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Fact checked by Robert Iafelice, MS, RD, LDNFACT CHECKED
November 30, 2022
Cordyceps supplements have recently become popular for improving cardio performance, lowering cholesterol levels, and boosting cognitive functioning. However, this mushroom-based supplement has been used in Asia for centuries.
Even though modern research-based support for the benefits of cordyceps supplementation is not very strong, that hasn't stopped it from becoming a must-have supplement for many people.
In this article, we reveal the 7 best cordyceps mushroom supplements on the current market. We'll also look into the claimed benefits of this product and provide a buyer's guide to help you get the right supplement to meet your needs.
** This post may contain affiliate ads where we make a small commission on purchases made at no cost to you. We only recommend products we think you will find valuable.**
Real Mushrooms has established a reputation as one of the foremost authorities on mushroom dietary supplements. They have been a family-run business for more than 40 years and are experts in producing supplements made from the best mushrooms.
Real Mushrooms offer a range of mushroom-based supplements. Real Mushrooms Cordyceps-M comes in both a powdered and a capsule version. They're one of the few businesses that independently assess the beta-glucan content of their mushrooms, which is what gives supplements like cordyceps their potency. As a result, you can be sure that Real Mushrooms' products have been evaluated and are supported by science.
I've taken this product for over 3 weeks now and I can feel a bit more energized during the days and my workout intensity has improved. I would recommend anyone give this cordyceps supplement a try who is looking for an option that gets the job done.
This capsule version provides you with 120 capsules. You get a two-month supply with every bottle at a dosage of two capsules per day. With each serving, you get 1000mg of cordyceps mushroom extract. At around $30 per bottle, you get great value with Real Mushrooms Cordyceps supplements.
Nootropics Depot Cordyceps Mushroom contains 100 fruit bodies. The whole fruiting body, commonly referred to as a 1:1 extract, resembles a full-spectrum mushroom extract more than anything else.
With Nootropics Depot Cordyceps mushroom, there is no alcohol extraction process used to make cordyceps capsules; instead, the ethanol-soluble chemicals get concentrated, and the insoluble compounds are thrown away.
Mushroom cell walls are made of a fibrous material called chitin, which keeps the healthy components contained within the cell. The chitin in the cordyceps mushroom's cell walls is broken down by heating it in hot water. Since very few people can digest chitin, its breakdown increases the bioavailability of the advantageous substances inside cell walls.
The mushroom substance is preserved, dehydrated, and stored once the chitin is broken down.
Each capsule of Nootropics Depot Cordyceps mushroom supplement contains 500mg of cordyceps. The manufacturer recommends taking 1-2 capsules per day. It is sold in 60-count and 180-count jars.
Nootropics undertake stringent in-house lab testing for purity and potency.
Each container of NusaPure Cordyceps contains 200 veggie capsules. Each capsule provides you with 500mg of cordyceps Sinensis. So, you get 1000mg per serving of two capsules daily. This is a non-GMO and gluten-free product manufactured in the USA in GMP-compliant facilities.
With a one-hundred-day supply costing around $12, this product represents fantastic value for the money. That makes NusaPure Cordyceps Extract easily the best budget product on this list.
Nusa Pure Cordyceps Extract is vegan and vegetarian friendly, as well as GMO and Gluten free. Recently the manufacturer upgraded the product to a purely vegan supplement. As a result, the capsules got larger.
Host Defense Cordyceps Extract provides a concentrated dosage of cordyceps in tincture form. The entire mushroom substance is retained, dried, and then transformed into Host Defense extract once the chitin is broken down with hot water.
The main ingredients of Host Defense Cordyceps Extract are fruitbodies and organic mycelium from cordyceps. No other product contains this particular blend of organic cordyceps militaris mushrooms, fresh and dried reishi. All ingredients are American-grown, organic, and sustainably produced.
It is advised to take 1 mL, or 45 drops, twice daily from each extract bottle. A bottle contains 60mL, giving you 60 servings.
BulkSupplements are well known for providing top-quality powdered supplements in bulk supply and at a great price. That is just what you get with BulkSupplements Cordyceps Powder.
Each serving of BulkSupplements Cordyceps Powder provides you with 1500mg of cordyceps. That makes this one of the highest dosage cordyceps supplements on this page. There are no other ingredients, and this product is free of added sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, and additives.
Because BulkSupplements Cordyceps Powder is unflavored, you can add it to your smoothie or pre-workout without affecting the flavor. However, measuring a consistent daily dosage of 1500mg can be tricky.
