Cortisol, otherwise known as the “stress hormone,” is one of the most important hormones in the body. You can find it in almost every tissue, impacting many different areas of your daily life, from your stress, to your workouts and productivity, to your sleep.
For years, cortisol has been taken to court in the health and fitness world as public enemy #1. That’s because, correctly, thanks to increased stress levels, our cortisol levels are often too elevated too much of the time.
However, this isn’t the full story. Cortisol is neither good nor bad.
In reality, cortisol should follow along with our circadian rhythm.
While too much cortisol all of the time is bad, we need cortisol to keep us alert, awake, and performing our best. In fact, it’s one of the main “fight or flight” hormones.
Historically, without cortisol, we wouldn’t have been able to run away from an angry lion. Today, we wouldn’t be able to focus on our most important work or perform our best in the gym. It’s important to deal with necessary stressors, which things like work and exercise provide. The problem is when these stressors prolong indefinitely, which causes a consistent, elevated cortisol response.
So what we really want isn’t to get rid of cortisol, but to sync it back up into our ideal patterns, where it’s high when we need to be alert and focused (like during training or while working), and low as we ease our way into the evening and while we sleep.
The tried-and-true methods for this involve steps like improving your sleep, exercising during the day, avoiding stress at night. In addition to these basics, a cortisol-management supplement makes sense in some situations.
However, we are strangers on the internet, so talk to your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement.
Today we’ll be reviewing the five all-natural, reputable, and often-recommended supplements to help manage and reduce cortisol. PrimeGENIX CortiSync came in at the top of our list due to its efficacy, popularity, and reliability.
But first, some more background.
Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone produced and released by the adrenal gland. Cortisol is a glucocorticoid hormone, which is a type of steroid hormone. Glucocorticoid hormones are responsible for the suppression of inflammation in all your bodily tissues, controlling the metabolism, and affecting your sleep-wake cycle.
Practically all tissues in the body have glucocorticoid receptors; this means that cortisol plays a significant role in many different physical processes. The nervous system, immune system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, reproductive system, musculoskeletal system, and integumentary system all rely on balanced cortisol levels.
Some specific functions of cortisol within the body include:
The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are responsible for the regulation of cortisol. Cortisol must be in a perfect balance to maintain many bodily functions.
Too much or too little cortisol can cause noticeable difficulties in your daily life. The imbalance of cortisol levels is often due to regulation problems by the hypothalamus, pituitary glands, or adrenal glands.
Weight gain, wide stretch marks on the stomach, muscle weakness in the arms and thighs, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, excessive hair growth, and weak bones are the common symptoms of high cortisol levels.
Fatigue, unnecessary weight loss, poor appetite, and low blood pressure are the common symptoms of low cortisol levels.
Definitely speak with your health care provider if you suspect high or low cortisol levels, and stop reading articles on the internet about it. If you’re in a rabbit hole, this is your invitation to leave. Often the solution may be as simple as a bit of lifestyle change, a daily supplement, or other medications.
High levels of cortisol may be a result of chronic disease. It may lead to an impaired immune system, lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, and concentration problems. More often, though, it’s just because you’re not taking care of yourself and covering the basics. Yes, we’re talking about sleep, exercise, nutrition, and other interventions you’ve heard 1000 times. Let’s go over some natural ways to increase cortisol levels.
It requires a lot of inner and outer focus because cortisol is closely connected with your mental and physical well-being.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
Also, every product on our list is 3rd-party tested. The supplement industry is notoriously scummy, so 3rd-party verification is a prerequisite for us.
We have compared the top all-natural supplement for cortisol support to provide you with a comprehensive list of the most recommendable options. PrimeGENIX CortiSync earned the #1 spot on the list for many reasons, but there are a few other products worth considering.
PrimeGENIX acknowledges that avoiding physical and mental stress is impossible in many situations. Because of this, their goal is to provide you with a safe and effective solution for balancing cortisol levels when stress cannot be prevented.
PrimeGENIX CortiSync is a mix of natural, well-known ingredients that aim to bring cortisol levels to a healthy and natural position. Balanced cortisol levels will result in various health benefits, from weight management to better sleep, mental clarity, and improvements in physical health.
This natural supplement was created by leading experts in the field and relies on science and clinical trials to support the results of CortiSync.
PrimeGENIX CortiSync targets those suffering from high cortisol levels, although it can also help those with low cortisol levels. In general, it’s just a solid supplement with lots of healthy, effective ingredients. Balanced cortisol levels will bring your body and mind to a much healthier and more sustainable starting point.
These are just a few positive changes you will notice after starting PrimeGENIX CortiSync. Balancing cortisol levels is incredibly important. The stress hormone is responsive to many bodily functions and could be the culprit of different physical and mental difficulties.
