Updated: Jul 17
When people think of gaining energy from a beverage, typically they think about their personal experiences with caffeine; not with a mushroom tea for energy. That is, caffeine delivers an immediate boost of “energy”, or even jitters for some, followed at some point later by a crash and then lingering negative caffeine effects that can disrupt sleep for many. While many enjoy the caffeine rush and do not have lasting negative effects of caffeine, many health conscious people today are looking for ways to gain energy without caffeine and for ways to hydrate in an alkaline manner.
Functional mushrooms, such as Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, and Chaga are gaining in popularity given their nutritional benefits such as supporting a strong immune system, providing all-day decaf energy, and enabling mental clarity and focus (brain power). While many mushroom coffee alternatives, mushroom powders and mushroom supplements are emerging as popular products, mushroom teas are rapidly emerging as an ideal delivery system for the mushroom nutrients in order to enable decaf energy and other benefits.
The best mushroom teas offered by online tea stores and tea manufacturers are alkaline in nature and do not generally work in a similar fashion as does caffeine. Rather, adaptogenic mushroom teas work to deliver energy by allowing the body to better adapt to environmental stresses so that one’s overall health is moved closer to homeostasis, or optimal bodily operating balance. When in homeostasis, the body is prepped as the best immune booster and is able to best support the cardiovascular and muscular systems with recovery and “energy.”
Mushroom tea suppliers are quick to point out that the best results for achieving natural energy and recovery from consuming mushroom teas occurs with consistent use as part of a balanced diet and exercise routine. So one should not expect to experience a rush of energy similar to caffeine after consuming a mushroom tea for energy. Rather, one should expect to receive a more subtle energy boost from the best mushroom teas that lasts throughout the day without a need for caffeine; allowing one to remain productive through those mid-afternoon lulls and settle into a normal sleep routine.
One mushroom that is historically associated with providing natural energy without caffeine is Cordyceps. After devouring its insect host, the Cordyceps mushroom sprouts from the host’s body in order to release spores for propagation. Discovered by ancient Himalayan tribes who noticed their livestock and cattle gaining strength and stamina after eating Cordyceps mushrooms. Eventually the Himalayans began brewing Cordyceps tea for themselves in order to gain natural energy, improve recovery and add sexual vigor.
While traditional Chinese medicine also points to powerful benefits of Cordyceps for recovery, energy and libido, modern science is only now beginning to catch up in terms of confirming these ancient anecdotal claims. According to research done at the University of North Carolina and Meredith College, Cordyceps is a powerful antioxidant against free radicals whose usage was associated with the benefits of enhanced oxygen utilization and blood flow.
As compared to a placebo group, this research indicated that exercise performance was significantly improved for those consuming Cordyceps mushrooms. Specifically, this research indicated that maximal oxygen consumption and ventilatory threshold levels were both improved among the group who was consuming Cordyceps mushrooms. Since Cordyceps improves blood flow and glycogen processing, it is thought to also increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, which are the body’s energy source to moving muscles. Enhanced oxygen utilization and blood flow are thought to also help improve lactate clearance (muscle burn), which may enable more intense exercise while delaying fatigue due to less oxidative stress.
While Cordyceps is gaining strength in being documented with providing natural decaf energy, there are other functional mushrooms and adaptogens that also deliver energy without caffeine. In addition to Cordyceps, other functional mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane, Chaga and Reishi are also being studied for their ability to provide natural energy boosts from their similar homeostatic benefits.
With the emergence of mushroom coffee alternatives, mushroom powders and mushroom supplements, there is often debate as to whether or not mushrooms must be cooked or brewed prior to consuming them. There is no requirement to cook or brew mushrooms if one is not concerned about fully digesting the maximum amount of nutrients from the mushrooms consumed. When mushrooms are not cooked or brewed, one must consume more of the mushrooms in order to get the same amount of nutrients that would be available if the mushrooms were brewed or cooked; bioavailability (the % of the nutrients that are actually absorbed into the body) of mushroom nutrients is dramatically enhanced when the mushrooms are fully cooked or brewed prior to digestion.
While debate about the need to cook or brew mushrooms exists, there is little debate that when research is conducted to gauge the benefits of mushrooms at Johns Hopkins University and elsewhere, the research is typically conducted using a mushroom tea or “hot water extract” as the delivery system. Mushroom teas are the preferred means of delivering mushroom nutrients due to two primary reasons:
Our bodies are made up of over 65% water, so a liquid delivery system is usually best in terms of delivering digestible nutrients of any kind
The heat from brewing mushrooms into tea is required to release the nutrients from behind the thick mushroom cell walls which make mushroom digestion and nutrient absorption sub-optimal without cooking or brewing
While tea is the best delivery system for mushroom nutrients, most mushroom teas do not have an enjoyable taste, instead often tasting “earthy”; rarely a descriptor used for something that actually tastes good. The typical lack of a pleasant taste holds mushroom tea back from being accepted as a valuable nutritional beverage, because evidence of the nutritional benefits of mushrooms is starting to rapidly accumulate.
Great taste is where Boulder Colorado tea manufacturer, Packed with Life, comes into play with its online tea store, PackedwithLife.com. Their superfood performance tea, Packed with Life ImmuneATea, is a mushroom tea for energy with delicious taste from being packed with Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Chaga and Reishi mushrooms along with 12 organic adaptogenic herbs and spices for an amazingly delicious flavor. In addition to being one of the best immune booster teas, great tasting Packed with Life ImmuneATea delivers all-day decaf energy and removes brain fog. If one is evaluating various immune boosting teas for energy, then Packed with Life superfood performance tea should be a strong consideration as the best immune booster with potent energy benefits.
Make sure to set your expectations accordingly when looking for a mushroom tea for energy. If it is important for you to get the most health value out of your investment, then consider a brewed tea for highest bioavailability. If taste is important, look for mushroom tea options that use natural, organic adaptogens for flavoring so as to get even more immune boosting tea benefits. Energy producing mushroom teas will continue to gain traction as alkaline friendly, healthy coffee alternatives as more people discover their immune boosting, brain boosting, and energy boosting benefits.