Wake Up Energized!

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

Check out this great new article about how to balance stress hormones to increase energy levels – from Celeste Peron in the December 2015 issue of Shape magazine

Read the article on the Shape website

Read more great articles from Celeste Peron

Download a PDF scan of the article = Wake Up Energized Shape Dec 2015

Here are a few sections from the article:

Having to drag yourself out of bed even after a good seven hours means something’s off.

Your hormones maybe the culprit. Find out how to reset them.

You got plenty of sleep, and yet It takes Herculean strength to move from the mattress. If this is a typical morning for you, don’t blame it on laziness. Studies have recently confirmed the physiological reason behind your a.m. exhaustion: Your Cortisol levels are out of whack.

While we usually think of Cortisol as affecting stress, it’s also responsible for making you feel alert and awake. Normally, as morning approaches, your level of the hormone begins to rise—gradually at first, to draw you out of the deeper phases of sleep, and then more dramatically, to help you pry your eyes open. This boost, known as the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR), is like a shot of espresso. Besides giving you mental energy. It also gets your body primed and ready for the day ahead by stimulating your digestive, central nervous, and cardiovascular systems, all of which power down at night.

Within a half hour of your alarm going off, your Cortisol level will have risen by roughly 50 percent, and you’ll be ready to dive Into your morning routine. That is, unless your

hormone response has gone haywire. Factors like chronic stress, nutritional shortfalls, bad bedtime habits, and even your body clock can mess with your CAR, explains Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., the author of The Cortisol Connection. “Cortisol normally follows a pattern of being high in the morning and subsiding over the course of the day, with temporary spikes in response to stressful events,” Talbott explains, if you’re always stressed, though, the hormone is released more frequently, and its level remains high when it shouldn’t be. One of the ways your body compensates for the excess Cortisol is by suppressing your CAR. As a result, you wake up feeling sluggish and exhausted.

Cortisol is also closely connected to our individual circadian rhythms. Some people’s internal clocks are hardwired to kick in later in the morning. If you’re a night owl, it’s possible that your CAR is occurring a few hours after your alarm goes off, which is the reason it’s so hard for you to get up.

One of my favorite (and most effective) approaches to internally-balancing cortisol levels and the overall stress response in the body is to eat the right energizing foods. Berries, citrus, and certain teas are rich In flavonoids. These plant compounds have been shown to reduce excess Cortisol during the day and, as a result, set you up for a bigger, more energizing boost the following morning. Eating a half cup of berries and drinking two to four cups of brewed green, oolong, or black tea dally will do the trick. Other good sources of flavonoids include red onions, black beans, and (happily) wine.

Those are just a few of the tips from the article – so check out the links above to read them all.

Thanks for reading,



Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN

Nutritional Biochemist and Author




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The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy

Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat – an award-winning documentary film exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic

The Cortisol Connection – Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House)

The Cortisol Connection Diet – The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House)

Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection – The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House)

Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living – Lasting Relief for Flexible Joints, Strong Bones and Ache-Free Muscles (Chronicle Publishers – Currant Books)

The Immune Miracle – The All-Natural Approach for Better Health, Increased Energy and Improved Mood (GLH Nutrition, 2012)

The Health Professionals Guide to Dietary Supplements (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens)

A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements – an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press)

About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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