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Cortisol Manager: Why It’s Great for Anxiety

Last modified on February 6th, 2023

I personally recently started using Cortisol Manager, which is a supplement from Integrative Therapeutics, and I’ve found it’s a great product. I wanted to go into more detail about what it is, how it works, and everything else you should know.

I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember, which I work to manage naturally. I’ve used a variety of anxiety supplements over the years, so I have a basis for comparison, at least as far as what works for me personally. I almost immediately felt that Cortisol Manager had a positive benefit, and below I’ll go into more detail about everything you should know.

What Is Integrative Therapeutics’ Cortisol Manager?

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Cortisol Manager is an anti-anxiety supplement, but it’s created in a way that supports healthy cortisol levels. With balanced cortisol levels, you can have a healthier response to stress. Cortisol Manager can also be used for general relaxation and also to improve your sleep quality. I’ve noticed all of these benefits in myself.

What Is Cortisol?

If you’ve never heard of cortisol before, it’s a hormone. It’s produced by our adrenals when we’re stressed. Typically, healthy cortisol patterns mean that you secrete the most cortisol early in the morning. Then, as the day wears on, your levels should decline.

Cortisol is your primary stress hormone. It works along with your brain, controlling mood, motivation, and fear. As was touched on, your adrenal glands make cortisol. Your adrenal glands are organs located at the top of your kidneys.

We most commonly think of cortisol in reference to your fight-or-flight response when you’re facing a crisis, but it plays other roles too.

For example, cortisol is responsible for managing how your body uses protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Cortisol can reduce inflammation, regulate your blood pressure, and controls your sleep-wake cycles.

Cortisol can boost your energy so that you’re efficiently handling stress, and then, once you’re out of the stressful situation, if you have healthy cortisol patterns, it should return to balance.

You have cortisol receptors throughout your entire body, and they both receive and use cortisol in different ways, based on what your needs are at any given time. If you’re in a period of high stress, for example, your cortisol might impact your immune, digestive or reproductive systems.

If your cortisol levels aren’t in balance, and you’re under constant stress, it can lead to a wide variety of health issues including anxiety and depression, heart disease, trouble sleeping, and problems with memory and concentration. It can also cause weight gain.

Cortisol and Weight Gain

One of the most interesting things we’ve been learning about in recent years is the relationship between cortisol and weight gain. Some of the ways that cortisol may contribute to weight gain include:

  • High cortisol levels can cause overeating. There was one study that found a link between consistently high cortisol levels and increased appetite. There was also a study that found a relationship between more cortisol and a higher level of belly fat in both men and women.
  • Imbalanced cortisol levels can cause cravings for salty, sweet, and high-fat foods.
  • Elevated cortisol levels lead to less testosterone, which can mean decreases in muscle mass. When you have less testosterone, you burn fewer calories.
  • The disruption of a healthy cortisol balance can cause fat to distribute more heavily in the midsection.

Signs You Have Too Much Cortisol

Some of the possible signs and symptoms of high cortisol include:

  • Weight gain around the face
  • Weight gain around the midsection and upper back
  • Acne
  • Easy bruising
  • Thin skin
  • Slow healing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Flushed face
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches

There are a lot of reasons you might have too much cortisol. Some are lifestyle-related, and others might be related to medical conditions or side effects of medications.

Chronic stress exposure can be one reason that your cortisol levels stay consistently high. Other causes include issues with the pituitary gland and adrenal gland tumors. Most adrenal gland tumors are benign but can still have adverse health effects.

Medications like oral contraceptives and steroids can lead to high cortisol levels too.

How Does Cortisol Manager Work?

Cortisol Manager is a supplement that naturally restores your stress hormone levels, so they’re back into healthy balance. This supplement is vegan and is also supportive of the adrenal system overall.

Benefits of Cortisol Manager may include:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Balances cortisol levels
  • Helps promote daytime alertness
  • Alleviates fatigue
  • May help with weight loss
  • Can help you fall asleep and stay asleep without morning grogginess

You only have to take one Cortisol Manager tablet before bed, and if you’re in a highly stressful period, you can increase that to two. You can use Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager every night, and it’s not habit-forming.

