Cordyceps and Lion's Mane for Running

Cordyceps and Lion's Mane for Running

Could mushrooms be the secret weapon for your next race? If you're looking for natural ways to optimise your training and push your limits, Cordyceps and Lion's Mane deserve your attention.

These powerful fungi have been used for centuries in traditional medicine, and modern research suggests they might boost energy, improve oxygen utilisation, and reduce fatigue – all important factors for runners.

Cordyceps for Runners

Cordyceps holds the potential to boost your VO2max, a crucial measure of how efficiently your body uses oxygen during exercise.   Studies suggest Cordyceps could enhance your maximal oxygen uptake, allowing you to push harder and run longer before hitting your limit.

Additionally, Cordyceps may combat fatigue by helping your cells produce more ATP (adenosine triphosphate),  the primary source of energy for muscle contractions.  It might even help reduce the buildup of lactic acid,  a byproduct of intense exercise that contributes to that familiar burning sensation in your muscles.

While its main impact lies in pushing your performance limits during a run, Cordyceps might also offer benefits for post-run recovery.  Its potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties could promote faster muscle repair and reduce the lingering soreness that often follows a challenging workout.

What the Studies Say

Study Findings

Potential Benefits for Runners

Cordyceps Sinensis reduces ROS generation in hypoxia.

May help runners combat oxidative stress during high-altitude training or races.

Increases Nrf2, HO1, and MT expression.

Could enhance runners' antioxidant defence mechanisms, improving recovery and reducing muscle fatigue.

Decreases NFκB and TNFα levels.

May lower inflammation, reducing soreness and improving recovery times after intense workouts or races.

Enhances HIF1 expression and regulated genes (EPO, VEGF, GLUT1).

Potentially improves oxygen delivery and utilisation, as well as glucose metabolism, enhancing endurance and performance.


Lion's Mane for Runners

While Cordyceps powers your physical performance, Lion's Mane targets the often-overlooked mental aspect of running. This culinary and medicinal mushroom boasts unique properties that could enhance your focus, resilience, and overall mindset during those long miles.

Think about the mental battles that every runner faces – the self-doubt, the waning motivation, the urge to quit when the going gets tough.  Lion's Mane might offer a natural way to strengthen your mental game.  Studies suggest its potential to improve focus, reduce mental fatigue, and promote a more positive, determined mindset – all crucial for overcoming challenges on the run.

Beyond its direct cognitive benefits, Lion's Mane could indirectly support your running by promoting healthy nerve function.  Optimal nerve signalling is essential for efficient muscle contraction, coordination, and overall athletic performance.

What the Studies Say

Aspect Investigated

Key Findings

Implications for Runners

Cognitive Function

Acute intake (60 min post-dose) of Hericium erinaceus improved performance speed in the Stroop task.

Improved reaction times could benefit runners in making quick decisions during races or in navigating through challenging terrains.

Stress Reduction

A trend towards reduced subjective stress was observed following 28-day supplementation with Hericium erinaceus.

Reduced stress levels can enhance overall mental wellbeing, potentially improving training consistency and competition performance for runners.

Mood Enhancement

While not directly measured in this study, previous research has indicated mood-enhancing effects of Hericium erinaceus.

Enhanced mood from long-term supplementation may aid in better coping with the psychological demands of rigorous training and competitive environments.

Combining Cordyceps and Lion's Mane for Runners

The true potential of these mushrooms might lie in their synergy. Cordyceps primarily targets the physical aspects of performance – oxygen utilisation, energy production, and fatigue reduction. Meanwhile, Lion's Mane focuses on optimising focus, mental resilience, and nerve health. Combining them creates a multi-pronged approach to enhancing both your body and mind.

Dosage and Usage:

  • Cordyceps: A common dosage range for athletes is 1000-3000 mg daily. For pre-run benefits, consider taking it 30-60 minutes before your workout.
  • Lion's Mane: A typical dosage is around 500-1000 mg daily. To enhance alertness and focus, it might be beneficial to take it in the morning or early afternoon.
  • Combined Use: You can take Cordyceps and Lion's Mane together or at different times of the day, depending on your individual preferences and goals.

Important Note: These are general suggestions. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional or qualified sports nutritionist for personalised guidance on dosage, timing, and potential interactions with other supplements or medications you may be taking.

Forms and Sources: Both Cordyceps and Lion's Mane are available in various forms, including powders, capsules, and extracts. Choose reputable brands that prioritise quality and third-party testing to ensure you're getting the full potential benefits of these powerful mushrooms.

Additional Considerations

  • Not a Magic Bullet:  While Cordyceps and Lion's Mane offer exciting potential for runners, it's essential to view them as tools within a broader, well-rounded training plan.  They cannot replace consistent training, proper nutrition, and adequate rest.  Think of them as potential "level-up" supplements.
  • Individual Response:**  Just like with any supplement, individual responses to Cordyceps and Lion's Mane can vary. Experiment and pay attention to how your body reacts in terms of energy levels, focus, and recovery. Adjust your dosages or timing as needed, ideally with professional guidance.
  • Safety and Interactions:** Both Cordyceps and Lion's Mane are generally considered safe for most individuals. However, some people might experience mild digestive discomfort or allergies. It's crucial to start with a low dose and gradually increase. Always consult your doctor, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications, to ensure there are no potential interactions.

Run Stronger with Cordyceps and Lion's Mane

The quest for optimal running performance often leads to innovative solutions.  Cordyceps and Lion's Mane offer a unique approach, targeting both the physical and mental demands of the sport.  Their potential to enhance oxygen utilisation, fight fatigue, sharpen focus, and support recovery could give you the edge you've been searching for.

Remember,  while the research on these mushrooms is highly promising, it's still a developing field.  Consult with your healthcare provider or sports nutritionist to discuss if incorporating them into your training regimen is right for you.

Ready to Experience the Difference?

Our mushroom blend “Thrive” is formulated with premium, sustainably sourced Cordyceps and Lion's Mane, along with 4 other potent functional mushrooms, carefully blended to support runners. Experience the power of these natural performance enhancers and discover your full potential.

Resources & Studies

Singh M, Tulsawani R, Koganti P, Chauhan A, Manickam M, Misra K. Cordyceps sinensis increases hypoxia tolerance by inducing heme oxygenase-1 and metallothionein via Nrf2 activation in human lung epithelial cells. Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:569206. doi: 10.1155/2013/569206. Epub 2013 Aug 26. PMID: 24063008; PMCID: PMC3770031. 

Docherty S, Doughty FL, Smith EF. The Acute and Chronic Effects of Lion's Mane Mushroom Supplementation on Cognitive Function, Stress and Mood in Young Adults: A Double-Blind, Parallel Groups, Pilot Study. Nutrients. 2023 Nov 20;15(22):4842. doi: 10.3390/nu15224842. PMID: 38004235; PMCID: PMC10675414. 


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