Here’s how to reduce cortisol and to reverse the consequences of elevated stress hormones on testosterone and aging. In fact, reducing cortisol and maintaining adrenal health can help boost testosterone.
In your plan to optimize hormones, you want to naturally boost testosterone and growth hormone and reduce estrogen and cortisol. And you want to control the impact of insulin. the production of some and naturally controlling or diminishing the effects of others.
Growth hormone and testosterone are optimized by brief intense fitness regimes – see Bodyweight Workout Routines. Diets focused on higher fat intake and reduced feeding time (daily intermittent fasting) also impact boosting growth hormone and testosterone – see Hormone Boosting Diet.
You reduce cortisol with a focus on how you strength train, your diet, and sleep.
How Does Cortisol Affect Testosterone?
Cortisol is a destructive “stress” hormone with the opposite effects of anti-aging growth hormone. It impacts the actions of testosterone by reducing hormone receptor sensitivity. So, cortisol, in effect, lowers testosterone. It can also play a role in gaining body fat around the belly which further effects your estrogen levels – see How To Reduce Estrogen.
What Is Cortisol
Cortisol is of a class of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids which are produced in your adrenal cortex. The term glucocorticoids comes from glucose, cortex, and steroid.
As mentioned earlier, cortisol is produced in response to stress and for our human predecessors, this stress was a physical stress. In ancient times, the release of cortisol was essential in preparing our bodies for fight or flight action. In fact, cortisol increases alertness and decreases our need to sleep.
With the release of cortisol, glucose becomes available for energy in the muscles. Growth and digestion are temporarily limited, other metabolic activities are curtailed, and most energy is directed towards survival.
How To Reduce Cortisol
Here’s how to reduce cortisol and how to reverse the impact of elevated cortisol with better adrenal health.
1. Get enough deep sleep
Fifty-year olds produce 30 times higher levels of cortisol at night than do typical thirty-year olds. Taking melatonin supplements can help you sleep better and regulate sleep cycles.
2. Remove caffeine
You can reduce cortisol naturally and quickly by eliminating all caffeine intake. In fact, just (1) cup of coffee can increase cortisol by 30%.
3. Avoid insulin spikes and balance blood sugar
Avoid insulin spikes by prolonging your first meal of the day and eat in a shorter “eating window” during the day. Stay away from foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates and consume your carbohydrates later in the day.
See The Renegade Diet for more details.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) can reduce the impact of cortisol and can lower cortisol by as much as 25% when you take it prior to exercising. Take 400-600 mg twice a day, with fats, both before exercise and at bedtime. Take 1000mg of Vitamin C each day. Vitamin C can lower cortisol.
Ashwagandha can lower stress and reduce anxiety. Take 500mg of ashwagandha each day prior to bedtime.
Also, to reduce cortisol . . .
5. Workout regularly and aim for workouts under 1 hour
Growth hormone release and testosterone production slow down and taper at about 1 hour after starting exercise. Then cortisol production starts.
6. Don’t over train & limit excessive cardio training
Follow a training plan that allows full recovery between workouts. For most people this means not working out intensely for 2 days in a row.
7. Reduce stress
Stress triggers cortisol production. Problems at work, marital issues, problems at work, arguments with loved ones, and sleep deprivation are examples of some of the stress in our modern world.
For reducing cortisol, incorporate stress reduction and relaxation into your day and reduce the potential for cortisol increase. Self hypnosis, meditation, and other relaxation techniques work well.
Reduce Estrogen and Cortisol
Reducing estrogen and cortisol is critical to men’s health. Though estrogen is thought of as a female hormone, it’s also found in men in small amounts. However, men should have testosterone levels 10 times higher than their estrogen levels. Too much estrogen can kill your free testosterone levels.
How Cortisol and Stress Affect Insulin
Insulin is “storage” or “transportation” hormone that moves energy into your cells. When insulin levels are high, your body stores glycogen and fat. Constant overeating produces too much insulin and can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistant cells struggle to get energy from the blood stream.
Cortisol, on the other hand, mobilizes stored energy into readily available form such as glucose. Interestingly, insulin and cortisol have similar effect on weight gain.
In the short term, cortisol and insulin play opposite roles. But in the long term, cortisol actually raises insulin. Here’s how . . .
Modern forms of stress increase cortisol, but there is no intense physical exertion afterwards to lower blood glucose. So, if you’re under constant stress, you’re glucose levels stay elevated. In fact, your blood glucose can remain elevated for months at a time.
And this chronic elevation in glucose has been shown to trigger the release of insulin. Constant stress leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels which leads to increased insulin. Bottom line, insulin causes obesity and especially concerning, belly fat.
The right diet can impact insulin levels and hormone production. You should eat a diet consisting of 35% high quality proteins such as eggs and lean meats, 45% low-glycemic, slow burning carbs, and 15% fats. Fats should be monounsaturated such as olive oil. An optimal diet is also critical to reduce cortisol. PQQ and Ubiquinol can also help with balancing blood sugar levels.
See Men’s Supplements for effective testosterone supplements.
HGH Boosters can naturally increase growth hormone levels.
For a “blueprint” to increase HGH and boost IGF1 naturally, with all the details and proven plans, see Better Body After 50.