What are supplements to reduce cortisol?

What are supplements to reduce cortisol?

Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone cortisol”, is one of the body's primary stress hormone that is released in response to stress and can affect many different functions in the body.

This hormone plays a crucial role in helping your body respond to dangerous or stressful situations. In this article, we'll discuss what cortisol is and how it affects your brain health.

What Is Cortisol?

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands. It helps regulate various processes in the body, such as blood pressure and immune system function. When your body experiences stress, your adrenal glands release cortisol into your bloodstream. Elevated cortisol levels can help you react quickly to danger or stressful situations. However, when cortisol levels remain too high for too long due to chronic stress or over-exposure to stressful events, it can have negative effects on your overall health and well-being.

How Does Cortisol Affect Your Brain?

When cortisol levels are elevated for too long, it can lead to changes in your brain chemistry which can have a negative impact on brain health. Too much cortisol has been linked to decreased cognitive performance, increased anxiety, and depression.

It has also been linked to lower production of serotonin—a chemical in the brain responsible for regulating moods—which can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Additionally, elevated cortisol levels can interfere with sleep patterns which further contributes to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

How Can You Decrease Stress Hormones?

In order to decrease stress hormones like cortisol and maintain healthy brain function, there are several things you can do: exercise regularly; practice relaxation techniques.

  • eat a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids

  • get enough sleep; limit caffeine intake; avoid smoking

  • reduce alcohol consumption; treat anxiety with therapy

  • supplement with amino acids like GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) which helps regulate moods;

  • take supplements like B vitamins which help reduce stress hormones;

  • get regular massages which have been shown to decrease cortisol levels significantly

  • practice mindful meditation which has been shown to help reduce stress levels significantly.

Supplements to lower cortisol levels

When the body's main stress hormone, cortisol, is elevated beyond normal levels, it can cause a multitude of issues. High cortisol impacts one's sleep quality and leads to weight gain due to an increase in appetite.

It also impacts the brain and nervous system, resulting in increased feelings of irritability and difficulty concentrating or focusing.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant known for reducing inflammation in the body. It has been found to be effective in decreasing cortisol levels and therefore reducing stress levels.

Vitamin C helps improve overall health by boosting immunity, fighting free radicals, and maintaining proper hormone balance.


Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps regulate cortisol levels. Research shows that magnesium deficiency can cause elevated cortisol levels which can lead to anxiety and poor sleep quality.

Taking a daily supplement of magnesium can help people better manage their stress hormones and maintain healthy cortisol levels throughout the day.


Ashwagandha is a herb that has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for stress relief and anxiety management.

Recent research suggests it may also be effective at lowering cortisol levels in the body by helping the body adapt to stressful situations more effectively.

Studies have found ashwagandha to be beneficial for balancing hormones, improving mood, and promoting restful sleep.

Amino Acid

Certain amino acids like L-theanine have been shown to lower cortisol levels by helping the body cope with stress more effectively.

Amino acids are naturally occurring compounds found in foods like eggs, dairy products, fish, nuts, and legumes which are essential for optimal health and well-being.

Supplementing with amino acids can help reduce feelings of anxiety while promoting relaxation and improving moods.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is a herbal adaptogen that has been used traditionally as a natural remedy for fatigue and low energy levels caused by stress or exhaustion.

Recent studies suggest it may also help reduce cortisol levels in the body leading to improved mental clarity, focus, and concentration while enhancing physical performance during times of high stress or fatigue.

The Dangers of High Cortisol Levels

Weight Gain

High cortisol levels can lead to increased appetite, cravings for unhealthy snacks, and an inability to lose weight despite following a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

This is because the body prioritizes short-term energy sources over long-term energy sources when it senses stress. In other words, the body will burn off energy quickly, leading to weight gain.


People with high cortisol levels often report difficulty sleeping at night, even when tired or relaxed.

This is because the body does not know how to switch off from its stressed state; as a result, cortisol continues to be released during sleep and causes insomnia.


People with chronically high cortisol levels can develop depression due to the constant release of stress hormones in their bodies.

As well as causing insomnia, this can lead to feelings of worthlessness, negative thoughts, and an inability to concentrate on tasks or enjoy activities

Suppressed Immunity

Studies have shown that people with consistently elevated cortisol levels are more likely to get sick due to suppressed immunity.

This means that even mild illnesses like colds or flu can last longer than usual or cause more severe symptoms than normal in people with chronically high cortisol levels.


Cortisol is designed to give us a burst of energy in order to cope with stressful situations; however, if there is no ‘off’ switch and the body remains in this state for too long (as happens with chronically high cortisol levels), then exhaustion sets in as the body struggles to keep up with demand for energy without being able to rest and recover properly between episodes of stress.


With so many potential side effects associated with high cortisol levels, it's important to take steps towards reducing them naturally whenever possible using supplements such as vitamin C, magnesium, ashwagandha, amino acids, or Rhodiola Rosea.

By incorporating these supplements into your routine, you can help lower your overall stress hormone production while enjoying all of the associated benefits, such as improved sleep quality, increased energy level, better focus, enhanced physical performance, reduced anxiety, improved moods, improved immunity, etc.

All of these benefits combined will ultimately lead you down the path toward better overall health.

Want to learn more about cortisol? Read our articles about how to reduce cortisol and how does your body tell you that your cortisol levels are high?

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