Specifically, I’ve been craving a spiced mocktail, filled with fall flavors but refreshing enough to still want to drink during warm and sunny days.
Enter in this Spiced Apple Cider Mocktail, which is both refreshing and delicious as well as extremely hormone supportive, as it doubles as an adrenal cocktail, containing key vitamins and minerals that work to nourish our adrenals and offset the negative effects of chronic stress.
You can snag the recipe and ALL of the hormone healthy details below. Happy fall y’all!
First things first, you might be wondering what the heck an adrenal cocktail even is?!
An adrenal cocktail, or more appropriately called a “mocktail” as it does not contain alcohol, is a drink rich in key vitamins and minerals that support adrenal function and overall hormone balance.
To understand the hormone health benefits of an adrenal cocktail, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how your adrenal glands work.
Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and are part of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, better known as the HPA-axis. These three endocrine glands form a complex feedback loop to regulate hormone production and use.
The adrenals create a number of hormones, including stress hormones cortisol, aldosterone, and adrenaline, which do everything from properly maintain your energy levels throughout the day to increasing your heart rate and blood pressure if needed (part of your “fight or flight” response necessary for survival).
As long as your hormones stay balanced, the adrenals can carry out their tasks, keeping you feeling energized and even keel throughout the day.
However if you’re chronically stressed (which let’s be real, it’s hard not to be these days!) your adrenals become overstimulated by the constant demand to output more cortisol, which requires A LOT of energy and nutrients. The more your stress system is activated, the more it depletes vital nutrients needed for hormone balance.
Coming full circle, providing our stress hormones with these valuable vitamins and minerals works to repair damage caused by chronic stress and counter our body’s stress response, which then gives our adrenals a chance to heal. And the adrenal cocktail contains three essential nutrients that work to do just that!
The three main components of an adrenal cocktail are:
When you experience stress, the adrenals’ use vitamin C to make more cortisol and other hormones. Thus, this vitamin needs replenishing frequently. It also works to heal your body from stress related damage. I use apple cider and freshly squeezed oranges in this spiced apple cider mocktail recipe, which are both packed with vitamin C.
Our adrenals secrete a hormone called aldosterone, which controls our ability to hold onto sodium. The stronger our adrenal glands, the stronger our aldosterone levels, and the better our ability to hold onto salt. On the flip side, if we have weakened adrenals (due to chronic stress) then we have lower aldosterone and lower sodium.
And when we have lower sodium, we lose water and blood volume, which can lead to feeling lightheaded, chronically dehydrated and fatigued (three of the most common symptoms of adrenal dysfunction aka “adrenal fatigue”). I like to use Celtic sea salt in this recipe, more on that below.
Potassium works closely with sodium to help maintain fluid balance in your body and keep blood pressure levels stable. When your adrenals become overwhelmed due to chronic stress, they struggle to produce sufficient amounts of hormones (such as cortisol), which can lead to imbalances in hormones your body needs to regulate fluids, leading to an electrolyte imbalance.
Therefore adding in potassium works to replenish electrolytes and nourish your adrenals. The original recipe calls for cream of tartar, which I also use in this recipe, but you could swap it for high potassium alternatives like aloe vera juice or coconut water if desired.
The OG adrenal cocktail recipe, created by Susan Blackard, NP, ND, PhD, contains the following three ingredients:
Due to its high vitamin C content, most adrenal cocktail recipes contain 1/4 to 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice.
High in potassium and dissolves easily in citrus juice (without affecting the taste).
If you want to make your adrenal cocktail recipe next level good, try mixing in a huge dollop (about 2 tbsp) of full-fat coconut cream. This adds some healthy fats to help keep blood sugar levels stable, and makes your adrenal cocktail taste like a spiced apple cream cider mocktail!
Another awesome add-in for stabilizing blood sugar, collagen peptides contain protein and amino acids that work to boost gut health and inhibit cortisol damage. I love this brand and you can use code SOGREEN10 to save on your first purchase.
I love adding cinnamon into this spiced apple cider mocktail recipe, which adds a warm and slightly sweet fall flavor, as well as blood sugar balancing properties!
While the original recipe uses apple cider, not apple cider vinegar, I actually love adding a tablespoon of it to this recipe as well, as it contains blood sugar balancing and gut health boosting nutrients.
If you want a serious hormone balancing boost, try adding a dropper full of Elix’s Daily Harmony or Cycle Balance Blend, which are medicinal herbal formula’s clinically proven to treat the root cause of menstrual symptoms. You can also use my code SOFRESH20 to save 20% off.
While it’s safe to enjoy your adrenal cocktail at any time throughout the day, the most effective time to drink it is between 10 am to 2 pm, when your stress hormones are naturally lower (which is why your energy dips and you tend to get that “afternoon slump.)” I personally enjoy mine right after lunch, which helps to curb my blood sugar.
**Please keep in mind this drink is NOT a meal replacement, rather a whole food supplement meant to be enjoyed before or after meals.
While an adrenal cocktail does not directly influence weight loss, it does work to nourish your adrenals, so that they can produce and regulate hormones (especially your stress hormones!) effectively. And your stress hormones do directly affect your weight, with cortisol stimulating your fat and carbohydrate metabolism and weight loss.
Bottom Line: The more balanced your hormones are, the easier it will be to maintain a sustainable, healthy weight.
Let’s be real, nobody NEEDS an adrenal cocktail to survive. That being said, I personally think they’re a fun, easy and delicious way to incorporate an abundance of vitamins and minerals that work to nourish your adrenals in times of stress. Think of it as a supplement, aka it’s not a meal replacement or cure-all, rather a little boost that should be used in tandem with other hormone healthy habits to promote overall wellbeing.
After reading all of this, you might be wondering if you have adrenal fatigue. First, it’s important to know that while “adrenal fatigue” is a popular term, it’s actually incorrect, as your adrenals don’t actually get fatigued.
The proper terminology for what you might be feeling is HPA axis dysfunction, which happens as a result of chronic stress. Overtime, the adrenals become desensitized and stop properly responding, leading to dysfunction in the HPA axis feedback loop.
If you suspect you have HPA axis dysfunction, dysregulated cortisol levels or a hormone imbalance, you can take this free quiz to investigate further.
Additionally, you can begin implementing some of the tips below (along with making your delicious adrenal cocktail) to nurture your adrenals.
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This spiced apple cider mocktail is refreshing + delicious & contains vitamins + minerals that work to nourish adrenals + balance hormones.
Author: Lauren Chambers
Recipe Type: beverage, mocktail, cortisol mocktail, adrenal cocktail,
*This recipe also tastes delicious warm. Just leave out the ice/sparkling water, add in 1/4 cup coconut milk or cream and simmer all ingredients over stovetop until warm, then either mix or blend to enjoy.
I’m honored to support you on your journey to optimal hormone health + happiness. Thanks for being here babe.