Functional mushrooms, or more precisely, functional mushroom beverages, are having a moment. Have you noticed how recently functional mushrooms are proliferating like, well, mushrooms throughout grocery and health food shop aisles? With good reason, they appear to have gotten into practically every culinary item, from coffee to snacks.
Imagine a tasty beverage that can help you achieve your wellness objectives while also being high in nutrients and bioactive substances. Mushroom drinks are exactly that. They function in several ways as food and medication, contributing to the well-deserved hype.
Beta-glucans, a soluble fiber found in mushrooms, have been demonstrated in clinical studies to have anticancer, antibacterial, anti-diabetic, and anti-hypercholesterolemic (controls cholesterol levels) effects. Mushrooms are also good for the immune system, brain, stomach, cellular health, and other systems.
Let’s look at the power of mushroom energy drinks and their incredible health benefits.
What Is A Functional Beverage?
Functional beverages are drinks made with non-traditional ingredients that promote excellent health. The following are some of the popular functional beverages:
- Functional mushroom drinks.
- Vegetable and fruit juices.
- Flavored water.
Consumers of today are well-informed about the chemicals they put into their bodies. In addition, many people are interested in natural and organic components, and they frequently drink functional beverages to get their nutrition instead of eating whole foods.
Why Are Functional Beverages Popular?
We frequently look for easy ways to keep ourselves healthy. Functional beverages like mushroom coffee and teas are increasingly gaining popularity because of this, among other things.
An innovative idea gaining popularity in today's health industry is the convenience of consuming a daily serving of nutrients in a single beverage. For instance, "drinking their greens" every morning has become popular. So you can get all the advantages of spinach and broccoli in a straightforward drink rather than eating a big plate. And now functional mushroom drinks are quickly becoming a go-to beverage.
Functional Beverages And Mushrooms
Mushrooms' flavor or texture not to your liking? You're in luck since the health benefits of these fungal ingredients in your drinks won't even be noticeable to your palate. Here are the top three ways to drink mushrooms as a functional beverage.
1. Mushroom Coffee
Fortunately, you can't just chuck a few fungi into your coffee and call it a day (because, well, that would be nasty). There are other ways to make mushroom coffee, but the most popular kind resembles standard coffee grounds. The beneficial chemicals are extracted from the mushrooms using a drying and extraction process, then blended with regular coffee.
Additionally, you can purchase mushroom coffee pods, instant mushroom coffee packets, and pre-made mushroom coffee lattes.
The benefits of mushroom coffee are the subject of numerous studies. Some of the most common claims made regarding mushroom coffee include the following:
- Improves sleep.
- Decreases stress.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Enhances the immune system.
- Assists in memory.
- Increases your energy levels.
- Soothes aching muscles.
2. Mushroom Tea
Mushroom tea is more like a supplement cum beverage. Usually, you'll purchase a powdered mushroom extract mixed with a certain kind of tea, like green tea. You can also get a mushroom-coffee blend if tea isn't your thing.
In other words, making mushroom tea is more than just purchasing fresh mushrooms and putting them in boiling water. The powders are distinct from the mushrooms at your grocery or supermarket since they are concentrated extracts rather than fresh food. You can make mushroom tea by brewing mushroom powder and water.
It can be prepared in several ways and using a selection of mushrooms. Dried mushrooms are either soaked in hot water or mixed with other teas or water to make mushroom teas.
3. Mushroom Smoothie
Mushroom smoothies can serve as a meal replacement, a quick breakfast, or a supplement later in the day. By adding mushroom powder to a smoothie, you can get all the health benefits of a healthy breakfast with the additional benefit of functional fungi. Your daily regimen may now contain antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor effects, depending on the kind of mushroom you choose. Due to their high fiber, protein, and range of vitamin content as well as their low fat and cholesterol levels, all edible mushrooms are also nutritious.
Best Mushrooms For Functional Drinks
Although more than 10,000 varieties of mushrooms are known to exist, when you look at the ingredient lists for most mushroom beverages, you'll probably notice that the same few types are used repeatedly. This is because these are a few of the most well-liked kinds.
Reishi: Ganoderma lucidum or Reishi can treat COPD, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and other disorders thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties(1).
Turkey tail: Looking to strengthen your immune system? Trametes versicolor, or Turkey tail, has some of the most significant concentrations of beta-glucans, a class of polysaccharides that modulate the immune system(2) and support an active, balanced immunological response.
Chaga: Excellent for intestinal health and used in Russia and Scandinavia to cure many malignancies; Chaga, or Inonotus obliquus, strengthens the immune system(3). It is excellent for your skin too!
Cordyceps: This parasitic fungus nourishes the immunological, endocrine, renal, neurological, and reproductive systems. They are a favorite among athletes as an addition to their protein smoothies and have even been proven to increase aerobic performance(4).
Lion's mane: Hericium erinaceus or Lion’s mane(5) is a shaggy fungus helpful in reducing mental haze, waking up from sleepiness, and setting oneself up for a day of creativity and concentration. You can prepare for a productive day at work or school with the help of a tasty smoothie bowl made with Lion's mane or coffee infused with the nootropic mushroom. It helps you overcome brain fog and prepares you for the day by promoting clarity and focus.
Adaptogens For Functional Beverage
Adaptogenic mushrooms are currently the most often used in health and wellness products. You've definitely seen it used recently by nutritionists and health bloggers, but what does the term "adaptogen" actually mean?
Consider adaptogens as follows: You know that good friend who visits your home to gripe about her horrible day, but when she learns that you're ecstatic about some fantastic news, she immediately changes her mood to join you in your joy? An adaptogen works the same way in the human body, sensing what the body requires and changing behavior to promote optimum health.
Not every type of mushroom has adaptogenic qualities. The adaptogenic mushroom species currently used most commonly are Shiitake, Chaga, Lion's mane, Reishi, Turkey tail, and Reishi. Some of the health benefits of these mushrooms that are most frequently mentioned are:
- Inflammatory-reducing qualities.
- Enhanced blood flow.
- Increased antioxidant content.
- Better immune system.
- Improved concentration and focus.
- Reduced anxiety.
- Enhanced stamina and endurance.
FAQs About Mushroom Drink
Can I Drink Mushroom Tea Every Day?
In moderation, medicinal mushroom teas are safe to have every day. However, before consuming mushroom teas, speak with your doctor if you are on drugs or have a medical problem.
Can You Drink Mushroom Coffee At Night?
While mushroom coffee has half the caffeine of regular coffee, drinking this at night may not be a great idea. If you are sensitive to caffeine, drinking mushroom coffee in the morning or day might be a good choice.
How Does Mushroom Coffee Taste?
Coffee made with mushrooms tastes a lot like regular coffee. After all, it is coffee with mixed mushroom extracts. While some of the mushrooms have an earthy flavor, the coffee's taste is not diminished by the mushrooms' earthiness.
Your body can acquire the nutrients from functional mushroom drinks to get through the most challenging days. Lion’s mane, Chaga, Turkey tail, Cordyceps, and Reishi are the best functional fungi for mushroom coffee, teas, and smoothies. And always remember to pick one from a trusted supplier to maximize its potential.
- Anti-inflammatory activities of Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi) and San-Miao-San supplements in MRL/lpr mice for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus, (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851790/
- Immunomodulatory Properties of Coriolus versicolor: The Role of Polysaccharopeptide, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5592279/
- Immunomodulatory Activity of the Water Extract from Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus(3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774877/
- Cordyceps militaris improves tolerance to high intensity exercise after acute and chronic supplementation, (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5236007/
- Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237458/