“Mushroom coffee” refers to some concoction of mushroom and coffee (or coffee–esque) ingredients usually designed to highlight the best benefits that medicinal and nootropic mushrooms have to offer. Whether we’re talking about a blend of ground mushrooms and coffee or a mix of mushrooms meant to be used as a coffee replacer, one thing is true: Medicinal mushrooms are powerful stuff, and like all powerful natural remedies, they come with a few possible side effects.
In other words, regardless of which mushroom coffee product you choose, you should be aware of some of the possible side effects of mushroom coffee and how to handle them. Luckily, mushroom coffee side effects are mostly rare and mild. Knowing what to look out for can help you know when to adjust your intake to help you avoid side effects entirely.
Before we dig into the details, let’s touch on some mushroom coffee basics. Or you can use the links below to jump straight to the point–What are the side effects of mushroom coffee?
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Both mushrooms and coffee can have mild side effects, like nausea or upset stomach.
Usually, side effects of mushroom coffee are dose-dependent and can be avoided with proper dosages.
You should be sure to choose a high-quality mushroom coffee formula to avoid any adverse reactions.
What is mushroom coffee?
Mushroom coffee is still pretty new to the market and can refer to any number of concoctions containing mushrooms, some that do contain actual coffee, and some that don't. It may mean a mushroom extract blended with real coffee, or it could refer to whole, dry, powdered mushrooms that are flavored to taste like coffee. Or, truly, it could refer to any concoction in between.
Mushroom coffee is most commonly consumed for its potential benefits, which may include:
- Increased energy levels
- Immune boosting effects
- Improved focus
- Cognition support
- Improved neurogenesis
- Antioxidant boost
- Mood support
You can learn more about these benefits by reading “Benefits of Mushroom Coffee (& Quality Standards That Matter)”
Keep in mind that the side effects and health profile of every product will differ based on its individual ingredients, but we are going to base our advice in this article based on what we consider a “standard” mushroom coffee–one that contains a blend of the most common medicinal mushrooms (either extract or whole powder) and real coffee.
Therefore, our risk factors take into account both the risks associated with medicinal mushrooms and with the caffeine found in coffee products.
Potential Side Effects of Mushroom Coffee
Although the side effects can vary based on the types of mushrooms and the quantity of mushrooms in each formula, most mushroom coffees contain a mushroom blend. In other words, you’re much less likely to consume too much of any one mushroom, so you’re not as likely to experience side effects caused by overconsumption.
If you’re curious about the side effects of particular mushrooms, skip to the next section below where we detail the specific risk factors associated with the most common medicinal mushrooms. Otherwise, here are some side effects of mushroom coffee you may want to look out for:
Jitteriness or Anxiety
If your mushroom coffee formula has a high caffeine content, you may be at risk for jitteriness or increased anxiety. This is, unfortunately, one of the most common side effects of caffeine. If you’re sensitive to caffeine or already experience high anxiety levels, you may choose a mushroom coffee with low caffeine content.
Increased Heart Rate
Caffeine can increase heart rate, though the effect is usually temporary. This is usually only worrisome when you overconsume caffeine or if you have certain risk factors, like high blood pressure or other cardiovascular issues.
Some people experience nausea or a nervous stomach from caffeine alone, sometimes as a side effect of increased anxiety. Mushrooms can add to this risk factor, especially when the product contains a whole mushroom powder, which usually contains a high fiber content similar to the mushroom itself.
Coffee stimulates colonic activity, which, when combined with the high fiber content of a whole mushroom powder, may cause loose stools for some people.
Increased Risk of Kidney Stones
Some mushrooms have a high oxalate content which may increase the risk of developing kidney stones. However, you need to consume large amounts of oxalates on a regular basis for this to be a serious risk, unless you are already prone to kidney stones for some other reason. Consuming too little liquid can also increase this risk.
Mushrooms allergies are rare, but allergic reactions can be severe. Signs of an allergic reaction to mushrooms may include:
- Swelling of the lips, mouth, and airways
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin rashes or hives
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramping
- Loose stools
What kind of mushrooms are in mushroom coffee and what are their side effects?
The most common medicinal mushrooms found in mushroom coffee include Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Tremella, and Maitake. These mushrooms are all considered to be safe for most people, though some rare side effects do exist (based mostly on anecdotal reports).
