I’ve been adding mushroom elixirs to my morning coffee for more than a year now and I still sing its high praises every time someone asks me about these “shrooms”. Before we go any further, no, these are not “that kind” of mind-altering mushrooms that cause hallucinations. These are superfood, medicinal mushrooms that provide health benefits rather than mess with your senses…that’s just scary, don’t you think?! There are thousands of different kinds of mushrooms (and my favorite brand, Four Sigmatic has a ton of blends to choose from) but I’ll be focusing on the ones that I regularly use and love.
What are the benefits of these mushrooms?
To start off, there are three mushroom elixirs (Chaga, Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane) that I use alternately every morning, depending on what I need the most. From time to time, I use a fourth elixir (Reishi) before bed. These are pure mushrooms without added cocoa or coffee so they’re pretty concentrated, and are best mixed in with another drink.
This is my go-to 50% of the time for overall immunity. I think of it as my adult multivitamin that I take so I don’t get sick. With that nasty flu going around right now and practically everyone coughing or sneezing next to me, I’ve been resilient and haven’t caught anything. It’s like having an invisible force field everywhere I go!
Flavor: Mildly earthy. Pairs well with coffee or hot cocoa.
Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and feel more tired than energized, I know it’s time to reach for this elixir. It’s like a consistent gentle nudge vs that adrenaline pumping, fight or flight feeling from sugary energy drinks.
When I’m super tired and feel like I needed a nap mid to late afternoon, I mix the Hot Cacao Mix with Cordyceps in a cup of hot water. The warm drink provides me with enough energy to get me through the rest of the day and my workout in the early evening without yawning every hour.
Flavor: Very mild, doesn’t have a mushroom flavor at all. Pairs well with coffee or hot cocoa. The Hot Cacao Mix with coffee makes it taste like a cafe mocha!
Looming deadlines and the need to multi-task on projects that require a ton of logical and analytical thinking (I work in IT) where I need to kick up my brain into high gear calls for some Lion’s Mane. It helps me focus and concentrate on the tasks that I needed to do. I also noticed that my brain is less tired towards the end of the day.
Flavor: Mildly earthy. Pairs well with coffee or hot cocoa.
Luckily, I have no issues falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night but on rare occurrences when I do have a hard time (usually I’m out of town on a different bed and environment), I mix a packet of Reishi in hot cocoa or in hot tea with almond milk. This is so much better than melatonin because I wake up feeling refreshed, not groggy. I’ve had a bad experience with melatonin in the past where it caused me to have weird dreams.
I also drink the Hot Cacao Mix with Reishi when I’ve had a very stressful day. I feel much more relaxed and calm and ready to fall asleep!
Flavor: Very strong and bitter. Pairs well with coconut milk, nut milk and tea with sweetener to mask the bitterness. The Hot Cacao Mix doesn’t have the bitterness of the elixir so it tastes great mixed in with just hot water.
* Take note that except for the Reishi (which works almost instantaneously for me), I added these mushrooms to my coffee consistently for about a week before I felt the benefits I described above.
How do I use these mushrooms?
I primarily mix in the elixirs in my morning coffee. If I’m drinking hot coffee, the mushrooms mix in pretty easily. Since I normally drink iced cold brew (even during Winter!), I heat up about 2 tbsp of water, pour it in a glass, mix the mushroom elixir in until it dissolves, and then proceed to add ice and cold brew. It doesn’t dissolve well in cold water; I found that out the hard way when I ended up with a clumpy cup of cold brew coffee!
If you’re a non-coffee drinker you can mix it in hot cocoa, tea or warm nut milk. Or if you’re brave and don’t mind the mild earthy taste, mix it with just warm water and drink up 🙂
Which is the best one to start with?
I highly recommend the Chaga elixir to start with because it’s great for overall health and you can gauge how you feel using it before moving on to a different elixir such as the Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane or Reishi.
The Hot Cocoa Mixes are also great to start with if you want a less concentrated drink. The Mushroom Coffee Mix would be my third pick because there’s no need to brew a separate pot of coffee. I personally like my coffee strong so I only drink the Mushroom Coffee Mix when I’m traveling and have no access to good coffee. (Weak and lukewarm airplane coffee, I’m looking at you!).
Where to buy
These ‘shrooms are available online and at your local health food stores. As far as I know, you can buy these by the box but I’ve also seen them being sold in individual packets at Whole Foods and Sprouts.
Brick and Mortar:
Lazy Acres (SoCal)
Bristol Farms (SoCal)
What I’m trying next
Aside from the Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee, blends, elixirs, and hot cocoa mixes, they also have superfood blends available and I’m pretty excited to try their newest ones.
Hydration Blend – To help add hydration to my dry Wintry skin
Adaptogen Blend – To help my body adapt to everyday stress and restore its balance
Mushroom Matcha Mix – Finally another non-coffee mushroom drink to enjoy in the afternoon!
I share the mushrooms I use frequently on my Instagram stories so if you follow me there, you’ll know if these are a yay or nay for me.
Learn more about the healing benefits of mushrooms
Interested in geeking out and learning more? I’m currently deep into the founder of Four Sigmatic, Tero Isokauppila’s latest book, Healing Mushrooms. I’ve been reading about the benefits of my beloved elixir blends plus other types of mushrooms that I have yet to try! The book also has some fun recipes that I can’t wait to check out.
Read more about Four Sigmatic here and see for yourself why they’re my favorite brand.
I hope this post has been helpful!
With the wide variety of mushrooms out there, it can be daunting to pick the right one for you. Let me know in the comments below which ‘shroom you’re interested in trying out first!
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