Regular coffee has had its ups and downs regarding its status as being good for our health. But most evidence now suggests that overall coffee has many health benefits. It contains many important nutrients such as potassium, phosphorous, and niacin. It is also a potent source of antioxidants. Due to our busy lives and less than perfect diets, for many people coffee is the largest daily source of antioxidants. And finally, the caffeine in coffee gives us all a little pep in our step and stimulates the brain, which does enhance concentration. However, for some people, that extra pep comes with some not so pleasant side effects.
As I know first hand, one of those is indigestion/heartburn, or otherwise “crummy tummy”. This side effect is due to the increased production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and the high acidity of coffee itself.
Of course we all know the other big side effect of coffee is the disruption it can cause to our sleep pattern. This mainly comes from drinking it too late in the day, but even so, everyone metabolizes caffeine differently and it can interfere with our circadian rhythm. The end result is that some people may have difficulty falling asleep with even limited coffee consumption.
What is Mushroom Coffee?
Mushroom coffee is a blend of regular coffee mixed with a powdered form of medicinal mushroom extracts. It is a better, healthier way to get your caffeine fix for the day. Mushroom coffee tastes just like regular coffee. For some coffee aficionados, they might describe some mushroom coffee blends as having an “earthy” taste, but to most people it just tastes like coffee. There is nothing that would make you say, “Wow! That tastes like mushrooms!” The most commonly added mushrooms are lion’s mane, chaga, and cordyceps. Each of these types of mushrooms are known as medicinal, or “functional mushrooms”.
The term functional mushrooms refers to those mushrooms which have medicinal properties believed to provide positive health benefits. These mushrooms have been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help with many health conditions. In recent years, there has also been much scientific research
So What are the Benefits of Mushroom Coffee?
1. A Better Way to Focus
When I want to create, innovate, or otherwise brainstorm, I have to admit that lions mane coffee really gets my juices flowing. Research shows that lion’s mane does in fact stimulate neurological effects that improve focus and concentration (1)Pubmed Central Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help?. In addition to promoting increased alertness, concentration, and overall brain health, the neurotrophic effects have been shown to promote nerve regeneration which can help with brain and nerve injuries. Even more importantly, there have been no side effects reported from using lions mane extracts.
Regular coffee naturally has the benefit of increased alertness from caffeine, but mushroom coffee has less caffeine and yet still provides enhanced concentration and focus. The adaptogenic properties of functional mushrooms allow the drinker to get the same(or better) effect, but without the caffeine “jitters”.
2. Healthier Gut
Lions mane has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on stomach health by reducing Helicobacter pylori (2)Pubmed In Vitro and In Vivo Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori by Ethanolic Extracts of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes) . This is the bacteria responsible for the majority stomach ulcers. The research also shows an overall positive effect on the stomach lining as well.
For me, this is where mushroom coffee really shines. I have personally benefited from the positive effect that mushroom coffee has on my gut. Whether its the lions mane, the chaga, or all the above, I have been able to enjoy coffee again without having to worry about horrible aches and pains from drinking coffee. I admit I used to drink a lot of coffee, but eventually I had to completely stop drinking coffee due to chronic stomach problems. Now that I have found mushroom coffee, I have been able to enjoy my morning coffee again. But, I also enjoy the benefits of feeling more productive when I get into my focused “stream of consciousness” with lions mane coffee. WIN-WIN!
3. Boost Immunity, Less Stress
High antioxidant properties of functional mushrooms such as chaga may help boost your immune system. Functional mushrooms also have adaptogenic properties which help your body adapt and regulate stress. And since stress is known to compromise the body’s immune system, the overall effect from functional mushrooms can keep you healthy even when your feeling like you need a 30 hour day just to get everything done.
So with all these benefits, why not give mushroom coffee a try? I personally have seen an improvement in my health and well-being, both physically and mentally. I have more energy at the gym, my overall mood is more positive and I feel more focused.
Americans drink about 400 million cups of coffee every day! So if you regularly drink coffee, the easiest way to get the health benefits of functional mushrooms is to start drinking mushroom coffee. If you’re interested in learning how to get started with mushroom coffee, you can check out the high quality products over at Four Sigmatic. I personally enjoy their mushroom coffee blends and elixirs, and their customer service is excellent. The company founder, Tero Isokauppila, is an enthusiastic functional mushroom advocate who wrote a book, Healing Mushrooms, which is a fun and informative dive into the fascinating world of mushrooms.
If you would prefer to keep your favorite coffee and just add mushroom powder, a great option I have found are the products available over at Freshcap. They have many years of experience growing mushrooms, and they are also advocates committed to providing high quality medicinal mushroom supplements.
However you choose to try mushroom coffee, your overall health and wellness will benefit from the amazing power of functional mushrooms!