Lion’s Mane is known as the “mind mushroom” thanks to its benefits surrounding cognition and neuroprotection. This mild flavored mushroom is considered a delicacy in some cuisines, but consuming large amounts of the whole mushroom (or an extracted, concentrated version) may be associated with some side effects, like:
- Reduced Libido
- Difficulty Breathing
- Skin Rashes
- Blood Pressure Changes
Learn more about Lion's Mane:
Tremella, the “beauty mushroom” helps protect tissues and promote hydration inside and out. This mushroom is known as a “yin tonic,” or a concoction that can help to improve moisture and energy (blood) flow in the body. Very few side effects are known, but some that are common to all mushrooms may apply to Tremella, including:
- Upset Stomach
Cordyceps is known as the “athlete's 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. Some possible side effects may include:
- Upset Stomach
- Stool Changes
Learn more about Cordyceps:
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, but may have some mild or rare side effects, including:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Digestive upset
Reishi is a functional mushroom known for its potential adaptogenic effects. Some sources suggest that it’s been used to balance energy flow, circulation, sleep, and stress for centuries by herbal practitioners. Reishi has not been linked to any severe side effects outside of allergic reactions in people with a mushroom allergy, but in rare cases, other side effects could apply, including:
- dry mouth
- skin rash
- upset stomach
Is mushroom coffee psychedelic?
Many people hear the term “medicinal mushrooms” and immediately think of psilocybin mushrooms. These are the “magic mushrooms” known for their intense psychedelic effects. While psilocybin is currently being researched as a medicinal based on its potential to help treat mood disorders, it is still a controlled substance in the U.S.
The legal mushroom coffee products on the market do not contain psilocybin and will not induce psychedelic effects. None of the most common medicinal mushrooms we listed above will induce any psychedelic effects.
Is mushroom coffee safe?
We mentioned that mushroom coffee is not psychedelic–and it also has no mind-altering effects that may make it unsafe. For most people who do not have a mushroom allergy, a high-quality mushroom coffee formula is safe to use daily.
In most studies, medicinal mushroom extracts are well tolerated both by humans and animals. There are some potential side effects associated with medicinal mushrooms, especially in the case of drug interactions or certain health conditions.
The most significant risk associated with a mushroom coffee product for most people is the risk of getting a low-quality product. You may come across products that are not made using safe extraction techniques or that are contaminated during the manufacturing process. It’s important to choose a manufacturer who uses a cGMP-compliant manufacturing facility and a third-party testing regimen to ensure the quality of the products you purchase.
Is mushroom coffee good for you?
We mentioned that mushrooms have been used medicinally for thousands of years–but so has coffee. Both mushrooms and coffee have undeniable health benefits, and the right blend of these wholesome ingredients may be just the pick-me-up you’re after.
Coffee has powerful antioxidants and can benefit heart health, metabolism, and more. Mushrooms are known to have various adaptogenic and nootropic benefits that may work, with or without coffee, to boost cognition, memory, focus, energy, and more.
Mushrooms contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, including:
- B Vitamins (B2, B3, B5, and folate)
- Vitamin D
Mushrooms also contain bioactive compounds that may help to regulate immune functions, support a healthy stress response, and boost overall vitality. The compounds include:
- Polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are carbohydrates that act as prebiotics. Beta-glucans, one form of polysaccharides, are abundant in mushrooms and are known to have a wide range of potential health benefits.
- Carotenoids. Carotenoid compounds are antioxidants that can benefit heart health and prevent neurodegeneration.
- Indoles. Indoles also display antioxidant activity and can sometimes interact with the hormone system.
- Polyphenols. Polyphenols have been shown to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.
Find out the benefits of Mushroom Coffee by reading our article “Benefits of Mushroom Coffee (& Quality Standards That Matter)”
Who Shouldn’t Drink Mushroom Coffee?
Most people can take mushroom formulas without complication. However, some people may be at additional risk when using some mushroom coffee formulas. Some experts advise against medicinal mushroom supplementation for the following people:
- Those with bleeding disorders
- Those with immune system disorders
- Those expecting surgery in the next two weeks
- Anyone with a thyroid disorder
- Anyone taking blood pressure medication
- Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding
Where to Get Mushroom Coffee
There are many brands of mushroom coffee on the market, but not all are made equally. If you want a mushroom coffee that offers all of the medicinal benefits of functional mushrooms, look for a product that uses a mushroom extract from 100% fruited bodies. Make sure it’s made according to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines and lab tested to prove potency.
Get Lucid: Mushrooms + Nootropics + Coffee Benefits
Our Lucid Mushroom Coffee is made from 100% organic coffee grown, roasted, and imported from Colombia. Then we added a potent extract made from the fruited bodies of four powerful mushrooms–Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Tremella, and Maitake. Finally, we mixed in a blend of 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:
- 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.