Mushrooms in your coffee? It may not be the first pairing that comes to mind when you think about coffee, but mushroom coffee is the latest trend in alternative health. And as it turns out, there may be quite a few potential benefits to adding medicinal mushrooms to your morning cup of Joe. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of mushroom coffee.

What is Mushroom Coffee and How Is It Made?

Mushroom coffee is exactly what it sounds like – a coffee drink made with mushrooms. Most blends contain ground mushrooms and coffee beans. The mushroom flavor isn’t too overpowering, and when combined with the coffee, it gives the drink a slightly nutty, smooth flavor.

Because mushroom coffee is usually touted as a health drink, it usually contains medicinal or functional mushrooms rather than culinary mushrooms, like shiitake.

When making mushroom coffee, the fruiting bodies of functional mushrooms (which contain spores) are first extracted. Next, they’re ground into a fine powder and mixed with the coffee beans. Typically, mushroom coffee has a 1:1 ratio of coffee to mushrooms.

You can find this type of coffee in instant form, pods or K-cups and ground coffee.

Mushroom coffee is prepared just like any other type of coffee. You can add milk, sugar – whatever you normally add to your coffee.

Types of Mushroom Coffee

There are many different types of mushroom coffee, but the most popular varieties include mushrooms known for their medicinal properties. These include:

Lion’s Mane Coffee

Lion’s mane mushroom coffee is one of the most popular varieties because of the benefits that lion’s mane offers.

Also known as yamabushitake or hou tou gu, lion’s mane mushrooms have culinary and medicinal purposes. Research has shown that lion’s mane can help:

Lion’s mane coffee is a popular blend because of the potential benefits it offers, and it’s commonly paired with other mushrooms to maximize the benefits.

Reishi Coffee

Iconic reishi mushrooms are known for their medicinal properties. These brown bracket mushrooms are known to help:

  • Boost the immune system
  • Promote heart health
  • Reduce cholesterol and blood pressure

Studies have also shown that regular consumption of reishi may help reduce depression and anxiety.

Reishi mushrooms are also known as adaptogens, which help the body better adapt to and handle stress.

Chaga Coffee

Chaga mushroom coffee, like reishi, can help with blood sugar regulation and even reduce inflammation. Some evidence suggests that chaga mushrooms can help fight cancer cells.

Chaga has a neutral taste that’s not too overpowering. When blended with coffee, you may not even taste them.

Turkey’s Tail Coffee

Turkey’s tail mushroom coffee has a slightly bitter and earthy flavor. The coffee beans help balance the flavor, but some people believe it’s still an acquired taste.

Turkey’s tail has a long history of use in traditional medicine. It’s believed to help improve immune function and reduce inflammation.

These mushrooms also contain prebiotics that can help improve digestion and feed the good bacteria in your gut.

Cordyceps Coffee

Cordyceps are actually a parasitic fungus, but they’re known for their health benefits. When taken regularly, these mushrooms can:

7 Mushroom Coffee Benefits – Is Mushroom Coffee Good for You?

Mushroom coffee blends often contain multiple types of mushrooms. The combination of these mushrooms and the coffee beans gives them their unique benefits. Some of the top benefits of mushroom coffee include:

1. More Energy and Endurance

The caffeine in mushroom coffee stimulates your central nervous system, giving you a boost of energy and helping you feel more alert.

When caffeine hits the brain, it stops the production of adenosine. When this happens:

  • The body can release neurotransmitters like glutamate and dopamine. These feel-good chemicals can uplift your mood and put a little pep in your step.
  • The body temporarily stops producing the chemicals that tell us it’s time to sleep.

These reactions make us feel more alert and energized.

But it’s not just the caffeine that can boost your energy levels and give you more endurance. Cordyceps mushroom powder, for example, can help improve endurance, stamina and oxygen capacity. Cordyceps can also support your recovery after a workout.

Other vitamins and nutrients in mushrooms can help support brain health.

2. Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Medicinal mushrooms are rich in antioxidants that can help fight free radicals that damage cells. Chaga, a popular mushroom used in mushroom coffee, is especially high in antioxidants.

Many mushroom varieties also have anti-inflammatory compounds, such as:

  • Carotenoids
  • Polysaccharides
  • B vitamins

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or illness, and it’s a necessary process. However, chronic inflammation can cause chronic disease and other health issues.

Adding mushroom coffee to your daily routine may help support your body’s response to inflammation.

3. Adaptogenic

Many mushrooms have adaptogenic properties. Adaptogens are believed to help the body adapt to physical and mental stress. They’re commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for these purposes.

If you’re going through a particularly stressful time, the adaptogenic properties of mushrooms may help you better cope with the stress. But be mindful of your consumption. When taking over an extended period of time, adaptogens may lose their effectiveness.

4. Lower Caffeine Levels

If you’re like many coffee drinkers, you probably consume multiple cups of coffee each day. But all of that caffeine can make you feel jittery and miserable.

One great advantage of mushroom coffee is that it doesn’t contain quite as much caffeine as regular coffee. In fact, the mushroom coffee you find in stores and online usually contains about half the caffeine of regular coffee.

With lower caffeine levels, you get the benefits of improved focus and alertness without the jitters.

If you’re sensitive to caffeine or you just want to lower your intake, mushroom coffee may be an excellent choice for you. However, it’s still essential to check the packaging for specifics on the caffeine content.

5. Helps Support the Immune System

Mushrooms are well-known for their immune-supporting effects. When mushroom coffee contains the whole mushroom (both the fruiting bodies and the mycelium), they also contain prebiotic fiber that promotes healthy gut flora.

All of the antioxidants, sterols, peptides, proteins, vitamins and minerals in mushrooms help further support the immune system.

Test tube studies have found that Turkey’s tail mushrooms and their fermented substrates have some immune-boosting effects.

6. May Promote Liver Health

Mushroom coffee can contain a variety of mushrooms, including those that help support liver health.

Reishi, for example, has properties that promote liver function and may even prevent liver disease. It can help the body flush out toxins more efficiently.

One study found that reishi may have properties that prevent liver damage. This effect is thanks to the mushroom’s antioxidant properties and ability to fight immune responses that hinder liver function.

7. May Improve Digestion

Some mushrooms contain polysaccharides like beta-glucans, which behave like prebiotics and help boost digestion.

Research has shown that beta-glucans can help:

  • Lower body weight
  • Improve glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol levels in diabetic mice
  • Improve insulin sensitivity

Prebiotics can help support the production of healthy gut bacteria, which can play a role in your digestion and immune system health.

So, if you’re looking for ways to boost your digestion or improve your gut health, mushroom coffee may help.

The Takeaway

While mushroom coffee has many reported benefits, it’s important to remember that more research is needed to support these claims. You’ll find plenty of anecdotal evidence of these benefits, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll experience them yourself.

That being said, mushroom coffee is still worth trying and adding to your daily routine. It’s an excellent way to change up your morning routine while fueling your body with antioxidants and essential nutrients. 

Curious why people drink coffee? Read our guide: Why Do People Drink Coffee: From Ritual to Habit.


Rene Emery

Rene Emery

Rene is a creative, little gnome. When she’s not diving deep into research on health and wellness, she’s spending here time out in nature, growing her homestead, photographing wildlife, doing yoga or enjoying a zen (depending on the day) moment with her fur babies. And on top of all of that, she’s a professional writer by day, helping businesses around the world grow.