In today’s world, we are constantly on-the-go. From working 40+ hours a week sitting at a desk, to trying to be a Wonder Woman mom or Superman dad. We are on the move all the time. And the stress of trying to make it all happen can be overwhelming.
This heightened (possibly all-the-time) stress level can wreak havoc on the body and mind, causing us to enter a state of ‘fight or flight’. One of the reasons why we enter this state is a higher level cortisol in the body.
What is cortisol? And even though it seems to affect us negatively, why do we need it in our body? 25 Again, a leader in hormone health and therapy, explains how healthy levels of cortisol are actually good for our bodies and how we can maintain them.
What is Cortisol?
Cortisol, also named the stress hormone, comes from our adrenal glands and is directly responsible for stress. Cortisol is present in the body at all times, however the amounts differ depending on the time of day and our experiences. For instance, most people have a higher level of cortisol in the morning and lower level at night.
It is perfectly healthy to have cortisol in the body. However when our bodies are unable to relax after a heightened period of stress, the hormone goes into overdrive.
We actually need cortisol to help us regulate other hormones, so when we enter a period of chronic stress (and high cortisol levels), our body gets out of sync and cause a series of other problems, including:
- Blood sugar imbalances
- High blood pressure
- The inability to think clearly or effectively
- And physical changes to our bodies
Why We Need Cortisol to be Healthy
So if cortisol has the potential to run amok and cause lots of problems, why even have it all?
When working correctly, the hormone is actually necessary for other hormone production and function, like estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid. Cortisol also helps us maintain a steady level of energy throughout the day.
Other positive side effects of cortisol include:
- Bursts of energy during ‘fight or flight’ scenarios
- Improved memory
- Heightened immune system
- And overall healthy inner workings of the body
How to Maintain Healthy Cortisol Levels
At 25 Again, we understand the importance of having your hormones behave as they should. After all, you want to feel your best in every environment, not constantly trying to keep it together day after day.
Here are a few tips for maintaining healthy levels of cortisol in the body:
- Set a regular bedtime and wake up routine – Getting your body on a schedule will help even out the abnormal levels of cortisol so you’re at your highest amount in the morning and lowest right before bed.
- Try to avoid working out at night – Getting in some time at the gym is important, but late night workouts can make it difficult for cortisol to level off when your adrenaline is pumping after a good workout. If you can, work out earlier in the day or right after work. This will give your body a chance to relax before its time to sleep.
- Drink water! – When we’re stressed, we’re more likely to get dehydrated and drink sugary drinks instead of the water our body craves. Make an effort to add more water to your diet so you can ward off stress-induced cravings, bloat, or other side effects.
Cortisol is necessary and healthy for the body. If you think you’re going through a chronic state of stress and want to learn how hormone optimization can help your body regulate cortisol, 25 Again can help. Learn more about hormone optimization therapy and treatment here.