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I am Tired. Adrenal Fatigue or ...?

hello already excuse me for my bad english i’m french.
I am. 1b followed closely by 1a.

I have been tired for a long time, I wake up at night. during the day I am tired.

I train in MMA intensely.
I followed low carb diets two years ago by training hard. , fasting …

for 6 months I have tried to do only two small mma technical training a week to see.
taking every morning

tyrosine, phenylalanine, rhodiola, maca, alcar

in the evening asghawanda. tryptophan glycine magnesium valerian melatonin.

But I still sleep badly, the day I have more energy since I almost train more but that’s not it.

please help me I would like to quickly regain my energy, I want to train and prepare my big fights to come

Been tested for sleep apnea? Sounds like a shitload of stuff to be taking every night, but I could be wrong.

yes I was tested it is not his.
suddenly I want to stop the tyrosine phenylalanine maca style supplements. rhodiola I have been taking it for about 5 months. and I have been exhausted for at least 2 years. I think I got too into the red with fasting the low carb the intense training. in MMA my strong point is the aggressiveness the I look like a nice soft toy. tired

En fait, la fatigue surénalienne n’existe pas vraiment, pas dans le sens ou on sous-entend normalement.

La glande surénale ne se fatigue pas.

Voici plutôt ce qui se produit, et qui est très typique de ton cas (du coup tu fais tout ce qu’il faut pour avoir le problème LOL).

Tu souffres très fort probablement d’un problème associé au catécholamines (adrénaline, noradrénaline et dopamine). On tentera de trouver la gravité et le système touché plus tard.

Donc en fait ou le problème est “adrenal”, mais pas au niveau glandulaire.

La première chose a comprendre est que la cortisol et l’adrénaline sont lié: le cortisol entraîne la production d’adrénaline via la conversion de la nor-adrénaline (surtout au niveau du cerveau).

Plus tu relâche de cortisol, plus tu produira d’adrénaline.

Ok, au court terme ça te rend plus aggressif, fort, rapide, confiant, compétitif, moins patient, etc

Par contre si tu surproduits de l’adrénaline de façon chronique tu va tellement surcharger tes récepteurs que tu vas les rendre résistants à l’adrénaline (beta-adrenergic downregulation).

Donc ce qui arrive est que ton corps répond de moins en moins a l’adrénaline. Donc moins d’énergie, moi de motivation, plus de fatigue.

Au court terme tu peux compenser le problème est utilisant des stimulants de style pre-workout et caffeine. Le problème est que ceux-ci, si ils sont une béquille à court terme, vont en fait accentuer le problème en sur-stimulant les récepteurs adrénergiques encore plus et, tu l’as deviné, les désensibilisant encore plus!

Les neurostimulants comme la tyrosine peuvent aussi aider en augmentant la dopamine. Ça aide de 2 façons:

  1. En stimulant les récepteur dopaminergiques qui, comme l’adrénaline, augmentent la motivation et le niveau d’énergie.

  2. En augmentant le potentiel de production d’adrénaline (la dopamine est le précurseur de la nor-adrénaline et donc de l’adrénaline).

C’est moins pire que l’utilisation de stimulants, mais ça peut aussi amener certains problèmes:

  1. La supplémentation pour élever la dopamine a pour effet secondaire de baisser la sérotonine. Ce qui rend le sommeil et la gestion du stress encore plus difficile.

  2. Tu peux aussi désensibiliser les récepteurs dopaminergique. De plus, l’abus de liumière bleu provenant des téléviseurs, smartphone et laptop on un effet similaire (la nicotine aussi). Et si tu désensibilize ces récepteurs en plus des adrénergiques, c’est la fatigue, dépression et apathie totale.

Bon, il faut comprendre que le problème viens donc d’un excès d’adrénaline. Qui elle est dû à un excès de cortisol.

Dès le départ, un diète faible en glucides (ainsi que le jeun intermittent) augmente plus le cortisol, surtout si celle-ci est en déficit calorique.

La raison est qu’une des fonctions du cortisol est la mobilisation d’énergie stockée et aussi l’élévation du taux de sucre sanguin quand il est trop faible.

En passant, souvent un régime faible en glucides donne plus d’énergie, au court/moyen terme. La raison est simple: faible en glucides = plus de cortisol = plus d’adrénaline. Mais on a vue tantot qu’un surplus d’adrénaline au long terme sera cause de problèmes.

Si tu regarde tes trainings de MMA, ce sont des entraînements ou la fillière glycolitique (utilisation du glycogène/glucose comme source d’énergie) est fortement solicitée. Donc si ta diète est faible en glucides, tu produira encore plus de cortisol pour tenter de mobilizer ce que tu as de stocké ou de briser le muscle pour en faire des acides aminés qui seront utilisés par le foie pour produire du glucose.

