The Best Supplements to Lower Cortisol Levels in 2018

A dimly lit woman exhausted from stress considering taking supplements to lower cortisol levels.

Weight gain, high blood pressure, mood swings—just thinking about them is enough to cause stress! And when you’re stressed, your cortisol levels increase too. A stress hormone, our bodies need it to function, but too much and you may have problems losing weight, sleeping at night and chronic fatigue too.

The best supplement to lower cortisol will assist your body in its stress response and balance your hormones when they’re out of whack. We’ve all heard people say “oh, she’s hormonal at the moment” but sometimes it might be true (as much as we hate to admit it!) I’m sure people probably accused Cersei of being hormonal in Game of Thrones.

But you don’t have to be a mad queen to suffer from stress, for many of us it’s a part of modern life. Trying to control your cortisol levels with supplements will offer many health benefits for a more stress-free life. Let’s look at what we can do to get rid of that stress and which is the best supplement to lower cortisol.

Product
Details
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Our #1 Rated
KSM-66 Ashwagandha 600mg

DailyNutra

KSM-66 Ashwagandha 600mg

4 out of 5

In the Supplements to Lower Cortisol category

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  • 600-milligram capsule of KSM-66 ashwagandha with 5 percent withanolides.
  • Backed by science with published human clinical studies.
  • Sustainably sourced from certified organic and non-GMO ashwagandha root.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #1 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Supplements to Lower Cortisol category


Our #2 Rated
Rhodiola Rosea Supplement

NutraChamps

Rhodiola Rosea Supplement

4 out of 5

In the Supplements to Lower Cortisol category

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  • Rhodiola rosea supplement in 600-milligram capsules.
  • Vegan/non-GMO/free of gluten/soy/fish/dairy/nuts/preservatives.
  • 100 percent lifetime guarantee—if you aren’t fully satisfied at anytime NutraChamp will refund your entire purchase with no hassles.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #2 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Supplements to Lower Cortisol category


Our #3 Rated
Cortigon Nootropic Solution

Truth Nutraceuticals

Cortigon Nootropic Solution

3.5 out of 5

In the Supplements to Lower Cortisol category

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  • Blend of active ingredients including phosphatidylserine which is known to lower cortisol.
  • Natural balancing of hormones.
  • Improves brain function and natural increases in energy.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #3 Rated

3.5 out of 5

In the Supplements to Lower Cortisol category


Our #4 Rated
Cortisol Manager

I.T.

Cortisol Manager

3.5 out of 5

In the Supplements to Lower Cortisol category

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  • Cortisol Manager is a stress-hormone stabilizer which supports both stress and sleep.
  • Designed to be taken at night to reduce cortisol and promote proper sleep.
  • Natural botanical ingredients proven to lower cortisol and promote relaxation.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #4 Rated

3.5 out of 5

In the Supplements to Lower Cortisol category


Our #5 Rated
Cortisol Health

Les Labs

Cortisol Health

3.5 out of 5

In the Supplements to Lower Cortisol category

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  • Dietary supplement with phosphatidylserine and ashwagandha root extract.
  • Added magnesium; an essential mineral for stress response often deficient in many people.
  • Designed to assist with a balanced cortisol response.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #5 Rated

3.5 out of 5

In the Supplements to Lower Cortisol category

What Is Cortisol?

Hopefully, if you’ve read this far, you have a general understanding of what cortisol is. If not, how do you know you want to lower it? Put simply, cortisol is known as the ‘stress hormone’ and is part of the adrenal hormones.

A key player in the body’s natural fight or flight early warning system, cortisol works with adrenalin at times of stress. Should you come across a dragon walking down the street, your body needs the energy to make that decision to fight it or run away. Fortunately dragons aren’t real (don’t tell Daenerys) but unfortunately, stress is very real.

At times of emergency, cortisol is useful and even essential to the body’s function. But chronic stress throughout the day will cause higher levels of cortisol, putting you at greater risk of a host of physical and mental problems including:

  • Anxiety or depression.
  • Memory loss.
  • Cognitive decline.
  • Headaches.
  • Heart disease.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Weight gain.
  • Chronic fatigue.

The following YouTube video gives a brief but a more detailed explanation of what role cortisol plays in the human body.

How Can We Lower Cortisol?

Scary stuff.