Horbäach Cordyceps CS-4 Strain provides a massive 2000mg of cordyceps in every serving. In addition, Absorbability is enhanced through quick-release capsules.
Only the Cs-4 strain of cordyceps mycelium has all the active ingredients in the wild-harvested cordyceps mushrooms. In addition to the immunological health benefits typically associated with medicinal mushroom supplements, hot water/alcohol extracts offer several other significant health advantages, including balancing the HPA axis and enhancing stamina, energy, and endurance.
The formula used here is free of preservatives and artificial sweeteners and is non-GMO.
Doctor's Best Ultra Cordyceps Plus with Ginkgo Biloba provides you with 750 mg of cordyceps per capsule, and that dosage is fortified with ginkgo Biloba.
Ginkgo biloba extract has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine to promote heart, lung, and brain function. Terpenoids, known as lactones, ginkgolides, bilobalide, and flavonoids, are the active ingredients in the ginkgo leaf extract. Ultra Cordyceps Plus' Ginkgo biloba extract is guaranteed to have a minimum of 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones.
An HPLC-standardized strain of cordyceps mycelia with constant potency is found in Ultra Cordyceps Plus. It has at least 8% cordycepic acid (D-mannitol), a significant bioactive ingredient.
There are 60 veggie capsules in every container of Doctor's Best Cordyceps with Gingko Biloba. At one capsule per day, that gives you a 30-day supply.
Cordyceps is a parasitic fungus that feeds on caterpillars. It is most frequently found in hot, humid areas, especially in Southeast Asia. When these fungi infect their host, they replace its tissue and produce long, slender stems that extend outside the host.
Traditional Chinese medicine has long employed hand-collected, dried, insect, and fungal remnants to cure weariness, illness, kidney disease, and poor sex desire.
Despite the lack of scientific studies, cordyceps supplements are frequently used to treat liver or kidney issues, male sexual dysfunction, improve athletic performance, and boost the immune system.
While most people think of cordyceps as medicinal mushrooms, this is untrue. It is an ascomycetes fungus. In nature, cordyceps come in countless varieties. However, two varieties, cordyceps militaris, and cordyceps Sinensis have received the majority of research attention.
As a natural vitality elixir, cordyceps was highly prized in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine to fight disease, boost endurance, and lengthen life. It was initially found by Tibetan herdsmen working at a high altitude. It has a strange spindly appearance similar to that of a brilliant orange caterpillar. They took cordyceps to deal with the effect of low oxygen on their necessary degree of exertion.
When the world-record-breaking performances of Chinese female athletes were linked to a nutrition plan that included cordyceps supplementation in 1993, it rose to fame in the West for its benefits on athletic performance. Now, growers are offering Westerners the benefits of Himalayan medicine in the form of readily available dietary supplements.
The research into the benefits of cordyceps is limited, and studies have mixed results. So let's take a closer look at the most commonly claimed benefits of supplementing with cordyceps.
Cordyceps is believed to have the ability to enhance the body's production of Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, to supply energy to the muscles. In one study, elderly test subjects were given 3 mg of cordyceps Sinensis daily for six weeks. These people exhibited a significant increase in oxygen uptake and energy. They also reported lower levels of fatigue.¹
ATP is crucial for supplying energy to the muscles, and cordyceps is thought to stimulate the body's production of this molecule.
As a result, the body may use oxygen more efficiently, especially when you exercise.
Researchers in one study used a stationary bike to examine their impact on the ability to exercise in 30 healthy older people. CS-4, a man-made strain of cordyceps or a placebo pill, was given to participants for six weeks at a dose of 3 grams daily.
By the time the study was over, those who had taken CS-4 had shown an increase in VO2 max of 7% compared to those who had taken the placebo.²
Cordyceps CS-4 extracts have become popular among top-tier competitive athletes as a supplement to boost energy and endurance. For example, in 1993, China's Wan Jun-Sha set an astounding new mark for the 10,000-meter race at the World Track and Field Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. She credited her daily use of a Cordyceps CS-4 extract and her intensive training when asked how she could pull off such an amazing feat.
Cordyceps extracts can assist athletes in boosting their energy, stamina, and endurance if properly extracted with hot water and alcohol. Extracts from cordyceps can also aid in a quicker recovery from the physical strain incurred during practice and competition.
