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Cortisol Awakening Response Protocol

Original price was: $139.94.Current price is: $118.96.

a-Drenal 120 caps
RLC Labs a-Drenal is designed to promote the healthy function of the adrenal glands and help balance adrenal issues
Bacopa 60 Caps
Himalaya Organic Bacopa supports memory and learning and empowers clarity of thought
HPA Adapt 120 vegcaps
Supporting Stress Hormone Balance via the HPA Axis with Adaptogenic Herbs
Licorice Plus 60 tabs
Licorice Plus® is designed to support healthy cortisol metabolism to help the body manage stress more effectively


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Support for the Cortisol-Awakening Response (CAR)

The CAR is a normal response when light enters the eyes upon waking. Cortisol is released very quickly over the course of about 30 to 45 minutes, until it reaches a peak. Normally, cortisol then begins its decline until it reaches its lowest point at night.

Initially, under acute stress, it’s common for people to feel anxious or hypervigilant, and have difficulty sleeping, due to high cortisol levels. These people may show elevated cortisol all day and into the evening. But if high stress continues over time, there is a negative feedback loop that can shift high cortisol gradually lower and lower, and eventually people become tired and “burned out”. It’s at this point that some people may have a blunted CAR.

A healthy CAR is considered a sign of resiliency. The CAR is influenced by brain health and quality of sleep. Waking in the morning is like a mini stress test for the body, so an abnormally low CAR is an indication that the person is not mounting an appropriate physiologic response to stress. They probably feel sluggish upon waking, have difficulty getting out of bed, and take a long time to wake up, maybe resorting to a lot of coffee just to function.

Restoring a healthy CAR requires a holistic approach, which includes ensuring adequate sleep, waking up at the same time each day, getting bright light upon waking, and movement each day, and can be further aided by taking these supportive supplements.

In the morning, activities that may help encourage a healthy CAR include:

  • Exposure to bright, natural light immediately on waking. Open the curtains, go outside, or use a full-spectrum lightbox or light bulb.
  • Perform exercise and movement within 30 to 45 minutes of waking.
  • Take dietary supplements within the first 30 to 45 minutes of waking to help support cortisol production. Repeating supplementation at lunch or in the early afternoon is optional.

Nutritional support for a healthy CAR includes vitamin C and B vitamins, but also includes energy supporting herbs for the HPA-axis and the brain. Licorice is most well known for supporting morning cortisol response, rhodiola is an energizing adaptogen for the HPA axis, and bacopa is a stimulating herb for the brain. Working together, these herbs help restore a normal CAR.

Because of the role of mitochondria in cortisol production, we want to also consider ingredients like pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), or resveratrol for mitochondrial support as part of the foundational supplement regimen.

An important part of restoring a normal CAR is bringing the whole circadian rhythm back to normal. Getting to bed earlier and getting more sleep are just as important as a consistent waking routine. Melatonin and turning off routers during sleep are known to help one get a restful night’s sleep.


Supplement Facts

1-month supply for improved adrenal function and cortisol levels

Serving size: 4 Capsule/day
Servings Per Container: 30
Amount Per Serving:
Pantothenic Acid (as D-Calcium Pantothenate) 250 mg
Cordyceps sinensis Rhizome Powder 400 mg
Adrenal Tissue (from organic bovine) 250 mg
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root PE (standardized for 1.5% Withanolides) 150 mg
Rhodiola rosea Root PE(standardized for 3% Rosavins) 100 mg
Siberian Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) Root PE (standardized for 0.8% Eleutherosides) 100 mg
Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng) Root PE (standardized for 7% Ginsenosides) 100 mg
Astralagus membranaceus Root PE (concentrated 4:1) 100 mg
Epimedium grandiflorum Herb Powder 100 mg
L-Theanine (from Green Tea Leaf PE) 100 mg
Ginger Root PE (Zingiber officinalis) (standardized for 5% Gingerols) 50 mg
Beta-Sitosterol 40 mg
Other ingredients: Gelatin Capsules

Serving size: 1 Caplet/2x per day
Servings Per Container: 60
Amount Per Serving
organic bacopa whole plant (Bacopa monnieri Pennell.) standardized extract + (60% Bacopa saponins containing Bacoside A&B – 60mg+) 100 mg
organic bacopa whole plant + (1% Bacopa saponins containing Bacoside A&B – 6.5mg+) 650 mg

Serving size: 1 Tablet 2x per day
Servings Per Container: 60
Amount Per Serving:
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Root Extract [standardized to 25% (75 mg) glycyrrhizic acid] 300 mg
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root 15:1 Extract (containing withanolides) 50 mg
A 4:1† herbal extract blend Of: 250 mg
Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa) Root
Chinese Yam (Dioscorea oppositifolia) Root
Other ingredients: Microcrystalline cellulose, dicalcium phosphate. Croscarmellose sodium, Stearic acid (vegetable), Silica coating (hypromellose, medium-chain triglycerides, and hydroxypropylcellulose).

Serving Size: 4 Vegetable Capsule/day
Servings Per Container: 30
Amount Per Serving:
Total Carbohydrate, less than 1 g
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) Root Extract standardized to contain 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside 400 mg
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)(Sensoril® brand) Root and Leaf Extract 300 mg
Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) Root Extract standardized to contain 0.8% eleutherosides 300 mg
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) Leaf Extract standardized to contain 2.5% triterpenoic acids including ursolic and oleanolic acids 200 mg
MacaPure® brand Maca (Lepidium meyenii) Root Extract standardized to contain 0.6% macaenes and macamides 150 mg
Other Ingredients: hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (vegetable capsule), ascorbyl palmitate, cellulose, silicon dioxide

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