the child has fine hair, then it typically takes them to the age of 6 or 7 for this to happen. If a child has thick hair, then by age 4-5 they have a full head of hair. Put yourself in this scenario as your new hair growth will be like that of when you were a child.

Secondly, and this is very important; new hair growth will push out old hair. 

Which means your hair will actually be thinner than it was, to begin with, and at times you will be shedding hair, so don’t panic if you’re doing all the steps above, and it looks like you're not getting results. This is the normal hair-growth cycle.

By encouraging new hair growth, while there will be a period of time where it looks like the process is working in reverse, you’re actually growing new hair, while pushing out old hair and this will continue until all your hair follicles have produced new hair. Again, patience is key.

This cycle will continue to repeat itself until all your hair has grown in. I emphasise this period because it’s typically the time when clients start yelling and screaming at me that their hair is thinner than ever, and somehow it’s all my fault lol

My youngest sister at the age of 52 has the thickest head of hair she’s ever had in her life - her hair loss problems had begun in her 30’s - it’s also glossy and has a lustrous sheen.

 Maintenance:

Here are some steps to maintaining new hair growth and to continue to repair the damaged hair.

  • Eat before exercising 
  • Snack every 90 minutes on apples & dates or a banana or even a small salad with steamed potatoes etc to support the adrenals and provide glucose to your blood and liver.
  • Drink a silica-rich juice like cucumber juice at least 3-4 times a week or every day. 
  • Drink silica-rich teas such as horsetail and nettle teas.
  • Add turmeric root (not powder) to smoothies or soups for strong root growth - can also take turmeric supplements.
  • Option to add a safe and natural hair growth product after 3 months of seeing natural hair growth. Recommended: Vegamour hair serum