Mushroom coffee is an alternative coffee blend that is gaining popularity. this concept, however, is far from new. During World War II coffee beans were not readily available and mushrooms were used as a substitute for coffee. Today ground mushrooms are mixed with coffee beans for a synergistic effect and to boost health benefits. Mushroom coffee is generally made using medicinal mushroom extract instead of culinary mushrooms like portobello. Typically, the most popular medicinal mushrooms found in alternative coffee blends are chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane and reishi.
Whether or not the taste of the mushrooms in mushroom coffee is better than the regular is a matter of personal choice; you have to try it for yourself. But one thing is clear, alternative coffee made of medicinal mushrooms is much better for your health.
For years most people considered Maxwell House and Folgers to be very good coffee (many still do) and economical. Once they had a taste of brands like Seattle’s Best and Starbucks, they decided that the newer brands were better. It did not necessarily mean that the previous types of coffee were bad, they just found something they liked more even though it was expensive.
Mushroom coffee can cost almost double the amount as regular coffee. However, that does not stop people from making the purchase because of the health benefits. It is all a matter of preference and whatever benefits or qualities you are looking for. The bottom line you get what you paid for.
- Caffeine Levels
Mushroom coffee has less caffeine. High Caffeine consumption can cause anxiety, irregular heartbeat, restlessness, tremors, and trouble sleeping. Too much caffeine is linked to migraine, headaches, and high blood pressure in some individuals. Therefore, Mushroom coffee is the way to go if you want to consume a lower amount of caffeine.
Caffeine is usually well absorbed in the body quickly with the short-term effects only lasting between 5 and 30 minutes after ingesting caffeine. These effects can include increases in things like mental alertness, physical energy, breathing and heart rate. Although they are usually short-term, some individuals may experience these symptoms for up to 12 hours. One cup of instant mushroom coffee contains about 50 mg of caffeine and one cup of instant regular coffee has 62-64 mg of caffeine. Some people will tell you that regular coffee has 80-100 mg of caffeine per cup (double the amount of mushroom coffee) however, that comparison can be misleading. The amount of caffeine will also vary depending on whether the coffee is instant or brewed. Brewed coffee usually has a higher content of caffeine than instant coffee.
When comparing caffeine levels between mushroom coffee and regular coffee there are several variables to take into consideration. Each brand or type of mushroom coffee and each brand or type of regular coffee consist of different caffeine levels.
- Digestive System
Regular coffee can contribute to indigestion and has been shown to trigger the production of a compound called hydrochloric acid. The body typically uses this acid to digest meals but every time you drink a cup of coffee it taps into its reserve and then there is not enough left to digest your food. The mushrooms that are added to regular coffee have shown to promote the production of digestive enzymes that keep the digestive system running smoothly as well as guard against inflammatory bowel disease. Therefore, mushroom coffee may counteract certain symptoms of indigestion like bloating and stomach irritation caused by drinking regular coffee.
There are studies that show mushrooms as well as the caffeine in coffee can help reduce stress. The evidence suggests that the caffeine increases the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain which helps alleviate chronic stress. It is believed that mushrooms can restore the levels of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine that reduces oxidative stress and promotes alertness without the unwanted effects of caffeine.
Cortisol is a stress hormone and mushroom coffee can help level out the amount of cortisol in our blood and saliva. The combination used to make mushroom coffee helps reduce stress and relieve unwanted side effects of regular coffee.
Both coffee and mushrooms contain active compounds with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation in the body. We cannot be certain whether or not we’ll receive all the benefits of mushrooms and coffee however, it makes sense that combining regular coffee and mushrooms to make mushroom coffee could increase or double the benefit of reducing inflammation.
According to a study conducted by the NCA, 64% of Americans currently consume coffee every day. Fruits and vegetables get all the attention when it comes to antioxidants however coffee is a powerhouse of antioxidants. We are not saying that coffee has more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables but study after study confirms that Americans consume more antioxidant properties from coffee than any other source.
Whether you drink regular coffee or mushroom coffee they are both rich sources of disease fighting antioxidants. There are far too many health benefits to name them all however, regular coffee has shown to stop headaches, improve moods and reduce the risk of various diseases and the antioxidants in mushrooms slows aging, reduces bad LDL cholesterol and boosts the immune system. By drinking mushroom coffee, you could possibly receive the benefits from both coffee and mushrooms.
- Brain Functions
There is no two ways about it, regular coffee and mushroom coffee can help improve your brain function. Most people drink coffee to get that jolt, burst of energy or to stop feeling sluggish and fuzzy. Coffee you feel more alert which sometimes causes improved memory.
It is believed that the healthy nutrients in regular coffee decrease the chances of developing disease. A few of the studies conducted showed people who consume caffeine have a lower risk of premature death. In other words, caffeinated folks seem to live longer. Mushrooms have shown to slow down the aging process and mushroom coffee likely has this same benefit.
- Type 2 Diabetes
Drink mushroom or regular coffee has shown promising results in reducing symptoms and preventing type 2 diabetes.
Coffee is known to lower the risk of developing certain cancers such as colorectal and liver cancer. Mushrooms are known as an alternative treatment to inhibit tumor growth, combat and prevent certain cancers. They are also thought to extend survival after cancer diagnosis.
Since there have not been many clinical trials that included humans and specific to mushroom coffee, we used some data on the health benefits of coffee and mushrooms individually.
In the early 1900s people began to spread myths about the negative effects of coffee such as stunting children’s growth. In the 1970s and 1980s people began to fret that coffee could cause heart attacks and in the early 2000s suggestions were made that coffee could increase the risk of certain cancers. None of these things cause people to stop drinking coffee
In 2010 the headlines changed, health publications, newspapers and scientific research stated that coffee could actually help support your overall well-being. By 2015 the USDA dietary guidelines recognize daily coffee consumption was definitely a good thing. A number of studies concluded that for most people the health perks of coffee far outweighed any potential harm. Adding mushrooms to coffee has the potential to offset the downsides of regular coffee. Mushroom coffee is the perfect way to get a smooth cup of coffee without the crash.