Weight gain, high blood pressure, mood swings—just thinking about them is enough to cause stress! And when you’re stressed, your cortisol levels increase too. A stress hormone, our bodies need it to function, but too much and you may have problems losing weight, sleeping at night and chronic fatigue too.
The best supplement to lower cortisol will assist your body in its stress response and balance your hormones when they’re out of whack. We’ve all heard people say “oh, she’s hormonal at the moment” but sometimes it might be true (as much as we hate to admit it!) I’m sure people probably accused Cersei of being hormonal in Game of Thrones.
But you don’t have to be a mad queen to suffer from stress, for many of us it’s a part of modern life. Trying to control your cortisol levels with supplements will offer many health benefits for a more stress-free life. Let’s look at what we can do to get rid of that stress and which is the best supplement to lower cortisol.
What Is Cortisol?
Hopefully, if you’ve read this far, you have a general understanding of what cortisol is. If not, how do you know you want to lower it? Put simply, cortisol is known as the ‘stress hormone’ and is part of the adrenal hormones.
A key player in the body’s natural fight or flight early warning system, cortisol works with adrenalin at times of stress. Should you come across a dragon walking down the street, your body needs the energy to make that decision to fight it or run away. Fortunately dragons aren’t real (don’t tell Daenerys) but unfortunately, stress is very real.
At times of emergency, cortisol is useful and even essential to the body’s function. But chronic stress throughout the day will cause higher levels of cortisol, putting you at greater risk of a host of physical and mental problems including:
- Anxiety or depression.
- Memory loss.
- Cognitive decline.
- Heart disease.
- Sleep problems.
- Weight gain.
- Chronic fatigue.
The following YouTube video gives a brief but a more detailed explanation of what role cortisol plays in the human body.
How Can We Lower Cortisol?
But there’s good news, there are many ways you can lower your cortisol levels without medication. Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands into circulation four times per day. The largest of these releases is the early morning one, at about 8 am, which gives you the energy to start the day. Cortisol levels should decline throughout the day, but long-term or repeated stress will cause them to spike.
Stress and Cortisol Levels
Reducing stress is the best way to lower your cortisol, but that’s not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes the kids disappearing may be the best stress relief I can get, but that maybe a bit extreme on a more permanent basis! Natural stress-relief methods include meditation, deep breathing exercises or relaxing outdoors.
Failing that just avoid looking for any dragons!
Regular Exercise to Lower Cortisol
Exercise is one of the best ways to fight high cortisol levels, but be careful not to over exercise. Excessive physical stress will have the same effect on cortisol levels as mental stress and cause them to spike. Thirty minutes a day will provide enough exercise to help control those cortisol levels.
Cortisol Levels and Sleep
Sleep is good. Ensuring you get enough sleep helps your body to rejuvenate itself and leads to a healthier and less stressful life. Cortisol levels should be at their lowest when you go to bed, the last thing you want is a night of stressful tossing and turning. Used with other natural ways of reducing cortisol, sleep can be an effective tool in lowering your cortisol levels.
Diet and Supplements
Many foods and herbs or botanicals can be a good way of controlling the production of cortisol. An anti-inflammatory diet high in fiber, antioxidants and essential nutrients can allow you to better control your weight and blood sugar levels. This will further reduce cortisol levels.
Natural Extracts That Lower Cortisol Levels
Certain botanical extracts like phosphatidylserine and ashwagandha are scientifically proven to help lower cortisol. Other botanicals lie Rhodiola rosea or ginkgo biloba have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to relieve stress and therefore reduce cortisol levels.
Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce cortisol levels in stressed humans, often by as much as 30 percent. Another commonly used extract phosphatidylserine blunts the cortisol response in humans too. Rhodiola rosea, another adaptogenic herb reduces cortisol and increase your resistance to stress, but is energizing rather than sedating—ideal for that chronic fatigue.
Studies have shown that botanicals like magnolia extract help to balance the effects of stress, including anxiety. A dose of 250 to 750 milligrams per day reduces nighttime cortisol levels to help with insufficient sleep through stress. Even vitamin C, better known for its immune boosting properties, will help to prevent elevated cortisol levels.
Best Supplement to Lower Cortisol
With so many different products available to lower your stress and cortisol levels, it can be useful to know which product is right for you. As with any new supplement regime, it’s always advisable to speak to your doctor first. We’ve focused on supplements with the primary aim of lowering cortisol rather than testosterone boosters or BCAAs which can also help to reduce cortisol. We looked at many of the top-selling supplements to help you find the best supplement to lower cortisol.
Although there are many cortisol blockers on the market sold for different reasons, how do we know if they actually work? If you’re looking to lose weight, they may help but they certainly won’t be a miracle weight loss drug the ads often claim. For lowering stress and increased feelings of relaxation, lowering cortisol levels will definitely help in addition to lifestyle changes you can make.
Many of the blends we’ve looked at include a variety of ingredients all aimed at lowering cortisol. Due to the high potency of its natural ashwagandha herb which has been proven by science to lower cortisol, the KSM-66 Ashwagandha from DailyNutra is, in our opinion, the best supplement to lower cortisol.
Using a highly potent KSM-66 strain of ashwagandha root, grown in the Siberian mountains, this age-old remedy for stress relief will help lower your cortisol for a stress-free day and more energy and focus. The capsules even come with a 100 percent lifetime guarantee, DailyNutra is that sure you’ll love them.