Ironiquement, ta situation d’acompagnera souvent de problèmes de sommeil parce que bien que tes récepteurs adrénergiques sont désensibilisés à l’adrénaline, tu continu à en surproduire, ce qui te met dans une situation de merde: pas d’énergie mais pas capable de mettre ton cerveau à “off”.

De plus, si tu utilises des suppléments augmentant la dopamine tu vas baisser ta sérotonine, ce qui rendra le sommeil encore plus diffiicile.

Finalement, une diète faible en glucides va aussi baisser la sérotonine.


There’s a lot to it, hows nutrition? Overtraining is possible alone but very rare, if it is coupled with under eating and training hard. Now add in insomnia mostly caused by fight or flight mode being activated for quite some time. eat more and rest, a lot of rest it may seem overkill but its something you must do.

Thank you very much for your response. its been 6 months or i only train twice thirty minutes a week. and that I eat more carbohydrates especially in the evening since 1b. and I took all these supplements mentioned.

if I understand. to regain my true energy and personality.

more tyrosine, maca phenylalanine …

no more fasting.
still only two MMA technical training sessions, nothing else.

and during the day magnesium 4 times 250mgr.

no other supplements during the day or at bedtime.

what do you think please in how long i could train and hope to fight in competition?

No, not more tyrosine. You need to control your adrenaline production right now. Tyrosine (either via high protein/low carb meals or as a supplement), stimulants and supplements will only make the problem worse because they increase the production of dopamine which will get converted to adrenaline when serotonine levels are low.

Instead choose a different pathway to reach the same goal. Focus on the upregulation of serotonin and GABA (two main inhibitory neurotransmitters) to counter excessive adrenaline production. The body likes to keep dopamine and serotonine in balance so by decreasing adrenaline via food, supplementation and lifestyle strategies, you will automatically increase dopamine reserves and feel much better.


  • Sleep: learn to understand and appreciate the value of good sleep. Sleep drastically improves your physical and mental health and balances you out. Whenever you’re sleep deprived your sympathetic nervous system will be activated more often but also much more easily. Basically, you will be stressed out easily, more often and have a harder time to calm yourself down. Sleep is the foundation that supports all other lifestyle improvements like exercise and healthy nutrition. You can eat, supplement and train perfectly but if your sleep is shit your results will always be limited to the quality and the amount of your sleep. This is the reason why I wrote this down first. If you’re not familiar with proper sleep hygiene I highly recommend you start educating yourself on the subject. Two awesome sources are ‘sleep smarter’ from shawn stevenson and ‘why we sleep’ from Matthew Walker. These books will give you all the practical tools you need to understand and dramatically improve/value your sleep quality/quantity and decrease your stress levels. One of the best tips I can give you straight away is to stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. The human body loves habit and adjusts badly to different sleeping/waking times. If you go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday, you will restore your circadian rhythm and therefore fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and wake up feeling much more refreshed!

  • Food: drastically increase your carb intake, especially if MMA is your sport. You don’t have to eat carbs at every meal but definitely consume them peri-workout and have a big portion in the evening. Look for carbs sources like fruits, all kinds of potatoes (sweet potato in the evening works especially well because it increases melatonin production), healthy unprocessed grains like brown rice, quinoa, (gluten free) oats etc. Carbs are the best “drug” to increase serotonine levels because they directly decrease cortisol output (which will also decrease adrenaline). Spread protein over every meal with a good source of fiber and healthy fats. For GABA production I would make use of fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, apples, pears, berries and brown rice. They either contain prebiotics or probiotics which increase gut bacteria that produce GABA. If serotonine is the break pedal, GABA is the handbrake. It is the neurotransmitter that reduces neural activation the most when sufficient levels are produced. By the way, the fruits, the fiber and proper hydration will drastically increase gut health which could also make you feel more energized (via better absorption of nutrients) and more relaxed (because the vagus nerve that connects gut and brain gets less agitated, this is often an overlooked factor of increased sympathetic nervous system activation). These foods will also provide you with enough B vitamins, minerals like iron and magnesium and a bunch of other nutrients that are necessary for the production of neurotransmitters like serotonine and GABA.

