The wellness world can be a strange place sometimes, and it’s often hard to tell whether some of the allegedly beneficial trends are — well— beneficial. Before getting sucked into the next health fad, spending unnecessary amounts of money on fancy products, it’s important to understand the facts.
When we first heard about “mushroom coffee,” we knew it was time to investigate. Is this really something we should be drinking — and if so, why? Or is just another way to spend a lot of money in hopes that the purported benefits will take hold, no matter if science suggests otherwise?
If you’ve been wondering about mushroom coffee yourself, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll break down just what it is, why it’s believed to be beneficial and (most importantly) whether or not it’s worth all the fuss.
What Is Mushroom Coffee?
Unsurprisingly — and some might say, unfortunately — mushroom coffee is exactly what it sounds like: Coffee with mushrooms in it. Before you dismiss it altogether though, the coffee doesn’t taste like mushrooms; it just contains powdered medicinal mushrooms.
If you’re scratching your head, we’re in the same boat. It does sound wacky, and to be quite honest, it kind of is. And while it may seem too-easy to balk at it and dismiss it as “just another wellness trend,” the practice of using mushrooms for their health benefits is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around for quite a while. According to Mind Body Green, the same mushrooms that are now being mixed into your morning cup of joe, “have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.”
Does Mushroom Coffee Really Work?
Despite all the claims about mushroom coffee’s multiple benefits, there is yet to be any concrete evidence to back up the claims. With no controlled trials on humans to back up the alleged benefits, it’s hard to say whether mushroom coffee lives up to the hype.
Regardless of the mushrooms, Four Sigmatic (a popular mushroom coffee brand), highlights the fact that the trendy drink has half the caffeine of a normal coffee. In theory, this could be beneficial to people who already drink too much caffeine or experience anxiety, but it doesn’t seem worth the high price tag when you could just opt for decaf or herbal tea instead.
Until there is more evidence to support the bold claims being made about mushroom coffees almost-magical effects, it’s probably better to spend your money elsewhere. Though mushroom coffee does provide some value from antioxidants, it’s generally agreed upon that getting them from whole foods sources is a better way to go. With one bag of coffee costing around four times as much as regular beans, it’s probably not the cheapest (or tastiest) way to get the claimed benefits.