How to Boost Your Testosterone Levels by Controlling Cortisol Production?

Cortisol, which is the primary stress hormone of the human body gains immense attention in the world of fitness. This is due to the fact that it has the capability to destroy your powerful testosterone molecules even before it leaves the testicles.

[quote bcolor=”#2eb2db”]Cortisol is just the opposite of T hormones and is considered as an enemy for those who wanted to maintain their T levels at high. When the levels of cortisol in the body increase, testosterone levels decreases.[/quote]

However, if the rise in the levels sustains for a prolonged period of time, then it may give rise to lots of health issues and may also affect the athletes in training since T hormones plays a vital role in building muscles and cortisol in point of fact breaks it down.

What is Cortisol?

The stress hormone cortisol is usually produced in the body while a person undergo mental, emotional or any kind of physical stress. This hormone prepares the body for the fight or flight situations, providing the energy required to overcome the stress.

Cortisol helps to breakdown fats and proteins and catapults their conversion to those forms which could be utilized by the body as energy sources. This spike in extra energy is helpful in the short term.

On the other hand, it is really harmful to the body as it results in various health issues such as elevated blood sugar, weight gain, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. This is the main reason why it is important to keep the stress hormone levels as low as possible.

This doesn’t mean that the cortisol is completely useless. It is the hormone which is involved totally in the muscle glycogen release or storage procedures, which wakes you up every morning and above all, without this hormone instead of walking, we all would be still crawling.

The real issue starts only when the levels increases and stays so for a long time frame and this condition is very common for a modern men who intake lots of processed junk, who is deficient of nutrients and also those who experiences chronic stress.

How Is Elevated Cortisol Levels Linked With Testosterone Levels?

Based on some of the recent reports, an enzyme called 11ĂźHSD-1 is produced within the testicles that protect the T hormone from the effects of stress hormones.

But, when the stress hormone is at its peak, 11ßHSD-1 cannot neutralize the cortisol effect and due to the same, majority of the freshly produced testosterone hormones will be damaged sooner than they even leave the testicles.

How to Lower Cortisol Levels?

Lowering the amount of stress hormones developed within the body will bring a positive effect on your health and thus make you feel balanced and relaxed. Below listed are some of the tips and tricks through which you can maintain your cortisol levels within the safe range.

Change in Diet Plan

Change in Diet PlanTake in lot of vegetables and fruits that contains nutritious and balanced diet. Foods with low-glycemic index such as eggs helps to lower blood cortisol levels while products such as whole grain help proteins regulate the cortisol production within the body.

Make sure that you exclude flours and sugars from your diet. Folic acid and Vitamin B5 also aid in initiating the lowering of cortisol levels. Foods such as peas, fish, beans, sunflower seeds, whole grains, beans, melons and oranges are rich in folic acid and vitamin B5.

Oily fish such as tuna and salmon, eggs, citrus fruits, berries, dark leafy greens, lean meat, fortified cereals, flaxseed are rich in fiber and diet. Taking small quantity of meals five times in a day helps reduce cortisol levels making your body free of hunger stress.

It is proven that diet with fish oil is very useful in controlling cortisol levels. Salmon, mackerel, sardines and sea brass are the ideal choices.

[quote bcolor=”#2eb2db”]Some of the foods which lower cortisol levels may include:

  • Oysters – They are rich in bio-active zinc that boost T levels and also helps to lower cortisol.
  • Oats – Contains steroidal saponins which boost testosterone.
  • Olive Oil – Helps in the conversion of cholesterol to testosterone and also cardio-protective.
  • Garlic – Offers anti-inflammatory benefits and helps increase nitric oxide and testosterone.
  • Chamomille Tea – Rich in coumarin, flavonoids, essential oils and other compounds that help people relax.
  • Berries – Rich in vitamin C that inhibit cortisol production.
  • Dark Chocolate – Contains multiple antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonols. The presence of antioxidants helps reduce oxidative stress leading to low cortisol production.
  • Black Tea – Known as a natural stress hormone reliever.
  • Wild Salmon – Famous for omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation within the body. Also they are high in dietary protein.[/quote]

Avoid Caffeine from Your Food

Avoid Caffeine from Your FoodThis is one of the easiest methods to lower the production of cortisol and increase the DHEA production – the major anabolic youth hormone. It is a proved fact that, 200 mg of caffeine content will help to elevate the blood cortisol levels by around 30 percent within an hour time.

This hormone can stay at its peak range for a minimum of 18 hours within your body. This is the quickest technique to lower the catabolic metabolism, thereby increasing your anabolic metabolism.