Cortisol Manager Ingredients

The key ingredients in Cortisol Manager are detailed below.

Stress-Reducing Proprietary Blend

There are 500 milligrams per serving of the Integrative Therapeutics Proprietary Stress-Reducing Blend. This includes ashwagandha and L-theanine extract. The ashwagandha is Sensoril brand, and the L-theanine is Suntheanine.

Ashwagandha is one of our favorite medicinal herbs with a number of great benefits, particularly as it relates to helping your body deal with stress. In fact, ashwagandha is an adaptogen.

Key things to know about ashwagandha include:

  • It’s been used medicinally for thousands of years.
  • Several studies have found it can reduce blood sugar levels.
  • Test-tube and animal studies have found a compound in ashwagandha—withaferin—can induce apoptosis of cancer cells. Apoptosis is the death of cancer cells.
  • The reason it’s included in Cortisol Manager is that it can reduce cortisol levels. In one study of chronically stressed people, taking a high dose of ashwagandha led to a 30% average reduction in cortisol levels.
  • In another study, 88% of people who took ashwagandha had a reduction in anxiety.
  • Some studies have found benefits for symptoms of depression.
  • Taking an ashwagandha supplement may improve testosterone levels and reproductive health in men.
  • It can lower inflammation and increase the activity of natural killer cells.
  • There’s evidence that ashwagandha can help with memory and brain function. For example, in a controlled study of men taking 500 mg of ashwagandha extract a day, there were significant improvements in task performance and reaction time.

L-theanine is included in the proprietary stress-relieving blend, and it’s also a great medicinal supplement for anxiety.

L-theanine is an anxiolytic, meaning it reduces anxiety. L-theanine is an amino acid that comes from tea leaves. It’s also found in some mushrooms.

It works in the following ways:

  • May boost GABA in the brain, which is a calming, anti-anxiety brain chemical. L-theanine may also raise levels of dopamine and serotonin. When you increase these brain chemicals, you may feel more relaxed and calm, and it can help you sleep.
  • Taking an L-theanine supplement might reduce excitatory brain chemicals, which high levels of are linked to anxiety and stress.
  • L-theanine may increase alpha brain waves. Alpha brain waves are linked to relaxation but without drowsiness.
  • There’s evidence to suggest L-theanine can help attention, memory, learning, and focus.
  • Some research has found L-theanine can help with maintaining a healthy weight because it limits the accumulation of fat.
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Cortisol-Reducing Proprietary Blend

The Cortisol Manager formulation also includes the cortisol-reducing proprietary blend, which is magnolia bark extract in a standardized version.

Magnolia bark extract has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine, and there are research-supported benefits of this supplement. There are two components of magnolia bark that are thought to be especially beneficial—magnolol and honokiol.

Some of the potential benefits of magnolia bark include:

  • May protect against oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • Some research has shown magnolia bark may have anti-cancer properties and may also help improve the effectiveness of certain traditional cancer treatments.
  • Magnolia bark extract has been shown to improve stress, mood disorders, depression, and anxiety. For example, a study of 56 adults found that taking 500 mg of magnolia bark extract a day significantly improved mood and reduced cortisol levels.
  • Magnolia bark has polyphenols that may help with insomnia and sleep quality.
  • Some studies have found improvements in menopause symptoms in women taking magnolia bark.


Phosphatidylserine is a type of fatty substance that protects every cell in your body. It’s essential for how the nerves transmit messages to the brain, and it also plays a role in your clotting function.

There’s evidence it may help preserve your memory as you age. Other reasons people use Phosphatidylserine supplements include helping with anxiety and depression, ADHD, and stress. It may help improve sleep and mood and also boost exercise performance.

Some studies have found Phosphatidylserine can provide protection against increased levels of cortisol too.

Cortisol Manager does not have wheat, dairy, gluten, or anything that originates from animals.

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How Do You Take Cortisol Manager?

