Boost Your Energy & Immune System with Cortisol & Adrenaline


Huberman Lab

This episode I describe the biology of two essential hormones we all make: cortisol and adrenaline (also called epinephrine). Cortisol and adrenaline powerfully regulate our levels of energy, focus and immune system function. I describe various science-supported tools and practices to increase or decrease cortisol and/or adrenaline, depending on one's specific needs and goals. I also describe the biology of nootropics, and how cortisol and adrenaline can improve or degrade learning. Finally, I review the scientific data and tools for timing the release of these hormones to improve memory, energy and immune system function.

Access the full show notes, including referenced articles, resources and more at

Thank you to our sponsors​

AG1 (Athletic Greens):


Waking Up:



(00:00:00) Introduction

(00:00:31) Sponsors: AG1, LMNT & Waking Up

(00:05:41) Energy & Your Immune System, & Learning Faster

(00:08:34) Why & How Intermittent Fasting Increases Growth Hormone

(00:11:56) Why Your Stomach Growls

(00:13:09) Hot Baths & Hormones

(00:14:35) Energy, Adrenaline (Epinephrine), & Cortisol

(00:15:48) Cortisol & Cholesterol, Competition With Testosterone & Estrogen

(00:17:54) Adrenaline (Epinephrine) Is Your (Immune Systems) Best Friend

(00:18:48) Cortisol Basics In Two (Actually 1) Minute/s

(00:19:48) Adrenaline Basics In Two Minutes

(00:21:32) Tool: Time Your Cortisol Peak To Waking Using Specific Light Intensities

(00:27:20) Brief Increases In Cortisol & Adrenaline Boost Energy, Focus & Immunity

(00:30:04) Ways To Increase Adrenaline, Epinephrine & Cortisol & Why That Is Good

(00:35:00) Does Mindset During Stress Matter?

(00:36:15) Protocols: Adrenaline Breathing Described

(00:39:00) Practices To Increase Energy Without Increasing Stress

(00:45:00) Using Stressors to ENHANCE Our Immune System: Science & Tools

(00:55:11) Timing Thyroid Release For Energy

(00:57:02) Adrenaline/Stress Increase Performance & Memory. IF They Are After Learning

(01:02:45) An Optimal Learning Protocol

(01:03:20) Coffee Changes Your Brain & Increases Connectivity Of “Anxiety Circuits”

(01:05:43) Nootropics: Two Kinds, & How & Why They Work, “Neural Energy”

(01:09:00) Biology of Comfort Foods: From Negative to Positive Feedback Loops

(01:14:00) Bombesin: Energy Without Eating

(01:15:00) How Stress Makes Our Hair Gray, & How To Prevent Stress-Induced-Graying

(01:18:05) Blunting Chronic Cortisol, Including: Ashwagandha & Science Of

(01:25:50) Licorice Increases Cortisol & Blood Pressure, & Reduces Testosterone (by Glycyrrhizin)

(01:28:50) Apigenin: Anti-Cortisol

(01:29:53) Protocols For Optimizing Energy & Immune System Function (& Learning)

(01:37:00) When Fasting, Exercise, Cold & Intense Breathing Become Detrimental

(01:39:00) Prescription Compounds

(01:39:47) Tools For Accessing Alert & Calm States of “Energy”: Separating The Brain & Body

(01:42:11) Ways To Apply Knowledge Presented Today

(01:43:20) No-Cost Ways To Support Us, Feedback, Sponsors, Patreon, Partners, “Office Hours”

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


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