The Top 3 Medicinal Mushrooms For Energy

The Top 3 Medicinal Mushrooms For Energy

Mushroom coffee has skyrocketed to popularity in recent years as a darling of the social media wellness landscape, promising the energy, focus, and even digestive benefits of your regular caffeinated morning cuppa without the jitters and dehydration. While this trend may seem like a new phenomenon, the knowledge that functional mushrooms can provide a potent energy boost has been around much longer than you might think. 

The use of mushrooms as a substitute for coffee in the Western world first gained traction in the late 1930s, during World War II in Finland, where residents found the staple beverage in short wartime supply. Without their usual caffeine source, Finnish soldiers would forage mushrooms and boil them into a tea to help keep energy levels high. But globally, people have been drawing energy naturally from functional fungi since long before mushroom coffee spilled onto the scene. 

Before the popular fungal brew rose to prominence, mushroom supplements were looked to in support of energy and quality of life by traditional medicine practitioners for thousands of years. Healing practices of ancient cultures in Asia relied on mushrooms to fight fatigue, stabilize blood sugar, and support healthy blood and oxygen flow, all of which play critical roles in maintaining optimal levels of stamina and vitality. 

If you’re looking for a natural way to support sustained, jitter-free energy and endurance, check out the three best medicinal mushrooms for energy: cordyceps, lion’s mane, and reishi. 

Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)

This shroom may look like a cheeto, but it plays like a champion triathlete. 

Don’t let the smaller size of the elongated fungus fool you– its energetic benefits are undeniably major. Known to fuel the body by elevating energy levels, boosting libido, and enhancing endurance, cordyceps has made a name for itself as a trusted mushroom of athletes, supporting physical stamina and boosting the metabolism.  

According to Healthline, it’s believed that cordyceps may help to increase the body’s production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule essential for delivery of energy to our muscles, possibly by improving the way we use oxygen. (This, in addition to adaptogenic properties, may be why cordyceps was used in ancient medicinal practices to ward off altitude sickness in the high Himalayas.) ATP, according to the US Army, affects muscle contraction and is associated with the energy system in our bodies that fuels high-intensity physical activity, like powerlifting and sprinting. The molecule is generally not readily available to us in the abundant supply that would be required for such activities. Supplementing with ATP-boosting sources like cordyceps pre workout could be of particular benefit during higher output training sessions.   

Another benefit of cordyceps for athletes is a considerable boost to stamina and endurance. During the 1993 Olympics cordyceps was credited for helping Chinese women’s running competitors famously shatter worldwide performance records, earning it the nickname of The Olympic Mushroom.   

On another side of the high-energy conversation, cordyceps has also been shown to support healthy sexual energy and libido, and can promote more efficient muscle recovery during periods of rest. 

See for yourself: add a few drops of cordyceps tincture to your pre-workout shake, and get moving.      


Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

Everyone’s favorite shaggy entity of the fungus world, lion’s mane, promotes both mental and physical energy by supporting a healthy nervous system, enhancing cognitive function, and stimulating the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.    

Is lion’s mane a stimulant? While it does have nootropic properties and help to promote energy, it is not qualified as a stimulant. One key way in which lion’s mane mushroom supports energy levels is by triggering the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) with compounds hericenones and erinacines, a protein essential to the health and development of our nervous system and critical to the creation and function of every cell in the human body. NGF also helps to support metabolic processes, allowing the body to more effectively turn the fuel and oxygen into energy. Unlike lion’s mane, some stimulants have been shown to actually reduce the presence of NGF in certain regions of the brain. 

Additionally, lion’s mane has shown great promise as an alternative treatment for mood disorders like depression. Hericenones and erinacines are also believed to be responsible for the mushroom’s antidepressant effects. In a 2018 study with mice, lion’s mane demonstrated the ability to increase levels of two neurotransmitters commonly deficient in individuals suffering from depression: dopamine and serotonin. Low levels of dopamine and serotonin have both been linked to chronic fatigue, with low energy overall being a common depressive symptom. Lion’s mane has shown potential to boost both energy and mood.  

Keep in mind that the best lion’s mane supplements will be made utilizing the entire fungus, including mycelium and fruiting body, in order to harness the full benefits of this mushroom’s NGF and mood-boosting compounds. 

Stir a dose of lion’s mane liquid extract into your favorite morning beverage to help you feel lifted, focused, and energized.


Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

The reishi mushroom is lauded for its ability to promote longevity and vitality, and was called The Mushroom of Immortality in ancient Chinese medicine, noted for potent and wide-ranging benefits. In Chinese, this glossy red fungus is called lingzhi, carrying a dual meaning of “spiritual potency” and “essence of immortality.” Immortality, it stands, given the mushroom’s capacity to promote longevity by staving off disorder and infection while demonstrating anti-aging benefits. But another way in which reishi supports the myth of immortality is by restoring energy to its recipients. 

Foundational to the supply and availability of our energy, reishi promotes enhanced sleep quality. When we find ourselves in a sleep deficit or our sleep suffers quality, our stored and usable energy is impacted. According to research, “Sleep results in both a reduction in performance-based energy demands and thermoregulatory needs. In the absence of sleep, energy is not stored and instead one third more energy is used.” In other words, when we don’t get the sleep we need, we have less energy to draw from, but use more of it. Taking a reishi mushroom supplement regularly to support solid shuteye can help to stay ahead of this cycle. 

Reishi is also a celebrated adaptogen, showing remarkable capacity to help manage and mitigate our response to stress. This multitasking mushroom supports adrenal gland function, helping to regulate the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Studies have shown that stress can seriously jeopardize energy balances by disrupting critical processes of the metabolism. The adaptogenic potency of reishi can be an excellent ally in warding off stress-related energy dips. 

In the same vein, numerous studies have shown this functional fungus to support healthy blood sugar levels, potentially by helping to regulate hormones secreted by the adrenal glands. When blood sugar levels become dysregulated, we can experience fatigue and decreased energy, and feel far less alert than usual. Reishi can help to keep glucose steady. Plus, an added bonus to all of the above benefits: reishi supports a brighter, better mood. 

Try adding these red reishi shroom gummies into your wellness regimen for a daily dose of tranquility and vitality. 

While options for energy supplements these days may abound, these revitalizing functional mushrooms have been proving their abilities to support stamina, endurance, physical performance, and overall energy levels for thousands of years. To learn more and find your best mushroom for energy, visit us here.  


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