In the study, the researchers compared the effects of short-term and long-term supplementation with a mushroom blend that contained Cordyceps militaris. The inquiry – a randomized, repeated measure, double-blind, placebo-controlled study – involved 28 individuals.
For a week, the participants supplemented with either 4 g/day of the mushroom blend or maltodextrin, a placebo. Ten of the participants were required to supplement for another two weeks. During exercise tests, those who supplemented short-term (one week) demonstrated notable improvement in terms of endurance, but not so much in other areas.
On the other hand, those who supplemented long-term (three weeks) showed significant improvements in all areas measured, including power output, oxygen consumption, and endurance. These effects were not noted in the participants who took the placebo.
Because of these findings, the researchers concluded that while short-term supplementation with a mushroom blend containing cordyceps may improve exercise performance, long-term supplementation results in more pronounced benefits.
The study was published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.
Cordyceps militaris is a type of mushroom commonly found in China. Much of its unsavory reputation comes from its manner of reproduction in nature. Like other species in its genus, it invades the body of small animals, usually butterfly or moth larva or pupa. It then mummifies the still-living animal and keeps it alive just long enough for it to generate a mushroom, which then spreads its spores so it can reproduce – and infect other caterpillars.
A related and just-as-interesting species, Cordyceps lloydii, invades the body of living ants and mind-controls them to climb to leaves at the top of trees. Once there, the mushroom erupts from the insect's head or body to spread its spores to the wind. This particular species is common in Costa Rica.
If this has you doubting your decision to get cordyceps supplements, don't worry. Natural cordyceps (the bug-killing kind) is rare and can be pricey, so the mushrooms that are used to produce supplements are usually grown on rice.
And that's a good thing, too, because deciding against cordyceps means you miss out on these health benefits:
Discover the uses of cordyceps in Traditional Chinese Medicine at ChineseMedicine.news.