I first introduced a small adrenal cocktail into my diet a few months ago. I had heard about them for a while but didn’t get around to trying one myself until I was trying to get on top of some pesky heart palpitations that had come up for me after mistakingly taking too much magnesium which caused some weird blood pressure changes. Even though all of these issues are corrected now, I am still having an adrenal cocktail daily because it makes me feel good. I’m also able to add my liquid iron into it and it’s been amazing for me to get on top of my low iron.
What is an adrenal cocktail and how does it work?
The adrenal cocktail is a drink, although named cocktail, is more of a mocktail because it contains no alcohol, but focuses on vitamin c, sodium and potassium. These three nutrients are pretty big players in maintaining adrenal health and replenishing our bodies with important nutrients needed for our health (2).
The adrenal glands are two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They are responsible for creating a number of hormones, namely cortisol, adrenalin and aldosterone. Cortisol and adrenalin are released under stress. Aldosterone helps to regulate the sodium potassium balance in the blood and are also influenced by stress. The adrenals are our stress response glands. The adrenals require a lot of energy and nutrients to function optimally because they burn through a lot of nutrients each time the stress system is activated. Stress depletes a lot of nutrients namely magnesium, calcium, b vitamins, vitamin e, selenium, vitamin c, zinc, sodium and potassium (1).
There is little evidence that adrenal cocktails have any huge benefit to the health of our adrenal glands and nor do they hold any promise to help combat chronic fatigue (sometimes called adrenal fatigue) but many people, including myself, find them beneficial in helping to maintain stable energy throughout the day. It’s also a great way to add in certain electrolytes that are often out of balance when there is nervous system dysregulation.
What’s in the adrenal cocktail?
The adrenal cocktail focuses on vitamin c, sodium and pottasium
Vitamin c: Good options are orange juice, other citrus juices like lemon, lemon or grapefruit or tart cherry juice. Can also sub 1 tsp of wholefood vitamin c powder. I like this one from Eden Health Foods (made from real fruits that provide the full spectrum of nutrients in vitamin c not just ascorbic acid like most synthetic vitamin c) you can use any of these juices or a combination of juices. You can also use any other juice you like, even a fresh-pressed green juice will work although you should be mindful to choose high vitamin c fruits and vegetables for best effects.
Potassium: cup coconut water, aloe vera juice or 1/4 tsp cream of tartar. These are naturally very high in potassium.
Sodium: a large pinch of salt: Himalayan salt, Celtic sea salt etc
Optional add-ins: there is some concern that since this is a fruit juice it can spike blood sugar. The best way to avoid a sugar spike is to not consume the adrenal cocktail in between meals. While a small amount is eaten 10-15 minutes after a main meal will not spike blood sugar some people like to balance the cocktail with protein and. Traditionally the recommendation is to add 2 TBSP of thickened cream or coconut cream for fat and 1 TBSP collagen powder for protein. I personally do not add these because I don’t think they are necessary but if I did I would choose a hemp protein powder to keep it vegan. I like this hemp protein powder from Mt Elephant because it’s just 100 % milled hemp seeds and not protein extract so is naturally very nutritious and also contains a good amount of fat. You can add coconut cream if you like for extra fat but it is also high in saturated fat which can raise cholesterol so I would not be doing it often. I also find it really yuck and off-putting to add cream into the adrenal cocktail but some people like it.
My favourite combination is orange juice, coconut water and Himalayan salt and sometimes I add extra whole food vitamin c powder as well but not always. I also add my liquid iron Spatone that I get from Superpharmacy.com. since the adrenal cocktail is high in vitamin c, it’s a great way to make sure I am absorbing as much iron as I can. I love Superpharmacy because it has a lot of the health and wellness products that I use including vitamin c powder and iron and I can also get points on my everyday rewards card from shopping online.
|Adrenal Cocktail Benefits and Recipes
- ½ cup orange juice, or grapefruit juice or lemon juice or lime juice or tart cherry juice
- ½ cup coconut water or aloe vera juice or ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- large pinch of salt
- optional: 1 TBSP hemp protein powder (milled hemp seeds) or protein powder of choice and 2 TBSP coconut cream
- Mix all ingredients together in a class and enjoy once or twice a day with meals.