Join the Conquer PCOS Course today!

Hi, I’m Alyssa! AKA, The PCOS Nutritionist Alyssa!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you eliminate your PCOS symptoms with sustainable and realistic nutrition changes.

Some of Our Favorite Products

Blackberry Lemonade Cortisol Cocktail Recipe

If you’ve seen the viral cortisol cocktail lemonade on TikTok, I’ve got an even better spinoff recipe for you!

This blog post will talk about what’s in a typical cortisol cocktail, what it actually does for your health, and then I’ll give you a delicious blackberry lemonade cortisol cocktail recipe. 

If you’re new here, hi! I’m Alyssa, a registered dietitian with PCOS. My goal is to make healthy eating easy and sustainable for you so that you can thrive. 

blackberry lemonade in a drinking glass with 2 blackberries and decorative lemon wedge.

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click a shoppable link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

What Is A Cortisol Cocktail?

A cortisol cocktail is a homemade drink that actually isn’t much of a cocktail at all since there’s no alcohol in it. It may also be referred to as an adrenal cocktail or a cortisol mocktail. It contains various ingredients that have vitamins and minerals that are said to improve adrenal function. People who drink them regularly swear by them and their ability to decrease one of our major stress hormones cortisol. 

What Does A Cortisol Cocktail Do?

To understand what a cortisol cocktail does, we must first understand what cortisol is, where it’s made, and what it does. 

Cortisol is a hormone produced by our body’s adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands are small glands that sit on top of your kidneys. The adrenals are part of the hypothalamic-pituitiary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a complex system of neuroendocrine pathways that help to maintain homeostasis. The HPA axis helps your body respond to stress and also regulates your metabolism, immune system, energy levels and mood (1). 

Cortisol levels naturally ebb and flow during the day. They are typically the highest in the morning…this gives us energy to get out of bed. Then, our cortisol levels gradually taper off during the daytime hours and are at their lowest closer to bedtime, allowing us to feel sleepy. 

Most people’s bodies can navigate normal cortisol fluctuations without issue, but some people may need some extra adrenal support. Stress is seemingly inevitable in the daily hustle of today’s fast paced world. Unfortunately though, chronic stress can lead to chronically high cortisol levels, which can wreak havoc on our health. 

I won’t be able to go into all of the repercussions of chronically high cortisol levels, but I’ll discuss a few issues it can cause. For one, high cortisol can increase blood sugar levels and impair insulin secretion. This can ultimately make insulin resistance worse and lead to weight gain, something that’s very common in those who already struggle with PCOS (2). 

Stress also can disrupt the HPA axis and lead to HPA axis dysregulation (3). You may have heard of something called adrenal fatigue before. Adrenal fatigue is a popular term in naturopathic medicine, but it’s not actually a recognized medical condition. Instead, HPA axis dysfunction is the proper terminology. 

A cortisol cocktail is said to provide key nutrients that support adrenal health and the HPA axis. So in theory, a cortisol cocktail can improve your body’s stress response and promote hormone balance.

blackberry lemonade in a drinking glass with 2 blackberries and decorative lemon wedge.

What’s In A Cortisol Cocktail?

The original adrenal cocktail recipe (aka cortisol cocktail) was created by Susan Blackard, NP, ND, Ph.D. The original cortisol cocktail recipe contained orange juice, cream of tartar, and sea salt. 

Over the years, people have made some changes to the original recipe to create new renditions of this popular drink. You can find endless variations of cortisol cocktail recipes that include a variety of different flavors to suit your taste preferences. 

One thing that should remain true is that the main ingredients of any cortisol cocktail recipe will provide the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin C. The adrenal glands have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C in the body (4). Research has shown that getting adequate amounts of vitamin C can help to reduce cortisol levels (5). High vitamin C foods include oranges, pineapple, lemon, lime, kiwi, berries, guava, or grapefruit. 
  • Potassium. Stress can often impact our micronutrient concentrations, causing them to deplete more rapidly. Potassium levels can be negatively affected by stress. Oranges, bananas, coconut water, aloe vera juice, cream of tartar, tomato juice, milk, and prune juice are some foods and drinks that are high in potassium.
  • Sodium. Sodium, or salt, is an electrolyte that plays a role in fluid balance. Stress can increase sodium losses through urine. The combination of sodium and potassium together play a big role in nerve and muscle contraction and blood pressure regulation. Most people tend to add various types of salt to their adrenal cocktail recipes to get more sodium.

If you have PCOS and use an inositol powder, like Ovasitol, you can even add it into your drink!

infographic on how to build your own cortisol cocktail.

Who Should Drink Cortisol Cocktails?

If you feel like you need a little more stress relief support in your life, a cortisol cocktail could help you achieve that!

If you have medical conditions that require dietary restrictions, such as chronic kidney disease or congestive heart failure, you should use caution and talk to your healthcare provider before trying this drink.

It’s important to note that a cortisol mocktail, or any drink or food for that matter, is not a magic bullet. It’s not going to solve your hormone imbalance or symptoms, but it may supplement your efforts in addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. 

overhead view of a blackberry lemonade drink with lemons and blackberries decorating the top.

Other self-care practices that you should be including in your daily routine:  

  • A healthy diet. Check out A Dietitian’s 7 Day PCOS Diet Plan PDF for some insight into a healthy, balanced diet that also supports your hormone health. 
  • Movement. Incorporating movement that you enjoy into your routine will help to improve your mood and decrease cortisol levels. 
  • Sleep. Getting enough sleep is vital for hormone regulation. 
  • Stress management. Including some stress management techniques into your daily routine is so beneficial. Yoga, meditation, breath work, and journaling are some popular options. 