But there’s good news, there are many ways you can lower your cortisol levels without medication. Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands into circulation four times per day. The largest of these releases is the early morning one, at about 8 am, which gives you the energy to start the day. Cortisol levels should decline throughout the day, but long-term or repeated stress will cause them to spike.

Stress and Cortisol Levels

Reducing stress is the best way to lower your cortisol, but that’s not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes the kids disappearing may be the best stress relief I can get, but that maybe a bit extreme on a more permanent basis! Natural stress-relief methods include meditation, deep breathing exercises or relaxing outdoors.

Failing that just avoid looking for any dragons!

Regular Exercise to Lower Cortisol

Exercise is one of the best ways to fight high cortisol levels, but be careful not to over exercise. Excessive physical stress will have the same effect on cortisol levels as mental stress and cause them to spike. Thirty minutes a day will provide enough exercise to help control those cortisol levels.

Cortisol Levels and Sleep

Sleep is good. Ensuring you get enough sleep helps your body to rejuvenate itself and leads to a healthier and less stressful life. Cortisol levels should be at their lowest when you go to bed, the last thing you want is a night of stressful tossing and turning. Used with other natural ways of reducing cortisol, sleep can be an effective tool in lowering your cortisol levels.

Diet and Supplements

Many foods and herbs or botanicals can be a good way of controlling the production of cortisol. An anti-inflammatory diet high in fiber, antioxidants and essential nutrients can allow you to better control your weight and blood sugar levels. This will further reduce cortisol levels.

Natural Extracts That Lower Cortisol Levels

Certain botanical extracts like phosphatidylserine and ashwagandha are scientifically proven to help lower cortisol. Other botanicals lie Rhodiola rosea or ginkgo biloba have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to relieve stress and therefore reduce cortisol levels.

Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce cortisol levels in stressed humans, often by as much as 30 percent. Another commonly used extract phosphatidylserine blunts the cortisol response in humans too. Rhodiola rosea, another adaptogenic herb reduces cortisol and increase your resistance to stress, but is energizing rather than sedating—ideal for that chronic fatigue.

Studies have shown that botanicals like magnolia extract help to balance the effects of stress, including anxiety. A dose of 250 to 750 milligrams per day reduces nighttime cortisol levels to help with insufficient sleep through stress. Even vitamin C, better known for its immune boosting properties, will help to prevent elevated cortisol levels.

Best Supplement to Lower Cortisol

With so many different products available to lower your stress and cortisol levels, it can be useful to know which product is right for you. As with any new supplement regime, it’s always advisable to speak to your doctor first. We’ve focused on supplements with the primary aim of lowering cortisol rather than testosterone boosters or BCAAs which can also help to reduce cortisol. We looked at many of the top-selling supplements to help you find the best supplement to lower cortisol.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

DailyNutra

KSM-66 Ashwagandha 600mg

  • Quality
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  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This natural herbal extract uses a strain of ashwagandha called KSM-66 which is far more potent than others. Made from organic and non-GMO ashwagandha root, this is extracted with water and not by chemical means. A plant-based capsule shell makes it suitable for vegetarians too.

Clinically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, increase energy and focus and an increased sexual function for both men and women. Each capsule contains a 600 milligram dose of KSM-66 with 5 percent withanolides and black pepper fruit extract for increased absorption.

Pros
Pro Most potent strain of ashwagandha available.
Pro High potency.
Pro Hypromellose plant-based capsule.
Pro Produced in lab free of heavy metals.
Cons
Con Warning for allergens it may contain milk from the plant root.
Con Very strong dose which may cause gastric upset.
Con Some users complained of irregular sleep when taking this supplement.
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

NutraChamps

Rhodiola Rosea Supplement

  • Quality
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This popular Rhodiola supplement is grown in the Siberian mountain range, recognized as the premium source for Rhodiola roots. Each capsule contains 300 milligrams of Rhodiola root extract powder with the highest potency available—3 percent rosavin and 1 percent salidroside considered the most beneficial formula available. The recommended dose is 600 milligrams a day, or one of the easy-to-swallow vegetarian capsules.

Rhodiola extract has been used in Chinese medicine to boost energy and stamina, second only to ginseng. This adaptogenic plant has also been shown to improve resistance to stress and regulate cortisol levels. NutraChamps Rhodiola is vegan, non-GMO, gluten free and contains no artificial ingredients. Without many of the side effects of other formulas with added unnecessary chemicals, NutraChamps offers a 100 percent lifetime guarantee on all its products.

