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There are many synthetic pre-workout supplements out there, but what if you’re looking to build a more natural pre-workout routine? Cordyceps are often overlooked as a performance-supporting addition to an athlete’s diet, but it’s benefits pack an undeniable punch. Whether you’re a pro athlete or an exercise enthusiast, keep reading to find out how this powerful mushroom can enhance your workout and how to integrate it into your active day.

What Are the Health Benefits of Cordyceps?

Cordyceps is a functional mushroom originating from the high mountain regions of China, as well as Bhutan, Korea, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam. It has long been used in China for its health benefits, and has become more common around the world in recent years in supplement form — typically powder or capsules. Cordyceps are thought to support exercise performance (more on that below). They are also believed to have anti-aging properties, support heart health and help fight fatigue and inflammation, among other benefits.

Why Cordyceps Are the Ultimate Natural Pre-workout Supplement

Cordyceps mushrooms are widely believed to enhance exercise performance. Many studies support this idea: A study on 20 older subjects found that taking Cordyceps capsules three times a day for 12 weeks improved both metabolic and ventilatory thresholds, which resulted in the subjects performing better on stationary bikes than those who received a placebo. A study on young adults who were given Cordyceps for 28 days showed that the subjects took longer to fatigue and experienced an increase in oxygen available to the muscles and a reduction in blood lactate. These factors improved the subjects’ endurance. 

Taking Cordyceps daily may also improve your tolerance to high-intensity exercise and decrease exercise-induced fatigue, making it a great choice if you work out regularly.

How to Integrate Cordyceps into Your Pre-workout Routine

If you’re always on the go, Cordyceps capsules are a no-brainer solution. Just take three capsules with a glass of water before a workout or competition and you’re all set. If you have a bit more time to experiment, Om Mushroom Superfoods’ Cordyceps powder and Fit powder (which blends Cordyceps with Reishi and Lion’s Mane mushrooms) are both excellent options. Both work great in all your favorite beverages — from juices to coffees and everything in between — as well as in more elaborate recipes, due to their mild and pleasant taste. Try them in soups, smoothies, yogurt and even veggie burgers. For more ideas to get you started, check out Om’s recipe collection.

Can You Take Cordyceps for Other Purposes?

Cordyceps can be used as part of exercise recovery as well, which is why it's featured in Om’s Restore blend. That said, you can definitely take Cordyceps and reap its benefits even if you don’t exercise regularly. Because Cordyceps can help support your energy levels and decrease fatigue, the supplement is great to take in the morning if your days tend to be hectic. Ditto if you’re feeling low on energy lately and you need a little help getting your mojo back. Finally, the anti-aging properties of Cordyceps make the supplement a natural fit in Om’s Beauty blend, which is a perfect choice if you need to make a good impression on regular video conference calls.

Cordyceps is a powerful performance-supporting functional mushroom, and makes a great addition to any natural pre-workout routine, among other uses. In capsule or powder form, this functional mushroom fits seamlessly into your daily life.