Enjoy a drink that supports you through stress? Yes, please. Cortisol Mocktail FTW.

In today’s fast-paced world, many of us feel the weight of chronic stress. The constant barrage of deadlines, responsibilities, and pressure to do more can leave us feeling frazzled and depleted. This constant stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. While cortisol plays a vital role in the body’s fight-or-flight response, chronically elevated levels can wreak havoc on our health, impacting everything from sleep quality to digestion and immune function. If you’re looking for natural ways to manage stress and support your adrenal health, look no further than the delightful world of the cortisol mocktail! You may have seen them popping up left and right during your Instagam scrolls. And for good reason! These refreshing and flavorful beverages are packed with stress-fighting ingredients they can help lower cortisol levels and promote feelings of calm.

WHAT MAKES A CORTISOL MOCKTAIL DIFFERENT?

Unlike traditional mocktails that simply mimic cocktails, a cortisol mocktail is designed with a specific purpose in mind: to combat stress and promote relaxation.  

They achieve this through a combination of:

  • Adaptogenic Herb

    • These botanical powerhouses basically help the body adapt to stress and promote hormonal balance. 
    • For example, ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, and holy basil (tulsi).
  • Vitamins and Minerals:

    • Certain vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in stress management and adrenal function. These cortisol mocktail recipes incorporate fruits and vegetables rich in these vital nutrients.
    • For example, Vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium 
  • Calming Ingredients

    • Some ingredients possess inherent calming properties. 
    • For example, Chamomile tea, lavender, and L-theanine (found in green tea)

Beyond the Cortisol Mocktail: Understanding Cortisol’s Role

Before diving into delicious recipes, let’s talk about cortisol’s role in the body and the consequences of chronic stress.  This is important because I’m a big believer in knowing WHY health trends work before you do them!

Cortisol: The Body’s Built-in Alarm System

Cortisol, nicknamed the “stress hormone,” is crucial for our survival. When faced with a threat, cortisol surges, providing a burst of energy and alertness. This helps us cope with immediate challenges, whether it’s a looming deadline or a physical danger.

However, in today’s chronic stress environment, cortisol levels can remain elevated for extended periods. Unfortunately, this leads to a cascade of negative effects, including:

  • Disrupted Sleep 

    • Elevated cortisol can interfere with your sleep cycle, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Digestive Issues 

    • Chronic stress can manifest in digestive problems like bloating, constipation, and heartburn.
  • Weakened Immune System

    • Cortisol can suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
  • Weight Gain

    • Cortisol promotes the storage of belly fat and can contribute to weight gain. It can also make it hard to lose weight and could be the reason why you’re busting your butt doing tons of cardio and HIIT workouts and not seeing any results.
  • Anxiety and Mood Swings

    • Chronic stress disrupts the delicate balance of neurotransmitters, leading to anxiety, depression, and mood swings.

ADAPTOGENS: USING THE POWER OF PLANTS FOR STRESS RELIEF 

Fortunately, nature has made a plethora of stress-fighting herbs that can help counteract the negative effects of cortisol.  

Here are some key players commonly found in a cortisol mocktail:

  • Ashwagandha

    • This adaptogenic herb is revered in Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Studies suggest ashwagandha can help lower cortisol levels and improve sleep quality.
  • Rhodiola Rosea

    • This adaptogen supports the body’s response to stress by promoting energy, focus, and emotional resilience. Some research indicates rhodiola may help reduce fatigue and improve mood. While all adaptogens are ‘balancing’ this tends to be a slightly more stimulating one so be mindful consuming it too close to bedtime.
  • Holy Basil (Tulsi)

    • This sacred herb boasts adaptogenic properties that help manage stress and anxiety. Studies also suggest tulsi may enhance the immune system and support healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Chamomile

    • This calming herb is a popular choice for promoting relaxation. Chamomile tea has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality.
  • L-Theanine

    • An amino acid found in green tea, L-theanine promotes the production of calming alpha brainwaves. It works synergistically with caffeine in green tea to provide a relaxed alertness.

CRAFTING YOUR CORTISOL MOCKTAIL: Tips and Tricks

Ready to create your own stress-busting mocktail haven? Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:

    • Fresh is Best

      • Whenever possible, opt for fresh, organic ingredients over pre-packaged juices or extracts. Organic fruits and herbs offer the most potent concentration of vitamins, minerals, and stress-fighting compounds. Many pre-packaged ones are concentrated and have higher levels of sugar than the real fruity deal.
    • Balance your Blood Sugar

      • I’m not a huge fan of juicing or smoothies in general because they can spike your blood sugar (yes, even natural fruit) so be mindful of just how sweet your craft mocktail is. Elevated blood sugar is another common cause of increased cortisol so sip mindfully!
    • Sweeteners with Benefits

      • Avoid refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. Instead, consider natural sweeteners like honey, dates, or maple syrup.

