Two cups of Om chaga mushroom coffee for the question, “does chaga have caffeine?
September 28, 2022

Does Chaga Have Caffeine, Natural Energy, or Unwanted Jitters?

You’ve probably seen it at your local coffee shop: a steaming mug of fragrant liquid that bears a strong resemblance to coffee. And it was probably adorned with all the usual add-ons like steamed milk or sprinkles of cinnamon, right? This energizing drink, however, is quite unlike coffee in several respects.

It’s a chaga latte. And although it may be one of the latest additions to your coffee shop menu, it’s not something entirely new. In fact, chaga was used as a common coffee substitute in some European countries during World War II when both coffee and sugar were scarce. Its pleasant, earthy flavor and slight vanilla scent made this unique beverage a replacement staple for many people during that time.

If you covet the energy-boosting effects of caffeine but could do without the jitters, you may be interested in trying this mouth-watering mushroom beverage. But you might also have some questions, like does chaga have caffeine? What happens when I drink chaga? Can it give me energy? Are there any other benefits? We’ve got the answers you’re looking for.

Understanding the Historical Significance of Chaga

While several mushrooms were used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, chaga had a wider distribution and significance throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Commonly found in nature as a tree growth resembling burnt charcoal, this parasitic fungus was harvested by indigenous people across the northern latitudes of Europe, Asia, and North America. 

Though most mushrooms are recognized by the fruiting bodies that emerge from underground mycelia, the visible phase of chaga is called a conk which contains a mass of mycelium. Its fruiting bodies grow inward beneath the bark and are, therefore, very difficult to find. Many chaga products contain only mycelial mass.

Due to its abundance of characteristic bioactive ingredients, chaga has been used for both dietary and medicinal purposes throughout history. Eastern and western healers alike have used this functional mushroom to support cardiovascular, digestive, and immune health. It’s also used topically as shampoo for healthier, fuller hair and as an anti-aging skin lotion to reduce redness.

Does Chaga Have Caffeine? Can It Give Me Energy?

Though chaga has been used historically as a coffee substitute, it actually contains no caffeine. But including it in your daily routine can provide you with more natural energy. Just a teaspoonful each day can help build and maintain long-term energy reserves. Ground chaga powder can be brewed into a tea and enhanced with all your favorite mix-ins to create an energy-supporting beverage with no unwanted jitters attached.

Unlike caffeine, which is a stimulant that provides a temporary energy boost, chaga’s action mechanism is very different. Its polysaccharides support energy throughout the day. Through animal research, scientists have determined that chaga extends endurance and improves the biomarkers of fatigue. They hypothesize that chaga supports energy pathways by increasing the uptake of glucose into the cells.

The Health and Wellness Benefits of Chaga

Besides promoting natural energy without the jitters, starting your day with chaga provides many other caffeine-free benefits. For example, chaga is the go-to choice for: 

More antioxidants in your diet

Free radicals are created in the body as a result of normal metabolism. These ions scavenge electrons from other molecules and create a domino effect that may cause damage from oxidative stress. Over time, this damage may prematurely age your body’s cells. Exposure to environmental toxins and other activities may accelerate the process.

Antioxidants are compounds that can donate an electron to neutralize a free radical. Chaga is a particularly antioxidant-rich mushroom. In fact, it has one of the highest known Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) levels. This is a measurement used to quantify the antioxidant potential of a food and how effective it is at combating free radicals. A daily dose of chaga can help your body neutralize free radicals for healthier aging.   

More adaptogens

Stress can cause fatigue and anxiousness, and chronic stress may take a toll on one’s physical and mental health. In addition to its high antioxidant content, chaga is also a potent adaptogen. These are mushrooms and botanicals that help the body adapt to stress and maintain homeostatic balance. Regular use of chaga can help you weather stressful challenges that may come your way. 

Immune system support

Chaga supports the immune system in several important ways. It contains multiple vitamins and minerals that are essential for the immune system. In addition, chaga contains bioactive polysaccharides, including beta-glucans, that stimulate and support optimal immune functioning. And its fiber content supports a healthy gut microbiome which plays a big role in any properly functioning immune system. Consuming a small amount every day is a smart, proactive approach to keeping your immune system in fighting shape.

Addressing Chaga Conservation Concerns

The growing demand for this energizing and health-supportive functional mushroom has raised sustainability concerns. The long life cycle of chaga and the fact that it’s typically collected in its pre-reproductive state from nature make it especially vulnerable to overharvesting. These concerns have inspired many mycologists to cultivate the mushroom in a more sustainable way—one that makes chaga readily available for consumption but without endangering the species.

Finding High-Quality Chaga Products

Om Mushroom prides itself on having created high-quality chaga products that provide the proper mushroom dosage needed to support a healthy, energy-rich lifestyle. Our master mycologist combines the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine with modern cultivation techniques at our state-of-the-art indoor farm here in southern California. 

You can rest assured that our chaga is free from the environmental toxins, including pesticides and heavy metals, that may be present in wild chaga sourced from China or Russia. Unlike the chaga harvested in nature that contains only pre-sporulation mycelial mass, our chaga products contain mycelium and primordia (baby fruit bodies). This blend combines both phases of the mushroom life cycle to provide all of its beneficial bioactive compounds.

Our operations comply with the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety (BRCGS), and we are the only mushroom supplier to receive the BRCGS AA Rating. This recognition indicates that our process revolves around unparalleled safety, integrity, legality, and quality, and that we are unmatched in the food and food ingredient manufacturing, processing, and packaging industries.

Om Chaga Certified Organic Mushroom Powder is a versatile blend of the whole mushroom life cycle. Just a daily teaspoonful mixed into a hot beverage or smoothie provides an energizing dose of this beneficial functional mushroom. Preparing it with hot water helps improve its bioavailability while unlocking all of the benefits of this nutritious superfood. For a quick and convenient alternative, we also offer the same full-spectrum chaga powder in capsule form.

If you prefer a caffeine-free latte that is available in multi-serving canisters or single-serving sachets, check out the Om Mushroom Morning Energy Blend. This product is specially curated to support long-term energy needs without the jitters of caffeine. With seven superfood mushrooms including chaga, vitamin D, and two botanical adaptogens, this mix has a distinct vanilla chai flavor that can keep your energy up all day long. It’s also packed with powerful antioxidants, adaptogenic potential, and potent immune-balancing properties to help you reach your health and wellness goals.


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.

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