If you’re feeling run down and are gaining weight without really knowing why. It could be that your adrenal glands are under stress and are fatigued. Adrenal fatigue is a condition that is becoming more recognized and to be honest, more common due to our modern lifestyles. So, what is an adrenal cocktail and how can it help?
Let’s dive in and get you started on your adrenal cocktail journey!
What are the adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands are small glands that sit just above the kidneys. They are responsible for your metabolism, immune function and your response to stress, both emotional and physical stress.
The adrenals release cortisol, aldosterone, DHEA, adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) into the bloodstream to help regulate the stress response in the body.
Our stress hormones influence how our thyroid functions. This means the more stress we add to our bodies, the slower our metabolism becomes, meaning that you’ll gain weight easier (as well as so many other symptoms!)
Cortisol is the most well-known hormone to come from the adrenal glands. It has a number of roles within the body including controlling the body’s use of fats, protein and carbohydrates, reducing inflammation, increasing blood sugar levels, regulating blood pressure and having a role in the sleep-wake cycle.
Aldosterone is a mineralocorticoid hormone that is released into the bloodstream and regulates the blood pressure and the levels of potassium and sodium in the body.
DHEA is the hormone that is the precursor to some of the body’s oestrogen and testosterone production. This contributes to only a small portion of androgens in the body, the rest is produced in the ovaries and testes.
Adrenaline and Noradrenaline
These are the hormones that are responsible for the flight/fight response. When the body enters a stressful situation, adrenaline and noradrenaline are released. This will lead to an increased heart rate, increased blood flow to the muscles and brain, relaxing airway smooth muscle, restricting the blood flow in order to maintain higher blood pressure and assist in sugar metabolism.
To learn more about the adrenal glands and how they function, click here.
What is adrenal fatigue?
Now that we know what the adrenal glands do within the body, we’ll look at what happens when you enter adrenal fatigue. In the medical world, adrenal fatigue is used to describe a bunch of symptoms. They don’t recognise it as a condition but essentially it is where the adrenal glands are under chronic stress. Stress is great to help us in the flight/fight response so we can escape a situation but when that happens on a chronic level, it may cause other symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
There are many signs that someone might experience when they are in adrenal fatigue. These can include but are not limited to:
- Fatigue upon waking. Feeling like you didn’t get good quality sleep
- Increased energy in the evening. Sometimes referred to as your ‘second wind’
- Low libido
- Gaining weight even if you’re eating a healthy diet
- Brain fog
- Poor response to stress. You might find that you’re getting overly upset about something that wouldn’t usually bother you.
- Feeling like you need to rely on caffeine and other stimulates.
- Craving salt or overly sugary foods
- Low blood sugar levels
- Frequent urination
- Poor circulation
- Low immune response
What causes Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is becoming more and more common, probably due to our current lifestyles. We all know that we are under more emotional stress than ever, from losing your job, divorce, financial issues, but our body also goes into adrenal fatigue when it’s under physical stress.
Physical stress occurs through pregnancy, breastfeeding, restrictive dieting and not consuming enough nutrition, poor diet, increased environmental toxins, other chemicals known as ‘endocrine disruptors’ like BPA and phthalates, medications and excessive exercise. There are so many reasons that our bodies go into adrenal fatigue.
What is the adrenal cocktail?
If you’ve experienced some of the signs of adrenal fatigue, then you might be wondering where to start to help get your adrenals to function properly again.
The Adrenal Cocktail is a great place to start! Please know that there are many more factors that go into balancing your stress response but the adrenal cocktail will start by increasing your levels of vitamin C, sodium and potassium.
We’ve all heard about vitamin C but did you know that it’s needed for the body to produce cortisol? If you are under chronic stress, your body is going to be using more vitamin C than normal. For this reason, you will need to increase your vitamin C intake.
Potassium is responsible for maintaining fluid within our cells and for maintaining aldosterone levels. When we are deficient in potassium we often experience fatigue as our cells are dehydrated and our adrenal gland function is reduced.
Sodium is responsible for maintaining fluid levels outside of the cells and works with potassium to maintain the right balance of fluid inside and outside of the cells. If there is low sodium within the body it triggers the adrenal glands to increase aldosterone production, ultimately increasing all stress hormone production.
Adrenal Cocktail Recipe
The adrenal cocktail is a cocktail of vitamin C, potassium and sodium. Our favorite recipe is:
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice – High in vitamin C (this can be substituted with grapefruit, lemon or lime)
½ cup coconut water – High in potassium (this can be substituted with ¼ tsp cream of tartar)
A large pinch of sea salt – High in sodium
Mix together and drink!
When to drink the adrenal cocktail
The best time to drink your adrenal cocktail is mid-morning, around 10 am. If you feel as though you have more significant adrenal fatigue you may also have a second adrenal cocktail mid-afternoon. See what works best for you in terms of timing. We are all different and what works for me, might not be the best thing for you.
We hope that the adrenal cocktail helps you back to health and as a result, help you lose some of that stubborn weight.