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Tired in the Winter? Take Cordyceps Instead of Coffee

| Leestijd 5 Minuten

Are you often tired in the winter? Does it take ages to kickstart your day, leaving you yearning to retreat to bed? If so, dive into this quick read to uncover potential culprits and discover how functional mushrooms, like Cordyceps (known as the ‘energy mushroom’), could offer a remedy.

Understanding why you’re tired in the winter: 4 primary causes

tired in the winter

Curious about the reasons behind your winter weariness? Low energy levels can stem from various sources. Here are the top culprits contributing to winter fatigue:

1. Reduced daylight disrupts your body clock

As the days grow colder and shorter, it’s no wonder you feel less vibrant. Spending extended periods indoors, whether at work or home, amplifies this effect by depriving you of natural light, which can throw off your body’s internal clock.

Our bodies naturally operate on a rhythm of approximately 25 hours, rather than the standard 24-hour cycle imposed by modern schedules. Maintaining a healthy sleep routine—aiming for 7-8 hours of rest between 11pm and 7am—helps sustain daytime vitality.

As darkness descends, signaling bedtime, your body responds by increasing melatonin production, the hormone responsible for promoting sleep. Consequently, your heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure decrease as your body prepares for slumber.

With the sunrise, melatonin production halts, allowing cortisol, often dubbed the ‘stress hormone,’ to take the reins. This transition isn’t detrimental; in fact, it prompts your heart rate and blood pressure to elevate, revitalising your body.

Yet, with diminished daylight hours, your body becomes disoriented, persisting in melatonin production—the ‘sleep hormone’—even throughout the day. This persistent confusion is a primary driver of winter tiredness.

2. Vitamin D deficiency causes you to feel tired in the winter

Vitamin D is essential for converting nutrients, like carbohydrates and fats, into usable energy and regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Serotonin, crucial for mood, sleep, and emotional equilibrium, relies on adequate vitamin D levels.

Given that sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D, its scarcity in winter translates to diminished levels. Insufficient vitamin D can precipitate fatigue, despondency, and potentially, depressive or anxious states.

3. Winter inactivity and energy depletion

The dilemma of inactivity in winter poses a conundrum: does diminished energy lead to reduced activity, or vice versa? The reality is a cyclical relationship.

Sedentary habits, compounded by decreased gym visits, yield adverse effects:

  • Impaired blood circulation: Inactivity curtails blood flow, depriving muscles and organs of vital oxygen and nutrients, fostering fatigue.
  • Sluggish metabolism: Physical inertia precipitates metabolic slowdown, sapping energy reserves. Regular exercise stokes metabolism, ensuring calorie burn and weight maintenance.
  • Muscle atrophy: Disuse breeds weakness. Neglecting muscle training results in strength loss and impedes daily functionality.
  • Hormonal imbalance: Exercise orchestrates hormone production, including endorphins (the ‘happy hormones’) and cortisol. A dearth of activity disrupts this balance, fostering fatigue and mood fluctuations.

4. Disrupted sleep rhythm in winter

Winter can be cozy for some and chilly for others. If you’re someone who feels the cold deeply, remember to wrap up warmly and avoid staying out in freezing temperatures too long. When you get too cold, your body can get stressed out. This can make your muscles tense up, making it hard to fall asleep or get a good night’s rest.

Sleep is super important for your health. If you went without sleep for a whole week, you’d probably start seeing things or even get really sick. So, take care of yourself by staying warm and finding time to relax regularly.

Winter depression vs ‘just’ feeling tired in the winter

If you’re feeling tired all the time during winter, it’s a good idea to pay attention to how you’re feeling overall. Do you also feel sad or not as interested in doing things with others?

If this happens to you every winter, you might be experiencing something called the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder, which affects about one in three people in the Netherlands. If you notice these feelings, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor and maybe even a nutritionist to see if there’s something you can do to feel better.

Scientific research on the effects of Cordyceps

are you tired in the winter? Take Cordyceps

In traditional Chinese medicine, Cordyceps has been a trusted remedy for combating fatigue and various ailments for over two millennia. Recent years have witnessed a surge in scientific interest, with numerous studies exploring Cordyceps’ potential benefits, particularly in enhancing energy levels.

Unveiling the energy-boosting powers of Cordycepin in Cordyceps militaris

One notable study delved into the efficacy of Cordyceps in alleviating fatigue, using mice as subjects. The investigation centered on cordycepin, a key component found in Cordyceps militaris, and its impact on physical exhaustion.

Cordycepin boasts anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant properties, all of which play pivotal roles in bolstering energy levels. Encouragingly, the study outcomes demonstrated a significant extension in swimming endurance among mice administered cordycepin.

Furthermore, cordycepin was observed to enhance adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, the primary fuel for cellular functions and energy generation. The findings suggest that cordycepin holds promise as a viable solution for combating fatigue.

Enhanced endurance with Cordyceps

In another investigation, the efficacy of Cordyceps militaris was evaluated in a cycling endurance test involving human participants. Twenty-eight individuals, with an average age of 23, took part in a randomized, double-blind study.

Following a three-week regimen, the group receiving Cordyceps extract exhibited markedly improved endurance compared to those in the placebo group, highlighting the potential of Cordyceps in enhancing stamina.

Cordyceps capsules instead of coffee at breakfast

For many, the go-to remedy for morning energy is a steaming cup of coffee, rich in caffeine—a potent stimulant renowned for jumpstarting the central nervous system and enhancing alertness.

However, prolonged reliance on stimulants like coffee can develop health issues. Sensitivity to caffeine can trigger side effects such as jitters, heart palpitations, or sleep disturbances. Moreover, caffeine’s influence on hormones like cortisol, insulin, and estrogen can disrupt your natural sleep cycle, perpetuating a cycle of fatigue.

More energy in the winter with Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a natural alternative that offers sustained energy without the drawbacks associated with stimulants. Unlike caffeine, Cordyceps operates without causing jitters or crashes, making it a favoured choice for those seeking vitality without compromise.

Here’s why Cordyceps is gaining traction:

  • Powerhouse of polysaccharides and adenosine: Cordyceps harbours potent polysaccharides and adenosine, renowned for their energy-boosting properties, promoting endurance and vigour.
  • Adaptogenic excellence: As an adaptogen, Cordyceps aids in enhancing the body’s resilience to physical stressors, fostering a balanced stress response.
  • Smooth, consistent energy: Unlike caffeine-induced peaks and valleys, Cordyceps provides a gentle, sustained energy lift, ensuring a steady stream of vitality throughout the day.
  • Beyond energy: Cordyceps boasts additional health perks, including bolstering the immune system and enhancing respiratory function.

Feel more energised year-round with organic Cordyceps

Prioritise your well-being by embracing the natural energy-boosting prowess of organic Cordyceps supplements. MushPeak proudly offers a range of options, including 1:1 Cordyceps powder and a potent Dual Extract of Cordyceps militaris, ensuring you harness the full benefits of this remarkable fungus.

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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.


  1. Chai X., Pan M., Wang J., Feng M., Wang Y., Zhang Q., & Sun Y. (2022). Cordycepin exhibits anti-fatigue effect via activating TIGAR/SIRT1/PGC-1α signaling pathway. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 637, 127-135.
  2. Hirsch K., Smith-Ryan A., Roelofs E., Trexler E., & Mock M. (2017). Cordyceps militaris Improves Tolerance to High-Intensity Exercise After Acute and Chronic Supplementation. Journal of Dietary Supplements, (14)1, 42-53. 10.1080/19390211.2016.1203386

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