3 REFRESHING CORTISOL MOCKTAIL RECIPES

Now, let’s get mixing! Here are three delicious cortisol mocktail recipes designed to combat stress, promote relaxation, and tantalize your taste buds. We recommend choosing organic and local produce whenever possible.

The Zen Berry Blast Cortisol Mocktail

This antioxidant-rich mocktail is packed with berries and calming herbs.  Berries boast a wealth of vitamin C and other vital nutrients, while chamomile tea soothes the nervous system and promotes relaxation. In other words, get ready to chill!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup brewed chamomile tea, chilled
  • ½ cup sparkling water (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • A few fresh mint leaves

Instructions:

  1. Firstly, grab a blender and combine berries, chilled chamomile tea, and lemon juice.
  2. Then blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass filled with ice.
  4. Topwith sparkling water for a bubbly touch (optional).
  5. Lastly, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

The Tropical Island Cortisol Mocktail

Tropical Island Cortisol Mocktail

Embrace island vibes with this refreshing mocktail that combines the stress-fighting properties of L-theanine in green tea with the calming essence of lavender. Pineapple adds a touch of sweetness and vitamin C.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup brewed green tea, chilled
  • ½ cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • A few sprigs of fresh lavender
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Firstly, grab a glass, combine chilled green tea, chopped pineapple, pineapple juice, and lemon juice.
  2. Then muddle the lavender sprigs slightly to release their aroma.
  3. Add the lavender sprigs to the glass.
  4. Fill the glass with ice and stir gently.
  5. Lastly, garnish with a sprig of lavender (optional).

The Spicy Citrus Cooler Cortisol Mocktail

Spicy Citrus Cooler Mocktail

This invigorating mocktail offers a unique flavor profile that combines the stress-reducing benefits of rhodiola rosea with the refreshing zing of citrus and ginger.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup grapefruit juice
  • ½ cup sparkling water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ teaspoon rhodiola rosea powder (optional)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Firstly, In a shaker, combine grapefruit juice, lime juice, ginger, and rhodiola rosea powder (if using).
  2. Then, Shake well.
  3. Strain into a glass filled with ice.
  4. Top with sparkling water.
  5. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick (optional).
  6. Lastly, garnish with a lime wedge.

WHERE TO GET YOUR ADAPTOGENS FOR YOUR CORTISOL MOCKTAIL

One of my favorite places to get my herbs is from Mountain Rose Herbs. They have powders, tinctures and teas to get you high-quality, well-sourced, organic herbal adaptogens to build your blooming apothecary. 

INCORPORATING THE CORTISOL MOCKTAIL INTO YOUR WELLNESS ROUTINE

Enjoying a cortisol mocktail are a delicious and convenient way to support your stress management efforts, plus an awesome reason to host your friends, sans hangover. For an extra stress-busting boost, pair your mocktail with relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, spending time in nature, acupuncture, and yoga.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Daily stress management is one of the things that is missing from most people’s health routine. Many people have diet and exercise on point but stress management is often overlooked and that journaling, meditation or breathwork practice tends to be one of the first to go once things get busy or hectic. 

Regularly incorporating stress-reducing practices can significantly impact your overall well-being. A cortisol mocktail is an easy way to slow down, to nourish and nurture your body with herbal goodness, and give yourself a reason to relax. 

Adaptogens need to be consumed consistently and build up in your system to see the best results. It may take a few weeks before you see the full benefits of using these beautiful botanicals. However, this isn’t an end-all, be-all solution for chronic stress. Digging into the core reasons for your stress and learning to mitigate them are imperative. 

EMBRACE THE POWER OF PLANTS AND PRIORITIZE PEACE

The world may be full of stressors but you don’t have to let them control your inner calm. By embracing the power of plants and incorporating a cortisol mocktail into your wellness routine, you can take an active role in managing stress and promoting relaxation. 

With each delicious sip, you’re nourishing your body with nature’s bounty and creating peace from the inside out. So, take a deep breath, choose your favorite recipe, and embark on a journey towards a calmer, more stress-resistant you!

Need more support navigating stress and related health issues?

Book a one-on-one session with our Functional Medicine Consultation. We dive into healthy history as well as your diet and lifestyle habits and come up with a comprehensive game plan to get you feeling your best.  

Got questions? Let us know! We are here to support you on your health journey!