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Adaptogens and Coffee

…coffee to make you smile

Table Of Contents

What is an adaptogen?

According to the Cleveland Clinic:

Adaptogens are plants and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, fatigue and overall wellbeing. You can take adaptogens by adding them to food or beverages or take them as tinctures. Adaptogens bring your body back to a steady balance by managing both physical and mental stressors.

Is this really coffee?

Mushroom coffee is being marketed as a healthier alternative to regular coffee.

But does the science back it up and is it really coffee?

Mushroom coffee is made when the fruiting bodies of the mushrooms are extracted 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.

The most popular types of mushrooms used for this are:

  • Reishi
  • Chaga
  • Lion’s mane
  • Cordyceps

Caffeine content

The resulting blend is claimed to be lower in caffeine than regular coffee.

However, this is hard to check as these products do not often list their caffeine content and in fact it has been shown that their caffeine content is significantly higher than the amount of caffeine in decaffeinated coffee.

Alleged health benefits

Medicinal mushrooms have been commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years.

They contain compounds called adaptogens, which are thought to improve the body’s response to stress.

However, there have been some scientific tests investigating adaptogens, they have generally been carried out in labs and on animals.  There have been very few human studies.

For most adaptogens, the clinical evidence is somewhere between nil and extremely limited.

Among the so-far unverified claims for alleged health benefits of adaptogens are improved immunity, potential for cancer prevention, fighting ulcers, anti allergenic, and preventing heart disease.

But, to repeat, there is a lack of scientific evidence supporting these claims in human studies.

That means there is no information on what is a safe dosage or on how the adaptogens interact with other medications.

One thing is for sure, however, these so-called “healthier mushroom coffees are a lot more costly, in some cases, more than double the cost of regular coffee.

What about the taste?

This article in the Guardian had a look at the whole issue and contains some information at the end about the different types of mushroom coffee.


The verdict seems to be a distinct “meh”.

So for the time being why not stick to your proper coffee from a trusted source like us – and then your coffee will make you smile.

…coffee to make you smile
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