Should You Drink Mushroom Coffee? Why I Keep My Shrooms Away From My Coffee
By: Dave Asprey
December 3, 2018
- Medicinal mushrooms are powerful, if you know how to use them.
- Mushrooms affect everyone differently, and you have to work with a well-trained and competent professional to know how to use them correctly.
- After some experimentation, I decided that mushrooms in coffee tastes like crap.
- There are no benefits to adding mushrooms to your coffee. Get them in pill form instead.
- Read on to find out how you should use mushrooms, how not to use them, and which mushrooms are my favorites.
I’ve been using medicinal mushrooms for a long time. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and other traditional healing cultures, mushrooms are a standard part of herbal medicine. That’s because medicinal mushrooms are effective, if you know how to use them.
I get asked all the time whether I mix mushroom powders in my coffee. Personally, I don’t. I do think that mushrooms are powerful medicine and you might benefit from supplementing with them, with a few caveats. Read on to find out how you should use mushrooms, how not to use them, and down low I’ll list a few of my favorites.
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Why I don’t drink mushroom coffee
In the early days of Bulletproof, we experimented with developing mushrooms and herbs to put in coffee. We put the kibosh on that for a few reasons, the main one being that mushrooms in coffee tastes like crap. Why ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee with the taste of mushrooms? Some types of mushrooms can be pretty earthy — that’s a coffee snob’s way of saying it tastes like dirt.
That said, I should mention that the Bulletproof Cafes feature Stack Upgrades to mix in your coffee that contain herbs. It’s part personal preference, part professional recipe development that makes the stack upgrades taste palatable, even good in your coffee. For everyday coffee at home, I wouldn’t recommend spoiling your coffee experience with mushrooms. You don’t blend your vitamins in with your coffee, because that would taste terrible. It’s no different.
You can easily get your mushrooms in a capsule that doesn’t come anywhere near your coffee. As with all supplements, source matters. Get your hands on high-quality mushroom supplements, because a lot of them contain a little of the active ingredient along with a lot of filler.
Medicinal mushrooms are complex and best left to experts
Another reason we steered away from mushroom products is that mushrooms are easy to mess up. You have to know what you’re doing. Medicinal mushrooms are highly specialized, and you have to work with a well-trained and competent professional to know how to use them correctly. Bringing these formulations to market, we quickly realized that the complexities are best left to someone who thoroughly understands mushrooms.
Two of the major factors that influence how you will react to mushrooms include your individual body constitution, and timing.
Body constitution and medicinal mushrooms
TCM practitioners decide what will work for your body by first assessing your individual constitution. For example, the mushrooms that ramp up energy in the qi deficient type could make the yin deficient type feel sluggish and sleepy. There are nine different body constitutions in TCM, and each reacts to mushrooms in different ways.
Also, if you have gut imbalances like candida overgrowth or SIBO, some types of mushrooms can flare it up.
Body constitution and when to take medicinal mushrooms
Take it a step further — some types of mushrooms make you feel amazing in the morning and wreck you if you take them after lunchtime. Some go down on an empty stomach, and others you have to take with a meal. It’s easy to mess it up. You can experiment with mushrooms and see how you feel, but it will take a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for you. A skilled practitioner will save you a lot of headaches. Literally.
My favorite medicinal mushroom supplements
Mushrooms do have a profound benefit if you do it right. Here are a few types of mushrooms that are generally well-tolerated and have a noticeable benefit — again, if you use them correctly.
Reishi mushrooms are known among traditional healers for their ability to boost immunity, support cell turnover to keep you young, guard the liver, and balance blood sugar. Here are some details on the science behind reishi mushrooms.
As far as mushroom products go, lion’s mane is one of my favorites. It raises BDNF and NGF, and a lot of people I talk to experienced a noticeable benefit. I used to take it every day, and I switched to Neuromaster simply because it’s stronger.
Cordyceps mushrooms have been used for thousands of years for a variety of conditions, and for an overall wellness boost. Healers claim its ability to:
- Combat fatigue
- Enhance memory
- Support brain function
- Counteract free radical damage
- Increase exercise endurance
You can read more about cordyceps in this article on adaptogenic herbs.
Chaga mushrooms look like a brown-black tumor growing on the trunk of a birch tree. It’s not well-researched, but the studies that are out there show its potential to protect DNA and slow or prevent tumor growth. Details on those studies and chaga mushrooms here.
Psilocybin is strong enough to backfire if you don’t know what you’re doing. Respect its potency by working with a qualified practitioner who can properly advise you on dose and interactions with other medicines and supplements you’re taking. Don’t choose your expert lightly. Get recommendations and interview several. Also, you’ll need a thorough understanding of the legal ins and outs of using psilocybin and other supplements, specific to your locality and your job. Here are some notes on my experience.
With a little research, expert guidance, and self-experimentation, mushrooms can be a valuable addition to your supplement stack, without making your coffee taste mega gross. As always, gather some knowledge and pay close attention to how you feel.