6 Benefits of Cordyceps Mushroom That are Backed by Science
6 minute read
A natural energy booster for body and mind, Cordyceps can help to enhance athletic performance and support overall brain health and function. Read on to learn more about this amazing adaptogen and functional mushroom.
Meet the Mushroom: Cordyceps
Cordyceps (Cordyceps Militaris) were a prized ingredient in history and were so highly valued that they were available exclusively to the Emperor’s family in ancient China. Since then, they’ve been used in herbalist medicine for thousands of years and have withstood the test of time to remain just as sought after in the modern world.
The fruiting bodies of Cordyceps (what we see above the ground, like in the above image) have the same vertical, finger-like appearance as ocean coral. To eat, they have a savoury, umami flavour and an earthy, nutty taste similar to that of chestnut mushrooms. Cordyceps are extremely rare in the wild and so are mostly cultivated and extracted for their amazing health benefits.
What sets Cordyceps apart from the rest of the functional mushroom world is that they don’t just work to improve mental health but can also boost physical performance. Read on to learn more about the benefits of Cordyceps.
6 Health Benefits of Cordyceps Mushroom
Cordyceps mushroom contains a spectrum of natural compounds that are beneficial to body and mind. Let's explore each in more detail.
1. Cordyceps Mushroom for Stamina & Endurance
Cordyceps have been shown to accelerate the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in the brain. ATP is the energy currency of cells and having more in circulation means that energy is delivered more efficiently to muscle tissue, enhancing exercise performance.
Scientific evidence has shown that Cordyceps dietary supplements can help to boost athletic performance by improving stamina and endurance. One study also found that participants who were given Cordyceps improved their VO2 max (a measure of oxygen uptake that correlates closely with fitness level) by as much as 10%.
Cordyceps are also beneficial to overall heart health due to their natural anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective function. This demonstrates further potential for the mushrooms to enhance fitness capacity through improved heart health and circulation.
2. Cordyceps Mushroom for Cognitive Performance
The energy-boosting impact of Cordyceps is not only useful for physical performance but also helps to keep the mind switched-on and focused. Cordyceps directly stimulate the central nervous system and adrenal glands to support a steady release of energy.
Just as this increases the energy available to the rest of the body, it also empowers the brain. Research has shown that increased oxygen uptake in the brain helps to increase blood flow to brain cells and fight mental fatigue.
Cordyceps have been shown to improve many aspects of cognitive performance including learning capacity and memory. This in turn can help to increase mental clarity, banish brain fog and improve productivity.
3. Cordyceps Mushroom for Brain Health
Cordyceps have a neuroprotective function, helping to prevent damage and protect the brain. The benefit of Cordyceps to brain health can help to minimise the impact of ageing and so reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline, including the onset of conditions such as Dementia & Alzheimer's disease.
These amazing mushrooms have also shown potential to help people recover from brain injury, by increasing blood flow to damaged brain cells. It’s early days for this research but experts have seen promising results in small scale studies so far.
Finally, like many other brain-boosting functional mushrooms, Cordyceps can help to regulate hormones essential for stabilising mood and emotion thanks to its adaptogenic properties. This can help to reduce the risk of mood disorders and alleviate the symptoms of mild mental health conditions or feelings of stress and anxiety.
4. Cordyceps Mushroom for the Immune System
Cordyceps mushroom has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, as a natural healer for common ailments. Rather than a Cordyceps powder or supplement, Cordyceps was added to teas, tinctures and tonics to help treat minor illnesses as well as promote overall wellness.
The high antioxidant activity of Cordyceps means that it can help to protect the body from oxidative stress, damage which is caused by environmental free radicals and builds up in the body - contributing to increased risk of health problems. Antioxidants found in Cordyceps help to prevent this damage from happening in the first place, bolstering immune function.
5. Cordyceps Mushroom for Anti-Aging
The high antioxidant activity of Cordyceps combined with it's impact on brain health and immunity also makes it a powerful anti-ageing supplement.
Studies have shown that Cordyceps supplementation can help to improve multiple markers of ageing including memory, brain health, antioxidant activity and even longevity.
Together with the wider benefits of Cordyceps, this is another great reason to include Cordyceps mushroom as part of your daily routine.
6. Cordyceps Mushroom May Reduce the Risk of Certain Health Conditions
As well as helping to manage risk factors for disease such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels, animal studies on Cordyceps has also shown it to be a potential adjuvant therapy in the treatment of certain health conditions.
However, it should be noted that there is a great need for much more research and scientific evidence into each to be able to justify its safe and effective use in healthcare.
So far, healthcare scientists hope to explore the potential for Cordyceps to reduce the risk of:
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Function & Chronic Kidney Disease
- Sexual Dysfunction
What are the side effects of Cordyceps Mushroom?
In the world of dietary supplements Cordyceps extracts are relatively new to consumers. This understandably raises some questions, including if there are any side effects to taking Cordyceps supplements.
Like most medicinal mushrooms, Cordyceps and their pharmacological properties are vastly under-researched. There's no denying that clinical trials and placebo-controlled trials would be beneficial to further evidence both the benefits and potential drawbacks of Cordyceps.
Adverse effects to Cordyceps are not very well understood and are usually anecdotal. As a natural food (as opposed to a medicine or supplement), it is possible to have an allergy or intolerance to Cordyceps - however, further clinical studies are needed to assess the underlying mechanisms of this.
It should also be noted that any adverse or beneficial effects of Cordyceps supplements will vary depending on the species of Cordyceps and concentration of the extract, which of course will vary depending on which Cordyceps product you choose.
For healthy individuals with no known food intolerances, the research supports overwhelming benefits of the bioactive compounds found in Cordyceps.
Rheal Organic Superfood Mushroom Blends 🍄
This amazing mushroom works its magic throughout the body to help optimise overall health and wellbeing - which explains why it has been the most sought after mushroom from ancient times right up to the present day.
Getting your daily dose of Cordyceps mushroom couldn't be easier with Rheal superfood blends.
Shroom Coffee with Cordyceps Mushroom
You will find Cordyceps mushroom alongside Lion's Mane and Chaga Mushroom extract in our Shroom Coffee and Ground Mushroom Coffee blends.
Dual-extracted functional mushrooms paired with Organic Arabica Coffee mean you can elevate your coffee routine to stay focused and naturally energised throughout your busy day.
Cacao Plant Protein with Cordyceps Mushroom
Cordyceps mushroom extract has been shown to improve multiple aspects of exercise performance including enhanced energy, stamina and strength.
This makes it the perfect addition to our Cacao Plant Protein blend, which is designed to help you get the most out of each and every workout as well as improve post-exercise recovery.
Add to shakes, smoothies, plant-based milk and healthy recipes for a boost of protein, superfoods and to get your daily dose of Cordyceps mushroom.
Cordyceps Accelerates Production of ATP in the Brain - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28094746/
Cordyceps Increases VO2 Max & Enhances Athletic Stamina - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5236007/
Cordyceps Anti-Ageing Properties -
Anti-inflammatory Effect of Cordyceps Mushroom - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4371127/
Improvement of Learning Capacity & Memory with Cordyceps Extract - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5874985/
Neurochemical Regulation of Cordyceps - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257700/
Adaptogenic Properties of Cordyceps - https://pcos.com/cordyceps/