Cortisol Blocker Supplements

How to lower cortisol – what you need to know

Cortisol and Bellyfat – How to Win the Battle of the Bulge

If you want to lose weight, you need to learn how to reduce cortisol levels. You are in the right place.

cortisol blocker

Cortisol blocker supplements are used by dieters and bodybuilders to limit the amount of cortisol that their bodies produce. Cortisol is a stress hormone that converts protein into glucose to give your body energy. When correctly balanced, the presence of cortisol is both positive and necessary. It is only a problem when too much of it is produced chronically.
Throughout the day, small quantities of cortisol are released by your body. The hormone is beneficial for your health in several ways. For example, during starvation periods, it breaks down muscle fiber and lipids, which keeps you alive. Also, it plays a vital part in the way your immune system responds to infection.
High cortisol levels cause significant amounts of glucose to accumulate in your blood stream. This situation can be problematic if you are trying to lose weight, or build muscle tissue. This is because muscle is the main protein source that cortisol accesses, and surplus glucose turns into body fat. By reducing the production of cortisol, cortisol blocker supplements allow your body to store less fat and retain more muscle.
Increased cortisol levels result from your body’s reaction to fear, anxiety or demanding physical activity. In these circumstances, your body might need additional glucose to react to the external stimulation. However, lengthy periods of stress can lead to levels of cortisol that cause your muscles to waste away, and can obstruct your body’s fat burning ability.
The normal American diet, packed with caffeine rich drinks, is a large part of the problem too. Caffeine triggers cortisol production in an unnatural way. Inevitably, this artificial production of cortisol results in over production. This causes fat storage, particularly around the abdomen.

The Ingredients Used in Cortisol Control Pills

There are many supplements on the market that claim to lower cortisol production. Purportedly, these supplements have ingredients in them that change the body’s response to physically demanding activities, or stressful situations.

Phosphatidylserine:

Cortisol blocker supplements often use this as an ingredient. This is a chemical, with relaxant properties, that is naturally present in soy and cabbage.

L Thenanine:

This is another commonly used ingredient in cortisol blockers. This is an amino acid that has been proven to lower anxiety in human beings. Other components of cortisol supplements are intended to stabilize the levels of glucose in your bloodstream. Together, these different constituents help to reduce cortisol by affecting the way that the body responds to stress, and by minimizing the damage caused by surplus glucose.

Side Effects of Blocking Cortisol

side effects of cortisol blockerSome people believe that the prolonged use of cortisol blocker supplements might increase the probability of conditions like osteoporosis, depression, hypertension, infections and diabetes. Also, unregulated use or overuse of cortisol blockers is thought to produce unwanted side effects, like increased facial hair, menstrual problems and thinning of the user’s skin. However, in truth, there has been no extensive research into the side effects or safety of these products.
Notwithstanding, there is no doubt that high cortisol levels in your body can cause problems. This is why you should always keep to the recommended dosage on cortisol blockers. Also, it goes without saying that, if you do experience any adverse reactions to a supplement, you should stop using it straightaway and speak to your physician.
Actually, there are some physicians who advise their patients not to use cortisol supplements at all. This is because they regard many supplements as risky. Also, they do not think that these supplements block cortisol production effectively.
So here is a summary of possible side effects of cortisol suppressors:
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Hypertension
  • Infections

How to Lower Cortisol with Food

Rather than taking a supplement, you could adopt a different approach to lower your cortisol levels. Apart from avoiding stressful circumstances, research indicates that particular foods can help to reduce cortisol in the body. These foods are as follows:

Citrus Fruits:

Boosting your vitamin C intake, which you can do by eating bell peppers, leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits, may improve your cortisol levels. Head researcher Samuel Campbell and his team at Alabama University discovered that, after a stressful occurrence, rats that were fed vitamin C supplements had a lower cortisol output, compared to rats that took a placebo. These results were reported on the well known Science Daily website.

