Mushrooms aren’t the new caffeine


Mushrooms are trending in the health space, and companies like MUD\WTR and Four Sigmatic are capitalizing on that by offering mushroom-based coffee alternatives.

They claim their products boost focus, memory, productivity, and mood through herbs, spices, and powdered mushrooms like lion’s mane and reishi instead of caffeine.


Omon Isikhuemhen, Ph.D., professor of mushroom science and fungal biotechnology at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, has heard anecdotally that mushroom elixirs give people energy, but that could be the placebo effect.

One study showed that when adults with mild cognitive impairment took powdered lion’s mane pills for 16 weeks, their cognitive scores improved (and dropped again once they stopped taking it). And exotic mushrooms do have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. But no research links them to better brain function or concentration in young, healthy people, Isikhuemhen says.


Until there's more research to support these products, coffee and black tea should still be your go-to beverages for energy and productivity.