Pros
Pro The 3 percent rosavin and 1 percent salidroside formula is highly potent.
Pro Boosts energy and stamina.
Pro Defends against disease.
Pro Easy-to-swallow capsules.
Cons
Con Many users find the odor of the capsules overpowering.
Con May cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
Con 600-milligram dose can be too strong for more wired people.
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

Truth Nutraceuticals

Cortigon Nootropic Solution

  • Quality
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This formula from Truth Nutraceuticals uses a combination of active ingredients rather than just one like the previous formulas we’ve looked at. The main active ingredient is phosphatidylserine, derived from soybeans which has been shown to lower cortisol caused by exercise stress. Other ingredients include L-carnitine tartrate, ginkgo leaf extract, chlorine bitatrate, inositol and DHA, all with exact amounts listed on the label.

This all-natural formula is designed to lower cortisol levels fast, with claims you’ll feel the effects within 20 minutes. Other benefits include an increased mental clarity and less brain fog. Energy boosting ingredients will provide that extra fuel without the caffeine crash of many energy drinks.

Pros
Pro All-natural ingredients with exact contents on label.
Pro Large amount of studies available which detail effects of active ingredients.
Pro Easily absorbed.
Pro Faster recovery from workouts.
Cons
Con Contains potential allergens in soy and milk for many users.
Con 100 percent satisfaction is only guaranteed for 60 days.
Con Customers who took larger doses have reported mood swings.
 

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

I.T.

Cortisol Manager

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For those of us who have trouble relaxing and sleeping, this supplement is sold as a sleep and stress support solution. Too much cortisol at night will certainly prevent you sleeping, and this cortisol manager aims to reduce the stress with natural ingredients like ashwagandha, L-theanine, magnolia and epimedium. Working throughout the day, this formula aims to support the body’s natural rise and fall of cortisol levels and results in a more relaxed, stress-free feeling.

Natural botanics are non-habit forming like some other sleep remedies and don’t cause that morning grogginess you may experience with sleeping pills. By reducing your stress and cortisol, you’ll fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The tablets are gluten free, dairy free and suitable for vegans.

Pros
Pro Botanical ingredients are non-habit forming.
Pro Reduces stress.
Pro Only one tablet needed before bedtime or two at times of higher stress.
Pro A natural alternative to sleeping pills.
Cons
Con Contains soy.
Con Proprietary blend doesn’t detail many of the ingredient amounts.
Con Hard to swallow large pill.
Con Side effects can include heartburn and night sweats.

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

Les Labs

Cortisol Health

  • Quality
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This drug-free formula supports your adrenal function and helps to control cortisol levels. Ashwagandha and rhodiola found in this formula help promote relaxation with added magnesium for a calming effect. Other ingredients include magnolia and cortisol-lowering phosphatidylserine.

The phosphatidylserine in this blend comes from sunflower seed extract, so this product can truly claim to be free of soy—good news for those with soy allergies. One easy-to-swallow capsule a day helps to balance your body’s cortisol response at times of stress. The capsules are vegan friendly, gluten free, free of dairy and soy with only non-GMO ingredients used.

Pros
Pro Added magnesium is an essential mineral important to stress response.
Pro Uses well know cortisol-lowering ingredients like ashwagandha and phosphatidylserine.
Pro 100 percent soy free.
Cons
Con Some ingredients can raise glucose levels in diabetics.
Con Side effects include headaches and heart palpitations.
Con Many complaints of feeling drowsy throughout the day.

Our Choice

Although there are many cortisol blockers on the market sold for different reasons, how do we know if they actually work? If you’re looking to lose weight, they may help but they certainly won’t be a miracle weight loss drug the ads often claim. For lowering stress and increased feelings of relaxation, lowering cortisol levels will definitely help in addition to lifestyle changes you can make.

Many of the blends we’ve looked at include a variety of ingredients all aimed at lowering cortisol. Due to the high potency of its natural ashwagandha herb which has been proven by science to lower cortisol, the KSM-66 Ashwagandha from DailyNutra is, in our opinion, the best supplement to lower cortisol.

Using a highly potent KSM-66 strain of ashwagandha root, grown in the Siberian mountains, this age-old remedy for stress relief will help lower your cortisol for a stress-free day and more energy and focus. The capsules even come with a 100 percent lifetime guarantee, DailyNutra is that sure you’ll love them.

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