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Is Mushroom Coffee Good for You? 

Get the real scoop on the health claims of adding mushrooms to your morning brew

spinner image mugs of mushroom coffee with coffee beans and dried mushrooms

Tales of the miraculous health benefits of mushroom coffee have sprouted and spread on social media like fungi after a rain. Claims include: immune system boosting, inflammation reduction, cognitive enhancement, liver wellness and antioxidant support.

But, with its premium price tag, does mushroom coffee really deliver?And how does it compare to the classic favorite, regular coffee?

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What is mushroom coffee? 

Contrary to what the name suggests, mushroom coffee does not contain chunks of mushrooms floating in your morning mug. Instead, it’s usually a combination of regular coffee and ground mushrooms. 

To make mushroom coffee, medicinal mushrooms like lion’s mane, chaga, turkey tail, reishi and cordyceps are dried and extracted. The mushroom extracts are then blended into regular coffee grounds. The result is a nutty and smooth elixir that tastes like regular coffee with an earthy, nutty twist. 

And if you’re not into the brewing process, mushroom coffee comes in different forms. These include grounds, premade lattes, instant packets and even convenient pods.

Possible benefits of mushroom coffee

Mushrooms are rich in essential nutrients, says Mindy Haar, a registered dietitian and chair of interdisciplinary health sciences at the New York Institute of Technology. “They are sources of the B vitamins, potassium, selenium and copper,” she says. Some mushrooms also provide zinc and vitamin D and are good sources of fiber. 

A review of studies published in 2023 in the journal Molecules notes several benefits of medicinal mushrooms. According to the review, they have compounds that may help prevent cancer, manage diabetes, regulate the immune system, fight obesity and slow aging. 

Since mushroom coffee blends ground coffee beans with caffeine-free mushroom powder, it contains less caffeine than regular coffee. For instance, a cup of brewed coffee has 96 milligrams of caffeine. In contrast, Ryze mushroom coffee has around 48 mg of caffeine per cup. Four Sigmatic claims about 50 mg in one packet of its mushroom coffee.

Reduced caffeine levels mean less jittery feelings, especially as we age, according to Matthew Landry, a registered dietitian nutritionist and assistant professor of population health and disease prevention at the University of California Irvine. 

Additionally, caffeine acts as a diuretic. This means caffeine causes more frequent urination by eliminating water from the body. For older adults who may not drink enough water throughout the day, this can lead to dehydration, Landry says. In such cases, mushroom coffee’s lower caffeine content could be helpful.

Unfortunately, the hype around mushroom coffee has outpaced the research. Studies on mushroom coffee’s benefits and side effects are limited, according to Landry, although there are a number of studies on the health effects of mushrooms.

If you’re looking for the unique benefits of mushrooms, Haar recommends sticking to plain coffee and adding mushrooms to your diet. She suggests it’s more affordable to get mushrooms’ advantages by eating them in food form instead.

It’s unclear whether the process used to create the extract from mushrooms preserves the health benefits. But there has been some promising research on mushrooms used in food.

Here’s a look at some of the research on potential benefits of mushrooms: 

1. Reduces stress

Medicinal mushrooms have been found to have adaptogenic properties. Landry explains that adaptogens “help the body adapt to better respond to stressful situations.” 

Compounds in medicinal mushrooms can affect cortisol levels in the body, he says. Cortisol — the stress hormone — is released when the body is under stress. Mushrooms may help regulate cortisol production, which could reduce the body’s response to stress. Landry also notes the long history of mushrooms in Chinese medicine.

2. Improves memory

A 2022 study looked at mushroom consumption in older adults in the United States. Researchers found that those who ate mushrooms more often scored higher on cognitive tests. These findings suggest that regular mushroom consumption may help protect brain function.


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Coffee containing lion’s mane mushroom extracts may help with mental sharpness and memory. A 2021 laboratory study suggests that lion’s mane may increase the production of nerve growth factor. This protein plays a key role in the growth of nerve cells. But more research is needed, particularly in human trials, to draw any definitive conclusions. 

A 2023 laboratory study that was partially funded by the Australian government’s Boosting Dementia Research Initiative found that mice’s memory improved significantly when they ate lion’s mane crude extracts and Hericene A — a compound found in lion’s mane. However, further investigation is needed, especially in clinical studies involving humans.  

3. Boosts immune system 

Laboratory research from 2019 examined substances extracted from turkey tail mushrooms. The research, sponsored by a company that grows and sells mushrooms commercially, noted the mushrooms may activate the body’s immune system defense and reduce swelling. Yet again, larger studies in humans are needed before final conclusions can be drawn.

