Cordyceps Militaris: Is it The Key to Unlocking Better Gains at the Gym?

Cordyceps Militaris: Is it The Key to Unlocking Better Gains at the Gym?


Cordyceps is making waves in the world of natural supplements, especially among athletes and health conscious people. You've probably also noticed it come up in pop culture in shows like "The Last of Us" due to it's orange color, which unfortunately does not do it justice! The "Energy Mushroom" has successfully been consumed by humans for more than 300 years. The Cordyceps mushroom is hailed for it's ability to support the immune system, athletic performance, and serve as a natural aphrodisiac. It can be used as an effective Caffeine replacement and for its direct cytotoxic activity against tumor cells.


Cordyceps Sinensis
Figure 1: Cordyceps Sinensis

A Glimpse into History

Cordyceps Militaris, one of 750 species of the Cordyceps family, has been used in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine for centuries. Unlike its cousin, Cordyceps Sinensis, which grows on caterpillar larvae, Cordyceps Militaris is more accessible and can be cultivated on various substrates, making it a more sustainable option. We grew some at home on brown rice using a low-TEK method and they were delicious! 


Cordyceps growing in jars
Figure 2: Cordyceps Militaris growing on Brown Rice

Historically, Cordyceps was used to boost energy, enhance libido, and promote longevity. It was highly valued by Chinese emperors and nobility who believed in its powerful health-enhancing properties. The fungus was traditionally harvested from the wild, but modern cultivation methods have made it widely available, allowing more people to benefit from its incredible properties without burdening the natural environment.

In-Depth Health Benefits of Cordyceps Militaris

The health benefits of Cordyceps are extensive and well-supported by scientific research. For athletes and active individuals, these benefits can be particularly impactful. Here’s a detailed look at what this orange fungus has to offer:

1. Enhanced Athletic Performance

  • ATP Production: Cordyceps contains cordycepin, a compound that is molecularly similar to Adenosine, the primary energy carrier in cells. Studies show a direct increase in ATP levels, that provide more energy for muscle contractions, resulting in enhanced performance and endurance.
  • VO2 Max Improvement: Studies have shown that Cordyceps can "significantly improve" VO2 max after 3 weeks of use, which is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption during intense exercise.
  • Cordyceps delayed fatigue by 12.5% in mice studies.
  • Cordyceps increases lactic acid threshold by 10.5% in human studies.
    Cordyceps militaris improves tolerance to high intensity exercise after acute and chronic supplementation
    Figure 3: Double-blind, placebo controlled study on 28 men

    2. Improved Oxygen Utilization

    • Enhanced Blood Flow: Cordyceps helps improve blood flow by increasing the production of nitric oxide, to relax (vasodilate) blood vessels. This leads to better oxygen delivery to muscles, this is why the mushroom is also referred to as "Himalayan Viagra"
    • Increased Oxygen Capacity: The fungus has been shown to improve the body's ability to utilize oxygen more efficiently, which is vital for high-intensity workouts and endurance sports.
    • Increased Sexual Performance: Cordyceps may be used to improve sexual function and can support the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction (ED).

    3. Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties

    • Reduced Muscle Soreness: The anti-inflammatory properties of Cordyceps can help reduce muscle soreness and accelerate recovery times after intense workouts.
    • Cellular Protection: As an antioxidant, Cordyceps helps protect cells from oxidative stress, which can damage muscles and other tissues. 
    Cordyceps Militaris

    4. Enhanced Immune Function

    • Immunomodulation: Cordyceps has immunomodulatory effects, meaning it can help regulate and enhance the immune system. It can 
    • Antimicrobial Activity: The fungus possesses antimicrobial properties that can help fend off infections.
    • Cytotoxic Effects: Cordyceps can stimulate natural killer cells that inhibit tumor growth

    5. Natural Energy Booster

    • Sustained Energy Levels: Unlike caffeine, which can cause energy spikes and crashes, Cordyceps provides a steady and sustained energy boost.
    • Adrenal Support: Cordyceps supports adrenal function, helping to balance stress hormones and reduce the impact of physical stress on the body.

      Cordyceps as a Caffeine Replacement

      For those looking to reduce their caffeine intake, Cordyceps offers a compelling alternative. Here’s why it stands out as a superior choice:

      1. Stable Energy without Jitters

      • No Anxiety or Jitters: Unlike caffeine, which can cause jitteriness and anxiety, Cordyceps provides a calm and steady energy boost. This makes it ideal for athletes who need to stay focused and composed.
      • Balanced Energy Levels: The energy boost from Cordyceps is more balanced and sustained, avoiding the peaks and troughs associated with caffeine consumption. 

      2. Better Sleep Quality

      • Improved Sleep Patterns: Caffeine can disrupt sleep by blocking Adenosine. Cordyceps, on the other hand, does not interfere with evening routines and actually promotes adenosine.
      • No Dependency: Regular caffeine use can lead to dependency and withdrawal symptoms. Cordyceps does not have this effect, making it a healthier long-term option for those wanting to wean off! 

      3. Adaptogenic Benefits

      • Stress Adaptation: As an adaptogen, Cordyceps helps the body adapt to physical and mental stress, enhancing overall resilience. This is particularly beneficial for athletes who often face high levels of physical exertion and mental pressure.


        Wild Cordyceps


        Cordyceps is a powerhouse of natural health benefits, making it an excellent supplement for anyone wanting a little more edge. Its ability to enhance performance, improve recovery, and provide a stable energy boost positions it as a formidable alternative to caffeine. By integrating Cordyceps into your routine, you can tap into nature's power to boost your athletic performance and overall well-being, all without the downsides of caffeine.

        So, whether you're looking to enhance your endurance, recover faster, or find a more natural energy source, Cordyceps is worth considering. Embrace the benefits of this ancient fungus and take your athletic performance to new heights.

        Discover our Cordyceps products now and try this amazing mushroom for yourself!


        Cordyceps 60 count

        Additional Resources:

        1. Royal Society of Chemistry - Cordyceps and muscle recovery
        2. PubMed - Cordyceps improves tolerance to High Intensity Exercise
        3. Science Direct - Functional Study of Cordyceps in male reproduction
        4. University of Oxford - Cordyceps in clinical trials as an anti-cancer drug



        The information provided in this blog about Cordyceps mushrooms and their potential benefits is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice. Happenstence Brewing Co. is not a healthcare professional, and this information should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.

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