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Medicinal Mushrooms Boost Athletic Performance

HB_0814_Mushroom_GanodermaLucidumResearch from Italy’s Pavia University found two medicinal mushroom species—cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) and reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)—significantly increase race performance and recovery times among competitive cyclists.

The researchers studied seven male cyclists that had competitively raced for more than 10 years. For one month they were given placebo supplements, after which the researchers tested their performance and recovery during races and workouts. Then, for the next three months they tested the cyclists that were using daily medicinal mushroom supplementation. The researchers found the mushrooms significantly increased performance and recovery in both workouts and races compared with the placebo period.

The two types of mushrooms both boosted testosterone levels and reduced post-workout cortisol levels. The mushroom supplementation also increased their antioxidant status, reducing their risk of exhaustion.

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