Mushroom Coffee: Pros and Cons Explained!

Mushroom Coffee: Pros and Cons Explained! - Lucid™

Mushroom coffee has gained attention as a unique alternative to traditional coffee beverages. Mushrooms like turkey tail, lion's mane, or reishi are blended with traditional coffee to create a beverage that excels beyond what your regular brew can do.

However, like any dietary choice, mushroom coffee comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Let's delve into the pros and cons of mushroom coffee to help you decide if it's the right choice for you.

Key Takeaways

Mushroom coffee is a blend of mushroom extract and coffee that provides advanced benefits.

Pros include potential therapeutic benefits, like immune system and gut health support, and sustained energy without the jitters or drawbacks associated with traditional coffee.

Cons center around its acquired taste and higher price point.

What is Mushroom Coffee?

Mushroom coffee combines the stimulating properties of coffee with the potential health benefits of mushrooms. Medicinal mushrooms contain polysaccharides, or complex carbohydrates with specific bioactive properties.

Research has revealed how these polysaccharides, along with other mushroom compounds like triterpenes, possess a wide range of therapeutic properties, including “anti-tumor, antioxidant, antiviral, hypoglycemic, and immunomodulatory effects.”

Varieties like turkey tail and reishi are commonly used for their antioxidant-rich, adaptogenic, and immune-boosting properties. Others, like lion’s mane and cordyceps, are used for cognition and endurance-enhancing benefits. 

Overall, mushroom coffee is designed to offer additional benefits that a regular cup of coffee just can’t provide, but there are other differences between mushroom coffee and regular coffee to consider:

Comparing Coffee vs. Mushroom Coffee

While traditional coffee is beloved for its robust flavor and energizing effects, mushroom coffee offers a unique twist.

Mushroom coffee is usually a combination of mushroom extracts and ground or instant coffee. Many are sold as instant coffee mixes, making them simple to prepare. Because it includes coffee, mushroom coffee has a similar flavor to coffee, but with more umami, earthy undertones.

Beyond its taste, mushroom coffee enthusiasts are drawn to its potential health perks, including improved focus, reduced stress, and enhanced immunity. Plus, mushroom coffee often boasts a lower caffeine content, providing a smoother energy boost without the jitters.

So, is it worth the switch? Let’s dig into the pros and cons of mushroom coffee to help you really weigh out the benefits:

Pros of Mushroom Coffee

  • Health Benefits: Mushroom coffee contains antioxidants and compounds that may support immune function and cognitive health.

  • Nootropic Benefits: Certain mushrooms, like lion's mane, are touted for their ability to enhance cognitive function and memory.

  • Adaptogenic Properties: Mushrooms such as reishi possess adaptogenic properties, helping the body better cope with stress and promoting overall well-being.

  • Lower Caffeine Content: Mushroom coffee appeals to those seeking a gentler caffeine kick, making it suitable for individuals sensitive to caffeine or looking to reduce their intake.

  • Environmental Sustainability: Mushroom cultivation is often lauded for its eco-friendly practices, requiring less water and land compared to traditional coffee farming.

  • Ease of Preparation: Mushroom coffee is often available in instant mixes, offering convenience for busy individuals.

Cons of Mushroom Coffee

  • Acquired Taste: The earthy flavor profile of mushroom coffee may not appeal to everyone, potentially limiting its widespread acceptance.

  • Limited Research: While mushrooms themselves have been studied for their health benefits, research specifically on mushroom coffee is still in its infancy.

  • Cost: Mushroom coffee tends to be pricier than regular coffee due to the additional processing and ingredients involved.

  • Potential Allergens: Individuals with mushroom allergies should exercise caution when consuming mushroom coffee to avoid adverse reactions.

  • Availability: Mushroom coffee may not be readily accessible in grocery stores, making it challenging for some consumers to try or incorporate into their routine.

Mushroom Coffee Health Benefits

The health benefits of mushroom coffee include all of the regularly reported benefits of coffee, plus the benefits of whichever medicinal mushrooms are used in the mix. Here’s a run down of the potential benefits of a few popular 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: 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.

  • Turkey Tail: Turkey tail mushroom is an incredible mushroom containing Polysaccharide-K (PSK) and Polysaccharide Peptides (PSP), compounds known for boosting the immune system and helping the body fight infections, cancer, and other illnesses.

    In a small study, participants receiving a daily dose of turkey tail PSP extract experienced an increase in beneficial bacteria and a decrease in harmful bacteria, showing the mushroom's positive impact on gut health. As one of the most powerful mushrooms for gut health, Turkey Tail may host a range of related benefits, like improved skin health.

  • 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.

How to Use Mushroom Coffee

One of the best benefits of instant mushroom coffee is that they are simple to prepare. Here’s a step by step:

  • Gather instant mushroom coffee mix, hot water, and any desired extras.

  • Heat water to brewing temperature (195°F to 205°F or 90°C to 96°C).

  • Add desired amount of instant mix to a cup and pour hot water.

  • Mix until fully dissolved.

  • Add sweeteners or milk alternatives to taste.

  • Savor your unique and potentially health-boosting beverage.

How Much + When to Drink Mushroom Coffee

For most mushroom coffee products, you’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage. The specific dosage of each mushroom you’ll need depends on a multitude of factors, like the health benefits you want to achieve, your personal tolerance, and the mushroom combination you’re taking. In general, look for a mushroom blend that provides between 1,500 and 2,000 milligrams of mushroom extract.

You can take your mushroom coffee whenever the feeling strikes, or whenever you need an extra pick-me-up. For consistent benefits, we recommend having a cup a day, around the same time each day.

  • Morning Boost: Enjoy in the morning for a gentle energy lift.

  • Midday Focus: Drink to enhance focus and productivity during the day.

  • Evening Relaxation: Low caffeine mushroom coffee mixes may be appropriate for evening use. However, limit consumption late in the evening to avoid disrupting sleep.

Conclusion: Weighing Mushroom Coffee Pros and Cons

Mushroom coffee offers a unique blend of flavor and potential health benefits. While it may not be for everyone, those intrigued by its distinctive taste and purported advantages may find it worth exploring.

In general, mushroom coffee’s biggest benefits are its purported therapeutic effects and ability to provide sustainable energy without relying too heavily on caffeine, while its greatest drawbacks are its higher cost and lack of availability. 

As with any dietary choice, it's essential to consider individual preferences, budget, and health needs before making a decision. Whether you're seeking a new coffee experience or intrigued by the potential wellness benefits of mushrooms, mushroom coffee offers a compelling option to consider.

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 harnesses the maximum 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. 


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  2. “Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial”

  3. “Lion's Mane, Hericium erinaceus and Tiger Milk, Lignosus rhinocerotis (Higher Basidiomycetes) Medicinal Mushrooms Stimulate Neurite Outgrowth in Dissociated Cells of Brain, Spinal Cord, and Retina: An In Vitro Study”

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  5. “Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects through Modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Mice”

  6. “Polysaccharides and Their Derivatives as Potential Antiviral Molecules”

  7. “Tremella fuciformis polysaccharide suppresses hydrogen peroxide-triggered injury of human skin fibroblasts via upregulation of SIRT1”

  8. “The Neuroprotective and Neurotrophic Effects of Tremella fuciformis in PC12h Cells”

  9. “Effect of Polysaccharide from Cordyceps militaris (Ascomycetes) on Physical Fatigue Induced by Forced Swimming”

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  11. “Immune-modulating Effects of Maitake Mushroom Extract”


  13. “Immune-enhancing effects of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) and Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) extracts”

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