Understand the key similarities and differences between adaptogens and nootropics for your intended health goals.
March 09, 2022

Adaptogen & Nootropic Supplements: Key Differences & Similarities

People choose mushroom supplements for a variety of reasons and several different purposes. First, mushrooms offer low calorie, nearly fat-free nutrition. Their B vitamin and mineral content is significant. As people decrease animal protein in their diet, many substitute plant and mushroom proteins instead.

As a functional food, mushroom supplements also offer benefits beyond simple nutrition. Their prebiotic fiber promotes a healthy microbiome in the intestines which supports metabolic health. A high concentration of beta-glucan polysaccharides is also characteristic of these special fungi. Their complex carbohydrates support healthy immune functioning.

Beyond the benefits mushroom supplements have in common, some have special attributes that are unique to the individual species. Some mushrooms qualify as adaptogens, while others are classified as nootropics. These particular species can provide specific health and wellness advantages when taken regularly. Understanding their key similarities and differences will help you to decide which mushroom supplements may help you to achieve your goals.

What Are Adaptogens and Nootropics?

In a perfect world, we would get all the nutrition and health benefits necessary from our diet. But due to factors that include nutrient availability and personal preferences, some necessities are often lacking. To augment their diet, many people choose to include beneficial substances in supplement form to help them achieve their health and wellness goals. This might mean making up for an inadequacy or deficiency or adopting a proactive, preventive strategy. Adaptogens and nootropics are two such supplements.

An adaptogen is a substance that has broad application to support those who seek physical and emotional balance. The human body strives for equilibrium and has the capacity to preserve homeostasis even when challenged by internal or external factors. Adaptogens help your body to maintain that balance in the face of physical, chemical, environmental, and emotional stressors. Research continues to uncover how and why these substances help the human body maintain equilibrium. There are some indications that they are active at the cellular level.

A nootropic is a substance that can support brain health and nervous system functioning. It can promote learning and support cognitive functions such as creativity, memory, focus, and attention. It can also support nerve health. Research suggests that nootropics support neurotransmission and intracellular signaling. While some nootropics are pharmaceuticals, there are plant and mushroom supplements that provide natural cognitive support. Combining nootropics that may have synergistic effects is called ‘stacking.’

Comparing and Contrasting Adaptogens and Nootropics

Though functional mushrooms have some benefits in common, individual species may have unique attributes due to their characteristic bioactive compounds. Some mushroom supplements provide an adaptogenic benefit when consumed regularly, while others act as nootropics. A small number of mushrooms may act as both adaptogen and nootropic. Comparing and contrasting their benefits will help you to decide which species may help you to meet your wellness goals.



Primary Action

  • Reduce the effects of physical and mental stress
  • Support cognitive functions, including learning, focus, creativity, and memory

Helps Support:

  • Endocrine system
  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Supports stress relief
  • Helps to maintain a balanced mood
  • Helps to fight fatigue
  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • Neurotransmitters
  • May ease anxiousness
  • Mood support
  • May ease nervousness
  • Helps to alleviate stress

Provides Benefits for:

  • Meditation
  • Students
  • Work/life balance
  • Athletes
  • Healthy aging
  • Meditation
  • Students
  • Professional focus and attention
  • Gamers
  • Healthy aging

Mushroom Species

  • Chaga
  • Cordyceps
  • Maitake
  • Reishi
  • Shiitake
  • Lion’s Mane
  • Reishi

Finding The Right Supplement for You

The way that mushrooms are cultivated and processed influences their value as an adaptogen or nootropic. Om Mushroom Superfood controls the process from start to finish, offering the finest quality mushroom supplements. Once you have decided on the health benefits you desire, finding the right mushroom supplement will be easy. Om has a product that is right for you.

Adaptogen Supplements

For an adaptogen that promotes equilibrium balance and supports energy and endurance, look no further than Om Cordyceps Organic Mushroom Powder blend. Made from cordyceps’ mycelial biomass and fruit bodies grown at our indoor farm in Carlsbad, California, you can count on a quality product cultivated with filtered air and water in an environment free from pesticides, heavy metals, and environmental toxins. For a quick way to get your daily dose of adaptogenic cordyceps, it is also available in convenient capsules.

Nootropic Supplements

Lion’s mane supports healthy brain function as well as the growth and differentiation of nerve cells. Om Lion’s Mane Organic Mushroom Powder blend contains both fruiting body and mycelial biomass. Just one teaspoonful provides full-spectrum powder with bioactive compounds including hericenones and erinacines. The versatile powder supplement may be added to your own hot beverages, smoothies, or recipes. If you prefer, Om also has a lion’s mane capsule that offers a quick and portable way to get your daily dose of lion’s mane.

Adaptogen and Nootropic in One Mushroom Supplement

For a supplement that provides both adaptogenic and nootropic benefits in a single mushroom species, check out Om Reishi Organic Mushroom Powder blend. This mushroom powder or capsules provide the optimal reishi dosage to support the immune system and the body’s equilibrium. This particular species has a long history of support for both mind and body.

For a supplement that “stacks'' nootropics, try Om Brain Fuel Mushroom Capsules. These capsules promote mental clarity, focus, and alertness while helping to balance physical and mental stress. They are powered by lion’s mane and reishi along with the addition of folic acid.

Supporting Your Health and Wellness Goals

By considering your specific health and wellness goals, you can determine which mushroom supplement is right for you. Adaptogens support the body’s need for balance, and nootropics possess bioactive compounds that benefit the brain and nervous system. Though they work in different ways, both support the body’s stress response and enhance mood. These attributes may provide special benefits for students, athletes, gamers, busy professionals, and older adults. They are particularly sought after to support meditation. With a functional mushroom supplement from Om Mushroom Superfood, these health benefits are readily accessible to you.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Functional mushroom products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Health & Immunity Superfoods

Adaptogenic mushroom products are easy to incorporate for everyday wellness. Om Mushrooms stand out from the rest because we develop, grow, and prepare all of our products on-site. And we use and love our products too!

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