Cortisol is both friend and foe to the weightlifter and bodybuilder. It’s not our arch enemy like everyone believes, but it’s a wild stallion that needs to be tamed to make it work for us! Let’s see how we can domesticate this hormone to make it our friend and not our enemy.
The Misunderstood Hormone
When fasted, cortisol can help you burn fat. Cortisol levels rise about midnight and continue until you break the fast in the morning. This delicate cycle can be thrown off if you are stressed or anxious. In response to that stress and anxiety, the body releases more cortisol which helps you feel awake and promotes activity in the morning but when out of control, eats away our precious muscle mass.
Anxiety is usually high in the morning but it is often called “nervous energy” which is a good thing, it helps us get active and wake up and get moving. Cortisol is required for this effect and it’s a healthy thing.
Once we are up and moving though it’s key to lower cortisol so we can function effectively without anxiety and tension and most importantly spare our hard earned muscle mass.
There are some easy techniques to lower cortisol right after you are up and about and luckily they are cheap and easy. This lowering effect will then allow you to be relaxed and focused all day without the anxiousness that most people experience during times of stress.
There are three REALLY easy things we can do to lower cortisol upon awakening that don’t cost much and are extremely effective.
First, we should immediately have a cup of black tea. Black tea has been shown in the scientific literature to reduce cortisol levels in men which is a good thing!
Phosphytidal Serine is a fatty acid that is shown to reduce cortisol leves very rapidly. This super nutrient is cheap and good for your your brain, muscles and belly fat!
Magnesium supplements can also reduce cortisol levels and most Americans are seriously deficient in this important nutrient. Magnesium is important for muscle contraction and overall health and is very cheap.
5-DHEA (standard DHEA in stores) can also reduce the effects of cortisol however 5-DHEA can also convert to estrogen, so it’s important that your 5-DHEA supplement contains a potent anti-aromatase and anti-estrogen. We don’t want that hormone to do anything but convert into androgens like testosterone, so this combination is vital for this supplement in men. 7,8 Benzoflavone and Chrysin are two potent natural aromatase inhibitors and ellagic acid and resveratrol block estrogenic effects.
Finally, meditation is a free way to lower cortisol. Studies have shown a dramatic reduction in cortisol from meditation. Even 15 minutes each morning is a good way to blunt cortisol levels.
How To Take The Supplements
Upon waking, brew yourself a fresh cup of black tea. Take 1-300mg of 5-DHEA with your aromatase inhibitors along with 300mg of a 40% Phosphytidal Serine product. Add in 500mg of Magnesium (found at every grocery store) and then do 15 minutes of sitting meditation.
When you are done with that, fire down your fat burner with stimulants galore and do 20-40 minutes of fasted cardio.
Easy way to burn fat while keeping your hard earned muscle mass.
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