  • Supplements: do not focus on supplements that increase dopamine (now is not the time to do that). Instead focus on increasing dopamine via a different pathway, namely the serotonine pathway. Glycine (5-10 g post-workout), 5 HTP (200 mg before bed) and L-tryptophan are good supplements to consider. If you want to have a bit of cafeine to pump yourself up, go for green tea instead of coffee. It will provide you with a small amount of cafeine but also with L-theanine, an amino acid that balances your neurotransmitter levels so you don’t get amped up too much. Use magnesium bisglycinate or taurate 3-4 times (250-500 mg) per day for a couple of weeks, then lower it to 1 or 2 doses for post-workout and/or prebed. Also use zinc sulfate to support your immune system which will help with recovery. For increased GABA production look for lemon balm (1-2 droppers depending on the dose), L-taurine (2 grams post workout), L-theanine and chamomille (tea).

  • Lifestyle: find ways to decrease your stress load (this isn’t necessarily mental stress, physical stress also has a direct impact on mental performance). Take daily walks (in nature or wherever you feel good and relaxed), take massages or use self massaging techniques, use a sauna/hot bath/hot shower 1.5 to 2 hours before bed to bring down your core body temperature (this will make it easier to fall asleep), reduce or completely avoid blue light 30-90 minutes before bed, read books, enjoy music etc. Reduce training frequency and volume by 40-50% and increase rest intervals for a couple of weeks until you start to feel better and more rested. If you can, do your cardio/boxing sessions and weight training sessions separately (4 hours of rest in between).

Over time this protocol will bring back the sensitivity of your adrenergic receptors and normalize your dopamine/serotonine ratio’s. The result will be more energy, more drive and a much better overall feeling which will make you feel like your old self again.

You need to give yourself the time to get there though and not want things to progress to fast. Listen to your body (via physical or emotional cues). If it’s not a good time to train, then don’t train. Like coach says, we often fall into the trap of doing way too much way to often to get faster results. Unfortunately this doesn’t work in the long run and there will come a point where you will feel the backlash.

So my final advice would be to really think about how you’re going to program your training frequency/volume/intensity in the future to manage fatigue and optimize training performance. This way you won’t ever find yourself stuck in this hole again.

Best of luck.

thank you very much this answer is very complete thank you very much.

if I understood correctly in addition only
magnesium, glycine. 5htp.
no asghawanda or rhodiola style plant?

for the workouts I did before 2 conditioning workouts per week and 10 week mma and grappling workouts.

since October I only train twice at low intensity.
I lost physically.

do you think I can add a little?

regarding sleep I usually fall asleep quickly
but I wake up several times and also to urinate.

concerning carbohydrates in quantity its must be a lot there?
Thank you

You can use them sure, altough I would suggest using ashwagandha instead of rhodiola because some people report that rhodiola makes them even more anxious. You could say that ashwagandha has a bit more subtle, less impactful value than rhodiola but it definitely helps.

Another surprisingly good supplement to consider is creatine. We all know that creatine increases training performance as a supplier of phosphate in the phosphagen system. But creatine is also beneficial for brain health. Creatine can improve cognitive performance (memory, thinking speed, slightly increased focus when sleep deprived) and supplementing with creatine decreases the need for the liver to make creatine. Important amino acids like lysine, arginine and methionine are used to make creatine but these amino acids are also critical for gene regulation, hormone production, protein synthesis, cell regeneration and detoxification. By reducing the need for your body to produce it’s own creatine, you can increase your amino acid budget to support these processes and increase your recovery capacities.

For the sake of not using to many supplements I believe you get more out of magnesium, glycine and 5 HTP in my opinion.

Honestly, it really depends on your physical and mental recovery. Sure you might add a little training if you start to move, feel and think better. Just be careful not too overdo it too fast and listen to the cues your body gives you:

  • Feeling tired, lethargic, no drive? This probably means you are using too much training volume → solution: keep the same training intensity, decrease volume up to 50% if you need to and rest/eat more.

  • Having issues with sleep/concentration, headaches? This probably means you are training with too much intensity too often → solution: decrease training intensity and training frequency and rest/eat more.

Remember, training is NOT the only thing that comes into play if you suffer from recovery issues. Look at your overall lifestyle and try to identify the things that impair your capacity to recover from training.

How fast do you fall asleep? If you always fall asleep within 5 minutes, chances are you’re sleep deprived and you need to take a close look at your sleep hygiene (refer to the sleep recommendation in my previous message).

Waking up several times and having to urinate can have different causes: drinking too much fluids before bed, an overburdened liver, low blood sugar etc. However in your case it might be due to sympathetic overactivation. If you suffer from an imbalance between dopamine and serotonine, you also suffer from an imbalance between cortisol and melatonin (cortisol increases the conversion of dopamine to adrenaline and serotonine is a precursor to melatonin).

