Much like hemp-based products, Adaptogens have been studied for their incredible potential toward wellness goals. Interest in Cordyceps, a mushroom known for its potential health benefits and adaptogenic effects, has grown in recent years. And thanks to emerging research mixed in with anecdotal evidence, we now have many more insights into how these functional mushrooms can raise your energy levels.
In the following article, we’ll explore how Cordyceps supports your body, what it is used for, and some of the foremost wellness goals that science could back up with research.
- What Is Cordyceps Used For
- How Cordyceps Supports Energy
- Essential amino acids (building blocks of protein)
- Vitamins B1, B2, B12, and K
- Carbohydrates such as monosaccharides, oligosaccharides
- Cordyceps and Physical Energy
- Cordyceps and Oxygen Uptake
- Cordyceps and Endurance
- How much cordyceps to take daily
What Is Cordyceps Used For
Cordyceps has a long history in traditional medicine. Specifically, like many other adaptogenic supplements, it has a special place in Traditional Chinese medicine.
Nowadays, much like hemp, several scientific studies can support these wellness effects. Some of these supplements are used for more simple purposes, like getting a little bit more energy during the day, to specific ones, like improving athlete performance.
Some of the main effects that have been reported are enhanced physical energy, increased endurance, post-workout recovery, and potentially giving your immune system a boost.
But before we explore these benefits, let’s review some of the central pathways in how Cordyceps could support energy.
How Cordyceps Supports Energy
Cordyceps is a mushroom long used in traditional medicine, which started receiving broader recognition in 1993 with a scientific breakthrough in Chinese athletes’ performance.
After this, Cordyceps gained a lot more attention from researchers who began to investigate their chemical makeup in order to discover how this mushroom could support athletes’ energy levels.
Essential amino acids (building blocks of protein)
Amino acids are one of the most important compounds in your body. There’s evidence that amino acids help with cognitive performance, stress, and brain function.
This chapter from the researcher Harris R. Lieberman noted how amino acids have the potential to help with central demands from your central system.
And while we won’t go further into this, the role of amino acids in both nervous and brain wellness is pretty well documented and backed up by scientific review.
Vitamins B1, B2, B12, and K
Some of this mushroom’s essential vitamins are believed to help with your overall brain function. This review from 2016 talked about how B vitamins could help with overall brain health and efficacy, which could lead to more energy during the day.
Carbohydrates such as monosaccharides, oligosaccharides
It is believed that carbohydrates are helpful in providing energy in balanced amounts. This review from 1994 explained that carbohydrates in a dairy intake could help with energy production, helping with different functions like the brain, liver, and even heart.
While this depends on each person’s needed intake and dietary needs, it is well-researched that a healthy diet with carbohydrates could help with more energy.
Polysaccharides are significant components of the human diet. This research paper found this type of compound is one of the major sources of energy you can get, including adding fiber and helping with overall digestion and health. And as you might guess by now, Cordyceps have Polysaccharides as part of their composition.
Proteins are believed to help at different levels with energy. While different from carbohydrates and fats, this chemical group is vital to support general energy levels. They are essential together with amino acids for a healthy diet and are also believed to help your metabolic rate.
These compounds are commonly found in herbs and mushrooms and are believed to help with fat in your body. Specifically, this review noted how sterols could be used to help to lower cholesterol levels in our body, also helping cardiovascular health.
Lastly, nucleosides are believed to help as an energy source found in certain specific adaptogens, like Cordyceps. This paper from 2005 reported how these compounds could help lower metabolic stress and slow overall cellular damage.
While more research is needed, this gives us insight into how Cordyceps ends up affecting and increasing our metabolic rate and helping with general balance in our body.
Cordyceps and Physical Energy
While having a few tokes of your favorite CBD strain could give a much-needed energy lift, this mushroom might be a pretty solid choice if you feel like you are missing energy throughout your day as well.
In this animal study performed on mice, scientists reported that this mushroom extract could be helpful when regenerating ATP after exercising.
As a slight throwback to your biology classes, ATP is the main energy-carrying molecule in our cells. Basically, it’s the molecule that powers up the process of oxygenation.
This means that Cordyceps could be helpful in providing energy to your body, specifically if you’d like to have a small power-up in your workout sessions.
Research from 2010 had elderly patients using this mushroom’s extracts for exercise. The subjects participating were fully healthy and improved overall performance and wellness in the long term.
Cordyceps and Oxygen Uptake
A study conducted on young adults demonstrated that Cordyceps intake could help with overall exhaustion after working out. The study found that subjects experienced more efficient oxygen intake and an overall increase in the ventilatory threshold after only three weeks of use.
Other research also gives us insight into how this mushroom could help with oxygen extraction. This in-vitro study reported that human lung cells could be benefited from adding Cordyceps extract in low-oxygen conditions like the Himalayas, where cordyceps have traditionally been used for exactly that purpose.
Cordyceps and Endurance
There is also some evidence that this adaptogen could help with increased endurance during exercise.
Animal research with Cordyceps extract as a supplement reported that it could extend the swimming endurance time of mice. This also helped inhibit lactic acid production, increasing liver and muscle glycogen storage.
All of these factors could lead to the reduction of muscle fatigue after aerobic exercise. In similar studies conducted on human subjects, Cordyceps have been shown to help in a similar manner by helping to manage fatigue.
This research on athletes reported an overall increase in endurance thanks to the increased ventilatory threshold in long-distance runners.
How much cordyceps to take daily
This question is a little tricky. Products containing this mushroom usually have two presentations: powder or oral supplements like pills.
The general dose of Cordyceps in products usually has about 2000 and up to 2500 mg of concentrated mushroom per dose. While there are no general rules for taking this natural supplement, our advice is to follow the product guidelines and double-check the lab report for possible allergens or other ingredients.
Before starting any supplement, even if it’s all-natural, we recommend consulting your healthcare provider first to ensure it’s the best option for you. And remember that all bodies react differently, and you might need to make a few adjustments to your intake until you get your desired results.
Lastly, you can also check this Youtube video about how Cordyceps works for more information:
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