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< class="article__title title cordyceps-for-energy-does-cordyceps-improve-your-energy"> Cordyceps For Energy: Does Cordyceps Improve Your Energy?>
Cordyceps For Energy: Does Cordyceps Improve Your Energy?
Aug 19, 22
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

Cordyceps For Energy: Does Cordyceps Improve Your Energy?

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    A rising star in the holistic health field, Dr. Sony Sherpa has been studying medicinal mushrooms for more than 7 years. Although she started writing on Nature’s Rise one year ago, her knowledge of medicinal mushrooms is backed by a master's degree in Holistic Medicine.

  • |
  • 16 min read
Cordyceps For Energy: Does Cordyceps Improve Your Energy?

Too many doughnuts, a stressful day at work, or an occasional sleepless night can take a toll on our bodies. But if you're constantly feeling drained, it's time to recharge and rejuvenate.To fix the energy dip you are currently experiencing, you can take advantage of the health benefits of cordyceps products!

Research has shown that Cordyceps may replenish energy at the cellular level. The Cordyceps energy support catapulted the fungus to fame many years ago.

Below we will uncover cordyceps energy benefits. We will also answer some of your frequently asked questions!

What Do We Know About Cordyceps Mushroom For Energy?

Cordyceps is available in two different subspecies: cordyceps Sinensis and cordyceps Militaris

Cordyceps Sinensis is a wild mushroom species in the Himalayan region's higher altitude. It is a parasitic fungus that colonizes the larvae of moths until their inner body fills with mycelium. 

Today, however, we no longer have to go hunting for cordyceps in the Himalayas due to advancements in science. Instead, Cordyceps Militaris is a mushroom cultivated commercially via indoor labs and is readily available and more affordable.

This functional mushroom has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine as a tonic. It has several health benefits, including support for energy and endurance. This is one of the reasons people use a cordyceps pre-workout

The cordyceps mushroom caught the world's attention back in 1993. The Chinese Olympics female running team broke several records that caused much curiosity. They were suspected of using performance-enhancing steroids. However, the drug test reflected zero steroids, leaving everyone puzzled. 

Their coach revealed the team had been taking doses of "cordyceps" at his request after each training session. This brought Cordyceps Sinensis and Militaris to the forefront of alternative medicine, especially in generating power during workouts.

Even today, Cordyceps mushrooms are very popular among athletes as it aids in overcoming their general weakness and enhancing their performance. The fungus also acts as a tonic for physical stamina and endurance.

Cordyceps Sinensis increases the availability of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a primary energy-carrying molecule in our cells. Cordyceps mushrooms also play an essential role in supplying oxygen to the muscles, which then use this oxygen to produce energy. 

Now let's look at what the science says about Cordyceps' ability to enhance energy. Below, we will examine the specific energy benefits people gain when using cordyceps supplements to boost their energy. 

1. Enhancing Physical Energy

Enhancing Physical Energy

Research has analyzed the effect of cordyceps supplements on physical energy. One such study was conducted more than a decade ago, in 2010, while the other was completed in 2020. Below, we will review these studies to understand how cordyceps supplementation boosts our energy levels. 

The 2010 Study

Researchers evaluated the effect of Cordyceps Sinensis on exercise performance in healthy older adults in this 2010 study(1). Twenty people aged 50 to 75 years were given either the mushroom (in the form of dietary supplements) or a placebo capsule thrice daily for 12 weeks. 

Based on the results of various physical examinations and laboratory tests, researchers suggested that Cordyceps improves exercise performance and may contribute to healthy older people's wellness

Read More: Learn how combining cordyceps and Lion's mane boosts people's wellness. 

The 2020 Study

Researchers assessed the beneficial effect of Cordyceps Militaris on exercise performance in this 2020 study(2). This study used an animal (mouse) to test the impact of cordyceps supplementation on energy levels. The mushroom alcohol extract containing 2.33mg/g of cordycepin (the key bioactive compound in cordyceps) was given to the mouse.

The grip strength test was evaluated for 12 weeks. In addition, biochemical analysis for lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatine was also performed. These are biomarkers for elucidating the mechanism of improving exercise performance.

Read More: See the role of cordyceps in traditional Chinese medicine

Results of the study demonstrated that administration of Cordyceps extracts enhances exercise performance by upregulating the ATP generation pathway. The conclusions drawn from the study suggest that cordyceps extract can boost athletic performance during heavy workouts. 

2. Increases Endurance

In another animal-based study(3), researchers analyzed the impact of polysaccharides from Cordyceps on fatigue based on a swimming endurance experiment. Cordyceps was administered for 21 days, and several parameters like body weight, tissue oxygen levels, blood lactic acid, and urea nitrogen were determined.

Results showed that polysaccharides from Cordyceps extended mice's swimming endurance time, increased liver and muscle glycogen storage, and inhibited lactic acid production. These factors help reduce muscle fatigue during exercise.

