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5 Best Supplements To Reduce Cortisol: Lower Stress Levels Naturally

By Christopher Walker

Muscle loss and fat gain... brain fog and low sex drive... fatigue and depression... these are just some of the symptoms of chronically high cortisol levels.

The stress hormone cortisol is one of the principal stress hormones. Along with adrenaline, it kicks off the initial stress response to any challenge you face. Whether it’s physical, mental, nutritional, emotional, social or behavioral, cortisol is always there.

In today’s world, most people are dealing with excessive cortisol levels from the ongoing stresses of life. Paired with a nutrition-less diet, this accelerates the stress response. Obviously, if reducing cortisol levels is the goal, you should take steps towards reducing stressful situations and improving your body’s ability to cope with these high stress hormones.

(This video goes over the No. 1 ingredient in this post: Phosphaditylserine.)


But what if there were certain compounds that could accelerate stress reduction in your body? Nutrients that could be used to lower cortisol and give you that extra “edge” in the battle against stress? Luckily, such supplements DO exist. And they work very well in supporting your body’s ability to lower cortisol and the other stress hormones in the process.

The Negative Effects Of Cortisol - The Master Stress Hormone

Before we dive into the top supplements, what exactly does cortisol do to your body?

Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands to break down amino acids from muscles into glucose, which is used as fuel by your cells and helps maintain blood sugar.

In the short-term, this is not only very useful, but critical for your survival. You need cortisol to function properly and cope with stressors. In fact, you couldn't get out of the bed in the morning without cortisol.

But when this stress hormone remains elevated in the long-term, it signals an increase in the other stress hormones. This shifts your body’s environment to a survival / scarcity state, where higher more complex body functions are lowered. Some of the most notable effects of elevated cortisol levels are:

  • high blood pressure
  • weight gain (specifically fat gain)
  • muscle loss
  • poor memory
  • brain fog
  • low libido
  • poor sleep
  • insulin resistance
  • hair loss
  • poor digestion

The list is almost never ending. Taking the proper steps to effectively lower your cortisol levels is a necessary action if you want to live a long and happy life.

The 5 Best Supplements To Reduce Cortisol

Since cortisol levels are chronically elevated in today’s world, it’s critically important to take steps to reduce it. If you can bring the stress hormone cortisol back into balance, it’s a big step in the right direction towards bringing your body out of the scarcity state. Not only that, but you can then push it towards a state of abundance and high energy (i.e., moving up the spectrum of health).

This is where supplements to reduce cortisol levels come in. While changing things like lifestyle and diet are crucial in lowering cortisol, eating the right foods at the right time is one of the most important things you can do, supplements can give you a big advantage. It would be foolish to ignore that advantage.

Below are the top five supplements we recommend for reducing cortisol. 

1. Phosphaditylserine (PS) To Reduce Cortisol

phosphatidylserine to reduce cortisol

In simple words, phosphatidylserine is a type of fat that can be found in every cell membrane of the human body. It also contains the mineral phosphorus. Several human studies have found out that phosphatidylserine improves cognitive function, attention and memory. Plus, PS is one of the top supplements for reducing cortisol, fatigue, ADHD symptoms and cognitive decline.

Phosphatidylserine has countless human results, along with an FDA-approved health claim regarding its ability to reverse neurodegenerative disease in humans. This is due to its naturally potent action on nourishing the brain’s neurotransmitters, hormonal health and mental health. You can't go wrong with taking phosphatidylserine to reduce cortisol levels. This is at the top of the list for a reason, which is why we added it to our natural cortisol-lowering supplement, Cortigon.

Read More: The Last guide You'll Ever Need For Sleep (How To Get A Perfect Night Of Sleep)

2. Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract To Reduce Cortisol

ginkgo biloba to reduce cortisol

Gingko biloba is another heavily researched supplement great for reducing cortisol. It is a plant extract that's been used in Chinese medicine for a very long time. Research shows that Ginkgo biloba extract can halt a rise in both blood pressure and cortisol levels in healthy study participants. This means that when you're stressed out, Ginkgo biloba extract can help limit the amount of cortisol released. In other studies performed on animals, Gingko biloba is shown to attenuate the affects of acute stress. Ginkgo biloba extract is definitely one to add to your arsenal, and the most convenient way to get it is through supplementation.

3. Choline Bitartrate To Reduce Cortisol

choline to reduce cortisol

Choline bitartrate is found in many foods, such as eggs, meat and dairy. The human body also produces a small amount. Even though choline is easily accessible through food, a large majority of the population is deficient in it. Choline is great for improving memory and focus, but it's also great for reducing cortisol levels and anxiety.

There was a study done that tested humans with lower amounts of choline in their body during and after surgery. Those people had a greater chance of elevating cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone, prolactin and β-endorphin concentrations. Studies have also shown that choline can reduce immune inflammation and suppress oxidative stress in patients with asthma. To make sure you aren't deficient in it, take choline as a precautionary measure. The more deficient you are in choline, the more likely you have elevated cortisol levels in stressful situations.

4. Ashwagandha (KSM-66) To Reduce Cortisol

ashwagandha to reduce cortisol

Ashwagandha is a potent herb in Ayurvedic medicine traditionally used to promote relaxation and healing. This herb can lower stress and cortisol, according to recent research. Keep in mind is that the research on ashwagandha used a specific strain, one called KSM-66. This strain is far more potent than other strains. (This is precisely why we we included KSM-66 ashwagandha in our best-selling testosterone boosting supplement, Testro-X).

5. L-Theanine To Reduce Cortisol

theanine for stress

Theanine is an amino acid that calms your body. This is why drinking tea has the potential to help promote relaxation and lower stress levels (however we do not recommend drinking regular tea in general due to the anti-androgenic effects it can have). Not only can theanine reduce chronic stress, but it can also protect your brain from the harmful effects of cortisol, preventing declines in memory and performance.

Theanine boosts alpha brain wave activity, leading to a calm focus with a feeling of relaxation. Since theanine has so many brain-protective and stress lowering effects, it’s a good idea to drink tea containing theanine. Or, you can use a theanine supplement.

Fight Back Against Stress And Lower Cortisol Levels Naturally

You have to take action and fight back against stress for your mental, emotional, and physical health to be optimized. You deal with stressful situations every day. Therefore, you must supplement against those situations after your diet and lifestyle have been dialed in. This means you must eat a nutritional diet and consider lifestyle changes to minimize the stress you face. At the same time, you need to support your body’s ability to cope with the stress you currently face.

But supplements are the most important tactical tool we have for reducing stress and supporting your body. Phosphaditylserine, Gingko biloba leaf extract, choline bitartrate, ashwagandha (KSM-66) and L-theanine are all terrific options. If you're wondering how to get all the stress-lowering supplements in one unique formula -- rather than buying each one individually -- then we recommend looking into our natural supplement, Cortigon.

cortigon by umzu

Cortigon is our all-natural stress-fighting formula developed by co-founder and Duke neuroscience grad Christopher Walker. It came as a result of his decade of research experience in the fields of neuroscience, men’s health and human endocrinology. Cortigon will help your body maintain a healthy cortisol balance. As well, it lowers stress and gives you mental clarity. Check out Cortigon here.