PrimeGENIX CortiSync earned the number one spot on the list for several reasons. These are the most notable features we have found while experimenting with this supplement:
PrimeGENIX CortiSync is a unique blend of seven different ingredients. Each ingredient was hand chosen due to its cortisol-balancing features. The best thing about PrimeGENIX is they thoroughly researched each ingredient individually. This means everything you are consuming is supported by scientific evidence.
Ingredient by ingredient, each one plays an invaluable role in the reduction and maintenance of the stress hormone. The facts are all supported by scientific studies and years of use across a variety of different cultures.
PrimeGENIX CortiSync made the top of the list for a reason. Taking a close look at the advantages, the effective results, and the endless positive reviews make this a top product.
Unfortunately, CortiSync does come at a higher cost than most of the supplements on the list today. This is due to the high-quality ingredients and 67-day warranty that they offer on the product.
You can find PrimeGENIX CortiSync at their official website. Their website offers additional information, package deals, and excellent customer support.
A one-month supply is currently $59.95, but you can get a better deal if you buy more than a one-month package.
Integrative Therapeutics is a well-established vitamin supplier in the realm of health supplements. They provide dozens of different vitamins and minerals to meet various needs.
Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager uses many key ingredients that effectively target cortisol levels to create a healthy balance within the body.
Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager markets itself as a stress hormone stabilizer. This supplement aims to balance cortisol levels to help you reach a less stressful mindset. It creates a robust support system for the adrenal and pituitary glands to keep production at healthy levels.
This Cortisol Manager supplement targets a calm and relaxing mindset. Many people who have taken Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager in the long term noticed significant improvements in their sleep and stress levels. Below are other benefits people have experienced with this Cortisol Manager.
Due to the focus on reduced stress levels, this supplement is ideal for anyone suffering from a spike in stress due to unbalanced hormones.
There are five main active ingredients found in Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager. This supplement utilizes all of the most popular stress-reducing ingredients that are sure to be effective and stable for anyone to take.
Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and allergy friendly. They keep their ingredients list to the bare minimum, meaning there will be no surprise chemicals or toxins found in your supplement.
You cannot go wrong with the Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager. This supplement uses well-established ingredients for relaxation and stress relief. Here are some of the most notable characteristics we have experienced with Cortisol Manager:
Unfortunately, Cortisol Manager does not come with the same risk-free warranty, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of positive attributes with this supplement. The pros balance out the cons here.
Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager can be found across several online platforms and health supplement stores. We found Amazon an easy and reliable place to order this product.
A 15-day supply is $25.95, and a 45-day supply is around $68.50 plus shipping and handling. It is not the most affordable on the list, but it still stands at a reasonable price.
LES Health Cortisol Health is an all-natural cortisol supplement. Their formula uses 5 simple, quality ingredients.
Here is what you can expect with regular use of Cortisol Health:
LES Health Cortisol Health has five active ingredients. They include many widely-accepted cortisol balancing ingredients while adding a few extra for relaxation and stress reduction.
This is a standard formula for overall cortisol health. It is supported by research to balance cortisol levels and reduce stress drastically.
LES Cortisol Health is a reliable and standard supplement for anyone looking to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Here are the benefits we have witnessed while working with Cortisol Health.
Overall, it’s a solid option.
You can buy LES Health Cortisol Health on their official website. They offer frequent discount packages when purchasing in bulk, good customer support, and extensive product information on their website.
Pure Encapsulations Cortisol Calm is an all-natural health supplement that targets mild stress management and cortisol reduction.
Pure Encapsulations Cortisol Calm is another supplement that aims to balance cortisol levels and help you live a stress-free life. They include additional ingredients that promote a positive outlook to increase overall mood and happiness throughout the day.
Pure Encapsulations Cortisol Calm is a classic cortisol-balancing supplement. You can expect many benefits associated with reduced or balanced cortisol levels. This includes weight management, strength gain, and lower stress levels.
With an improved outlook on life, you might notice that you can handle generally stressful situations with much more ease and comfort.
Pure Encapsulations Cortisol Calm is unique with the inclusion of Vitamin D. This turns out to be a wildly beneficial ingredient because it can improve health and bodily functions in various ways. You will find five active ingredients in Cortisol Health, all of which are vegetarian-friendly and non-GMO.
The above standard ingredients can provide a powerful punch to the overall mood and stress levels. This full-proof formula delivers on its promise of balanced cortisol levels.
Pure Encapsulations Cortisol Calm stands out above many traditional cortisol-supporting products. This is made by a reliable manufacturer that puts the customers’ needs and wants above all else. Below is a comprehensive list of the pros and cons we noted while working with Cortisol Calm.
While Cortisol Calm does not have a money-back guarantee, it is still a reliable option for those who want the extra kick from Vitamin D in their daily supplement.