Black Tea:

A study into this was carried out by head researcher Andrew Steptoe and his team at University College London. It suggested that black tea has a positive effect on the body’s stress hormones. Over a six-week period, researchers found that after a stressful situation, subjects who had consumed four cups of this tea each day had reduced cortisol levels, compared to subjects who had consumed a placebo.

Salmon:

In 2003, a report published in the Diabetes and Metabolism Journal examined the effect of fish oil on stress hormones produced by mental stress. The report showed that subjects who consumed fish oil over a three week period (and then took a mental stress test) had lower cortisol levels, compared to subjects who consumed a placebo. Fish oil is rich in omega three fatty acids, and other omega three rich foods are salmon, halibut, canola oil and walnuts.

Dark Chocolate:

Consuming dark chocolate may help to ease stress. In Switzerland, researchers from the Nestle research facility investigated the effect that forty grams of dark chocolate has on stress metabolism, and the conclusion of this fourteen day study was published in the Proteome Research Journal in December 2009. Scientists noted that subjects who ate dark chocolate had a lower cortisol output, in comparison to a control group.

Controlling Cortisol with Exercise

lowering cortisol with excerciseAs already mentioned, stress boosts the quantity of cortisol produced by your body. This applies to both mental stress and physical stress, like exercise. When you exercise, your body utilizes cortisol to facilitate fat metabolism for fuel. While intense exercise (like aerobics) increases cortisol levels temporarily, frequent exercise allows you to regulate your levels of cortisol, and reduce the stressful impact that this hormone has on your body.
The hypothalamus has a key role in the production of cortisol. This gland reacts to perceived threats by placing your body into a state of alert. It causes the adrenal glands in your body to produce a large amount of cortisol. This increases the glucose levels in your bloodstream and gives you a sudden burst of energy.
Normally, these temporary elevations return to normal, once the perceived threat has passed. However, according to researchers at New Mexico University, regular cortisol elevations can increase your likelihood of contracting numerous severe health conditions, like heart disease and obesity. Taking regular exercise and implementing other lifestyle adjustments can go a long way towards preventing health problems related to cortisol overexposure.
Researchers at New Mexico University say that, during exercise, an increase in your levels of cortisol helps to protect your carbohydrate stores. Also, this allows additional fuels, like fatty acids and amino acids, to be metabolized by your body for energy. The cortisol production increase will reflect your exercise intensity.
While individual workouts can cause cortisol production to increase temporarily, regular workouts help to permanently reduce your cortisol levels. The Allied Health Sciences and Practice Journal reports that even a thirty minute session of gentle exercise can help to lower your levels of cortisol. Researchers at New Mexico University claim that exercising regularly reduces stress significantly.
You should inform your physician about any stress symptoms you experience, which could suggest high cortisol levels. You might have to undergo a blood test, in order to determine how much of this hormone you have in your body. Prior to starting any new workout regimen, speak to your physician, particularly if you have a medical condition, are overweight or have been inactive for a long period of time.

Beware of the Hype

 The general public has remained optimistic about the benefits of cortisol supplements. However, before you take them, there are a few things that you should be aware of. Cortisol supplement manufacturers have received criticism, due to their outlandish claims and questionable advertizing methods. In fact, the FTC (US Federal Trade Commission) filed a lawsuit against certain manufacturers over their claims.
These products have not been subject to long term clinical studies to gauge their effectiveness. Many of the individual components in cortisol supplements are not scientifically or medically acknowledged to regulate cortisol levels. Nor are they proven to control blood sugar, in conjunction with the other ingredients.
No medical or scientific research exists that establishes a connection between cortisol blocking and losing weight (or increasing muscle tissue). The concept that stress contributes to obesity is just a theory. This has been supported only by a handful of preliminary observations and tests.
Moreover, the ingredients included in cortisol blocker supplements might not be present in large enough amounts to make a noticeable difference to the cortisol levels in your body. In any case, you may be able to consume these ingredients by adopting a sensible diet plan, rather than by taking a supplement. Hence, in all likelihood, the problems related to excess cortisol are treatable by lowering your caloric intake and by exercising regularly.