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Cordyceps and Reishi for Athletic Performance and Endurance

November 2, 2023

Let’s cover the athletic performance effects of two specific medicinal mushrooms, cordyceps and reishi.

Factors affecting athletic performance

First of all, we can start with understanding what our bodies need to improve athletic performance and endurance. If you want to improve physical fitness and athletic performance, you need to increase both your cardiovascular and muscular capacity.

Cardiovascular capacity

This is also known as cardiorespiratory fitness and is essential for exercise performance. It determines the ability of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to the working muscles during physical activity. A higher cardiovascular capacity offers several benefits, including enhanced oxygen delivery to the muscles, improved energy efficiency, increased endurance, and faster recovery.

Key markers of cardiovascular capacity include:

  • Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max)
  • Heart rate response
  • Recovery heart rate
  • Time to exhaustion

Monitoring and improving these markers help assess an individual’s aerobic fitness level, guide training strategies, and track progress over time.

Muscular capacity

Muscular capacity encompasses strength and endurance, and is vital for athletic performance. It enables athletes to generate power, exhibit explosiveness, and sustain effort during physical activities.

Muscular capacity contributes to functional movement, endurance, injury prevention, strength, and body composition. Through strength training and sport-specific exercises, athletes can enhance their muscular capacity, improving performance and reducing the risk of injuries.

Cordyceps overview

Cordyceps is a type of mushroom that is used for medicinal purposes. These mushrooms are mainly found in China and have been used as herbal agents in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 1,500 years.

There are several scientific studies have shown the valuable functions of medicinal mushrooms, including:

  • Anti-cancer
  • Immune-modulating
  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fatigue

However, as mentioned above, for evaluating the athletic performance effects of cordyceps, we need to focus on cardiovascular markers and muscle improvements.

Research on cordyceps and Reishi athletic performance

Short-term consumption of a cordyceps-containing supplement improved tolerance to high-intensity exercise by increasing VO2 max. Read more:

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