The recommendation is to take one Cortisol Manager tablet before bed. If you’re dealing with a lot of stress, take two tablets. It’s safe to take Cortisol Manager nightly.

You should talk to your doctor before taking any new supplement, particularly if you take other medications, are diabetic, or are pregnant.

Avoid exposing the pills to excessive direct sunlight or heat.

Are There Any Cortisol Manager Side Effects?

As I’ve mentioned, I have personally been using it and don’t have any Cortisol Manager side effects to report. Most people tend to tolerate it well, based on our research, and the ingredients have been widely studied.

However, we did find a few reports of Cortisol Manager side effects among people leaving reviews for the product online.

For example, one person reported that they felt taking Cortisol Manager actually made them wake up in the night more than they would normally. The same reviewer said that she experienced night sweats and some brain fog the next day.

A few people also said they get a slight headache in the morning after using Cortisol Manager, but they’re able to get rid of it with caffeine and hydration.

There weren’t many cases of people experiencing similar Cortisol Manager side effects, but everyone’s body chemistry is different.

Cortisol Manager Reviews

Most of the reviews of this product are very favorable. A lot of people who take it seem to have had it recommended to them by their naturopath or holistic doctor.

Many users find that in addition to helping with stress, anxiety, and sleep quality, it has also helped them lose weight. Often, people who say they lost weight on this supplement struggled and couldn’t do it for years before taking Cortisol Manager.

Some people go as far as calling Cortisol Manager a miracle cure in their reviews. Many people say it boosts their mood and helps them feel more uplifted and anxiety-free than they have in years.

We found reviews where people say Cortisol Manager helps with symptoms of conditions like Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD.

There are also reviews that say Cortisol Manager helps with the physical symptoms of anxiety like chest tightness and shortness of breath.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are answers to some of the common questions you might have about Integrative Therapeutics’ Cortisol Manager.

What Is Cortisol Manager?

Cortisol Manager is from the Integrative Therapeutics company, which is one of the most reputable and established supplement companies in our opinion.

Cortisol Manager has natural ingredients to support healthy cortisol levels. When you have balanced cortisol levels, you respond to stress in a healthy way. Benefits of taking Cortisol Manager can include less anxiety, improvements in symptoms of depression, relaxation, and even weight loss.

Chronically high cortisol levels are linked to weight gain, particularly around the mid-section. When you can reduce your cortisol levels, you may find that you lose weight.

Another potential benefit of Cortisol Manager is that it can help you sleep.

Some of the ingredients in Cortisol Manager are ashwagandha and L-theanine.

When Do You Take Cortisol Manager?

You can take Cortisol Manager daily, and it’s not habit-forming. It’s best to take one capsule close to bedtime. You can take two if you’re feeling especially stressed.

How Long Does It Take Cortisol Manager to Work?

It can take Cortisol Manager a few days or weeks to reach the peak benefit, but many people find that it helps them at least somewhat the first time they take it. Everyone is different, but I do use this supplement, and I found it relaxing the first night I took it.

Where to Buy Cortisol Manager?

I personally buy Cortisol Manager on Amazon because it’s easier for me, and with Prime Shipping it usually comes the next day. If you wanted to buy directly from Integrative Therapeutics, you would have to sign up as a clinician.

Integrative Formulas also sells its products on the Pure Formulas website, but we haven’t purchased through that site before, so we can’t speak to shipping or customer service.

Final Thoughts

I highly recommend Cortisol Manager. I’ve been taking it for several months at this point, and I just reordered it. I highly doubt that I will ever stop taking it. My husband is coming off steroids for an autoimmune condition, and he’s also started taking it.

I’ve noticed differences in my sleep quality and my physical and mental symptoms of stress and anxiety.

I also take it along with two other Integrative Therapeutics products, which are Lavela WS 1265 and HPA Adapt, and I also love both of those products. Lavela is a standardized lavender oil supplement that’s calming without making you feel tired. HPA Adapt Stands for Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal, and it’s a daytime stress-relieving supplement with ingredients including ashwagandha, maca and Rhodiola.

All are extremely impressive, in my opinion.

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