Muscle loss and fat gain… Brain fog and low sex drive… Fatigue and depression… These are just some of the symptoms of chronically high cortisol levels.
Cortisol is one of the principal stress hormones. Along with adrenaline, it kicks off the initial stress response to any challenges you face, whether they’re physical, mental, nutritional, emotional, social, behavioral, etc. In today’s modern world, many people are dealing with excessive cortisol levels from the ongoing stresses of life paired with an inappropriate diet that accelerates this stress response.
Obviously, if reducing cortisol is the goal, it’s important to take steps towards both lowering the stress you’re faced with and your body’s ability to cope with it. But what if there were certain compounds that could accelerate the reduction in stress within your body? Nutrients that could be used to keep cortisol low and give you that extra edge in the battle against stress?
Luckily, such supplements DO exist, and they work very well in supporting your body’s ability to handle stress, lowering cortisol and the other stress hormones in the process.
The Negative Effects Of Cortisol
Before we dive into the top supplements that can help you on how to reduce cortisol, what exactly does cortisol do in your body? The primary reason cortisol is released is to break down amino acids from muscles into glucose to be used as fuel by your cells and to maintain blood sugar.
LEARN MORE: What Are the Effects of High Cortisol Levels
In the short-term, this is not only very useful, but critical for your survival. You need cortisol to function properly and cope with stressors. In fact, you wouldn’t even be able to get out of the bed in the morning without cortisol.
But when this stress hormone remains elevated in the long-term, it signals an increase in the other stress hormones, shifting your body’s environment to a survival, scarcity state where higher body functions are decreased.
The 5 Best Supplements To Reduce Cortisol
Since cortisol is so chronically elevated in today’s world, it’s critically important to take steps to reduce it. If you can bring cortisol back into balance, it’s a big step in the right direction towards bringing your body out of the scarcity state, pushing it towards a state of abundance and high energy (what we called moving up the Spectrum of Health).
That’s where supplements come in. While changing things like lifestyle and diet are crucial on how to lower cortisol, supplements can give you a big advantage, and it would be foolish to ignore that advantage.
Below are the top 5 supplements we recommend for reducing cortisol.
1. Phosphaditylserine (PS)
In simple words, phosphatidylserine is a type of fat that can be found in every cell membrane of the human body that also contains the mineral phosphorus. Several human studies have found out that phosphatidylserine improves cognitive function, attention and memory. Not to mention that PS is also known as being one of the top supplements for reducing cortisol, fatigue, ADHD symptoms and cognitive decline.
Phosphatidylserine has countless human results, along with an FDA approved health claim regarding its ability to reverse neurodegenerative disease in humans, which is due to its naturally potent action on nourishing the brain’s neurotransmitters and hormonal health (and also mental health).
You cannot go wrong with taking phosphatidylserine to reduce cortisol. This is at the top of the list for a reason, which is why we added it to our own natural cortisol-lowering supplement, Cortigon. (Click here if you want to learn more about Cortigon.)
2. Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract
Ginkgo biloba is another heavily researched supplement that is great for reducing cortisol. It is a plant extract that was used in Chinese medicine for a very long time.
There have been human studies that show a reduction of rise in blood pressure and cortisol release during stress by ginkgo biloba extract in healthy volunteers. This means that in times when you are stressed out, ginkgo biloba extract can help limit the amount of cortisol released.
In studies performed on animals, ginkgo biloba has been shown shown to attenuate the affects of acute stress. Ginkgo biloba leaf extract is definitely one to add to your cortisol-reducing arsenal, and the most convenient way to get it is through supplementation.
3. Choline Bitartrate
Choline bitartrate is found in many foods such as eggs, meat, dairy and more. The human body also produces a little bit of it too. Even though choline is easily accessible through food, a large majority of the population is deficient in it.
Choline is great for improving memory and focus, but is also great for reducing cortisol and anxiety. There was a study that showed humans who had lower amounts of choline in their body during and after surgery had a greater chance of elevating cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone, prolactin and β-endorphin concentrations. There was also a study that showed choline can reduce immune inflammation and suppress oxidative stress in patients with asthma.
Choline should be taken as a precautionary to make sure you aren’t deficient in it. The more deficient you are in choline, the more likely you may be to have elevated cortisol in stressful situations.
4. Ashwagandha (KSM-66)
Ashwagandha is a potent herb in Ayurvedic medicine, traditionally used to promote relaxation and healing. Recent research has shed light1 on the powerful effects this herb has for lowering stress and cortisol.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the research on Ashwagandha used a specific strain, one called KSM-66, which is far more potent than other strains. This is precisely why we we included the KSM-66 strain of ashwagandha in our best-selling testosterone boosting supplement, Testro-X.
Theanine is another amino acid that works to calm your body2, and it’s one of the main reasons drinking tea can help reduce stress. Not only can theanine help reduce chronic stress, but it can also protect your brain from the harmful effects of cortisol, preventing the declines in memory and performance that usually occur.
Theanine is said to work by boosting alpha brain wave activity, leading to a calm focus with a feeling of relaxation. Since theanine has so many brain-protective and stress-lowering effects, it’s a good idea to drink tea containing theanine or to simply supplement with it.
Fight Back Against Stress
In the modern world, where stress is high and cortisol production seems to run rampant, it’s more important than ever to take action to fight back against stress. This obviously means making the appropriate diet and lifestyle changes to minimize the stress you face while also supporting your body’s ability to cope with the stress you do face.
But one of the most important tools we have for reducing stress and supporting our bodies are stress-lowering nutrients found in supplements, specifically phosphaditylserine (PS), ginkgo biloba leaf extract, choline bitartrate, ashwagandha (KSM-66) and L-theanine.
If you are wondering how to get the greatest cortisol lowering supplements in one unique formula, rather than buying each one individually, then I recommend looking into our natural supplement called Cortigon.
Cortigon is our all-natural stress-fighting formula developed by co-founder and Duke Neuroscience grad Christopher Walker, as a result of his decade of research experience in the fields of neuroscience, men’s health and human endocrinology.