Last Updated on January 24, 2023 by Jamie
Looking for the best mushroom supplements for your bodybuilding needs? If so, you have reached your destination. But first, let’s start with the basics.
What are Mushroom Supplements?
Mushroom supplements are exactly what they claim to be. They are said to entail various medical benefits that seem almost supernatural. From increased energy, better muscle recovery, immune support to heart health, and improved cognition, these mushroom supplements can act as a natural remedy for multiple conditions.
However, the one benefit that most people are unaware of is that these mushrooms are ideal for athletes and Bodybuilders. They increase their stamina and enable them to do more work without feeling sore.
With such benefits, it is no surprise that mushroom supplements are increasingly becoming popular. But, with so many different species, choosing the right supplement for your needs can be challenging.
But don’t worry. In this blog post, we will highlight the physical benefits of mushrooms, how they work, their recommended dosage, and their side effects to help you incorporate them successfully into your life.
The Physical Benefits of Mushroom Supplements:
Mushrooms are a major component of people’s diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the typical American consumes about three pounds of mushrooms annually.
They are excellent functional food that can boost the flavor of your meals without adding a lot of fat, calories, or sodium.
Aside from adding a gourmet touch to your food, these are some of the other physical benefits of mushroom supplements:
Less Risk of Cancer
Scientists have recently discovered that including mushrooms in your diet can reduce the risk of developing cancer.
According to this meta-analysis of several cancer studies, it was shown that consuming as little as 18 grams of mushrooms per day can reduce the risk of developing cancer by up to 45%.
The amino acid, Ergothioneine is found in mushrooms and is responsible for this. It is an antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress within the body and therefore prevents cellular damage.
However, the levels of this antioxidant can vary from mushroom to mushroom. Some common Ergothioneine-Enriched mushrooms include shiitake, oyster, maitake, and king oyster.
Less Sodium Intake
Increased sodium levels are a major contributing factor to hypertension or high blood pressure. This is because sodium makes the body retain more water, ultimately raising blood pressure. But adding mushroom supplements to your eating regime can help with this.
The sodium content of mushrooms is naturally low; a cup of white button mushrooms contains only five milligrams of sodium. They have a savoury flavour and therefore do not have to be excessively seasoned with salt.
Want to get rid of all those extra calories, cholesterol, and fat? If so, then why not try substituting your meat with some mushrooms?
According to research, mushrooms can also help lower cholesterol levels. This is because they contain substances that limit cholesterol formation, prevent cholesterol absorption, and reduce the body’s total cholesterol.
Improves Brain Health
The use of mushroom supplements for cognitive impairment is still under research, but so far, it is all good news!
According to a Singaporean study, those who consumed more than two portions of mushrooms each week had a 50% lower risk of acquiring mild cognitive impairment.
Increases Blood Flow
Cordyceps, a well-known mushroom specie, is known for its blood flow-promoting effects. In this trial, participants were given Cordyceps supplements for six weeks. And it was found that those who received the pill had a 7% increase in oxygen intake.
This higher oxygenation promotes blood flow and contributes to better performance of the Bodybuilders.
Antioxidants are vital molecules that aid the body in fighting inflammatory responses and reducing their detrimental effects. Reducing inflammation can enhance muscle recovery, particularly after exercise, and support your immune system.
Mushrooms, specifically Chaga, appear to possess a high level of these antioxidants and can help promote physical well-being, as shown in this study.
High in Fibre
Additionally, it can help Bodybuilders with their weight by promoting the feeling of satiety (the feeling of fullness). According to a study, consuming fibre is strongly correlated with losing weight.
And surprisingly, mushrooms are loaded with this nutrition. This research article illustrates the role of these fungi in promoting bowel movement through their high fibre content.
The Best Mushroom Supplements for Bodybuilding:
As stated above, filling low-calorie foods (like mushrooms) is a significant advantage for bodybuilders during their “cutting” phase. It assists them in cutting down their daily calorie level and maintaining weight.
For instance, you would need to consume nearly 4 cups of mushrooms to consume the same number of calories (58 kcal) as half a cup of potatoes. And despite this vast difference, mushrooms still provide more energy to help with the exercise and workout throughout the day.
Now that we have discussed how mushrooms can help Bodybuilders let’s talk about some of the best mushroom supplements for bodybuilding.
