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Why Functional Mushrooms Are Taking Over the Pre-Workout Market

Do you love taking pre-workout before your gym sessions? If so, why?


Is it the surge of energy, the enhanced endurance, or the sharpened focus it brings? If the answer is yes, like countless other fitness enthusiasts, you know there are certain areas of our brain and body we can supplement to in turn, feel like we’re getting the most out of our workout.


The downside? Well, like any product that contains outrageously-high caffeine content and artificial sweeteners, there’s gonna be some potential side-effects to consider. 


While not everyone experiences them, common side effects of conventional pre-workout powders may include jitters, restlessness, headaches, digestive issues, tingling/itching sensations (known as paresthesia), sleep disturbances, elevated blood pressure, and more.


But so what? If it gets us to the gym, helps us crush our workouts, and wears off fast, what’s the big whoop? Majority of pre-workouts are considered safe for human consumption, they just aren’t considered necessarily healthy either. 


Again, if it’s helping you get active, does it really need to be health-boosting? While technically no, wouldn’t it be nice if there were a more natural alternative that not only offers similar benefits, but is actually beneficial to your health and well-being long-term? 


If you said yes, we’d like you to meet the newest competitor in the pre-workout game: mushrooms!



What mushrooms enhance a workout regimen?


We know several mushroom species to be beneficial for human health, applauded for their high nutritional value and cognitive enhancement properties. 


The benefits of medicinal mushrooms are wildly expansive, spanning from everyday benefits like improving sleep patterns, reducing stress, and boosting energy levels, to more advanced and preventive benefits such as regulating cholesterol, promoting nerve regeneration, facilitating liver detoxification, and even inhibiting tumor growth (anticancer properties).


But we know the realm of mushroom species to be as countless as they are vast, so which ones offer the most benefits in pre-workout contexts?


Here are the 4 mushrooms to look out for in harnessing the best pre-workout mushroom cocktail, and the 4 we’ll be discussing today:


  • Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis)
  • Reishi (Ganoderma lingzhi)
  • Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
  • Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor)

Cordyceps for pre-workout:


Rising above the rest in terms of the workout-related benefits they have to offer is Cordyceps, the disease-fighting mushrooms revered for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties they offer. 


What separates Cordyceps from the rest is not its fascinating worm-like shape, but it’s uncanny ability to boost energy so high, that you might just mistake it for a pre-workout. 


Benefits of Cordyceps for gym-goers:


  • Cordyceps effectively enhances energy levels by assisting ATP (energy-carrying molecule) production in the body.
  • Cordyceps improves our body’s uptake and utilization of oxygen, improving our level of endurance during high-intensity exercises.
  • Studies suggest Cordyceps may enhance overall exercise performance, in areas such as strength, resilience, and speed.
  • By enhancing energy levels and prioritizing oxygen consumption, users are less likely to experience fatigue or feelings of “crash” during their workout. 


If you’re unfamiliar with the term “adaptogen”, adaptogens are a type of substance that help the body resist and adapt to stress. To fit the criteria of what is considered an adaptogen, the substance must help the body adapt to both environmental, and physical stress.


The adaptogenic properties of Cordyceps, as well as the other mushrooms we’ll discuss today, may aid the body in its recovery process after exercise by adapting to physical stress, improving overall performance and endurance overtime.



Reishi for pre-workout:


Speaking of adaptogens and their ability to manage physical stress, meet Reishi, which some may refer to as a “super adaptogen”. 


The Reishi mushroom is best-known for its immune-boosting and sleep supporting qualities, used heavily in Eastern medicinal practices for its potent adaptogenic, and stress-reducing properties.


Benefits of Reishi for gym-goers:


  • Reishi contains a high source of triterpenoids and polysaccharides, which help reduce oxidative stress caused by high-intensity workouts.
  • Boasting extra-potent adaptogenic properties, Reishi can accelerate post-workout recovery and reduce post-exercise discomfort and muscle soreness.
  • Reishi mushrooms help regulate testosterone levels in the body, which help promote optimal energy levels.


For added bonus, Reishi is also applauded for its ability to enhance sleep quality, thanks to its stress-reducing qualities. When it comes to good workouts, proper rest is vital. So when it comes to waking up feeling refreshed and well-rested, Reishi is the mushroom to beat. 


Lion’s Mane for pre-workout:


Now, let’s get down to the mental aspect of pre-workout. Pre-workout supplements often include high amounts of caffeine, and other ingredients like creatine and beta-alanine, to boost focus and motivation at the gym. 


Enter, Lion’s Mane


Lion’s Mane is a cognitive-boosting powerhouse, taking a popular spot in vitamin cabinets for the incredible neurological benefits it provides. 


The same brain-boosting amino acids and beta-alanine found in popular pre-workout jugs, can also be found in Lion’s Mane! What separates them you ask? Think clean energy vs. synthetic energy, and allow the crash-free, jitter-free, all-natural stimulant effects of Lion’s Mane show you the rest. 


Benefits of Lion’s Mane for gym-goers:


  • The same way gym-goers love creatine for the focus-inducing qualities it provides, Lion’s Mane contains compounds that sharpen the brain and help you stay dialed in and full-focus during AND after your workout.
  • Studies show Lion’s Mane to be beneficial in preventing nerve damage, which can be especially helpful in protecting nerve health during long-term training.
  • Lion’s mane has been shown to reduce triglyceride levels, and even improve fat metabolism, making the mushroom particularly beneficial for endurance athletes. 


Not to mention, Lion’s Mane also meets the criteria of an adaptogen (yay!) So yes, it is also effective in managing the stress of exercise on the body.



Turkey Tail for pre-workout:


And as for our final immune-boosting adaptogen, is none other than Turkey Tail!


Studies show Turkey Tail mushrooms to improve exercise performance and reduce fatigue in mice, and may also aid in body fat reduction by enhancing insulin sensitivity, both of which have made the colorful mushroom a popular choice among today’s athletes. 


Benefits of Turkey Tail for gym-goers:


  • If you are someone who uses pre-workout on a regular basis and is experiencing digestive issues, Turkey Tail is a fantastic alternative for those with gut sensitivities, thanks to its powerful prebiotic and gut-enhancing properties.
  • Turkey Tail supports healthy hormone function, offering energy support to men with low testosterone levels or menopausal women.
  • Turkey Tail mushrooms possess fatigue-fighting and energy-boosting qualities thanks to their high PSPs and polysaccharopeptide levels.

Utilizing an adaptogen like Turkey Tail to help reduce inflammation, support gut health, and increase energy levels are the perfect addition to both a balanced-diet, and of course, a pre-workout regimen. 



How to use as a pre-workout:


So you might be wondering, how can you get the most benefit from using adaptogenic mushrooms as a pre-workout? 


First, ensure you choose a reliable source for your functional mushroom supplements. Check the ingredients label for any fillers or additives to guarantee maximum effectiveness!


We offer all the adaptogenic mushrooms discussed today in capsule form, each capsule containing 500 mg. Our steam extraction method boosts the bioavailability of their beneficial compounds—aka, the ones that’ll supercharge your gym sessions.


These adaptogenic mushrooms are caffeine-tolerant, so pairing them with your morning coffee or energy drink will supply you with all the nutrients and stimulation needed to crush your workout, while your body absorbs the incredible benefits of high-quality adaptogens. 


Not ready to part with your C4 just yet? No worries! Integrating functional mushrooms into your workout routine doesn’t mean giving up your pre-workout powders. It’s a fantastic way to maintain your mental health, gut health, and overall well-being alongside other supplements. 

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