Acute stress, the kind you feel when you have to give a presentation, or before a race, is normal, healthy,
and signifies that your stress hormones are hard at work.
Chronic stress is the type when you experience prolonged periods of uncomfortable emotions accompanied
by biochemical, physiological, and behavioral responses to situations you feel are out of your control.
However, your stress response system wasn’t meant to stay constantly activated.
Underlying chronic stress is cortisol. This hormone helps your body manage inflammation, blood sugar
levels, and even our ability to survive and avoid danger. But this hormone should do its job then simmer
down. Left unchecked, chronic stress can increase inflammation and contribute to various problems,
including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune syndromes, depression, and anxiety.
You can’t eliminate stress, but with the right dietary and lifestyle strategies, you can manage cortisol levels
and normalize your stress response.
Talk with your healthcare practitioner about these and other strategies to improve and maintain healthy
hormone levels and help you manage stress. Never discontinue or modify any medications or other advice
without your healthcare practitioner’s consent.
The underlying premise of chiropractic care is to support the health of the central nervous system
as it controls and coordinates all functions of the body.
• Correcting alignment problems may alleviate interference in the communication between the
complex pathways involved in the stress response, including the Sympatho-Adrenal System (SAS),
and support the body’s innate ability to return to homeostasis following a stressful situation.
• Chiropractic adjustments reduce or eliminate uneven pressures on the spine helping to return the
body to a balanced state, relieve muscle tension, and improve blood circulation which may help
signal to the brain to turn off the “fight or flight” response.
• A chiropractor can also create an individualized dietary, nutrient, and lifestyle protocol that
complements any other approaches you may be taking to naturally manage your health.
Follow the MaxLiving Core or Advanced Nutrition Plan (depending on your healthcare practitioner’s
suggestion), which provides the correct amounts of healthy fat, protein, nutrient-dense carbohydrates,
and dietary fiber to stay lean and healthy. Please note: Everyone’s metabolism is different. Work with
your healthcare practitioner to develop an optimal plan to modify your eating patterns.
• Avoid smoking and alcohol. Smoking can elevate cortisol levels. Alcohol (especially in excess
amounts) can also increase cortisol in men and women.
• Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates, including whole grain crackers, pasta, rice, and bread.
These fast-absorbing carbohydrates raise insulin levels, throwing other hormones, including cortisol,
out of balance.
• Manage gut health. Chronic stress can adversely impact your microbiome balance, contributing
to gut problems including leaky gut. Consider working with a chiropractor or other healthcare
practitioner to see whether an elimination diet can help improve your health.
• Drink at least 8 glasses of clean, filtered water daily.
• Drink green tea. Green tea contains a calming amino acid called L-theanine that can lower stress
• Aim for at least 35 – 50 grams of fiber (gradually increase intake) daily. Fiber-rich foods support gut
health and stabilize blood sugar levels, helping better manage cortisol levels. Low-sugar fruits like
avocado and berries, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are good fiber sources. MaxLiving’s Essential Bar
makes the perfect snack, providing healthy fat, protein, and 6 grams of fiber in each bar.
• Chronic inflammation is an underlying driver for elevated cortisol levels. To manage those levels,
get adequate amounts of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water, wild-caught
fish, grass-fed meats, walnuts, and hemp and chia seeds. Ideally, you will get 1 – 2 grams of omega-3
fatty acids, a day, from the EPA and DHA in fish and fish oil. Talk with your healthcare practitioner
about ideal doses for your health if you have any concerns.
• Avoid damaged fats and oils, including vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils, and trans fats that can
adversely impact cortisol levels. Instead, opt for fats and oils rich in healthy fats, including extra-virgin coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil, which are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation contributes to nearly every disease including cancers and autoimmune diseases.
• If you need a sweetener, use stevia or xylitol in small amounts. Avoid artificial sweeteners, which can
adversely impact overall health.18 Animal studies show sucralose and other artificial sweeteners
potentially create problems, such as gut imbalances and liver inflammation. Chronic perceived
stress has also been demonstrated to be a contributing factor to gut inflammation by increasing
gut permeability and bacterial adherence.
Minimize stress and learn strategies to manage stress. Chronic stress can knock other hormones
out of balance, putting your health at risk.
• Your mindset has a powerful influence over how you cope with stress. Believing that stress can
positively impact your performance may enhance your unique coping mechanisms.
• Reframing how you think about stress may actually improve your cardiovascular and cognitive
responses to stress. Having a positive mindset in life may help you manage your stress.
Get 8 – 9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep disturbances and elevated cortisol levels go hand in-hand, feeding on and exacerbating each other. Consider a sleep and mood formula if you have trouble falling or staying asleep.
• Find something that works for you to manage stress levels. That may include yoga, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, or deep breathing.
Oxygen & Exercise
High-intensity, short-duration exercise (HIIT or burst training), 3 – 4 times, a week makes the ideal
workout for its effectiveness and time efficiency. You’re likely familiar with how a good workout
can dial down stress, and research shows that HIIT can lower cortisol and help balance other
Environmental toxins are everywhere, including in food, water, beauty products, household
cleaners, carpet, and furniture. Being inundated by chemicals daily, including polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCB); per fluorinated compounds (PFC); bisphenol A; parabens; triclosan; and
pesticides adversely impact health and may cause disruption in the endocrine system.
• One study showed that exposure to dirty air, technically termed, PM2.5, increases the levels of
stress hormone, disrupts metabolism, and changes the circadian rhythm, which is your natural
• You can’t eliminate toxins, but you can minimize them and their impact. The Environmental
Working Group (EWG) provides excellent guides to determine the best everyday foods and
products that reduce your exposure to toxins, including:
• The least- and most-pesticide ridden produce: Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
• Cleaning products: Guide to Healthy Cleaning
• Beauty products: Skin Deep®
• For those with more advanced toxic exposure, work with your healthcare practitioner using
the MaxLiving Detox System to help your body eliminate toxins naturally.
Targeted Nutrient Support for Stress Management
|MaxLiving Supplements||Time of Day|
|– Daily Defense||– 1 capsule daily with a meal (immune support)|
|– B-Complex with Delayed Release||– 1 capsule daily with food|
|– Adrenal Calm||– 1 – 2 capsules daily with dinner and/or before bed|
|Supplements||Time of Day|
|– Sleep + Mood Formula||– 2 capsules up to 1 hour before bed|
|– Detox System||– 2 capsules daily, 30 minutes before a meal|
|– StressArrest||– 1 capsule daily with food|
Never modify any medications or other medical advice without your practitioner’s support
This content is for informational purposes only. Any statement or recommendation in this publication does
not take the place of medical advice nor is meant to replace the guidance of your licensed healthcare
practitioner. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. MaxLiving
information and products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or provide
medical advice. Decisions to use supplements to support your specific needs should be considered in
partnership with your licensed healthcare practitioner.