Cortisol Blocking Supplements & Drugs

October 5th, 2007 by Paul Johnson

Cortisol is a nasty hormone, it’s bad for our health, muscle gains, and it promotes fat mostly in the stomach. Cortisol reduction via supplementation, is now getting the attention it deserves with bodybuilders. The mainstream has also jumped on the cortisol blocking bandwagon, with their aggressive T.V ads.

Since cortisol blockers are so popular, I thought I would list all the things that I'm aware of that may reduce cortisol. Cortisol blockers will have most importance pre-workout and before bedtime, since cortisol levels rise the most after excercise and upon waking up.

Vitamin C:

Most bodybuilders take 1 to 3 grams of viatmin C a day because they believe it helps in recovery, immunity, and cortisol control. There is many studies showing the effects of antioxidants, especially vitamin c, in reducing cortisol after excercise. A relatively new study was published Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Apr;39(4):645-52. on 20 endurance athletes for 4 weeks. Half supplemented with 1000mg of vitamin c and 400 IU of Vitamin E. Researchers concluded that 4 weeks of this supplementation reduces the cortisol response to a 2.5 hour bout of excercise.

Androgenic Anabolic Steroids:

Steroids all inherently have anti-cortisol actions on the body. Most
people think of them as being anabolic, but a large part of their muscle building abilities, is actually due to the anti-catabolic actions on lowering cortisol. This is why people on steroids are known for being able to workout longer, without risking overtraining. Overtraining is mainly due to the cortisol response.

Imodium (loperamide):

This over the counter drug for diarrhea, has been shown to have cortisol reducing properties. You will want to read a previous article I wrote about it Imodium (loperamide) a Cortisol Blocker?


You may have seen these cheesy commercials on the T.V the last couple years. There actually might be some merit to the claims. Read my previous article Relacore Review: Does it work? to learn more.


OK, so this is not a supplement or drug, but it's the only macronutrient that can significantly blunt cortisol production. This helps support the idea of high carb diets for maximum muscle gain, especially post workout and breakfast, when cortisol production is high.


This is a relatively new supplement out by Ergopharms. You will want to read my previous article on 11-OXO to find out more about it.