Hormones - Cortisol

Ladies, our bodies are amazing.  Seriously though. The athleticism, grace, persistence, and power of the female body has always made me proud to be a woman.  And because of our greatness, our bodies tend to be a tad more complicated than our male counterparts. And for good reason! We are responsible for creating life!  

Whether or not you have children, we all have the same hormones that can either make us feel great or make us feel like we were attacked by 100 tired and hungry toddlers.  So my goal is to help you get acquainted with these hormones that can impact your energy, mood, cravings, and overall well being. We’ll start with one of the most well known of the hormone tribe; cortisol.

Cortisol is our body's main stress hormone, and when it’s levels are in check, it works perfectly to keep us well balanced throughout the day.  Our bodies should be releasing the most cortisol around 5 AM and then tapering off throughout the day with the least amount at bedtime in order to have a restful sleep.  We need cortisol in order to keep all of our other hormones in balance. Having too much or too little can impact our immune system, metabolism, blood sugar, energy, cravings, sleep, and menstrual cycle.  

Learning how to listen to our bodies cues and figure out whether or not our cortisol levels are too high, too low, or right where we want them to be, is one of the first steps to overall hormonal health.  

With not enough of it you can suffer with low blood sugar, low energy, inflammation, and poor exercise tolerance, as well as a low appetite for protein and often cravings for simple carbs and sugar.  

With too much of it, you ramp up inflammation and weight gain and have difficulty sleeping, erratic energy, menstrual cycle dysfunction and a host of disruptions spanning your entire hormonal system. 

So how do I level out my cortisol levels, Liz?  Generally speaking, try to...

  • Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day  

  • Try to get your workouts done in the  morning and take a leisurely walk in the afternoon.  

  • take some intentional breaths during the day to recenter and to let go of what might be bogging you down.  Better yet, meditate. This one deserves its very own blog post


Want a more customized approach, let’s talk.