Instant mushroom coffee is becoming as much of an icon as mushrooms themselves. Gone are the days where brewing a cup of mushroom coffee meant buying expensive mushroom-laden coffee grounds and waiting for them to steep to perfection.
Now, you can simply stir up an instant mix and then cream-and-sugar your shroomy cup to your liking–and there may be some added benefits of using instant mushroom coffee vs the traditional grounds. We’ll sum it up in two words–beta-glucan extract.
Let us explain:
Instant mushroom coffee is usually made with mushroom extract.
Extract has more beta-glucans, so instant mushroom coffee may be superior to other forms of mushroom coffee.
Different mushroom coffee blends contain different medicinal mushrooms and therefore have different effects.
Instant Mushroom Coffee vs Mushroom Powder and Coffee Grounds
Instant mushroom coffee is a newer innovation in the world of shroomy coffee beverages, and it’s got a new spin that you won’t find with most traditional mushroom coffee products (the kind that needs to be brewed in a pot).
Instant mushroom coffee, since it’s made to be instantly mixed up with water or milk of varying temperatures, is usually made with mushroom extract. On the other hand, a traditional mushroom coffee blend may be made with whole mushroom powder. Here’s the difference:
Mushroom Powder vs Mushroom Extract
When whole mushroom powder is made, the entire mushroom is dehydrated and ground up. This form of mushroom supplement contains more of the mushroom’s nutritional components, like fibers, vitamins, and minerals, but it isn't as biologically active.
That’s because the beta-glucan content (the biologically active components responsible for many health benefits) is locked inside the mushroom’s chitin–the same polymer that makes up an insect’s exoskeleton. For the human digestive system, that’s a problem. In order to “unlock” these beta-glucans form the chitin layers, you need to “extract” them. This can be done with a regular hot water extraction, like when making tea.
But that water has to be pretty hot to melt away the chitin effectively, but not too hot or it will degrade the beta-glucan content altogether. It can be kind of tricky to get it right–and the beta-glucan content is still pretty limited in order to make room for the rest of the mushroom materials (like the fiber and vitamins and minerals we mentioned earlier.
On the other hand, mushroom extract is a biologically active solution composed of the mushroom’s beta-glucans and triterpenes–the compounds responsible for all of the health benefits associated with mushroom coffee.
When mushroom extract is made, the mushrooms are introduced to water at the perfect temperature to melt away chitin while keeping the beta-glucans intact, and the entire process is done in a pressurized atmosphere so that no beneficial compounds are lost to steam.
When you use an instant mushroom coffee made with mushroom extract, no steeping is needed–you simply mix this up however you like and consume it, and you’re getting a concentrated dose of medicinal mushrooms.
Types of Mushrooms in Instant Mushroom Coffee Mix
Instant mushroom coffee can be made with a variety of different medicinal mushrooms, each with their own uses and effects. Here are some examples of the most popular mushrooms used in coffee and their potential benefits:
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, 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 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.
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.
Coffee Benefits in Instant Mushroom Coffee
Instant mushroom coffee also contains coffee, and the benefits of this addition cannot be overlooked. In general, moderated doses of coffee may be linked to the following benefits:
- Increased energy levels: The caffeine found in coffee is a central nervous system stimulant that is known to help fight fatigue and improve focus. Caffeine blocks the production of the neurotransmitter adenosine, which allows energy regulating neurotransmitter levels to increase.
- Diabetes support: Some research suggests that coffee consumption may lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. This may be linked to coffee’s potential ability to preserve the function of cells responsible for producing insulin, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Neuroprotective properties: Some research suggests that coffee drinkers may have a significantly lower risk of developing certain neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. In fact, this research suggests that caffeine consumption may even slow the progression of these conditions.
- Decreased depression risk: A review of seven individual studies found that every cup of coffee consumed may equate to an 8% decrease in the risk of developing depression.
- Antioxidant boost: Coffee contains powerful antioxidants that may help prevent free-radical tissue damage. This could be associated with improved heart health and brain health and with anti-aging benefits.
Instant Mushroom Coffee Variations & Quality
As you shop around for mushroom coffee, you’ll quickly see how many different variations there are. There are several different formulas and flavors around, each varying in quality, which can definitely affect the overall benefits you’ll experience.
Here are some things to consider:
Mycelium vs Fruiting Body
Some mushroom coffee formulas and other mushroom supplements may be made with mushroom mycelium, the underground web of “roots” that help support the mushroom’s life.
There’s some argument surrounding which is best, but the science is clear–fruiting bodies contain a beta-glucan content of around 30 to 40%, while the beta-glucan content of the mycelium is much lower–around 5-7 %.
Our Lucid Coffee uses a fruiting body mushroom formula that is much more pure and potent than mycelial supplements. Learn more about the difference by reading “Mycelium vs Fruiting Body.”
Guaranteed Beta-Glucan Content
In order to ensure that the instant mushroom coffee you choose has the beta-glucans necessary to provide full therapeutic support, check for a verified beta-glucan content on the label. Keep in mind that manufacturers do not have to list the beta-glucan content. If it isn’t listed, however, that means that the product contains little to no beta-glucans and likely has no medicinal value.
A good mushroom supplement should be manufactured in a cGMP compliant facility and should be third-party tested to ensure label accuracy.
Mushrooms + Nootropics + Coffee Benefits
Now that you can see the clear benefits of a high-quality mushroom formula, we implore you to consider a step further–a mushroom coffee that also contains brain-boosting nootropics.
Our Lucid stack contains all of this–four powerful mushrooms plus nootropics like BCAA’s, L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, Ginkgo Biloba, and more. This functional formula can help boost your performance, improve immunity, support healing, and more–a slew of benefits that most energy drinks and coffee blends just don’t provide.
When it’s all said and done, this nootropic + mushroom super blend adds up to offer these benefits and more:
- Increases endurance
- Improves athletic performance
- Helps to manage fatigue
- Boosts immunity
- Improves neurogenesis
- Enhances focus, learning, and memory
- Supports a healthy stress response
- Promotes relaxation
- Supports a balanced mood
Want to learn more? Read more about our Ingredients and Quality, or check out one of our three delicious formulas: