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What is the effect of hormones on muscles?

Kelly Traver
Internal Medicine

Muscles are mostly genetically programmed, but they are also influenced by hormones such as testosterone, which makes muscles grow. Because women do not have high testosterone levels, they do not "bulk up" the way men do when they lift weights. Other hormones influence muscle mass, too. For example, cortisol (produced by stress) can cause muscles to atrophy if it is present in high amounts for long periods of time. Muscles will also grow if they feel they are needed, and this is where resistance exercise plays a role.

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