Stress produces cortisol. And cortisol wreaks havoc on testosterone production and adrenal health. Moreover, it makes you age quicker. So here’s the plan for reducing cortisol.
1. Eliminate caffeine
It’s the quickest means of reducing cortisol production. One 12 oz. cup of coffee increases cortisol levels by 30% in one hour! And this cortisol can remain elevated for 18 hours. This will probably be the easiest way for you to reduce cortisol.
2.Use cortisol reducing supplements
Supplements such as phosphatidylserine (PS) can reduce the effects of cortisol and have been shown to lower cortisol by 25% when taken prior to exercise. PS helps remove toxins from your cells and reduces stress induced damage. Take 400-600 mg twice a day, with fats, both before exercise and at bedtime.
You can also “load” PS like you do creatine. Take 200-300mg, 3 times per day (200-400mg prior to working out). After 1 week of loading, maintain your phosphatidylserine level with 200mg per day. (PS at these levels can be very expensive).
Also, take 1000 – 1500mg of Vitamin C per day. Vitamin C lowers cortisol and reduces aromatase which converts testosterone into estrogen.
Ashwagandha, also know as Indian Ginseng, is a natural and safe herb that can reduce anxiety and lower stress without the harmful side effects of prescription antidepressants. There is also some evidence that ashwagandha can lower cholesterol, improve brain power, and even fight cancer. Take 500mg of ashwagandha daily just before bed for reducing cortisol.
Rhodiola rosea is a plant that grows in cold climates. It’s been shown to improve mood and alleviate depression. Recommended dosage is 100 – 200mg once or twice per day, taken in the morning (if 2 times per day, take the second around lunch). These supplements and herbs will both reduce cortisol levels and boost the immune system.
3. Get more sleep and deeper sleep
A 50-year-old produces night time cortisol levels over 30 times higher than the typical 30-year-old. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced at night that can help regulate sleep and wake cycles. Better yet, check out these tips for better sleep.
4. Adjust your diet
Eat frequent, small meals throughout the day avoiding foods high in sugar and refined carbs. This helps keep your insulin from spiking and producing cortisol. Do not skip meals and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Before weight training, drink a shake with 40 grams of whey protein and then follow your workout with another 40 gram whey protein shake combined with 60 grams of sugary carbs. This reduces the potential for cortisol to break down your lean tissue.
5. Exercise regularly and keep your workouts under 1 hour
At about an hour, growth hormone and testosterone production taper off and cortisol kicks in.
6. Do not overtrain
Don’t work out more than 2 days in a row. Give your muscles time to recuperate. Use stress reduction techniques.
7. Meditate, listen to relaxation tapes, try self hypnosis
Even deep breathing exercises can eliminate much of the stress that triggers cortisol production. Reducing cortisol can be as easy as relaxing.
Please continue reading Better Body After 50 and check out Part 2: How To Boost Testosterone Naturally.