Is Mushroom Coffee Worth the Hype? An Expert’s Take
What it is
Lower in caffeine
Mushroom coffee is laud as a healthier alternative to regular coffee. boasting medicinal mushroom extracts and added health benefits.
Although it’s currently a trending coffee blend, this concept is far from new.
According to online sources. mushrooms were use as a coffee substitute in Finland during World War II. when coffee beans weren’t available. There’s also an extensive history of culinary and medicinal use of mushrooms in Asian countries. for Chinese medicine, for their nutritional and health benefits (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source. 3Trusted Source).
This article looks at the evidence on mushroom coffee. and provides an expert assessment of its alleged health benefits.
What is it?
If you visualize a cup of joe with mushrooms floating at the top — take a sigh of relief. That is not what this is.
Mushroom coffee is a delicate blend of ground mushrooms and coffee beans combined to brew a dark. smooth, and nutty coffee.
Mushroom coffee generally uses medicinal mushroom. extracts rather than culinary mushrooms like shiitake and portobello. Common medicinal mushrooms used to make this trendy coffee include:
Several consumer reviews say that the flavor profile of mushroom coffee isn’t so different from that of regular coffee.
But, the proposed health benefits of mushroom coffee. including reduced anxiety and improved immunity, give it a marketing edge.
SUMMARYMushroom coffee is a trending coffee brew. made with ground medicinal mushrooms and coffee beans. Common types of mushrooms used include Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s mane, Reishi, and Turkey’s tail.
How is it made?
To make mushroom coffee, the fruiting bodies of the mushrooms are extract. and made into an organic powder that’s free from fillers, carriers, and other additives.
Through a dual extraction process, the mushrooms are then dehydrated. ground into a fine powder, and mixed into ground coffee beans. This is usually done in a 1-to-1 ratio.
You can buy mushroom coffee as:
instant coffee packets
ground coffee blends
Mushroom coffee can be prepare using the same methods as regular coffee. to make delicious mochas lattes, or black coffee drinks.
SUMMARYmedicinal mushrooms are dehydrate. ground into a fine powder, and mixed with ground coffee beans to produce mushroom coffee. It’s then prepared in the same way as regular coffee.
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It’s lower in caffeine than regular coffee
Mushroom coffee blends are market as being lower in caffeine than regular coffee.
Caffeine is a psychoactive substance found in some foods like coffee beans. cocoa beans, and tea leaves. but it is also added in a synthetic form to other foods and beverages (4Trusted Source. 5Trusted Source).
People who are pregnant or lactating, children. and individuals with underlying heart issues have a higher risk of experiencing the negative side effects. of caffeine consumption and should be cautious of their intake (5Trusted Source).
Although drinking up to 400 mg of caffeine daily isn’t associated with adverse effects. this may be different for people with sensitivity to caffeine. In this case, you may experience anxiety, rapid heart rate, upset stomach. and other side effects even with lower caffeine intakes (5Trusted Source).
As mention, with mushroom coffee. an amount of mushroom powder is usually combine with an equal amount of ground coffee beans. Because the mushroom powder doesn’t contain caffeine, it cuts the caffeine content of the final product in half. compared with regular coffee.
but, this may not be true for all brands of mushroom coffee. The caffeine content is often not list on the products’ package.
Below is a comparison of the caffeine content in 1 cup (approximately 180 ml). of three types of mushroom coffee, regular coffee, and decaffeinated coffee.
CoffeeProduct typeCaffeineFolgers Black Silk Dark RoastKeurig pod100–150 mg Folgers Back Silk Decaf. Ground coffee1–4 mgFour Sigmatic Instant Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s maneInstant50 mg. Shrooms Reishi Mushroom CoffeeInstant53 mgTiger 2 Mushroom Coffee Lion’s Mane + Chaga. Ground coffee60 mg
So, mushroom coffee drinks have about half the amount of caffeine. as a regular cup of coffee but more caffeine than decaffeinated coffee.
SUMMARYMushroom coffee blends are lower in caffeine than regular coffee due to fewer ground. coffee beans used in each coffee blend. but, they contain more caffeine than decaffeinated coffee.
Potential health benefits of mushroom coffee
Medicinal mushrooms have been use in traditional Chinese. medicine for hundreds of years (1Trusted Source. 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
The compounds extracted from medicinal mushrooms are call adaptogens. which may improve the body’s response to stress (2Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
Since the 1970s, researchers have been interest in the adaptogens from medicinal mushrooms. for their potential health benefits (2Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
but, it’s important to note that most studies on medicinal mushrooms are base on animals. or done in a lab, with few well-designed clinical trials including humans. This means that we can’t apply the results of these studies to humans or human diseases.
Plus, these studies aren’t specific to mushroom coffee and it’s unclear whether there are combine positive. or negative health effects of mixing mushrooms and coffee beans.
