Fungus is appearing in a variety of locations distant from the dark, damp corners of the forest. Mushrooms come in an incredible variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and varieties, but medicinal mushrooms are currently one of the hottest food trends in health food stores and on social media feeds, thanks to recent reports about mushrooms ability to improve a variety of health and athletic measures.

No, we're not talking about the pre-sliced white mushrooms you purchase at the supermarket for your morning omelet or vegetarian pizza—we're talking about specialized mushroom species like cordyceps, reishi, and Chaga, which grow in deep, dark woods. Some people think these types have great therapeutic properties (and, no, they aren't the kind that can transport you on an apparently mystical, wonderful journey).

While therapeutic mushrooms have been utilized in Chinese and Japanese medicine for millennia, the Western world is only now becoming aware of them, resulting in a "shroom boom." Advocates make some bold claims about the "powers" of medicinal mushrooms like turkey tail and lion's mane, such as greater immunity, increased mental focus, deeper sleep, and a lower risk of a variety of diseases like cancer and diabetes. Do you need to unwind? Proponents will advise using reishi mushrooms to alleviate anxiety.

Even sportsmen are turning to these ancient "superfoods" in the hopes of gaining an advantage and boosting their training. Cordyceps mushrooms, in particular, have been promoted to individuals who enjoy working up a sweat on a daily basis, since they are said to enhance stamina and the amount of time you can go before becoming fatigued. But, of course, science hasn't verified this, so how many of these glowing testimonials are true?

What Is the Research Saying?

Overall, the science on mushrooms is still relatively shaky, with the majority of data coming from rodent and test-tube studies. More study with people and athletes is needed in these circumstances to provide strong conclusions. However, there is no shortage of anecdotal evidence and marketing language, both of which should be taken with a grain of salt. There is, however, some human-based research that may be of interest to us in the lycra crowd.

Consider Italian research involving seven amateur cyclists that discovered that three months of eating fungal supplements, including cordyceps, reduced exercise-induced oxidative stress, which the study authors hypothesize might help athletes better adapt to the rigors of intense training. In addition, one study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements found that those who received 4 grams of a medicinal mushroom blend each day for three weeks had gains in fitness indicators like VO2 max during a cycling test.

Another recent study revealed that penis envy mushroom strain. particularly maitake, which is not commonly consumed in the United States, is high in antioxidants such as glutathione. By minimizing inflammation, this fungal antioxidant may aid active bodies in maintaining a strong immune system and recovering from strenuous activities. Furthermore, some evidence shows that a fungus-derived fiber known as beta-glucan may help athletes avoid the all-too-common upper respiratory illness.

Meanwhile, the buzz around adaptogens, which are chemicals present in some plant foods that some health practitioners believe increase the body's tolerance to stress, has increased mushroom popularity. However, research in this area is limited, with one recent study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition revealing that an adaptogen pill had no impact when compared to taking a placebo in terms of enhancing muscular function and strength in response to exercise.

Another study into whether mushrooms can help with overall health, such as inhibiting some cancer cells, preventing age-related mental decline, and lowering blood pressure, has been small but encouraging.

Other stated advantages, such as increased energy and focus, are notoriously subjective and difficult to substantiate. Because of the dependable placebo effect, there is always a risk that drinking cordyceps juice will make you feel like a Grand Tour champion.


Having said that, we need to see a lot more study, particularly bigger-scale human trials, before these sorts of mushrooms are considered an essential element of any diet, let alone an athlete's diet. However, many corporations aren't waiting for science to catch up and are making it simple for us to obtain our (legal) mushroom fix.

If you're intrigued, so-called "functional mushrooms" are appearing in anything from energy bars to costly coffee beverages. All of this is an attempt to encourage people to forget about their preconceived notions about how mushrooms should look and taste: earthy. if you want to get more information, please visit the website