Cordyceps - The Next Wave in Performance Sports Nutrition

Man with six pack

 

Natural supplements are becoming an increasingly appealing option for athletic performance. They can enhance your natural abilities safely and effectively. Supplements also offer an opportunity to get vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients for your body's health. Cordyceps mushrooms are gaining momentum in the natural supplement space.

Cordyceps, dubbed "the performance elixir," are earning a positive reputation and popularity among performance-focused athletes. As a result, elite and recreational athletes turn to cordyceps to improve their performance with organic, natural supplements. 

Where Do Cordyceps Come From?

cordyceps mushrooms

In the wild, cordyceps are unique mushrooms that grow on caterpillars. They have finger-like stems sprouting from many directions, like a wildflower growing in the woods! 

For centuries, cordyceps have also been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat illnesses with natural remedies. However, more research shows it can improve exercise performance and help boost immunity.

Types of Cordyceps

The two main types of cordyceps are cordyceps sinensis and cordyceps militaris. They both have similar nutrient profiles, such as improving mood, lowering stress and increasing strength during high-performance training.

Cordyceps Sinensis 

Cordyceps sinensis are a type of fungus that naturally grows in high-altitude environments like in the mountains of Tibet, Nepal, and China. For millennia, it's been one of Traditional Chinese Medicine's most highly sought-after ingredients, used to increase vitality and reduce tension.

Cordyceps sinensis are expensive because they are a rare native fungus. In addition, they're not suitable as supplements because they can't be harvested easily due to harsh environmental variables, making it harder to produce them commercially. 

Cordyceps Militaris 

Cordyceps militaris are just as effective in high-performance training but with a much lower cost. Unlike cordyceps sinensis, cordyceps militaris are grown in a controlled laboratory environment with rice. This unique production process uses the most up-to-date research techniques available. In addition, the fruiting bodies can grow on oats, making them more accessible and affordable for anyone to find.

The Performance Benefits of Cordyceps Mushrooms

Boost Athletic Performance 

Athletes may benefit from using cordyceps as they have been proven to boost energy levels. A recent clinical study found that participants using cordyceps had higher adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and inorganic phosphate. These are two key components of energy production in the body.

Despite its complexity, researchers believe that cordyceps' performance-enhancing effects are due to how it improves energy production. ATP is a compound that helps cells function and creates energy. This benefit is particularly important for athletes who want a long-lasting form of energy because it provides a dependable supply of power that won't result in a "crash" like a sugar high.

Increase VO2 and Oxygen Intake

VO₂ max measures how much oxygen your body has available during intense exercise. A controlled study on exercise performance in healthy elderly participants found that cordyceps increased their oxygen uptake.

Ventilatory threshold refers to the intensity of exercise where breathing starts to increase to the point where lactate accumulates in the blood. The ventilatory threshold is important because it allows more oxygen to enter your body. Research shows that cordyceps can increase the amount of oxygen in the body, which reduces the feeling of fatigue.

A recent clinical study by the University of North Carolina concluded that supplementing cordyceps for at least three weeks improved maximum oxygen intake during intense exercise in participants. In addition, it increases the time to exhaustion, allowing athletes to train longer and harder before reaching fatigue.

According to the previously mentioned research, the increase in oxygen intake appears to be more beneficial for those who are not as highly-trained athletes. Trained athletes may need a higher dosage of cordyceps to achieve the same benefits.

Reduce Fatigue

Cordyceps have been used in Eastern medicine to fight fatigue and improve endurance. Recent research has shown that people could improve high-intensity exercise after three weeks of supplementation with cordyceps militaris. This suggests more significant potential for benefits if you continue using it over extended periods.

In addition, a study showed that cordyceps militaris could help combat fatigue in mice, measured by improved endurance while swimming. While more research is needed on the benefits and risks of cordyceps, it seems to be a promising supplement for those who want endurance.

Ways To Consume Cordyceps

Now that you know about the benefits of cordyceps for exercise and athletic performance, let's talk about how to consume them. Athletes usually start with 1 gram of cordyceps per day, either in a single dose or multiple doses spread out the day. Many people will gradually increase their dosage to 2-3 grams depending on weight, age, and exercise level. There is no standard for determining what constitutes an adequate dose, so keep in mind that dosage varies.

We recommend taking cordyceps before a workout for that pre-workout performance boost when consuming for the best effect.

Hekate Functional Mushrooms

Cordyceps is a key ingredient in our Daily Functional Mushroom Cocoa and Daily Functional Mushroom Capsules. Our formula is specifically designed and formulated for people looking to safely and naturally enhance their performance in sport, work, and daily life.

Our mushroom performance line is NSF Certified for Sport®, vegan, organic, GMO-free, and gluten-free. Three capsules per day are the recommended dosage of our Daily Functional Mushroom Capsules, containing 125mg of each mushroom( cordyceps, lion's mane, chaga, and reishi) per serving.

If you enjoy the taste of rich cocoa, our cocoa is for you. When taking our Daily Functional Mushroom Cocoa, we recommend half a tablespoon in the morning or before exercise. Each serving contains 125mg cordyceps, lion's mane, chaga, and reishi mushroom.

Bottom Line

If you're looking to unlock new performance levels in your exercise routine, adding cordyceps to your diet may be the answer. These powerful mushrooms have been shown to boost athletic performance, increase oxygen intake, reduce fatigue, and more!

References

https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/dietary-and-herbal-supplements 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5236007/ 

https://www.scienceabc.com/pure-sciences/what-is-atp-adenosine-triphosphate.html 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4553310/#sec4title

https://hekate.com/blogs/functional-mushrooms-benefits-and-recipes/mushrooms-in-traditional-chinese-medicine

https://www.healthline.com/health/vo2-max