It’s safe to say that although medicinal mushrooms. and coffee have some established benefits on their own. there are many unverified health claims about the benefits of mushroom coffee.
Below are some scientific findings for alleged health benefits of medicinal mushrooms:
Improved immunity. In test tube studies, Turkey’s tail and its fermented substrates have demonstrated. some immune-boosting properties (11Trusted Source).
Potential for cancer prevention. Studies have indicated some potential of Lion’s mane, Reishi, Turkey’s tail. Chaga, and Cordyceps as supportive therapies for cancer patients. such as helping fight nausea and vomiting (3Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source. 11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
Antiulcer. Studies done in rats showed that Chaga mushrooms may help fight ulcers (16Trusted Source).
Anti-allergenic (food allergies). In test-tube studies, Chaga mushroom has shown evidence of suppressing. the activity of immune cells responsible for an allergic response to some foods (9Trusted Source).
Heart disease. Reishi extracts show potential for reducing blood cholesterol. levels and in turn reducing the risk of heart disease (3Trusted Source,. 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
Although there’s some promising evidence available. more research including humans need to verify those health effects. especially in mushroom coffee blends.
SUMMARYMedicinal mushrooms have been the interest of science. since the 1970s and have revered for many health claims. Many of these claims are unsubstantiate. and more rigorous clinical trials including humans need.
Although mushroom coffee may be an exciting thing to try. there are some downsides to consider.
The main downside is that human studies on its health effects are currently lacking. Most research studies have been conduct in test tubes or animals. and human research need to verify those health claims.
This means that information of safe dosage. who would enjoy from this product. who may need to avoid it, and whether medicinal mushrooms interact with medications. is unknown — and this may raise some safety concerns.
Plus, mushroom coffee is costly. It often costs double the price of regular coffee for a 12 oz (340 g) bag.
A potential cause for the higher price point is that medicinal mushrooms. are grown in their natural habitats and are generally not farmed. This means they may be hard to come by.
SUMMARYThe main downsides of mushroom coffee is that human studies are lacking. to support health claims and verify safety of intake and potential interactions. It’s also more expensive than regular coffee.
The bottom line
Mushroom coffee is a trending coffee brew. made from blends of regular coffee and extracts of medicinal mushrooms. including Chaga, Cordyceps, Reishi. Lion’s mane, and Turkey’s tail.
Although there are several health claims of the use of mushrooms and mushroom. coffee for various health conditions. most of them are unverify at this moment. and more human research need.
Although it may be safe to try for most people. you should always discuss it with your healthcare provider if you’re taking medication. or have a preexisting health condition.
What exactly is mushroom coffee?
The most popular mushrooms found in coffee blends include:
you can’t toss a couple mushrooms into your coffee and call it a day (because that would be, well, gross). The mushrooms used in mushroom coffee go through a drying. and extraction process in to pull the beneficial compounds out. which then get blended into regular coffee.
Most mushroom coffees are actually blends of mushroom extract and instant coffee. That’s why it tastes like coffee – because it is!
Are mushroom coffee actually healthy?
There are a lot of claims surrounding the benefits of mushroom coffee. Some of the most popular include:
Boosts your immune system.
Supports your memory.
Higher energy levels.
Relaxes sore muscles.
But is there any truth to these statements?
“Mushrooms in general have some great benefits,” explains Lachman. “A big one tends to be with reducing inflammation. Mushrooms also contain antioxidants, which can help support the immune system.”
Mushroom coffee also has less caffeine. which (depending on who you ask) usually helps people feel less anxious and sleep better.
But take the long lists of touted benefits specific to mushroom coffee as a grain of salt. There isn’t a ton of research out there suggesting that all the claims actually hold true.
Lachman suggests that you might be better off incorporating mushrooms into your diet through. normal foods rather than sipping special (and pricy) coffee.
Mushrooms: A dose of wellness on their own
The good news is that mushrooms by themselves are pack with fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Try mixing in whole mushrooms to your regular recipes. Toss them in salads, use them in pasta dishes or grill them up during a barbeque. You’ll still experience the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits this way. but without sacrificing your typical cup of Joe or shelling out money for a bougie coffee blend.
If you’re still convinced you want to incorporate powered mushrooms into your diet. try one type of mushroom powder at a time and track any symptoms you might experience.
It’s important to note that mushrooms can sometimes cause digestive issues. especially for those who have kidney problems or trouble with grains. In fact, chaga mushrooms are high in oxalates and known to affect and increase kidney stones. If you have digestive problems, it’s best to speak with your doctor. or meet with a dietitian before heading down the fungi path.
“There’s nothing wrong with mushroom coffee as long as you’re not adding in a ton of sugar or creamer,” says Lachman. “But you’ll also experience the same benefits – and more including the fiber – if you eat mushrooms in your diet.”