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Why Many Athletes are Turning to Cordyceps

A Brief Overview of the Performance-Enhancing Qualities of Cordyceps Mushrooms

Fig. 1. Cordyceps Militaris, Cultivated on Millet, Evolved Mushrooms


Wild Cordyceps, Oopiocordyceps sinensis, have been revered in traditional medicine for well over a thousand years. Known as the "caterpillar fungus," are a genus of parasitic fungi that influence the behavior of hundreds of different insects for its own survival.

Our historical understanding of this curious mushroom can be seen in the traditional harvesting of the people of Tibet. For centuries Yak herders in Tibet and Nepal would encounter their herds grazing on tall grasses with small Cordyceps (meaning "club head") emerging through the grassy duff. Legend has it that a few adventurous herdsman tried the mushrooms themselves and experienced some potent benefits.

"Chinese caterpillar mushroom (C. sinensis) has been used as an aphrodisiac for nearly two thousand years, with the first written record in the Classic Herbal of the Divine Plowman from 200 AD." (1).

While traditional Chinese medicine has used Cordyceps as a lung and kidney tonic, early encounters with this fungi provided enhanced libido, vitality, energy and qi.(1) Fast forward a few centuries...

Thanks to the cultivation innovation of distant and even recent mushroom cultivators, such as Ryan Paul Gates of Terrestrial Fungi, and William Padilla Brown of Mycosymbiotics, a new species, Cordyceps militaris, is becoming an increasingly popular the new tool for super-human athletic performance.

Unlike its predecessor, Ophiocordyceps sinensis, Cordyceps militaris may be safely cultivated on organic ingredients without the cost of hundreds of innocent insect lives.

In addition to assisting in "upregulating dopimanergic response," it has been found to have "adrenal restoring" benefits in addition to testosterone support. Furthermore, Cordyceps has been shown to increase ATP by 28%. (1.) Improving energy levels while offering a sustainable way to improve healthy levels of testosterone may offer the athletic edge in performance so many athletes are looking for.

Another study looked at long-distance runners and found "improvement in 71% of runners due to increased respiratory effect and removal of lactic acid." (2) No wonder this is considered one of the best mushrooms for athletes. But it gets better...

A True Adaptogen that Nurtures Vitality

One of the most powerful attributes of this special mushroom is found in its stress-reducing qualities. In addition to showing blood sugar regulation, Cordyceps "have been used for their adaptogenic and tonic effects and their ability to reduce fatigue." (3.)

Adaptogens are well-known for supporting vitality while helping your system cope with stress, bringing you closer to homeostasis and balance. Finally, the immune supportive properties of Cordyceps must be understood to know why this mushroom is so powerful.

"Cordycepin is known for various nutraceutical and therapeutic potential, such as anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory...which makes it a most valuable medicinal mushroom for helping maintain good health" (4.)

As a mushroom that supports against stress while promoting adrenal wellness, its no wonder this mushroom is becoming increasingly popular.

While there are many products on the market, Cordyceps mushroom fruiting bodies contains much higher amounts of cordycepin than mycelium on grain, showing to contain 25% higher beta-glucans compared to mycelium on grain. When looking for the best supplement, be sure to determine that your product is not mycelium-based versus a mushroom fruiting body. Additionally, extracts provide a much greater amount of bioavailable compounds than a simple powder.

We combine 100% Cordyceps Militaris Mushroom Fruiting Bodies (dual extract) from local cultivators with individual extracts of organic Red Ginseng, Yerba Mate, Goji Berry and Maca Root in an invigorating and adaptogenic blend. We also carry the Pure Mushroom Cordyceps Militaris extract to support you in your holistic wellness.

Get After It!!

  1. The Fungal Pharmacy, Rodgers 2011 (117-123)

  2. Hiroshi et al. 1996

  3. Jedrejko et a. 2021

  4. 4. Ashraf et al Cordycepin for Health and Wellbeing

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