Stress is a part of life, but too much stress can wreak havoc on your health. One of the key players in the stress response is cortisol, a hormone that, when elevated, can lead to a host of issues. In this article, we’ll explore the best supplements to lower cortisol levels and help you manage stress effectively.

Understanding Cortisol

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is often referred to as the “stress hormone” because it’s released in response to stress. It’s produced by the adrenal glands and plays a vital role in various bodily functions, including metabolism, immune response, and blood sugar regulation.

How Cortisol Affects the Body

When cortisol levels are too high for too long, it can lead to problems such as anxiety, depression, weight gain, sleep disturbances, and even heart disease. Managing cortisol levels is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being.

Natural Ways to Lower Cortisol

Lifestyle Changes

Before diving into supplements, it’s essential to consider lifestyle changes that can help lower cortisol levels. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management techniques like meditation and deep breathing are foundational strategies.

Diet and Nutrition

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can support your body’s ability to manage stress. Avoiding excessive caffeine and sugar can also help keep cortisol levels in check.

Introduction to Supplements

How Supplements Can Help

Supplements can provide additional support in managing stress and lowering cortisol levels. They work by influencing various biochemical pathways in the body that regulate stress responses.

Choosing the Right Supplements

Not all supplements are created equal. It’s essential to choose high-quality products that have been tested for purity and potency. Look for supplements that contain ingredients known for their stress-relieving properties.

Top Supplements to Lower Cortisol


Inositol is a type of sugar that influences the action of insulin and several hormones associated with mood and cognition. It’s known to help reduce anxiety and improve sleep, thereby potentially lowering cortisol levels.


Found in green tea, L-theanine promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, making it an excellent supplement for managing cortisol.


Magnesium is a crucial mineral that supports over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including those that regulate stress. It’s known to help improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety.

Ashwagandha (KSM-66)

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to stress. KSM-66 is a specific extract that has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and improve overall stress resilience.


Zinc plays a vital role in immune function and has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. It’s also essential for maintaining optimal levels of various hormones, including cortisol.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is necessary for the proper functioning of the adrenal glands, which produce cortisol. It helps the body produce neurotransmitters that influence mood and stress responses.


Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety. Supplements that increase GABA levels can help lower cortisol and improve overall stress management.


L-tryptophan is an amino acid that the body converts into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences mood and relaxation. Higher serotonin levels can help reduce cortisol.


5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a direct precursor to serotonin. Taking 5-HTP supplements can help increase serotonin levels, thereby reducing stress and cortisol.


Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Proper sleep is crucial for managing stress, and melatonin supplements can help improve sleep quality and duration.

Passion Flower Extract

Passion Flower Extract is known for its calming effects. It can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep, which in turn helps lower cortisol levels.

Detailed Look at Each Supplement

Inositol: Benefits and Dosage

Inositol helps regulate the stress response and improve mood. The typical dosage is 500-2000 mg per day, taken in divided doses.

L-theanine: Benefits and Dosage

L-theanine promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety. A common dose is 200-400 mg per day, usually taken in one or two doses.

Magnesium: Benefits and Dosage

Magnesium supports stress regulation and sleep. The recommended dose is 200-400 mg per day, taken with food to improve absorption.

Ashwagandha (KSM-66): Benefits and Dosage

Ashwagandha reduces cortisol levels and improves stress resilience. The typical dose is 300-500 mg per day, standardized to contain 5% withanolides.

Zinc: Benefits and Dosage

Zinc supports immune function and reduces stress. A standard dose is 25-50 mg per day, taken with meals to prevent stomach upset.

Vitamin B6: Benefits and Dosage

Vitamin B6 is essential for neurotransmitter production and adrenal function. The recommended dose is 10-50 mg per day.

GABA: Benefits and Dosage

GABA promotes relaxation and lowers cortisol. The typical dose is 500-750 mg per day, taken in divided doses.

L-tryptophan: Benefits and Dosage

L-tryptophan supports serotonin production and reduces stress. The common dose is 500-1000 mg per day, taken before bedtime.

5-HTP: Benefits and Dosage

5-HTP increases serotonin levels and reduces cortisol. The standard dose is 50-100 mg per day, taken with meals.

Melatonin: Benefits and Dosage

Melatonin improves sleep and regulates stress. The typical dose is 1-5 mg per day, taken 30 minutes before bedtime.

Passion Flower Extract: Benefits and Dosage

Passion Flower Extract calms the mind and reduces anxiety. A common dose is 100-200 mg per day, taken in divided doses.

Combining Supplements for Maximum Effect

Synergistic Effects

Combining certain supplements can enhance their effects. For example, taking magnesium with melatonin can improve sleep quality more effectively than either supplement alone.

Recommended Combinations

A well-rounded stress management regimen might include a combination of magnesium, ashwagandha, and L-theanine. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Safety and Side Effects

General Safety Tips

While supplements can be beneficial, it’s important to use them responsibly. Always follow the recommended dosages and consult with a healthcare provider, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

Potential Side Effects

Most supplements are well-tolerated, but side effects can occur. Common side effects include digestive upset, headaches, and allergic reactions. If you experience any adverse effects, discontinue use and consult a healthcare provider.


Managing stress and lowering cortisol levels is essential for maintaining overall health. Supplements like those listed above can provide valuable support in this process. By incorporating these supplements into your daily routine, alongside healthy lifestyle choices, you can effectively manage stress and improve your well-being.


What is cortisol, and why is it important to manage?

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. It’s important to manage because chronically high cortisol levels can lead to various health issues, including anxiety, depression, weight gain, and sleep disturbances.

Can supplements replace other stress management techniques?

Supplements can support stress management but should not replace other techniques such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and stress reduction practices like meditation and deep breathing.

How long does it take to see results from these supplements?

The time it takes to see results can vary depending on the individual and the supplement. Some people may notice improvements within a few days, while others may take several weeks to experience the full benefits.

Are there any interactions between these supplements and medications?

Some supplements can interact with medications. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, especially if you are taking prescription medications.

Where can I buy these supplements?

You can find these supplements at health food stores, online retailers, and pharmacies. For a comprehensive solution, consider trying Night Night, which contains a blend of these effective ingredients.