That first cup of coffee in the morning can help set the tenor of the day, nudging the mind and body to slip into gear for the challenges ahead. Increasingly, many people are adding mushroom extracts to this daily ritual, as the benefits of medicinal mushrooms gain traction. DIY mushroom coffee is trending for many good reasons, which we outline in this article.
Mushroom coffee can offer an added natural health boost, provided that the mushroom powder you’re using contains unprocessed ingredients. Many supplement companies are making big promises about the benefits of medicinal mushrooms while marketing a product that may not have any mushrooms in it at all.
This is just one reason why it’s better to make your own. But understanding the product, how it’s made, and what it can do for you are key to the ideal DIY mushroom coffee brew.
Simply put, mushroom coffee is black coffee paired with medicinal mushrooms, typically mixed in as an extract powder--be sure to skip the freeze dried coffee and brew your own for enhanced flavor and quality. After adding the extracts, you can continue preparing your beverage to your own liking, for example, with milk and sugar or nothing at all.
The most popular mushroom extract powders are cordyceps, chaga and lion's mane, but others include shiitake, maitake, turkey tail and reishi. Usually, one or more of the different kinds are mixed with instant coffee and often sold in single serving packets. While it may be convenient, single use plastic packets are no friend to the environment and can be more costly over time than buying in bulk at a trusted source, like Real Mushrooms.
Coffee lovers who are newcomers to this trend may wonder how their treasured hot beverage will taste with mushrooms added. However, fungi are typically earthy and muted, complementing that fresh cup of Joe. By making your own mushroom coffee, you can customize the flavor (and its nutritional and health benefits). If you prefer the bitterness of coffee, you can add reishi. On the other hand, if you would rather mute that bitterness, you can add lion’s mane mushroom powder.
For DIY inspiration, here are links to a few of our favorite recipes for both mushroom coffee and non-coffee blends.
Mushroom coffee can have unique nutritional benefits, including increased antioxidants, decreased inflammation, and a bolstered immune system*. However, using a pure, organic mushroom extract is critical to making your own, and it helps ensure that you are consuming a high quality product. When it comes to safety, it is good to follow the standard rule of moderation. With DIY mushroom coffee, you can adjust the quantity exactly to your needs. You then have more control than if using pre-made supplement powder packets.
In Asia, mushrooms have been used as food and teas for thousands of years and their safety has been well documented in the scientific literature, especially when only consuming a few grams of a mushroom extract powder.
However, as with all dietary supplements, it is best to first consult with your physician, particularly if you are taking prescription medication or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Mushroom extracts can not only complement the flavor of your brew, as noted earlier, it can also provide various nutritional benefits, depending on which extracts are added. Maitake mushroom, for example, may help regular blood sugar levels, and chaga mushrooms could counteract the acidity often found with coffee*. Meanwhile, reishi has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to increase vitality and strengthen the heart*. Mushroom coffee could also provide a longer-lasting energy boost than a regular cup of Joe that has its caffeine peaks and valleys.
These are just a sampling of what medicinal mushrooms can do. There are many ways fungi can benefit your health and stave off illness.
When used as a functional food or supplement, medicinal mushrooms can increase resilience in the body by creating positive shifts in physiology and psychology. Medicinal mushrooms can modulate the immune system, improve gut health and increase redox (anti-oxidant) status. Medicinal mushrooms are commonly referred to as adaptogens, they can increase mental clarity and energy levels by their impact on different body systems (immune, gut, cellular health)*.
The most important active compounds in real mushrooms include beta-d-glucans, triterpenoids, diverse polysaccharides, ergosterol, and ergothioneine. When used medicinally, each of these can have dynamic effects on the human body. For example, Ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant, is present in organs that can be subject to high levels of stress and helps to mitigate its effects, while triterpenoids have shown to be helpful for liver function*.
With so many potential benefits it should come as no surprise that these remarkable fungi are catching the attention of brands, which have been jumping at the opportunity to include them in their products. But they can be far from beneficial.
In fact, many supplements in the United State’s market touting the benefits of their mushroom ingredients do not actually contain any mushrooms at all.
Most products marketed as mushrooms are actually myceliated grain, a precursor to the mushroom (fruiting body), and the rice or grain on which the mycelium is grown.
A high percentage of myceliated grain contains between 35-60% starch instead of beneficial fungal matter. The starch serves as nothing more than a filler. You can learn more about how myceliated grain is grown.
Several studies conclude that absent the fruiting body, what is commonly and simply known as the ‘mushroom', the medicinal compounds, which provide much of the benefits, may be severely diminished. This is because the highest concentrations of beta-glucans are found in the fruiting body as opposed to the mycelium.
Real Mushrooms ensure that our mushroom extracts are pure, organic and 100% mushroom. Our product line is free from grains or gluten, and it has no fillers. We only use the mushroom (the fruiting body) to provide the most beneficial medicinal compounds. Our product is also meticulously tested for quality.
The practice of providing purity in products stems from Nammex, which was founded by Jeff Chilton, the father of Real Mushrooms’ owner, Skye. Jeff has been a grower of mushrooms for more than 40 years. As a result, we leverage the legacy of this growing experience, coupled with the wisdom from thousands of years of medicinal mushroom use and growing practices, to underscore the rich history that Real Mushrooms pulls from to cultivate and produce products of the highest quality and efficacy.
Real Mushrooms contains some of the highest concentrations of active medicinal compounds in the market, offering a more powerful and concentrated matrix of therapeutic properties of the mushroom as compared to mycelium-based products.
Ultimately, adding Real Mushrooms’ extracts to your freshly brewed coffee will be better in flavor and nutritional quality than adding premade dietary mushroom packets to an instant coffee mix. With full control over your beverage, you can adjust the quantity of extract and know exactly what you are getting. You can then guarantee you are getting a supplement that is NOT diluted with fillers. Finally, buying in bulk tends to be more cost-effective and friendlier to the environment.
There are 5 distinct advantages to DIY mushroom coffee:
So – what do you think? Did we miss anything on this list? Leave us your comments below!
Disclaimer: The information or products mentioned in this article are provided as information resources only, and are not to be used or relied on to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information does not create any patient-doctor relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. The information is intended for health care professionals only. The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is intended for educational purposes. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by licensed medical physicians. Please consult your doctor or health practitioner for any medical advice.