Maitake: (Grifola fondosa)
Maitake has long been renowned for its immune-boosting properties. Beta-1,6 glucan, a potent immunological stimulant, is present in maitake, stimulating the synthesis of white blood cells and helping the body fight diseases and infections. This promotes the physical well-being of bodybuilders and keeps them active.
Shiitake: (Lentinus edodes)
Shiitake is another prominent mushroom supplement that can assist bodybuilders. It has the potential to heal the body through its complex sugars. The polysaccharide in these mushrooms can act as an immune system booster and fight chronic fatigue syndrome. Similar to the maitake mushroom, shiitake is known to help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Herbalists generally agree that a tiny amount of Shiitake mushroom extract can significantly fasten healing and increase the vigour of bodybuilders.
Cordyceps: (Cordyceps sinensis)
When the Chinese women’s national track and field team credited their wins to Cordyceps in 1993, the word of their tonic properties and sound effects on athletic performance spread.
Today, millions of people use cordyceps supplements for their medicinal and stimulating properties.
Cordyceps supplements are highly sought-after as a supertonic that increases strength, virility, and mental clarity. In addition, Chinese medical professionals claim that it has relaxing and energizing effects and can extend lifespan.
Many Bodybuilders use Cordyceps Supplements to support and increase their muscle mass. This mushroom can stimulate Leydig cells in the testes, which facilitates the release of testosterone, a hormone essential for improving vigour, performance, and other body functions.
Reishi: (Ganoderma lucidum)
Similar to cordyceps, maitake, and shiitake mushrooms, Reishi mushrooms also contain immunologically active polysaccharides, predominantly beta-D-glucan. These are packed with antioxidant, liver-protective, and immune-stimulating compounds.
This means that Reishi supplements can support liver function and make it more effective in fulfilling your metabolic needs during an intense workout.
Chinese herbalists have also looked into the anti-fatigue potential of reishi. As shown in this study, taking an extract of reishi and ginseng during competitions can improve sleep and reduce weariness.
Do Mushroom Supplements Really Work?
Mushroom Supplements provide the same low-calorie nutrients as the related mushroom species. Additionally, their antioxidant properties can assist in preventing damage caused by oxidative stress by killing harmful free radicals.
While the Beta-glucan in them can boost the body’s immune system and inflammatory response, the probiotic fibre in these supplements further regulates the gut bacteria, resulting in better physical and mental health.
Since growing mushrooms require plenty of time and skills, people often go for mushroom supplements. Also, since functional mushrooms work best when consumed consistently, these supplements are a practical, easy and fun way to get your daily dose of essential nutrients.
Side Effects and Recommended Dosage of Mushrooms
Depending on the form and type of mushroom used, a person may require a significantly different dosage. In addition, the purpose for which you use the mushroom can also affect the dose.
The suggested dosage for mushroom supplements is often found on their label.
But regardless, it is best to consult your doctor before you start consuming any of these products.
Since, at times, supplements can interact negatively with other medications, aggravate some medical problems, and/or have unfavourable side effects. Therefore, based on your medical history, the doctor might be able to suggest alternative medicines and remedies that can lead to more effective treatment.
Potential Mushroom Side Effects:
Despite being generally safe, some users have accounted for facing these mild side effects are taking mushroom supplements.
- Upset stomach: Numerous medical disorders might contribute to stomach discomfort. Indigestion, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and celiac disease, characterized by gluten sensitivity, are a few of the usual offenders. Some mushroom supplements can also lead to stomach discomfort. It’s crucial to keep track of the triggers if you suffer mild stomach aches so your doctor can make the appropriate diagnosis. Medication and dietary changes, such as reducing the dose of these supplements, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, or using antacids, can help subside the pain.
- Nausea: A queasy or unpleasant stomach, with or without the sensation of impending vomiting, known as nausea. It can signify a wide range of illnesses, from minor and transient to severe and persistent. Usually, nausea accompanying these supplements is mild and is of no worry.
- Diarrhoea: A loose, watery, and possibly more frequent stool is known as diarrhoea. It mostly coexists with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort. Fortunately, diarrhoea after taking these supplements lasts no longer than a few days. However, suppose it persists for more than a few days or weeks. In that case, it can be a sign of another severe condition like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, or a persistent infection.
Usually, symptoms go away after the mushroom supplement is discontinued. But if they don’t go away after a week of discontinuation, it is best to consult your doctor immediately.
Do your research, consult your doctor and find the best and most reliable sources to make your purchase.