Food & Nutrition

Mushroom Coffee – Is it worth the Hype?

There is a trend at the moment that makes your morning coffee way more than a brain wake-up call. You could in theory use this opportunity to get some goodness in you and treat it like your run of vitamins. Thus the trend of ‘healthy coffee’ has become extremely popular with office workers.

The idea is to squeeze beneficial compounds into the coffee so that you can fuel your body right. Arguably the most common trend is Mushroom Coffee. You read that right – mushroom extract in your coffee.

Thanks to peer pressure I decided to give some mushroom coffee a go and see what I thought.

 

What is ‘Mushroom Coffee’?

It sounds very strange, but there is 100% method behind the madness. Let me just point out that you can’t be putting any old Mushrooms into your morning coffee, but the mushrooms need to be part of the ‘medicinal’ family of fungi. There are 5 main fungi that are used in coffee: Chaga, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Cordyceps and (the most common) Lions Mane.

Traditionally, the OG Mushroom cup of joe uses a complex of them all. That is where you will get the most benefits. On the market, you can either by the powdered mushrooms on their own, or there are plenty of brands that are producing their coffee to be infused with a powdered extract.

Many of the marketing claims around the coffee sound wonderful however, after some research I found that the issue with the premade products is that they may not contain the highest quality of extract. There are two things to consider; active compounds and an ‘effective dose’.

What is important with a Mushroom coffee is the concentration of the active compounds which are responsible for the benefits to your health, many extracts out there simply contain mushroom debris or (at very worst) a bulking agent. Alongside that, a small amount of Mushroom is going to be a waste of time and money, you need to give yourself the effective dose – which is quite high. I found that a table-spoon was an effective dose for me.

Although I have taken many of these mushrooms in supplement form, I have never added them to my beloved morning coffee. So, I purchased some powdered Lions Mane (the mushroom complex was out of stock) and took a spoonful every day for 6 or so weeks.

 

Reported Benefits of Mushrooms in Coffee

There are a few claimed benefits of a mushroom-infused coffee, but many of them depend on which Mushroom you’re consuming. Each mushroom has its own benefits; the benefits can range from helping your body deal with caffeine, digestive protection, and cognitive function all the way to a reduction in heart disease and even cancer.

There is basically no-sold evidence to support these but there are lots of animal studies and short controlled trials which give some indication as to the benefits of the medicinal mushrooms themselves.

 

My Thoughts on Lions Mane Coffee?

Price: The Lions Mane powder I purchased was about £15 for 100g. It lasted me about 6 weeks, which is 40 – 50 servings. That makes it a maximum of 0.35p per cup. It may not sound like a lot but 0.35p a day adds up very quickly. It is much cheaper than getting a coffee from your local coffee shop.

Taste: One of the main reasons I chose to make Lions Mane Coffee is because I read online that it pairs the best with the bitterness of Coffee. I adore my morning coffee and I simply cannot abide something that tastes bad for a gimmick.

The taste of the Lion’s Mane on its own is quite nice. It has an earthy, sweet taste. When it is mixed with coffee it has a nuanced, sweet nutty vibe which is surprisingly very enjoyable. Would I say that the flavour of the coffee is improved? No. But it doesn’t ruin it either which is a fantastic plus.

Effects: We recently wrote a post about the benefits of Lion’s Mane while I was testing it out. The main reported benefits are cognitive function, feeling more alert and digestive issues.

Without sharing too much, I am sure that most people who drink coffee regularly know that it has an effect on your bowls. If you drink a lot before eating food, it can make things uncomfortable. While I didn’t notice a measurable difference in my cognitive function, I did find that adding Lions Mane to coffee helped to settle my tummy and dramatically improve my digestion. I felt like a new woman.

 

Should You Drink Mushroom Coffee?

Well, based on my very short time drinking coffee with mushrooms in it I can say for certain that it is not a gimmick, so you should drink Mushroom coffee so long as you notice benefits. There is some benefit to adding a mushroom extract to your morning coffee. Or at the very least there are benefits to adding Lion’s Mane to your coffee.

The only downside I can see is that it adds 35p (ish) to every cup of coffee which can get quite expensive if you drink many of them per day.

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