Functional mushroom coffee is a new health trend that’s rearing its cute little mushroom head in coffee shops and on supplement shelves all over. This unique coffee blend combines the delicious taste of coffee with the incredible health benefits of functional mushrooms to create something magnificent–a pick-me-up in a cup with the ability to boost cognition and immune functions.
With the growing popularity of functional mushrooms, it is no surprise that they have been incorporated into many different products, including coffee. Let’s discuss the benefits of functional mushroom coffee and explore some of the most popular functional mushrooms used in coffee blends. Plus, we’ll tell you the best way to get in your daily mushroom dose down below:
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Functional mushroom coffee is an energizing blend of medicinal mushrooms and coffee designed to boost several aspects of mental and physical performance.
The specific mushrooms used in each formula determine the benefits you'll get from each cup.
The quality of a functional mushroom coffee also heavily determines how well it will work.
What Are Functional Mushrooms?
Functional mushrooms are mushrooms that are believed to have numerous health benefits. These mushrooms contain bioactive compounds that have been studied for their medicinal properties. Most significantly, they contain compounds called beta-glucans, or carbohydrates that are biologically active and have been linked to a wide array of potential benefits.
Mushrooms are commonly used in traditional medicine practices such as Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Some of the most popular functional mushrooms include reishi, chaga, tremella, maitake, lion's mane, and cordyceps–and these are also the most popular mushrooms you’ll find in most functional mushroom coffee blends. The benefits of each cup will depend on the particular mushrooms used, and we’ll touch more on that below.
First, let’s talk about the common denominator between every functional mushroom coffee formula–coffee.
Why Coffee? Added Benefits
Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. It is known for its stimulating effects, but it also has numerous other health benefits that make it a great compliment for a functional mushroom blend.
For instance, coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and is believed to potentially reduce the risk of several chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and some types of cancer. It is also known to improve mental alertness, cognitive function, and mood, which is why it makes a perfect daily dose to match the stimulating, cognition boosting benefits associated with some functional mushrooms, particularly those categorized as nootropics.
So, what are the benefits of this coffee-mushroom blend? Let’s break it down:
Functional Mushroom Coffee Benefits
Functional mushroom coffee combines the health benefits of coffee and functional mushrooms, making it a superfood beverage with some outstanding benefits, including:
Boosting the Immune System
Many functional mushrooms have immune-boosting properties, which can help protect against diseases and infections. For example, reishi, chaga, and turkey tail mushrooms have been studied for their ability to enhance the immune system.
Inflammation is a natural response by the body to protect against injury and infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to several diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. Many functional mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. For instance, cordyceps, reishi, and chaga have all been studied for their anti-inflammatory potential.
Improves Brain Function
Some functional mushrooms have been studied for their ability to improve brain function. Lion's mane mushroom, for example, has been shown to potentially improve cognitive function, memory, and concentration. Some mushrooms, like lion’s mane and cordyceps, are considered nootropics, or substances that improve cognitive function by regulating nervous system functions.
Cordyceps mushroom is known for its ability to increase energy levels. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat fatigue and improve athletic performance.
Supports Digestive Health
Tremella mushroom is believed to have prebiotic properties, which can help support digestive health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Some evidence suggests that tremella also supports digestive health by increasing hydration, which is also linked to certain anti-aging properties.
Popular Functional Mushrooms Used in Coffee Blends
- Lion's Mane: Lion’s Mane is known as the “mind mushroom” thanks to its benefits surrounding cognition and neuroprotection. According to limited evidence, lion’s mane may improve cognition, promote the growth of nerve cells, and support a healthy mood, potentially in a way that helps to manage depressive disorders.
- Tremella: Tremella, the “beauty mushroom” helps protect tissues and promote hydration inside and out. Studies have found it to have potential anti-aging properties and neuroprotective effects, though more evidence is needed to understand how these benefits may be applied.
Cordyceps: Cordyceps is known as the “athletes mushroom,” but it can provide energy and stamina support for everyday life. This mushroom is known for its ability to stimulate oxygen flow throughout the body which may be linked to an array of physical benefits, like increased endurance and improved physical performance.
Cordyceps also contains cordycepin, which, according to a review published in 2020, may have anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging compounds, among other benefits.
Maitake: The Maitake mushroom is a powerful adaptogen, meaning it may "adapt" to the body's needs in order to resolve imbalances that cause various mental and physical challenges. It’s most well known for its immune-regulating benefits.
Maitake contains D-fraction, a beta-glucan known to have a strong effect on the immune system by boosting the production of lymphokines and interleukins that improve your overall immune response. One study confirms that both Maitake and Shiitake stimulate the immune system defense response.
- Reishi: Reishi mushroom is also known as the "mushroom of immortality" in Chinese medicine. It has been used for centuries to improve immune function, reduce inflammation, and promote longevity. Reishi mushroom is believed to have adaptogenic properties, which means it can help the body cope with stress.
- Chaga: Chaga mushroom is a type of mushroom that grows on birch trees in cold climates. It is known for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Chaga mushroom is also believed to have antioxidant properties, which can help protect against cellular damage.
How to Make Functional Mushroom Coffee
Making functional mushroom coffee is easy and can be done at home, although many people prefer to purchase a functional mushroom coffee blend. If you want to do it yourself, you will need::
- 1 cup of coffee
- 1 teaspoon of functional mushroom extract powder (reishi, chaga, lion's mane, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or butter (optional)
- Brew a cup of coffee using your preferred method.
- Add 1 teaspoon of functional mushroom powder to the hot coffee and stir well.
- Optional: Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or butter for added creaminess and energy-boosting benefits.
- Enjoy your functional mushroom coffee!
Functional Mushroom Coffee Quality
Whether you purchase your own mushroom powders to blend with coffee or choose a pre-made mushroom coffee formula, you need to take a careful look at the product quality before you buy. Mushroom supplements can be made many different ways, and some formulas are not as potent or useful as others.
For instance, products made from mushroom mycelium (the “root” of the mushroom) are often cheaper, but they don’t carry the same benefits simply because mycelium has a limited beta-glucan content.
You want to look for a mushroom extract made from 100% fruiting bodies in order to reap the full benefits of functional mushroom coffee. To learn more, you may want to read more about the difference in mushroom fruiting bodies and mycelium and how it affects the quality of mushroom coffee:
Buy Functional Mushroom Coffee
Functional mushroom coffee is a delicious and nutritious way to incorporate the health benefits of functional mushrooms into your diet. With its immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, brain-boosting, and energy-boosting properties, functional mushroom coffee is the ultimate superfood beverage.
Lucid is the optimal functional mushroom coffee blend, because it incorporates superfood mushrooms and columbian coffee (or matcha or chai) with a blend of nootropic supplements designed to fuel your body and mind.
If you want to take full advantage of the "functional" side of functional mushrooms, consider a mushroom super-blend like our Lucid Coffee, Chai, or Matcha powders. It takes full advantage of the benefits of these superfood mushrooms by pairing Cordyceps, Maitake, Tremella, and Lion's Mane, plus powerful nootropics, like BCAA's, L-Theanine, Alpha-GPC, and more.