The results suggested that polysaccharides from Cordyceps had significant anti-fatigue effects on mice. The mushroom right cordyceps dosage may have similar effects on humans too. 

3. Enhances Oxygen Uptake

A study on young adults(4) examined the improvement in tolerance to high-intensity exercise after short- and long-term supplementation with Cordyceps Militaris. In this 2016 study, 28 people received the mushroom.

The increased time to exhaustion (endurance) extended after a week's usage. Likewise, an increase in the ventilatory threshold and improvements in maximum oxygen consumption were observed after three weeks of supplementation.

Read More: See how cordyceps improves lung health to boost oxygen consumption. 

Researchers concluded that acute supplementation with a Cordyceps militaris may improve tolerance to high-intensity exercise. However, the mushroom elicits more significant benefits with consistent chronic supplementation.

4. Improves Post-Workout Recovery

In this mouse-based(5) study, supplementation with Cordyceps had a more significant impact on exercise endurance and accelerated recovery from fatigue than cereal alone. 

In addition, the mushroom-supplemented mice showed more robust metabolic parameters and increased elimination of lactic acid from their cells after exercise. This could mean that Cordyceps has the potential as a fatigue-fighting functional food.

How Other Health Benefits Of Cordyceps Impact Your Energy

How Other Health Benefits Of Cordyceps Impact Your Energy

Above, we have looked at how Cordyceps impacts your energy levels directly. However, what if we told you that this is not all that Cordyceps can do for you? 

Let us look at how other health benefits of Cordyceps can offer you a significant improvement in your energy levels: 

1. Cordyceps Boosts Testosterone Levels In Men

Human and animal research has shown that testosterone is one of the most vital hormones for males. The absence of this hormone often leaves men without enough energy. Conversely, when you have high testosterone levels, it benefits both mental and physical energy levels. 

The body enjoys:

  • Stronger bones 
  • Improved mood 
  • Muscle growth 
  • Better fat distribution 
  • Increased strength 
  • Higher libido 

Knowing this, it is no surprise why a reduced testosterone level in men above 40 often leads to reduced energy. Reduced energy due to low testosterone levels tends to show up in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Reduced endurance 
  • Fatigue 
  • Reduced physical performance 
  • Cognitive dysfunction 
  • Reduced motivation 

Research has confirmed that a boost in testosterone increases energy levels in men. For example, a research study conducted in 2019(6) demonstrated that men taking prescription testosterone reported increased energy levels. 

If you are experiencing low energy levels due to decreased testosterone levels, then you are in luck. Research has confirmed the Cordyceps testosterone benefits

A research study performed in 2017(7) determined that cordyceps enhance male reproduction by increasing testosterone production. Yet another research study, last updated in 2022(8), determined that adding the mycelium of cordyceps at a rate of 1% to 5% in the diet of lab rats increased their levels of circulating testosterone after six weeks of supplementation.  

Read More: See how cordyceps boosts libido by increasing testosterone levels. 

2. The Traditional Chinese Medicine Fights Diabetes

Diabetes has a significant impact on energy levels.  Diabetes primarily affects how the body utilizes glucose for energy. Since glucose is the primary compound that provides power in the body, unregulated glucose uptake often leaves diabetic people without enough energy. 

Low energy levels in diabetic people are caused by hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar levels, while hyperglycemia is high blood glucose levels. 

Luckily for people with diabetes, taking Cordyceps can help with diabetes treatment. 

Several research studies have confirmed the anti-diabetic effects of cordyceps. For example, a research study published in 2014(9) showed that the mushroom could help the human body maintain the proper blood sugar levels—it can support people with diabetes, helping them avoid high blood glucose levels. 

Another research study published in 2022(10) showed that the mushroom improves insulin resistance, helping people with diabetes respond better to insulin therapy. 

Read More: See if there are any cordyceps dangers when using this functional mushroom and anti-diabetic medications. 

3. Cordyceps Mushrooms Fight Cancer

While most people may not know this, cancer negatively affects energy levels. In most cases, cancer patients end up exhausted—often a result of the tumor itself or the treatment. 

While modern cancer treatment aims to damage and kill cancer cells, it may damage healthy cells. This often results in fatigue as the body repairs damaged cells. 

However, people with cancer can benefit from the cordyceps effects on the disease—cordyceps helps with cancer treatment. Several research studies have shown that the mushroom benefits various tumors, including liver, skin, lung, and colon cancer. 

For example, a research study conducted in 2015(11) demonstrated Cordyceps' ability to reduce the growth of lung cancer cells. Another research study(12) in the same year showed the benefits of cordyceps on colon cancer cells—it induced cellular arrest and mitochondrial apoptosis in the cancer cells. 

The mushroom helps tackle the side effects of modern cancer treatment options and simultaneously induces cancer cell death without harming healthy cells. This can reduce fatigue and raise energy levels in cancer patients. 

4. Cordyceps Militaris Fights Inflammation

A research study conducted in 2018(13) showed that inflammation is why some people experience persistent fatigue. In addition, a study conducted one year earlier(14), in 2017, also showed that inflammation is a leading cause of human fatigue. 

