Best tips to control cortisol?

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Cortisol is a hormone produced during stress, but high levels can cause weight gain, heart complications, and longer recovery times. Exercise, sleep, stress management, and a cortisol diet can help control cortisol levels, while caffeine and overtraining can increase them. Low cortisol levels can lead to fatigue and low blood pressure, and hormone supplements can help.

Cortisol is a hormone that the body naturally produces whenever a person experiences a stressful situation. While cortisol is helpful in giving the body an energy boost, constant and prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol can lead to undesirable results. Weight gain, heart complications, and long recovery times are some of these side effects. To control cortisol, a person needs to exercise, maintain a proper diet, rest and sleep well, and manage external stressors.

Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to control cortisol. Exercise is known to relieve stress, the main cause of cortisol production. It also burns fat, one of the side effects of high cortisol levels.

Additionally, exercise produces testosterone and endorphins. Testosterone prevents cortisol from breaking down muscle tissue for energy. Endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones, block cortisol production because they trick the body into thinking it’s in a healthy state.

Too much exercise, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect in controlling cortisol. Overtraining puts stress on the muscles which, in turn, produce more cortisol. Increased production can lead to catabolism, a condition in which muscle tissue is broken down to be used as fuel. As a result, your muscles will take longer to recover and may even decrease in mass.

Cortisol production is at its lowest during sleep. Adequate sleep reduces stress levels and allows muscles to repair themselves. Sleep also produces growth hormone, a natural cortisol suppressant.

Stress management is key when it comes to controlling cortisol. Relaxation exercises, meditation, and even the occasional trip to the spa can drastically relieve stress. For those who don’t have time, taking a five-minute break from work can help clear your mind.

Coffee is one of the major culprits of high cortisol. The caffeine in coffee can increase a person’s anxiety and stress levels. Asking someone to kick their caffeine habit, though, can just add more stress. Caffeine intake can be limited instead, with tea and decaffeinated coffee used as substitutes for regular coffee.

Diet plays a key role in cortisol control. A cortisol diet is generally rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and antioxidants. Garlic is also known to reduce cortisol. Serving more meals with smaller portions typically also helps stabilize cortisol levels.
On the other end of the spectrum, low cortisol levels can leave a person feeling fatigued and can lead to low blood pressure. Cortisol deficiency is often undiagnosed until harmful complications arise. Tests may be done to check for cortisol deficiency. Hormone supplements can be used to help a person get back to normal cortisol levels.

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