We all have stress in our lives and chances are you’re looking for ways to reduce it. What you drink could reduce your stress level, and it has nothing to do with alcohol.
Bodies need water to function, and if it’s dehydrated, it can cause stress and anxiety. Dehydration can keep hormones from getting where they should. Muscles can tense up because of bad blood flow, and the brain can lose focus.
Water also releases endorphins throughout the body and can improve mood.
Milk has tryptophan in it which is an amino acid that the body converts into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Increasing serotonin levels improves the mood, hopefully calming stress. The calcium, magnesium, and a protein called lactium in milk can lower blood pressure. Potassium also helps relax muscles. Warming the milk can be even more calming.
All teas can be relaxing, but some are packed with caffeine, so make sure to choose decaffeinated versions for the most benefit.
- Green Tea: There are more than 700 beneficial compounds in green tea. The best is theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation. It can also increase focus, concentration, and overall well-being.
- Black Tea: Black tea can help lower cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone.
- Chamomile: Chamomile tea has glycine in it which is an amino acid that calms nerves and can act as a mild sedative.
- Valerian: This root has a strong aroma, but powerful effects. Valerian can increase the amount of GABA, gamma aminobutyric acid, in the brain which calms anxiety. It can also put you to sleep. The effects can be intense, so until you know how it impacts you, do not drive or do anything where falling asleep could jeopardize your safety.
Fruit and Vegetable Juices
Juices that are high in vitamin C can lower the levels of cortisol and other stress hormones in the body. This includes orange, grapefruit, and strawberry juices. Juices can also be high in calories, so don’t drink too much. Also, grapefruit juice interferes with some medications, so check with your doctor to make sure something you take isn’t one of these drugs. Green juices like celery, kale, and spinach also have calcium and magnesium in them to reduce blood pressure. These vegetables also contain a lot of vitamin C to reduce stress hormones in the body.
Tart cherry juice won’t relax you right away, but it can help improve your sleep over time. Getting high-quality sleep can help reduce stress.
Coconut water isn’t really a juice, but it’s close. It can boost energy levels and can also reduce stress and anxiety. Coconut water has a lot of B vitamins in it like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates which help muscles relax and improve blood circulation. The potassium and magnesium in it do similar things. Coconut water can also help balance electrolytes in the body.
Remember, exercise can also help reduce stress and anxiety. If you have knee pain that is keeping you from being able to exercise, the professionals at Flexogenix can help. Learn more about our non-surgical solutions for your knee problems.