How to lower cortisol? 4 properties of Kava Kava
When you go for an evening workout after a hard day, hoping to unwind, but end up unable to sleep because the stress and racing thoughts have only intensified – this is how cortisol works. Not coincidentally, it’s also known as the fight hormone and the stress hormone. Find out what the danger of long-term elevated cortisol is and how Kava Kava helps (not only) athletes on a daily basis. And in night mode.
Problem with cortisol
Intense physical exertion is a challenge for the body similar to stress. Stress is de facto a defence response to a stressor – a threatening situation in which all processes in the organism are subordinated to a survival effort. Stress is therefore an inherently positive and even pro-developmental reaction. The problem with stress occurs when the stress is too intense or prolonged. Similarly, our body acts in the case of intense training, which, like stress, raises cortisol levels.
As long as cortisol remains at optimal levels and its fluctuations are limited in time and scale – it has a positive effect, especially for athletes. It helps, for example, in the development of muscle tissue, reduction of body fat and influences testosterone. The problem begins when the body’s exertion is too intense (stress, sport). Then cortisol starts to act (almost exactly) in the opposite way.
High cortisol - the risks
Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex. Its elevated levels may be responsible for, among other things, a negative:
- Increase in glucose (inhibits consumption) and acceleration of glucogenesis
- Increased blood pressure and vasoconstriction
- Increased protein catabolism – releases free radicals and amino acids, slows their absorption by muscles
- Retention of salt in the body and greater excretion of potassium
This is why falling asleep after an evening workout is so difficult: more glucose is supplied to the brain and it cannot calm down, while the muscles suffer from pain and general signs of overtraining. We find it harder to fall asleep, which means it is also harder to enter nocturnal catabolism – regulated by its own rhythm and responsible for the body’s energy during long hours without food. At the same time, cortisol stimulates our appetite…
As a result, stress comes back with redoubled force – the chasing thoughts have even more glocose ‘fuel’ and the body cannot relax properly. Stress therefore exacerbates the negative effects in a training context: elevated cortisol not only limits muscle growth, but also promotes the development of fat tissue (insulin economy).
Fat tissue is primarily deposited around the face, neck and torso.
People with elevated cortisol also often struggle with mood disorders, compounded by sleep problems and even depression.
How to lower cortisol after training?
First the body. Secondly, the head.
Above all, the workout should not be too long. After the workout, it is generally recommended to relax the muscles with a bath, massage, yoga or stretching exercises. Calming the body should also correspond to reducing stress at the level of the head.
4 unique properties of Kava vs cortisol
Let’s look at all the elements mentioned earlier. How can methystine pepper help us?
- Kava reduces muscle tension – it relaxes the muscles (not only after a workout, but also simply after a day full of tension)
- Kava has a local anaesthetic effect – helps with muscle pain
- Kava is deeply relaxing – reduces stress by affecting, among other things, the limbic system and the regulation of emotional states, thus also improving mood and well-being
- Kava helps you fall asleep and recover during sleep – not only after exercise
Proper recovery during sleep is particularly important for athletes. Lack of sleep can increase cortisol levels and reduce testosterone levels (which are largely responsible for regeneration).
In contrast, during healthy sleep:
- damaged proteins are restored
- lactic acid is converted into glucose
- new muscle fibres are formed (from stem cells)
How Kava enhances the regenerative phase of sleep – you can read here.
Kava also helps to reduce stress-related snacking.
If you are on a diet – Kava Kava is a safe choice.
If you are looking for a healthy alternative to alcohol and empty calories – Kava Kava!
It is no coincidence that Kava Kava is a favourite drink of many Pacific rugby teams!
Additionally, for athletes, the value of Kava Kava is its anti-inflammatory properties.
How to choose the right Kavaha – you can read here.
If you are looking for the best Kava for evening relaxation and better sleep – we recommend Kavaha DEEP CALM. If you’re looking for a wholesome Kava to prepare under any conditions – even at the gym – we recommend Kavaha Instant – just pour into water or your favourite drink, stir and you’re ready to go!