You can purchase Pure Encapsulations Cortisol Calm from several different online platforms. A one-month supply of Cortisol Calm will cost about $60 plus possible shipping and handling.
Dr. Berg’s Adrenal & Cortisol Support helps your body handle stress and anxiety-inducing situations more efficiently for long-term health. This is a health supplement designed to decrease cortisol levels and help manage energy levels.
Dr. Berg’s Adrenal & Cortisol Support includes an all-natural formula that makes this one of the best health supplements we have worked with.
Dr. Berg’s Adrenal & Cortisol Support is a practical choice for those seeking balanced cortisol with all the following benefits.
Keeping cortisol levels in check while providing adrenal support proves to be a beneficial approach for a variety of different ailments.
You can find eleven active ingredients in Dr. Berg’s Adrenal & Cortisol Support. In this formula, you can find all the recommended ingredients, such as Ashwagandha root, Thiamine, and Rhodiola. They also include additional vitamins and minerals for a little extra boost to the body.
This comprehensive formula is a unique set of health supplements. It is well-rounded, providing the body with all the tools it may need for proper maintenance and sustainability.
Below is a comprehensive list of advantages and disadvantages we have experienced with Adrenal & Cortisol Support.
While Dr. Berg’s Adrenal & Cortisol Support is slightly more costly than other competitors, it stands as a reliable option.
You can find Dr. Berg’s Adrenal & Cortisol Support on Amazon and other online platforms. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
A one-month supply costs around $36.99 plus possible shipping and handling.
In this article, we have focused on comprehensive supplement products that focus on cortisol. There are also other popular supplements that may support healthy cortisol levels.
Fish oil, chia seeds, flaxseed, algae, and more an abundant in “super fats” called omega-3 fatty acids. Ample omega-3s have been shown to support everything from heart health, to brain function, to joint health.
Some research even suggests omega-3s can help us manage stress. A 2021 study in the prestigious journal Nature suggested that omega-3 supplementation may help with stress. They write in the abstract, “Higher levels of omega-3 track with longer telomeres, lower inflammation, and blunted sympathetic and cardiovascular stress reactivity.”
For options on omega-3 supplements, check out our list of the best vegan omega 3 products.
If you prefer a marine option, check out our list of the best krill oil supplements.
Now, this category is still a lot more speculative. However, recent research has brought a conversation around gut health and the link to stress into the mainstream.
This 2015 study in Psychopharmacology, suggested the eating prebiotic and probiotics may support brain function and specifically manage our waking cortisol response.
For an all-in-one option that includes all of these, alongside antioxidant-packed fruits and vegetables, you may want to look into starting your day with a greens powder.
Again, this is another speculative supplement for reducing cortisol. However, one clinical trial with over 700 healthy volunteers showed that ginkgo biloba extract lowered blood pressure and cortisol during stress.
Cordyceps are a species of mushroom with some links to improve cognition. For example, this mice study showed that it had a neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effect on the brain of mice.
Some have taken this to recommend cordyceps as a stress-relieving supplement. However, the research isn’t so strong in this area.
For more on cordyceps, check out our list of the best cordyceps mushroom supplements.
Okay, so dark chocolate isn’t going to magically take your stress away. However, it may give you a little bit of a calming effect. Not only is dark chocolate filled with antioxidants, it’s also high in l-theanine, which we’ve talked about in many of the products.
Go for a low-sugar option.
Not necessarily. What we want are balanced cortisol levels at the right time of day. If you have excessively high cortisol levels most of the time, that’s where these supplements may come in.
Cortisol should be high when melatonin, the king sleep hormone, is low and vice versa. If you’re having trouble sleeping that’s a sign these hormone levels are thrown off.
Because we want to support a healthy cortisol rhythm, we recommend taking these when you want your cortisol levels lower. More specifically, this means the evening. Take your cortisol management supplement with your evening/before-bed supplement stack.
The only way to know for sure is to see your healthcare provider and get your cortisol levels tested. However, constant stress, headaches, irritability, and weight gain or are all symptoms. Look, you know if you’re overly stressed out. That’s a sign. Regardless, should talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplement.
One of the clearest downsides of elevated cortisol production means elevated blood glucose (blood sugar). You see, under stressful conditions, the body thinks we’re in “fight or flight” mode, and prepares for us to need available glucose to either run from a lion or fight a bear.
However, when we don’t use this glucose, it turns means we have elevated blood sugar. In short, yes, this can make you fat. Sorry to deliver the bad news.
Maintaining healthy cortisol levels is essential to keeping your physical and mental well-being. Don’t waste more time if you can benefit from additional cortisol support. As mentioned, though, good habits are going to be the foundation of this. If your sleep, nutrition, exercise are dialed in, and you’re living a life without too much stress, then those are your most potent defenders against chronically high cortisol levels.