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The Best Cortisol Mocktail Recipe For Stress Relief

Have you seen people talking about their new drink of choice: the cortisol mocktail? You may have also heard it referred to as an adrenal cocktail.

If you’re wondering what the heck a cortisol mocktail is, what it’s for, how it impacts your hormones, and how to make one, you’re in luck! That’s exactly what I’ll be covering in this blog post. 

If you’re new here, hi! I’m Alyssa, a registered dietitian who specializes in the hormonal disorder PCOS. I’m here to make eating well for your hormone health less overwhelming and more realistic. 

Alright, let’s dive into what a cortisol mocktail is. 

cortisol mocktail in a glass with a lime wedge on the rim.

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 Mocktail?

A cortisol mocktail is a homemade drink that may also be referred to as an adrenal cocktail. It contains various ingredients that have vitamins and minerals that are said to improve adrenal function. People sing its praises citing its ability to decrease one of our major stress hormones cortisol. 

What Does A Cortisol Mocktail Do?

To understand what a cortisol mocktail 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 today’s fast paced world. Unfortunately though, chronic stress can lead to chronically high cortisol levels, which can wreak havoc on our health. For starters, 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 mocktail is said to provide key nutrients that support adrenal health and the HPA axis. So in theory, a cortisol mocktail can improve your body’s stress response and promote hormone balance.

What’s In A Cortisol Mocktail?

The original adrenal cocktail (aka cortisol mocktail) recipe 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 deviated from the original recipe to create new renditions of this popular drink. You can find endless variations of cortisol mocktail recipes that include a variety of different flavors to suit your taste buds. 

One thing that should remain true is that the main ingredients of any cortisol mocktail 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, strawberries, 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.
infographic on how to build your own perfect cortisol mocktail.

Who Should Drink Cortisol Mocktails?

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

If you have medical conditions that require dietary restrictions, such as chronic kidney disease or congestive heart failure, you may want to be weary 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. 

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

  • 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, and journaling are some popular options. 

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

cortisol mocktail in a glass with a lime wedge on the rim.

Why You’ll Love This Cortisol Mocktail Recipe

This refreshing drink uses all natural ingredients. And, with pineapple and coconut water being the main ingredients in this cortisol mocktail, it will make you feel like you’re getting ready for a tropical vacation. Honestly, this delicious concoction gives me serious margarita vibes! 

This cortisol mocktail is a little different than the traditional recipe since it incorporates whole pineapple chunks that are then pureed in the blender. Blending pineapple chunks, rather than using just the juice, gives you more fiber. Fiber is necessary for optimal blood sugar balance and improved gut health: two things that are vital for optimal hormone levels!

Plus, this adrenal mocktail gives you a huge punch of vital nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and sodium. In addition to nourishing your adrenal glands, these nutrients can also improve insulin resistance, blood pressure, inflammation levels, and egg quality

Cortisol Mocktail Ingredients You’ll Need

photo of the ingredients needed for a pineapple cortisol mocktail recipe.
  • Pineapple chunks – This is the main source of anti-inflammatory vitamin C in this recipe. I used fresh pineapple, but you could also use frozen pineapple too since it’s going to be blended in the blender. If you don’t want to deal with the blender, you could substitute pineapple juice for the pineapple chunks but you will lose a little fiber. If you’re not a fan of pineapple, you could substitute mango, strawberries, or kiwi instead. 
  • Coconut water – this light and refreshing liquid is packed with potassium. It makes for the perfect base for a cortisol mocktail! This can easily be substituted for aloe vera juice instead if you prefer.
  • Lime – this citrus fruit provides a little bit of a sour taste to balance out the sweetness of the pineapple. Lemon juice can provide a similar effect if you wanted to substitute. 
  • Salt – an adrenal cocktail wouldn’t be complete without salt! Any salt you have on hand is fine – I used traditional sea salt. The salt is what gives this drink those margarita vibes!
  • Monkfruit – I love the mild sweetness of monkfruit sweeteners. This could easily be substituted for whichever sweetener you prefer, such as maple syrup or honey. This one is my favorite monkfruit sweetener if you’re interested in trying it out though.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Make it a sleepy girl mocktail by adding magnesium powder and tart cherry juice. 
  • 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 limes? Use lemons or lemon juice instead.
  • Substitute aloe vera juice for coconut water instead.
  • Add more stress-relief properties to your drink by adding things like a green tea bag, ginger, or turmeric. 
  • For a frosty treat, freeze them into popsicle molds to make popsicles.
overhead shot of a frothy mocktail with lemon and lime slices decoratively in the background.

FAQs: 

What’s in a cortisol cocktail?

A cortisol cocktail can contain a variety of ingredients. Generally speaking, a cortisol cocktail will provide you with a source of vitamin C, potassium, and sodium. The original cortisol cocktail contained orange juice, cream of tartar, and sea salt. 

What drinks are good for cortisol levels?

Drinks that contain certain nutrients, such as vitamin C or an amino acid called L-theanine, can help lower cortisol levels. Drinks that are high in vitamin C include orange juice, pineapple juice, and coconut water. Cortisol cocktails that contain a combination of vitamin C, potassium, and cortisol (such as this pineapple cortisol mocktail recipe!) can help lower cortisol levels. Certain herbal teas such as matcha tea and chamomile tea can lower cortisol levels also. 

Other Recipes You’ll Love

Detox Island Green Smoothie (Tropical Smoothie Copycat)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups

High Protein Strawberry Smoothie

Triple Berry Oat Tropical Smoothie

cortisol mocktail in a glass with a lime wedge on the rim.

Pineapple Cortisol Mocktail

This refreshing drink combines pineapple, coconut water, and sea salt. It will nourish your adrenal glands & HPA axis while giving you tropical margarita vibes.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy, portable, quick
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 96kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pineapple cubed
  • ¾ cup coconut water
  • 1 lime juiced
  • ½ tsp monkfruit sweetener
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 20 to 30 seconds or until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass over ice and enjoy!

Notes

I recommend blending the pineapple chunks (fresh or frozen) but you can easily substitute pineapple juice to make it even easier. 
Substitute lemon juice for lime juice. 

Nutrition

Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 773mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 81IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg

3 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Looking at the ingredients, I was a little skeptical of the taste. This definitely exceeds my expectations and I’ll be making this again.

  2. 5 stars
    Extremely delicious and the perfect combo of sweetness with a little tang of salty/sour! This would be the perfect summer drink by a pool.

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