Eliminate or cut short all the drinks which contain higher amounts of caffeine in it. Some of the food products which are high in caffeine may include energy drinks, coffee and sodas.

Lower the Intake of Processed Foods In Your Diet

Lower the Intake of Processed Foods In Your DietProcessed foods, in particular those which are rich in sugar and carbohydrates will result in an increase in cortisol levels. Including too much of processes foods in your diet may elevate blood sugar levels and this in turn makes you feel anxious as well.

Some of the top processed foods which should be avoided may include white bread, regular pasta (not whole wheat), white rice, candies, cakes and chocolates etc.

Make Exercise a Regular Habit

Make Exercise a Regular HabitMajority of the people are of the opinion that after a stressful working period, it is observed that they increase weight around the midsection. This is mainly due to the fat stored in the abdominal area which is having more density in the abdomen and holds four times more amount of cortisol receptors.

Exercising regularly (3 to 5 times weekly) is really important for maintaining the cortisol levels in your body. During the time of workout, your body will generate more amounts of natural endorphins and dopamine, which will help to fight against anxiety, lethargy and depression.

For further information regarding the case study, click on the link below:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880087/

Maintain Your Sugar Levels

Maintain Your Sugar LevelsTry to reduce the amount of sugar intake and refined carbohydrates in your diet for avoiding spike in insulin production. Try to consume food in small amounts frequently so that it helps to make a balance in complex carbohydrates, protein, good fats such as flax seed oil and olive oil.

Diets which are high in carbohydrates will help to regulate the levels of cortisol lower than that of the low carbohydrate diets. Always try to keep your body hydrated since dehydration will increase the levels of stress hormones.

Drink water before you go to bed and also when you wake up in the morning.

Meditate or Relax Yourself

Meditate or Relax YourselfMeditate or spend some time for enjoying music as it is one of the best things which aids in the promotion of focused alertness (alpha) and relaxed (theta) brain waves. Try to avoid those jolting alarm clocks which wake you up from a deep sleep to an agitated and anxious state.

Meditation helps to activate the Vagus nerve, which in turn set off a response within your body for reducing cortisol levels. For getting best results out of medication, try to meditate for not less than 30 minutes a day, say for 3 to 4 times on weekly basis. Once you make it a practice, you can see a significant difference in how your body reacts.

Drink Enough Water

Drink Enough WaterOne of the recent study conducted have proved that, just half-liter of dehydration may even lead to increased cortisol levels in your body. Dehydration and stress levels are directly proportional to each other. When dehydration occurs, stress levels will get increased and vice versa.

So always ensure that you sip lots of water all through day hours for cutting down the chances of unhealthy cortisol levels.

For further information regarding the case study, click on the link below:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/water-stress-reduction

Include Black Tea in your Daily Diet

Include Black Tea In your Daily DietIt is a proven fact that including black tea in your daily diet will reduce the overall cortisol levels while being in a stressful environment. So next time when you really feel that cortisol levels are bubbling up, grab a cup of black tea and make yourself feel relaxed.

Include More Nutrients

Include More NutrientsOmega-3 Fatty Acids – It has got a promising effect in lowering cortisol levels.

B Complex Vitamins – This is often recommended by the health care providers for mood disorders owing to its power in creating a calm energy for the users. In addition, B complex vitamins also promote healthy adrenal functioning. It also helps in the production and even combat the elevated levels of cortisol.

Vitamin C – It helps to lower cortisol levels naturally. It is considered as the best cost-effective supplement which you can opt for naturally balancing higher cortisol levels. Many research conducted have noted that supplementing vitamin C after workouts will quickly clears cortisol levels and enhances recovery.

In addition, some of the animal studies are even showing a link between vitamin C to increased production of testosterone.

For further information regarding the case study, click on the links below:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21069377

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21794102

Conclusion

Every individual will be having something in life which causes stress. Men often will feel that it’s their part of the duty to handle the stresses of job, family, and relations along with maintaining their fitness, health and diet.

It is really important to find some way to de-stress themselves since maintaining healthy levels of testosterone in  their body is highly essential for the overall well being. Cortisol will be always produced in your body when you workout.

However you should make sure that these hormones are within the safe range itself. If you ever feel that you have done all the possible ways to manage your cortisol levels and still you have them in higher amounts, then talk to your primary care physician for knowing more about the other possible causes.

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Arun Kumar T
 

Arun is the founder @workoutable. He is Learning different ways to transform his body from fat to fit. Himself as a crash test dummy, experimenting with his body. He is trying to help people to transform their body.