How to Regulate Your Cortisol Levels


A talk with one of my doctors veered toward how to regulate cortisol (the stress hormone), and she gave me some good tips I thought I’d pass along.

If you suspect you might be dealing with chronic stress and/or adrenal fatigue, try these suggestions.

    1. Wake up and go to bed the same time every day. This sets your body clock and helps your body know when to produce cortisol, when not to. (Cortisol should rise in the morning.)

    2. Within an hour after waking up: eat breakfast. This meal should consist of a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Some examples would be:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, 50 grams of granola, 1 tbsp of honey

  • 1 cup cooked oats, 1 medium (100 grams) banana, ½ scoop protein powder, 150 ml milk

  • 2 slices whole wheat (or gluten free) bread, 2 eggs, 1 tsp butter

  • 1 (90 grams) seeded bagel, 1 medium (150 grams) avocado, 1 egg

  • 1 medium (180 grams) apple, 2 tbsp peanut butter

    white short coated small sized dog on woman in gray sweater 3. In the middle of the day, sometime between 12 and 3pm, take a timed relaxation break. (This would be a good time to do The Healing Codes.) It needs to be relaxation—no screens, no stimulating input

    4. Don’t exercise within 2 hours of bedtime. Also, quit all screens at this time, or wear good blue-blocking glasses if you must look at a screen. Even a few seconds, as I understand it, can cut your melatonin production (which you need for good sleep and lowering cortisol).

    5. Overall, make sure you get enough protein during the day. You need a little more than half your body weight, in grams. If you’re a 125 pound female, then 70-80 grams of protein, with 30 grams in the morning, would be optimal. (You can go online to find out how many grams of protein different foods have.) “Enough protein enhances human growth hormone—an antagonist to cortisol,” my doctor said.

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