4

votes

Can we use alternative techniques to lower cortisol post workout?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 20, 2012 at 9:11 PM

I have noticed that when doing Qi Gong or yoga, particularly pranayama (breath work), or when getting a massage, my apparent stress level decreases immediately and dramatically. I understand that doing say an hour of intense circuit-style weight-training would raise cortisol levels, perhaps undesirably high. Do you think it would be possible to use such techniques to lower cortisol levels after a hard workout? I am trying to think of a way to work my muscles hard without inducing the downside of elevated cortisol. I know this is a cake (aaahh remember cake...) and eat it too kind of question and I understand that there may be no connection between my perceived stress level and the actual level of cortisol in my body, however, I thought I would ask.

Any thoughts or experiences?

153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85

(762)

on November 05, 2012
at 11:09 AM

The lay in savasana might be the same as the dead man's pose, binaural beats are beats that affect the brain, they influence brain waves, there are some free iPhone/ipod apps if you want to try them out?

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on November 05, 2012
at 10:32 AM

What are binaural beats? I also do some yoga after weights to open things back up and hopefully prevent injury. Then I do lay in savasana to just chill out a little.

3193ead7a301b741aafa193c4476edea

(213)

on September 25, 2012
at 08:41 PM

Maybe you haven't seen enough evidence. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18427418

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on September 20, 2012
at 11:42 PM

I've only really seen evidence that vitamin C lowers cortisol after ultramarathons and crazy 4 hour workouts. It tends to not in the context of normal people exercise.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 20, 2012
at 10:38 PM

I think studies actually show that it blunts the training response too.

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4 Answers

1
3193ead7a301b741aafa193c4476edea

(213)

on September 20, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Lots of ways to lower cortisol PWO through supplementation.

Vitamin C, Glycine, Phosphatidyl Serine, etc...

Personally I use Vitamin C. Great as an anti-oxidant PWO, and helps reduce the cortisol spike. 1-2g works great for me.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on September 20, 2012
at 11:42 PM

I've only really seen evidence that vitamin C lowers cortisol after ultramarathons and crazy 4 hour workouts. It tends to not in the context of normal people exercise.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 20, 2012
at 10:38 PM

I think studies actually show that it blunts the training response too.

3193ead7a301b741aafa193c4476edea

(213)

on September 25, 2012
at 08:41 PM

Maybe you haven't seen enough evidence. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18427418

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 20, 2012
at 10:09 PM

High insulin, High Cortisol etc... are not problems.

CHRONICALLY HIGH is.

If you are working out enough to cause chronically high cortisol the fix is easy. Stop. 2 days of lifting heavy is going to be much more effective than 5 days of lifting while trying to artificially manipulate your hormones.

Well, unless your cortisol management is anabolic steroids in which case continue...

0
153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85

(762)

on November 04, 2012
at 11:25 PM

I always use my breath, and maybe some binaural beats, to get my cortisol down after a workout, just because I don't want sore muscles etc. and when doing this after a workout I never get sore, or sick, or anything negative.

I started doing this after learning yoga, and doing the dead man's pose after a yoga session, it really, really helps.

153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85

(762)

on November 05, 2012
at 11:09 AM

The lay in savasana might be the same as the dead man's pose, binaural beats are beats that affect the brain, they influence brain waves, there are some free iPhone/ipod apps if you want to try them out?

Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

(1205)

on November 05, 2012
at 10:32 AM

What are binaural beats? I also do some yoga after weights to open things back up and hopefully prevent injury. Then I do lay in savasana to just chill out a little.

0
Acf3f15ef2f914d0684960ed21a81bd5

(155)

on September 20, 2012
at 09:42 PM

I'm no expert, but I think it might be best to experiment with what works best for you here. Everyone's interaction with cortisol differs. Some people are able to sustain difficult high-intensity workouts for longer durations than others, especially if relative day-to-day stressors are low, but you'll never know unless you test the waters a little.

Since you know a variety of techniques that could possibly work as a de-stressor post workout, maybe experiment with increasing the intensity or duration of your workouts very gradually and carefully in tandem with them. I would log the activity and adjust accordingly when you start to get run down or worn out.

In general, I wouldn't recommend doing this if your day-to-day stressors are high, or if you don't have time to sufficiently recover from your workouts.

Also, as always, be safe and common sensical, and do everything very gradually. There's nothing to gain from injury.

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