Cordyceps fight inflammation. According to studies, specific proteins that cause the body to inflame are repressed when cordyceps are present in human cells. 

For example, a research article published in the National Library of Medicine(15) confirmed that the mushroom could be used as a medication for treating inflammation due to the effects of cordycepin on proteins responsible for inflammation. 

Since cordyceps can fight inflammation, it can effectively boost energy levels in people with inflammatory conditions. 

5. Cordyceps Sinensis Promotes Deep Sleep

Lack of enough sleep is known to cause fatigue. The physiological condition known as weariness is caused by either not getting enough sleep or interference with the sleep-wake cycle.

For example, that could happen with shift work or traveling to a different time zone. In addition, impaired hand-eye coordination caused by being awake for 24 hours is comparable to having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.1.

While most people would love to enjoy enough sleep every night, insomnia often leaves them unable to enjoy the right amount of sleep. This problem, however, can be solved by taking Cordyceps before bed

A research study conducted in 2013(16) showed that cordycepin—one of the bioactive ingredients in cordyceps—increased Non-rapid eye movement sleep in rats. A research study conducted in 2021(17) determined that cordyceps treats sleep problems (insomnia) in people with depression symptoms. 

These studies suggest that cordyceps can help you sleep better. Due to the supplemental anti-fatigue effects of enjoying better sleep, the dietary supplement will improve your energy levels. 

FAQs About Cordyceps For Energy

Is Cordyceps A Stimulant?

Cordyceps is often touted as a natural energy booster that can act as a mild stimulant. However, if you are worried about losing sleep if you take cordyceps at night, you shouldn't be. The mushroom promotes better sleep. 

What Does Cordyceps Do For You?

Cordyceps has many beneficial effects on the body, including its ability to fight inflammation, cancer, and heart diseases.

Why Does Cordyceps Give You Energy?

Cordyceps can enhance the production of energy molecules called ATP at cellular levels, giving you energy.

What Is The Best Time Of Day To Take Cordyceps?

Cordyceps boosts energy and can act as a performance enhancer. Therefore, the best time to take cordyceps is in the morning, particularly before working out.

Key Takeaways

Whether you are trying to sustain a long day at work or looking for endurance at the gym, Cordyceps can help you achieve that. If the energy-promoting benefits of the mushroom sound like something you need in your life, try using Cordyceps for energy!

The mushroom is available in various forms. You can grab a cordyceps powder, take a cordyceps capsule, or use its tincture. There are no limitations when using this mushroom to boost your energy levels. 

Have you used cordyceps for energy before? We would love to hear about your experience. Leave a comment sharing this experience. 

We Would Love To Hear Your Comments Leave A Comment


  1. Effect of Cs-4® (Cordyceps sinensis) on Exercise Performance in Healthy Older Subjects: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial, (1)
  2. Beneficial Effect of Cordyceps militaris on Exercise Performance via Promoting Cellular Energy Production, (2)
  3. Impact of polysaccharides from Cordyceps on anti-fatigue in mice, (3)
  4. Cordyceps militaris Improves Tolerance to High-Intensity Exercise After Acute and Chronic Supplementation, (4)
  5. Evaluation of anti-fatigue property of the extruded product of cereal grains mixed with Cordyceps militaris on mice, (5)
  6. Sex, Energy, Well-Being and Low Testosterone: An Exploratory Survey of U.S. Men's Experiences on Prescription Testosterone, (6)
  7. Functional study of Cordyceps sinensis and cordycepin in male reproduction: A review, (7)
  8. Cordyceps, (8)
  9. Studies on the Antidiabetic Activities of Cordyceps militaris Extract in Diet-Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Sprague-Dawley Rats, (9)
  10. Cordyceps inhibits ceramide biosynthesis and improves insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis, (10)
  11. Cordyceps militaris (L.) Link Fruiting Body Reduces the Growth of a Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cell Line by Increasing Cellular Levels of p53 and p21, (11)
  12. Anti-cancer effect of Cordyceps militaris in human colorectal carcinoma RKO cells via cell cycle arrest and mitochondrial apoptosis, (12)
  13. The High Costs of Low-Grade Inflammation: Persistent Fatigue as a Consequence of Reduced Cellular-Energy Availability and Non-adaptive Energy Expenditure, (13) 
  14. Role of Inflammation in Human Fatigue: Relevance of Multidimensional Assessments and Potential Neuronal Mechanisms, (14)
  15. Anti-inflammatory effects of Cordyceps mycelium (Paecilomyces hepiali, CBG-CS-2) in Raw264.7 murine macrophages, (15)
  16. Cordycepin Increases Nonrapid Eye Movement Sleep via Adenosine Receptors in Rats, (16)
  17. Efficacy and Safety of Cordyceps militaris as an Adjuvant to Duloxetine in the Treatment of Insomnia in Patients With Depression: A 6-Week Double- Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial, (17)

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