Your sleep drive might be high, but if your serotonine levels are low, you might not produce enough melatonin to support deep, undisturbed sleep throughout the night. Serotonin and melatonin keep you in that state. You could try melatonin but honestly I would opt for 5 HTP in this case. It sure helped me to stay asleep throughout the night.

Indeed, definitely increase carbs for now. Yes, high amounts of carbs are not ideal for performance optimization in a type 1B but you are currently not in a type 1B situation. Chances are you moved to the right of the neurotyping spectrum. In order for you to get back to your original neurotype, you need to use carbs to get you there. Start using them intra- workout, post workout and in the evening. Once you are back in your familiar state, you can start to decrease carbs again and only use them post-workout and in the evening. Although I would suggest to always implement them post-workout and in the evening to support relaxation and good, restful sleep.

thank you very much for this precious help.

i will add asghawanda morning and evening and 5htp in the evening.
for carbohydrates I will integrate eb into all meals except the first.

regarding sleep I fall asleep in 20 minutes.
I wake up to urinate even though I stop drinking at 4 p.m.
on the other hand despite that I’m not fat. , I have a bloated stomach even on an empty stomach.
thanks again

Based on your answer, overproduction of cortisol is most likely the issue. I’m assuming you mean that you hold a lot of water in your stomach/abdominal area?

So you can and I would advise you to also hydrate in the evening (dehydration can also impair sleep quality). Carbs and the supplement protocol mentioned above will support the rest.

by bloated I want that even when I wake up with an empty stomach. I have a swollen belly at the navel like a pregnant woman. while my abs are visible.

I will order doctor’s best 5htp.

as I am in France I do not have access to all the brands

my goal is to rebuild quickly. I had to cancel important fights.
if i take more supplements its not going to speed up my “recovery.” Basically i have to act like a type 3 and not a 1b.

how long do you think before you can train more than twice thirty minutes a week. so that I can resume my rhythm and accept my competitions?
saw posts to you for cases similar to mine.
you advise magnesium 3 or 4 times a day.
glycine 3grams 3 or 4 times also.

rhodiola in the morning.
and curcumin (if I eat turmeric is it ok?)

as well as omega 3 (how much epa and dha?)

you also recommend more tryptophan than 5htp I believe.

and I believe that you advise not inositol nor gaba but phenibut.

is I relayed your advice?
and are they applicable to my case?

Thank you for taking the time to write this up, it resonates very much with me on a deep level as I have gone through pretty much everything you have discussed here. Adrenal fatigue fitted me perfectly given my history and symptoms. I was dealing with issues like feeling too wired to sleep, waking up in the middle of the night with a rush of cortisol & adrenaline, yet during the day absolutely no energy to do anything and exercise intolerance.

So we want to regulate cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine. A couple questions if possible.

  1. Would you recommend using beta blocker like Propranolol to blunt the adrenergic response and resensitise the adrenaline receptors?
  2. And “dopamine fasts” to regulate the dopamine receptors?
  3. I am already using melatonin, aswhagandha & Phosphatidylserine to regulate cortisol and circadian rhythm, but I now see I need to target Adrenaline & dopamine as well??

Any other suggestions to recover from this illness would be fantastic.

Thank you very much

Tu devrais prendre 1-2 semaines off avant toute chose et focuser sur le sommeil

have already cut and as said above it’s been 6 months or I only do two 30-minute training sessions of low intensity technical mma. no sparring no physical preparation nothing. and I still have my nocturnal waking and fatigue problems.
I just stopped all dopamine boosting supplements.
and i will eat like a type 3 for a while

a question I was given bdes 5htp magnesium supplements. glycine for serotonin.
what more can I take for the gaba?
passionflower. hops or …?

You need rest

normally I should fight in three months. This is why I want to upgrade the package to the add-on level.
I have already started putting carbohydrates in 4 meals today. rest level I do nothing except my 30 minutes twice a week at very low intensity

I understand your frustration and if you insist on buying more supplements to speed up the process, you can do that. Just remember supplements only give you a slight edge on someone who doesn’t use them.

Taurine, lemon balm, magnesium taurate, l-theanine and tea’s like camomille and valerian all increase the amount of GABA or inhibit its breakdown. For foods see my previous posts.

If you want to speed up the process, SLEEP is your best ally. It is more powerful than any supplement, food or training regimen. Take dr. Breus chronotype quiz to find out how much sleep you need and when’s the best time for you to go to sleep. Once you finetuned your sleep and wake times to your circadian rhythm, stick to the same schedule until your fight. You will be amazed at what sleep can do for you, plus the best thing is that it’s free!

Believe me or don’t but i’m telling you, quality sleep beats everything and will get you to your goal faster.