T Nation

Combatting the Cortisol Response

I have a highly stresful lifestyle and realize that I have a higher than normal Cortisol response. Heavy training, working night shifts, working in an ER, supervising others, problems with the bf and being very busy in general are all contributing to the subsequent stress response, and in terms of bodybuilding, to put it plainly, I don’t want to put on abdominal fat.

I haven’t been reading as well as I should, so was wondering what kinds of measures ppl do to combat cortisol?

I have just started a supplement routine of glutamine, calcium, magnesium and vitamin-D at bedtime, and twenty minutes before working a night shift.

Any information would be very welcomed. Thank you!!


I also have a very high level of stress and therefore a very high cortisol level. I am having a hard time losing body fat because of it (I eat very clean and workout alot so it is not that). I would like any info on this subject too! Thanks.

I suggest antioxidants.

Vit. c
Green tea

These really help me. I am stressed out as hell right now also. That and as good a diet as you can get.

Hope this helps.

Cortislim is the bomb

I recall reading the Blood Type Diet. Now, while I think this is mostly a crock, I have received some nuggets of truth from it.

One of these nuggets was that people with Type A blood carry higher levels of cortisol than the other blood types. He sited some study to prove this, I don’t know which one.

Anyhow, he recommended doing things like yoga, drinking chamomile tea, green tea, and even playing golf. However, golf stresses me out. I don’t find it relaxing.

That being said I think there could be good results just by taking an hour a day to unwind and relax.

I have type A blood and I tend to hold on to the fat more so than most. Just something to consider. I don’t believe most of what this guy says, but I can see the cortisol thing from my own experience.

Phosphatidyl Serine at 300mg a day seems to work pretty well, up to 800mg was shown to have the best cortisol drop. I believe 30%. It is kind of expensive. Also Inuslin is counterproductive to cortisol. By eating frequently and keeping Inuslin levels steady it helps. Also green tea, antixidants, 7-keto to name a few have effects on cortisol. Powe Drive might even have some postitive effects.

Here’s what I reccomend:

300-600 mg P.S.

200-300 mg Rhodiola Rosea

500- 1 gram ALCAR

1-2 grams vitamin C

1-2 grams Green tea extract

Optional supps.

Piracetam for 3-4 weeks at anywhere from 2-4 grams a day.

Phenibut for 2 no longer than 2 weeks/preferably when you know you are going to be under ALOT of stress. It’s very helpful in these conditions but like many benzodiazapanes it can be somewhat addictive. Plus your body becomes used to it very quickly.

Methoxy, the source I’ll reccomend carries it but I’m not too impressed compared to my exp. with methoxy-7. So I’d wait until Biotest comes out w/their new version.

Around a month’s supply of all the first few items can be bought for around $80 or so. PM me and I’ll tell you where to go. Furthermore, trying to pick up some books on meditation may be a decent idea. Granted I know you’re busy but just like exercise/mediation will help make you a more efficient/ happy person during your hectic day. As for the boyfriend issue simple. Just dump him fly me out to Hawaii and I’ll gladly serve your every whim or desire. Just kidding :slight_smile: Seriously though, in terms of the relationship unless you really think you’re going “the distance” with this guy you should ask yourself one thing. “Is this more of a burden then a joy, and if so for how long has it been this way?” Anyway good luck.

If you store bodyfat near your belly button that means high cortisol.
If you store it in your legs it has more to do with estrogen levels and growth hormone.

A few things to help with cortisol.
#1 a good solid post workout shake. Fast acting carbs, protien and aminos.
This is the only way to drive that cortisol down post workout.

#2 Cut out or cut back cardio. Switch to hard interval work for 12-20min 3 times a week. Go 1min hard rest as much as you need and hit it again.

#3 PS is a good supplement and I also heard Reishi mushroom extract works well.

#4 Flax fiber is supposed to get estrogens and or cortisol out of the intestinal tract. The fiber found in broccli has a profound effect as well.

#5 Proper amounts vitamins and minerals.
ZMA, Calcium, Vitamin C, Anti oxidants.

#6 Sleep

#7 Keep all workouts under 60-90 min including warm up.

Before you do any of that get your blood work done your cortisol may not be high after all.

WOW, Great advice, everyone!! Thank you!

