The Cordyceps mushroom is among the most discussed functional mushrooms. Its beginnings read like the opening of a horror story — a parasitic mushroom that invades the body of its host and uses it for nutrients. Wild cordyceps mushrooms grow on ghost moth larvae, and emerge when they become caterpillars, mummifying the host. Despite the terror-inducing origin story, there’s growing demand for products that can offer Cordyceps mushroom benefits, and new, more accessible means to acquire the mushrooms.
Why the fuss? Cordyceps mushrooms are composed of numerous bioactive compounds, many of which are shown in research to provide benefits to the body, and some even help the nervous system and cognitive function. Functional mushrooms — also referred to as medicinal mushrooms or adaptogenic mushrooms — contain adaptogens, and these compounds have an incredible function; helping the body prepare for stress.
In particular, Cordyceps mushrooms have demonstrated potential to enhance athletic performance, offer long lasting energy as well as combatting persistent fatigue, and the high quantities of antioxidants could help stave off pathogens and infections. Functional mushrooms have a long history of application in traditional east Asian medicine practices and there’s’ reason to believe in the hype
What Are Cordyceps Mushrooms?
There are hundreds of different cordyceps species and two are believed to share a profile that’s almost identical in terms of benefits and nutrients.
Cordyceps Sinensis and Cordyceps Militaris
Cordyceps Sinensis is the form of mushrooms discovered in Tibet, sprouting from the heads of mummified caterpillars. Cordyceps Militaries provide roughly the same benefits and composition as Sinensis, but it’s grown on rice or oats and easily produced in a facility. The easy accessibility makes Militaries the more prevalent ingredient and the vast majority of companies in the United States rely on lab grown Cordyceps Militaris.
What Are The Benefits of Cordyceps Mushrooms?
As mentioned, Cordyceps can enhance athletic performance, but there’s more involved and the benefits extend to a much wider demographic than just athletes who want a legal edge in competition. Cordyceps’ popularity has attracted the eyes of researchers and studies support a broad range of potential uses.
Athletic performance and endurance
A 2018 study carried out over 28 days showed that cordyceps mushrooms improved the endurance and performance of participants who consumed it daily, compared against a placebo group. The study noted that the subjects who used cordyceps appeared to have improved oxygen intake — which is actually a traditional application for cordyceps.
Like all functional mushrooms — Cordyceps boosts a lot of adaptogens, responsible for helping to build resilience in the body. But what these mushrooms do most for the immune system is contribute to a healthy gut; the gut microbiome contains 70% of our immune system and research has drawn unmistaken connections between gut health and overall immune function.
Cordyceps Mushrooms For Fatigue
Persistent fatigue is the enemy of chronic illness sufferers. Fatigue is devastating and can leave you feeling weak and winded even when engaged in minor physical activities. A study on mice revealed that cordyceps mushrooms performed as an anti-fatigue supplement in mice, and it increased adenosine triphosphate levels in mice which provides energy for our muscles.
Diabetes and Blood Sugars
Additional mice studies indicate that Cordyceps contain bioactive compounds that can play a part in maintaining healthy blood sugars. In a study on diabetic rats, the mushrooms improved kidney functions in some subjects, even those that had kidney damage.
The Best Cordyceps Supplement
Customers who shop online will stumble on a veritable sea of Cordyceps supplement options. On the surface, which products you choose seems to make little difference, but in reality, choosing the right product types — that suit your tastes and fit into your routine — may prove the deciding factor in whether you make cordyceps a daily supplement or the product gets buried in your cupboards.
The most available cordyceps supplement fall into these categories:
- Coffees and coffee alternatives
- Functional beverages
Before you decide on a product, you should consider how and when you’re planning to get a functional mushroom dose and which other benefits, you’d like to receive
Mushroom Coffee and Coffee Alternatives
There’s a convincing case for mushroom coffee as the best Cordyceps supplement. Coffee is obviously desired most for energy and alertness and given that cordyceps is the energetic functional mushroom of the family, combining these two ingredients produces an incredible morning coffee. An advantage to mushroom coffee is that many roasts can provide the desired kick with less caffeine due to the added cordyceps mushrooms, and the calming effects of adaptogens prevent jitters.
Mushroom coffee performs best as a morning beverage and the nutty, earthy taste is extremely well suited to medium and dark roasts. Brain Brands marries a delectable Columbian roast and seven kinds of functional mushrooms in our Seven Mushroom Blend Coffee.
Here’s where you can learn about other mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane, Maitake, Turkey Tail and other functional mushrooms.
Shoppers who are seeking ways to reduce their caffeine intake often choose a mushroom coffee alternative — made with cacao, a lower caffeine beverage. There are also some mushroom coffees that are completely caffeine-free and utilize cordyceps as their energy source.
Functional beverages are typically cold drinks. Some companies produce lemonades, iced tea, and a variety of cold infused beverages that feature functional mushrooms for adaptogenic benefits. These beverages are sometimes bottled and sometimes sold as a drink mix for blending with water.
Capsules are arguably the most convenient cordyceps supplement, especially for anyone who takes vitamins during he day or who has an easy time remembering things — if that’s not you, then don’t bother. Cordyceps Mushroom capsules are extremely economical; our Performance Cordyceps Capsules have 1000 milligrams of organic mushroom extract per serving, priced at $49.99 for a 120 capsules bottle.
Those who like mushroom powder, like it a lot. Mushroom powder provides versatility and is suited for a wide array of different recipes: you can mix mushroom powder into a fruit smoothie for a delicious beverage with adaptogens and no hint of any mushroom flavor. Or those who enjoy the savory and earthy taste can sprinkle it on roasting vegetables or use to season their steak.
Mushroom powder goes great with baked goods too. You can add it to a cookie mix or create a new spin on a classic muffin recipe. The great thing about powder is that it provides variety, ideal for people who get sick of one food item quickly and might have trouble using the same mushroom supplement every day.
Who Should Take Cordyceps Mushrooms?
The energetic effects of cordyceps mushrooms naturally attract athletes and customers who are trying to improve their fitness. But these mushrooms are meant for more than just the athletically inclined — anyone who wants an alternative energy source to caffeine will appreciate Cordyceps mushroom benefits.
These mushrooms have only a few side effects, none of which are serious in nature; however, if you’re prone to upset stomachs then cordyceps might cause you some trouble.
When Is The best Time to Take Cordyceps Mushrooms?
Generally, people take cordyceps mushrooms in the morning for energy, but depending on your goals you may wish to take it at different intervals
- For workouts: Pre-workout for energy or post workout for fatigue
- For Immune Boost: Take every day at regular intervals
- For the workday: Take it in the morning, preferably in a mushroom coffee
Conclusion: How to Make The Most of Cordyceps Mushroom Benefits
By now you understand all the ins and outs of cordyceps mushrooms — the right products, how to take them, and when to take them. The essential piece in making cordyceps mushrooms work for you is to ensure that you consume them everyday. This is easier said than done, especially if you choose a product type that you don’t regularly use.
Aim for something that fits your lifestyle and if have concerns that you may miss a dose, buy another product type to have in your house just in case; if you forget to drink mushroom coffee in the morning, then having a capsule ready at night will do the trick.