According to a 2018 laboratory study, the extract of Ganoderma lucidum — often referred to as reishi — was found to stop tumor growth and boost the immune system when given to mice with liver cancer. The study identified four pathways related to cancer treatment and immune response, and Ganoderma lucidum extract seemed to work through these pathways to suppress tumor growth and improve the immune system’s ability to fight cancer.  But once again, a similar study needs to be done in humans before conclusions can be drawn about anti-cancer properties of reishi in people.

4. Helps heart health 

Some medicinal mushrooms show promise for improving heart health. For example, research from 2022 indicates that cordyceps may help manage irregular heartbeat. 

Side effects of mushroom coffee

Because research on mushroom coffee’s side effects and benefits is limited, key questions about safe intake amounts and contraindications are left unanswered. “We do know there might be concerns with some medications that older adults take, especially for Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis,” Landry says. 

Maggie Berghoff, a functional medicine nurse practitioner in Westfield, Indiana, and author of Eat to Treat, notes that some mushrooms may thin the blood. If you’re taking anticoagulants, like warfarin or aspirin, check with your health care provider before drinking mushroom coffee. 

According to Berghoff, mushroom coffee likely boosts immune function. People taking drugs that weaken their immune system — immunosuppressants — should not consume mushroom coffee. She adds that coffee may increase blood pressure. Those taking medications to lower their blood pressure should discuss mushroom coffee with their health care provider. 

Haar points out that mushroom coffee contains high levels of oxalates. Oxalates are compounds found naturally in plants. Too much oxalate can cause problems for people with kidney issues. Anyone with kidney problems should avoid mushroom coffee, she says. 

Some people may have sensitivities or digestive issues that make mushroom coffee unsuitable, says Haar. Additionally, mushroom coffee products may use a variety of mushrooms. This means you may develop different reactions or side effects depending on the blend.

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Does mushroom coffee really deliver?

Haar says if you’re enjoying a daily cup of mushroom coffee, there’s probably no harm in it, and it may offer some benefit. But to be sure to get the health benefits of mushrooms, stick to coffee if you drink it and work different types of mushrooms into your diet.

Haar also says that the process of extracting mushrooms to make mushroom coffee removes the fiber, so you may miss out on the high fiber content you get from eating whole-food mushrooms. There’s also a chance the helpful nutrients in mushrooms may be reduced during the extraction process.

With its reduced caffeine content per cup, mushroom coffee may seem like an attractive choice if your goal is to cut back on caffeine. But Haar says to consider this: One cup of regular coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends capping daily caffeine intake at 400 mg, recent studies propose that 100 mg to 200 mg could be beneficial. This is roughly equal to one or two cups per day. 

To moderate your caffeine intake, Haar suggests consuming two cups of regular coffee per day. Any extra cups you want after that should be decaffeinated coffee instead, she says.

Landry points out the challenge of figuring out whether the effects seen in mushroom coffee come from the coffee or the added mushroom powder. 

Moderate coffee consumption alone is connected to some health benefits. These include decreased inflammation, improved heart health and better brain function. Landry suggests that mushroom coffee may provide comparable or even enhanced benefits — but there are not enough human studies on mushroom coffee to demonstrate that.

Want to try mushroom coffee?

Here are 8 things to consider:

1. Start by discussing your interest in trying mushroom coffee with your health care provider to make sure it’s safe for you. 

2. Don’t assume all mushroom coffee products are made the same. “Do your due diligence and research to ensure the product you’re drinking is not just because you saw some influencer online talking about it or it was on the shelf at your grocery store,” Berghoff says. 

3. Berghoff recommends opting for certified organic and non-GMO (genetically modified organism) coffee beans and mushroom components whenever possible to help ensure safe, high-quality ingredients.

4. Choose coffee brands that use a “dual extraction” method. This process extracts the most health-promoting substances from the mushrooms, Berghoff says. Additionally, look for “third-party testing” for quality verification, she says.

5. Pay close attention to the ingredient list. “You do not want any ‘artificial flavors’ on the ingredient label,” Berghoff warns.

6. If you’re trying to manage caffeine intake, check the caffeine content per cup, as it can vary widely between brands, Haar says.

7. Consider costs versus benefits. Landry suggests that whole mushrooms might offer better value.

8. Research where the mushroom is grown, Landry adds, because mushrooms readily absorb heavy metals and soil contaminants. Brands committed to safety will test for these substances, ensuring purity in their products.

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