Wide~ thanx for the bf advice…your timing is impeccable. Strongly considering changing that situation…


i’ll second the Phos. Serine. although i have read a few things tha say only the one derived from animals (cow?) is good for this reason. the other stuff, made from soy isnt as effective. either way… it won’t hurt.

also things to support the adrenals are good. taking baths with sea salt, epsom salt and baking soda is really good.

learning to deal with the stress in a more positive way is also critical. if you don’t get ‘stressed’ out as bad from the same situation, your body won’t react with the same affect. you will adapt to the stress or you will get sick after time.

also, stress is positive for the body to be able to act under tense sitiation, such as in the hospital. of course, sustained stress fatigues the adrenals. but, as long as you can USE the stress hormones for some type of exercise/movement etc. they won’t have as much of the negative side affects, such as heart problems. i had a very stressful job and wasn’t able to learn to relax at it, and i developed a heart murmur. it went away after quitting the job! much to young for that mess.

good luck china doll!

Thank you Seminole Chick! That’s great advice! All those studies about hospital night shift workers experiencing long-term stress response…there are a lot of crusty, irritable, burned-out, obese ER nurses, let me tell ya… A warm bath in epsom salt sounds great…I’ll try that after my shift tomorrow…sounds like a great way to unwind. I will look into some of the supps that I haven’t heard of as well.

You guys give great advice!!

Love and Aloha,

Always love these posts
looking good chinagirl

Thank you S&C!

Love and Aloha,

I am confused. What relevance does your picture have with your post. I don’t think it’s posible to demonstrate your cortisol levels through you pictures, so why are you posting them?

I would like to preface this by saying that generally speaking, Chinadoll, I think that you are a genuine, sweet person (just from the nature of most of your posts).

With that said: Please do not think that I am being grumpy or…whatever, but when you do post your pictures, how about posting new ones, you know, ones we have not seen 97 times, ones that have something to do with your second love, body building. It is hard to get constructive criticism from our male counterparts when you post a picture (repetetively) in your drawers with a side boob view that would normally grace the pages of a tasteful Playboy.


I happen to think it’s great that she posts pictures, helps us to further contemplate ways for her to relive stress :wink:

So chinadoll, if you ever um like need to reduce some stress let me know K. I’ll do anything I can to help you out.

On behalf of Teela and nikkiknockers:

Vegita…that is exactly my point. You summed it all up for me.

Constructive criticism? No.

Horn ball response to pictures that are not necesarry? Yes.

The point of her post was to get actual advice, not for sexual praise. By posting her pictures, the post was automatically turned from an educational thread to how many guys want to bang Chinadoll. Can we change the title of this thread now??

I am sure that someone is going to mention that I am probably jealous…or whatever…not true. I am perfectly fine with everything about myself, so let’s not even go there. If someone wants to post their pictures and get praise, go to frickin’ hotornot.com and post it there.

Cortisol is over-rated. Exercise causes cortisol release. If it were so detrimental then everyone who exercises would be fat. Stimulants like ephedrine heighten cortisol release yet we all know they work. The fact is too little cortisol is just as bad or worse then too much. Cortisol is very lipolytic to subcutaneous adipose tissue so in that respect it actually helps us become lean. The real problems arise when one is both highly stressed and well fed at the same time. Humans didn’t evolve to be in both flight or flight mode and the fed mode at the same time. What happens is cortisol helps mobilize fuel to put the body into action and it inhibits glucose uptake into muscle tissue to make it available for the brain. Now, this is actually beneficial if you’re eating below maintenance and exercising because it means you’ll burn more fat. But if you get this stress response and your body is inhibiting nutrient uptake in muscle and your throwing lots of food into the mix as well it’s going to be easy to store those calories if they’re not immediately burned off. So the bottom line is the best way to control the negative effects of cortisol is don’t eat like a pig when you’re stressed out if you can’t burn those calories off. Wideguy mentioned some good supplements. I’d throw 7-keto into that list as well.

On a real tip odorless garlic is great! I take up to 6 tablets a day but I forget the mg dose. It made me feel great increased recover and test I persume. It’s a secret to success but I will share it with you because you are beautiful!

You would not happen to know a friend of mine by the name of Brandy Leaver?