Elderly folks in China have taken Cordyceps for centuries to reduce fatigue. In trials on mice, cordyceps supplementation improved exercise endurance and sped up recovery from exhaustion more than cereal alone. The mice who received the supplements had stronger metabolic parameters and an increase in the removal of lactic acid from their cells after exercise. This study emphasizes cordyceps' potential as a functional food that reduces weariness and fatigue.³
Cordyceps extracts may be especially helpful for persons struggling with significant psychological or physical stress because of the adrenal support they might offer. Extracts from cordyceps Sinensis support the HPA axis's equilibrium by assisting in HPA axis balancing. In addition to improving sleep, cordyceps extracts may also aid with other signs of stress, such as lowering tiredness, anxiety, and insomnia.
To best be useful in promoting immunological health, cordyceps must be prepared as a hot water extract, just like the other therapeutic mushrooms. Hot water extracts are the only supplement form of cordyceps ever utilized in TCM or tested in scientific research. The immune-boosting polysaccharides high in beta-glucans are trapped within the inedible cell walls of mushrooms and other fungi.⁴
A study examined the impact of cordyceps on older people's ability to exercise using a stationary bike. Participants were given a placebo or 3sg of the mushroom daily for a total of 6 weeks. The cordyceps group's VO2 max increased by 7%, but there was no change in the placebo group's VO2 max.
Another study examined the impact of a cordyceps-containing mushroom blend on young people's ability to exercise. Compared to the placebo group, individuals who got the combination had an 11% higher VO2 max after three weeks.⁵
Although cordyceps is generally harmless, some people may experience nausea, dry mouth, and upset stomach from supplementing with it.
If you have cancer, diabetes, or a bleeding disease, avoid taking cordyceps. In addition, children and pregnant or nursing women should steer clear of cordyceps, as it is unclear whether it is safe for them.
Before taking cordyceps supplements, have a discussion with your doctor if you regularly take any medications. Blood thinners and immune-suppressing medications may interact with cordyceps.
Not all cordyceps supplements are alike. To ensure that you are getting a premium quality product, you should consider the following.
The active ingredient in cordyceps is cordycepin, so look for ingredients with high levels of this compound. You should also choose products that source their cordyceps from the USA because you can be sure that strict organic quality assurance guidelines have been followed. Finally, remember that not all cordyceps powders are equal.
In terms of dosage, you should look for a minimum cordyceps dosage of 250 mg per serving.
We recommend only buying a cordyceps supplement that has been third-party tested. This means that an independent laboratory tests every batch of the product for purity and potency before it is released into the marketplace.
Cordyceps supplements are available in three main forms:
You should decide which of these forms suits you best. Keep in mind that capsules may contain gelatin and other compounds that you may not want to have in your body. The powder form can be added to your protein shake or post-workout drink or simply added to water.
A tincture is taken orally via a dropper. They are usually the most concentrated form of the supplement.
Cordyceps supplements are relatively low-priced products, depending on what form of cordyceps you plan to take. A supplement with the CS-4 strain will cost more than a basic organic cordyceps powder.
We recommend checking online reviews from verified purchasers of cordyceps supplements. Take a look at the side effects and reactions people have to the supplement, as well as the level of customer service they have received.
Yes, cordyceps is believed to be good for workouts. That is because it appears to have the ability to boost the body's production of ATP, which is muscle's main source of energy. As a result, many people like to include cordyceps as part of their pre-workout formula.
By enhancing the immune system's cells and certain molecules, cordyceps may boost immunity. With lung or skin malignancies, in particular, it may also aid in the fight against cancer cells and reduce the size of tumors.
Although there is little solid scientific evidence to support these claims, people most frequently use cordyceps for sexual dysfunction, kidney ailments, and sports performance.
Cellular energy may be restored with the aid of cordyceps. Researchers discovered that a cordyceps extract improved exercise performance by activating the ATP regeneration pathway in studies conducted on mice. The main energy-transporting molecule in our cells is ATP.
Twelve weeks of cordyceps supplementation in elderly people showed a significant improvement in metabolic and ventilatory thresholds. This implies that cordyceps may promote physical activity and improve general health and well-being as we age.
We recommend taking cordyceps in the morning when you first get up. Alternatively, you can take it before your workout to boost the body's ATP production to fuel your muscles during the workout.
Cordyceps is a popular mushroom-like fungal compound that has been used to increase virility, promote energy and treat respiratory conditions in Asia for centuries. In recent times it has become popular in supplement form to increase athletic performance, offset fatigue and generally improve energy levels.
The best cordyceps supplement on today's market is Real Mushrooms Cordyceps-M, which provides a hot water extraction from 100% cordyceps militaris mushrooms for enhanced bioavailability.
Looking for more health boosting supplements? Check out our post that covers the Best Lion's Mane Supplements on the market.
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