Taking control of your cortisol levels can be achieved naturally using the following eight steps:

1. Avoid very low-calorie diets, especially for extended periods. The restriction of calories is a significant stress to the body, causing decreases in testosterone (in both men and women—yes, women have testosterone too, just less of it) and increases in cortisol.
2. Avoid overtraining (a common mistake). Keep workouts brief (less than 60 minutes) and intense by packing more work into less time.
3. Consume carbohydrates and proteins immediately following your workout. This will help to suppress the post-workout-induced stress response and maximize recovery.
4. Be sure to get seven to eight hours of deep, dark, restful sleep nightly (depriving yourself of sleep will raise cortisol).
5. Drink plenty of water (being dehydrated can raise cortisol).
6. Do not binge on alcohol.
7. Do not use stimulants such as caffeine or ephedrine.
8. Consume an alkalinizing diet (the more alkaline you are, the less cortisol
you make

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