Ok, now let’s get into my favorite adrenal cocktail recipe and why you’re going to absolutely love it!

Why You’ll Love This Lemonade Cortisol Cocktail 

This blackberry lemonade cortisol cocktail uses simple ingredients that you can always feel good about. It’s cool and refreshing with a sweet taste…it’s a perfect drink for summer! 

This cortisol cocktail recipe swaps out the traditional juice in favor of fresh fruit and is a great way to soothe the adrenal system in times of stress.

Ingredients You’ll Need

ingredients needed for cortisol cocktail lemonade.
  • Blackberries – These are a great source of anti-inflammatory vitamin C. I used frozen berries since they’re easier to keep on hand, but you could also use fresh blackberries too. If you’re not a fan of blackberries, you could easily substitute blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or kiwi instead. 
  • Coconut water – this light and refreshing liquid is packed with potassium. It makes the perfect base for a cortisol mocktail! This can easily be substituted for aloe vera juice instead if you prefer.
  • Monkfruit – I love the mild sweetness of monkfruit sweeteners. It’s also zero-calorie, which can be appealing if you’re following a lower calorie diet. This could be substituted for whichever sweetener you prefer though, such as agave or raw honey. This one is my favorite monkfruit sweetener if you’re interested in trying monkfruit sweetener out though.
  • Lemon – this key ingredient makes this healthy drink into actual lemonade. The citrus juice also provides a lot of vitamin C and a little bit of a sour taste to balance out the sweetness of the blackberries. I used whole lemons and just squeezed them, but you can use pre-purchased lemon juice too to make your life easier. 
  • Salt – an adrenal cocktail wouldn’t be complete without the mineral salt! Any salt you have on hand is fine – I used traditional sea salt. 

How To Make A Blackberry Lemonade Cortisol Cocktail

This blackberry lemonade cortisol cocktail is relatively easy to make and could even be made in larger batches and placed in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

overhead shot of blackberry lemonade being made on a stovetop.

First, you’re going to heat 1 cup of the coconut water, blackberries, and monkfruit sweetener in a small saucepan over medium heat. Gently mash the blackberries with a wooden spoon or fork to release some of the juices. Stir to combine all the ingredients. 

While the liquid mixture is heating, cut two lemons in half and squeeze them into a bowl to get all of the lemon juice you can out of them. You’ll likely have a few seeds escape into the bowl too. Strain the seeds out using a mesh strainer and discard them. 

Next, pour the heated mixture into a mug or measuring glass while straining out the blackberries. I use a mesh strainer like this one to catch the blackberries. Chill the liquid mixture for at least 5 to 10 minutes if able to. Discard the leftover blackberries. 

Once the mixture has cooled for a little bit, combine it with the lemon juice, 1 additional cup of coconut water and salt. I usually mix it in a cocktail shaker with ice to get it nice and cold. Then pour it over ice. Garnish with additional blackberries and lemons. 

blackberry lemonade in a drinking glass with 2 blackberries and decorative lemon wedge.

Variations & Substitutions

  • No blackberries? Swap raspberries or strawberries in for the blackberries.
  • Make it more balanced by adding collagen powder for protein and either a little coconut milk or coconut cream for some healthy fats.
  • No monkfruit sweetener? Omit entirely or substitute honey, maple syrup, agave, or your favorite sweetener.
  • No lemons? Use limes or lime juice instead to make it a limeade!
  • Substitute aloe vera juice for coconut water instead.
  • Turn it into the perfect summer treat. Pour the lemonade mixture into popsicle molds and freeze into popsicles. 

Other Recipes You’ll Love

Pineapple Margarita Cortisol Mocktail

Bone Broth Hot Chocolate (Gut-Healthy)

PCOS-Friendly PB Chocolate Cups

Sweetgreen Crispy Rice Bowl (Copycat Recipe)

blackberry lemonade in a drinking glass with 2 blackberries and decorative lemon wedge.

Blackberry Lemonade Cortisol Cocktail

This light and refreshing drink combines blackberries and lemons to give you the perfect adrenal cocktail to sip on!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy, healthy, portable
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 68kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup blackberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 cup coconut water divided
  • 3 tbsp monkfruit sweetener
  • ¼ cup lemon juice or the juice of 2 lemons
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Heat the blackberries, 1 cup of the coconut water, and monkfruit sweetener in a small saucepan over medium heat. Gently mash the blackberries with a wooden spoon or fork to release some of the juices. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  • While the liquid mixture is heating, cut your lemons in half and squeeze out as much juice as possible into a small bowl. Strain the seeds out with a mesh strainer and discard.
  • Pour the heated mixture into a large mug or measuring glass while straining out the blackberries with a mesh strainer. Discard the blackberries. Allow the mixture to cool for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Once the liquid mixture has cooled, combine it with the lemon juice, 1 additional cup of coconut water, and salt.
  • Chill and pour over ice. Garnish with additional blackberries and lemon if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

I use a mesh strainer like this one to strain the lemon seeds out, and to strain the blackberries out.
When combining all the liquid ingredients in step #4, I like to add everything into a cocktail shaker with ice to really get it nice and cool. Then I strain it into a new glass with fresh ice. 

Nutrition

Calories: 68kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 543mg | Potassium: 690mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating