In today's fast-paced world, most of us organize our day for maximum effectiveness and productivity. And at the end of the day, we need to find a way to reduce the stress so that we can unwind, fall asleep and get ready for a new day tomorrow.
Some of us may even require a push to get out of bed the following day. That is why we might turn to mushroom supplements! But when to take mushroom supplements to get the best out of them? It's a question on everyone's mind.
The best time to take mushroom supplements depends on the functional fungi. Each medicinal mushroom has unique characteristics and therapeutic advantages that can help us determine the best time of day to enjoy it.
For instance, mushrooms like Chaga, Cordyceps, and Lion's mane are noted to have energizing qualities. These work best when taken in the morning. Likewise, Reishi is an adaptogen mushroom helping you unwind and destress before bed, making it a suitable pre-bedtime supplement.
Consuming mushroom extracts is a top strategy for assisting with daily goals, and taking it at the right time is crucial. That is why we have put together this comprehensive guide to let you in on the best time to take mushroom supplements so that you get a bang for your buck!
Best Time Of Day To Take Mushroom Supplements
Although there is no wrong or right time to take mushroom supplements, the functional fungi you choose and your intended goal will determine the optimal time to take it. Here's a breakdown of the medicinal mushroom and the optimal time of the day to take them:
Best Mushrooms For A Pre-Bedtime Ritual
Although they might not be the first thing that comes to mind as a natural sleep aid, medical experts and research tell us that medicinal mushrooms can be an excellent pre-bedtime supplement. Several varieties of mushrooms can help people fall asleep because they have properties that can regulate their nervous and hormonal systems (which regulate mood and sleep).
Here is the best medicinal mushroom to take before bed, according to both widespread traditional use and mounting scientific evidence.
Ganoderma lucidum, or Reishi mushroom (also known as the "queen of calm"), is highly prized for improving the quality of our sleep and reducing feelings of physical and mental stress. Reishi's triterpenes and beta glucans have been shown in studies(1) to have the potential to calm the nervous system, promoting a sedative quality that can help reduce stress and open the door to deep sleep.
Reishi mushroom is also the superhero of light sleep or non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The body recharges and repairs during NREM sleep which is essential for daily productivity, focus, and performance.
Ganoderma mushroom extract substantially increased non-REM sleep and total sleep time in a study(2). Transforming Growth Factor-Alpha (TGF-a), a crucial molecule in sleep control was also increased. In addition, blood, the dorsal raphe nucleus of the brain, which regulates memory and learning, and the hypothalamus, which regulates sleep-wake cycles, all showed elevated levels.
Therefore, it is safe to say that Reishi is best savored as part of an evening ritual that helps you unwind before bed and put some distance between any lingering anxiety and stress from the day.
Mushrooms To Kick Start Your Day
Some mushrooms have invigorating qualities, therefore making the best coffee companion. Here are the morning mushrooms that work optimally when taken earlier in the day.
Lion's mane mushroom
Lion's mane is used to boost cognitive function and is frequently referred to as nature's nutrient for the neurons. Hericenones and erinacines, two active components in Lion's mane, are thought to promote brain health by enhancing nerve growth factor (NGF)(3).
To support what is known as brain plasticity, NGF proteins both promote the growth of new neurons and safeguard and organize the functions of existing neurons.
There are unconfirmed reports that it can improve sleep, especially REM sleep. Although taking Lion's Mane before bed is recommended to maximize its sleep-supporting effects, it is unnecessary. To get the most out of Lion's Mane's mood- and brain-improving effects, we recommend consuming it in the morning.
Consuming Cordyceps in the morning will give your day an energizing boost. In addition, many studies indicate that the Himalayan fungus promotes sleep by enhancing cellular function. We refer to Cordyceps as a "deep energy awakener."
After periods of strenuous physical activity and exhaustion, cordyceps has long been prized for its ability to help create adaptive energy reserves. Since then, science has supported traditional wisdom by researching(4) Cordyceps and its capacity to aid in producing mitochondrial ATP.
Our bodies use ATP as the unit of currency for energy. It fuels our muscles and keeps us on the move. By increasing our mitochondria's ability to produce ATP, Cordyceps is the ideal mushroom to start your day with or take before working out because it increases our likelihood of experiencing steady energy levels.
Turkey tail mushroom
Trametes versicolor or Turkey tail is another mushroom that is best consumed in the morning due to its potent immune-supporting properties and prebiotic status. Numerous human clinical trials(5) involving beta glucans, Polysaccharide Krestin (PSK), and Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP) in Turkey tail have shown that they can stimulate the immune system to defend against viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.
Turkey Tail also has an impressive array(6) of phenol and flavonoid antioxidants that have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory response, in addition to being a well-known prebiotic that supports a healthy microbiome.
Inonotus obliques or Chaga mushrooms make an excellent morning recharger, as it is rich in antioxidants that can fuel the day. Chaga is rich in the anti-aging enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD). Due to its ability to neutralize free radicals and thereby prevent oxidative damage to cells and tissues, SOD is crucial for energy production and longevity.
What Are The Benefits Of Mushroom Supplements?
Mushrooms are a potent source of nutrients. They make up for the low cholesterol, high calorie, and sodium content with beneficial nutrients like minerals, proteins, fibers, and bioactive compounds.
1. Support for the immune system
Medicinal mushrooms may help modulate the immune system and have cancer-fighting properties. For instance, two polysaccharides extracted and isolated from Turkey tail mushrooms(7); PSP and PSK, stimulate the immune system to produce more cancer-fighting cells.
Likewise, Chaga contains beta glucans, down-regulating an overactive immune system while boosting an underactive one.
2. Anti-inflammatory effects
Several mushrooms are known to possess inflammation-fighting abilities. For example, beta-glucans, isolated from Reishi(8), Chaga, and Turkey tail, inhibit proinflammatory proteins and guard against DNA damage during inflammation.
3. Protection against diabetes and high blood pressure
Functional fungi are known to help fight these two common chronic conditions.
For instance, the anti-diabetic effect of Lion's mane(9) has been researched, and results have shown that the mushroom lowered blood sugar levels and raised insulin levels.
Likewise, Maitake(10) is known to lower blood pressure levels. They are a natural yet safe way to effectively combat the progressive rise in blood pressure that accompanies aging.
4. Help with anxiety and depression
Some types of mushrooms help treat mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. For example, Reishi(11) is an adaptogen fungus that helps the body respond to stress better. Studies have shown that the mushroom compounds improve fatigue, symptoms of emotional disturbances, and irritability.
Should You Take Mushroom Supplements On An Empty Stomach?
You can take mushroom supplements on an empty stomach. However, it may cause digestive issues for some people. If you experience any side effects, try incorporating the supplements around mealtime.
How Long Does It Take For Mushroom Supplements To Work?
The effects of functional mushrooms don't start to take effect for at least two weeks. So you need to be patient when using medicinal mushrooms because there are no immediate results.
Can Mushroom Supplements Make You Tired?
Mushrooms supplements do not make you tired. Instead, functional fungi like Cordyceps, Lon's mane, and Chaga work to improve cellular energy and vitality.
The best time to take mushroom supplements depends on the effects you are trying to achieve. For example, Lion's mane, Chaga, Cordyceps, and Turkey tail are best taken in the morning for improved energy levels. Likewise, if you need help unwinding, taking Reishi before bed may help.
It is also crucial to remember that consistency is essential when working with medicinal mushrooms. A small dose taken over an extended period is when the real magic happens, and the accumulated benefits become apparent.
- [Sleep-promoting effects of Ganoderma extracts in rats: comparison between long-term and acute administrations], (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3255119/
- Extract of Ganoderma lucidum prolongs sleep time in rats, (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22207209/
- Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/
- Enhancement of ATP generation capacity, antioxidant activity and immunomodulatory activities by Chinese Yang and Yin tonifying herbs, (4)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1749-8546-2-3
- Immunomodulatory Properties of Coriolus versicolor: The Role of Polysaccharopeptide, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5592279/
- Flavonoids, Inflammation and Immune System, (6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5084045/
- PSP activates monocytes in resting human peripheral blood mononuclear cells: immunomodulatory implications for cancer treatment, (7)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23497877/
- Safety and tolerability of an antiasthma herbal Formula (ASHMI) in adult subjects with asthma: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation phase I study, (8)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19586409/
- Antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic activities of aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus in experimental diabetic rats, (9)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3852124/
- Maitake Mushroom Extracts Ameliorate Progressive Hypertension and Other Chronic Metabolic Perturbations in Aging Female Rats, (10)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2887057/
- A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia, (11)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15857210/