What are the best supplements for muscle gain? Undoubtedly, proteins play a pivotal role in the muscle-building process. In addition to proteins, creatine and amino acids are essential for facilitating muscle recovery. What often goes overlooked, however, is the remarkable potential harnessed by mushrooms and functional mushroom supplements.
In this article, we will delve into the extraordinary capabilities of functional mushrooms in the context of muscle development.
Can mushrooms be one of the best supplements for muscle gain?
Mushrooms may not be the primary source of protein, as meat and beans are, but their unique properties play a crucial role in supporting muscle recovery and promoting rapid muscle growth.
Functional mushrooms stand out in this regard. These mushrooms boast specific health benefits that have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Examples include Reishi, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, and Chaga.
Also read: Buying Functional Mushrooms: Find Your Match
Mushroom supplements for muscle gain: 5 benefits
Below, we list five important benefits of functional mushrooms.
1. Possible improvement in oxygen uptake and endurance
Certain mushroom supplements, such as Cordyceps, are popular among sportsmen and athletes – and we understand that all too well. Some studies have shown that Cordyceps militaris supplements, which you can purchase in our shop, can improve oxygen uptake in the blood and delay the onset of fatigue (1).
This allows athletes to extend their training sessions, potentially leading to faster increases in muscle fibers (muscle growth), also known as muscle hypertrophy.
2. Potential stimulation of testosterone production
Some studies indicate that Cordyceps militaris supplements can stimulate testosterone production (2). In natural medicine, certain mushrooms, including Cordyceps and Reishi, are known as natural aphrodisiacs.
Testosterone promotes the growth of muscle fibers, particularly type II muscle fibers (fast muscle fibers), which are responsible for explosive strength and hypertrophy. Furthermore, testosterone directly affects protein synthesis in muscle tissue, stimulating the production of proteins in the muscles and aiding in their growth and recovery after resistance training.
3. Possible support for energy production
Some mushrooms contain nutrients that can indirectly support energy production in the body. Here are some examples:
- Cordyceps: Cordyceps extract is considered one of the best supplements for muscle gain because it contains substances that can improve oxygen uptake into cells, potentially contributing to more efficient energy metabolism.
- Reishi: Reishi is recognized as an adaptogen, which can help manage physical stress reactions, thereby assisting in maintaining internal physical balance (homeostasis), a factor beneficial for muscle recovery.
4. Possible acceleration of muscle recovery
Taking adequate rest is just as important for muscle gain as training is. Your muscles won’t grow faster if you’re in the gym 24/7. Excessive training without proper recovery can lead to fatigue, reduced performance, and an increased risk of injury.
During rest, your body repairs the microtears that form in muscle fibers during exercise, which is how your body builds muscle tissue. After an intense workout, it generates new proteins during the resting phase.
Studies show that mushroom supplements, such as Lion’s Mane, can help reduce oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress can damage muscle tissue, so reducing it can aid in muscle recovery and building.
5. Possible improvement in sleep quality
Sleep is undoubtedly a crucial component of your rest period, and inadequate sleep can lead to various health issues.
Reishi is renowned for its calming properties and is frequently used to alleviate stress and anxiety. When you can relax more effectively, you may also experience improved sleep quality, which, in turn, contributes to your muscle recovery and muscle building!
Sleep is obviously an important part of your rest period. Insufficient sleep can lead to numerous health problems.
Mushroom as a sustainable source of protein?
Mushrooms are truly remarkable, not only due to their rich nutrient content but also their potential as a sustainable source of protein. While they do contain protein, it’s not as abundant as meat or plants. Mushrooms typically contain about 2-3 grams of protein per 100 grams, while chicken offers approximately 30 grams, and beans come in at around 21 grams.
However, both animals and plants require ample sunlight, fertile soil, and protein-rich food for growth, and this is taking a toll on our planet. Mushroom-forming fungi, on the other hand, thrive indoors and can grow on lignocellulose.
What is lignocellulose? Well, it’s considered the largest renewable biomass on Earth, as stated by Wageningen University, one of the institutions researching the potential of mushrooms as a protein source. This bodes well for the future!
Important nutrients in mushrooms
In addition to protein, mushrooms are rich in a wide array of nutrients that make them an excellent choice for athletes:
- Riboflavin: Mushrooms contain riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, an essential micronutrient. Vitamin B2 plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy immune system, regulating cell growth, and managing energy levels within the body.
- Niacin: Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin B3, or niacin. Niacin can help lower LDL cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and issues like clogged arteries.
- Copper: Mushrooms are abundant in copper, an essential mineral that supports the health of your nervous and cardiovascular systems. Insufficient copper intake can lead to problems such as impaired mental development, weakened immunity, lack of energy, and fatigue.
- Polysaccharides, particularly beta-glucans: Beta-glucans are complex sugars known for their immunomodulatory properties and anti-inflammatory effects. While they may not be directly involved in muscle gain like proteins, beta-glucans can indirectly contribute to overall health, which is beneficial for physical performance and muscle recovery.
Order the best supplements for muscle gain now
MushPeak exclusively sells certified organic mushroom supplements that have undergone extensive testing. Mushrooms are often referred to as ‘nature’s cleaners,’ which is why it’s essential to only buy organic mushroom supplements. This ensures that your body receives the highest quality products available.
Supplements should not be used as a replacement for a diverse diet, a healthy lifestyle, or as a treatment for any medical condition. Keep this product out of the reach of children. If you are ill, pregnant, or in doubt, always consult with your healthcare provider. The information provided on this website is intended for general informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. While traditional Chinese medicine has a history spanning thousands of years and has been tested on numerous individuals, MushPeak does not make claims indicating the proven medicinal properties of herbs or mushrooms, in accordance with current EU legislation. Detailed information about mushrooms is available from publicly accessible sources on the Internet. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
- Hirsch K. R., Smith-Ryan A. E., Roelofs E. J., Trexler E. T., & Mock M. G. (2017). Cordyceps militaris Improves Tolerance to High-Intensity Exercise After Acute and Chronic Supplementation. Journal of dietary supplements, 14(1), 42-53. https://doi.org/10.1080/19390211.2016.1203386
- Monteyne A. J., Coelho M.O.C., et al. (2023). Vegan and Omnivorous High Protein Diets Support Comparable Daily Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis Rates and Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy in Young Adults. The Journal of Nutrition, 153(6), 1680-1695. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tjnut.2023.02.023
- Kushairi N., Phan C.W., Sabaratnam V., David P., & Naidu M. (2019). Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.). Press. Suppresses H2O2-Induced Oxidative Damage and LPS-Induced Inflammation in HT22 Hippocampal Neurons and BV2 Microglia. Antioxidants, 8(8), 261. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8080261