I used cordyceps last year when training for the Birmingham Half-marathon. I didn’t do it this year but I did get some from Detox Your World and wanted to try to tease out how effective this stuff was/is. Cordyceps is a Chinese mushroom that has been credited with all sorts of good effects. As Rich Roll put it in a guest post on the Tim Ferris blog:
Cordyceps (Sinensis) Extracts:
Stamina. Well-known for centuries in Chinese herbal medicine, Cordyceps sinensis is a parasitic dried fungus that grows on caterpillar larvae native to high-altitude regions of China, Nepal and Tibet. Gross, right? But awesome when it comes to health and athletic performance. Pharmacologically anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-lipid (cholesterol lowering), studies indicate enhanced immune system functionality as well as improved stamina in endurance athletes via increased aerobic capacity and oxygen utilization as well as stabilized blood sugar metabolism. Chinese Olympic Track & Field athletes have been swearing by it for decades, and I can attest to their effectiveness. Another plus? Increased sex drive and functionality. The benefits of Cordyceps are enhanced when combined with the adaptogen rhodiola
Ahah. I used this in training but with other bits and bats too. So this time I wanted to compare it with glutamine as a way to stop the aches and pains of hard training. So I tested one against the other. I know that glutamine works for me. It’s an amino acid and is supposed to help muscles recover. For me it does I don’t get the DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. With the anti-inflammatory properties of cordyceps presumably helping recovery would the effect be as good as glutamine.
Testing supplements cordyceps vs glutamine
There’s only me involved meaning the test is not rigorously scientific but it is good enough for me to decide if the cordyceps helps. So I went to a spin class two weeks apart the first time after a week of glutamine supps and the second time with cordyceps for a week. Another flaw is I had no control over the class itself, although I did work very hard and felt sick in both classes and had plenty of gasping. Safe to say I got a bit anaerobic in both classes.
There was amazingly little in the way of muscle soreness after both classes. If anything there was a little more the first time but not a lot either way. Not definitive BUT I’m pretty pleased with the cordyceps so I’d recommend it as it seems to help with muscle soreness as well as aerobic capacity. A better test of that is to come…
So how much do you have
The Detox Your World product info said a teaspoon a day. So that was my dose. I do remember from before that it tasted vile. I was having it in a smoothie, but it was still grim. I’ve tried to have it with juice, still a bit grim. I tried it down in one off a teaspoon but I didn’t get on too well with that either. The website said to try it with lemon but I didn’t like that either! So what to do?
The best way I found was to mix it in with porridge and add a little sweetener – agave or date syrup is good. This way you don’t notice the cordyceps flavour at all. It’s grim otherwise. Although the stuff from Detox Your World is better tasting than what I had before!
Using Cordyceps for a few weeks
I’ve been adding this straight into my daily porridge for a few weeks now. I don’t even notice the flavour any more! But I have noticed the difference. I am well chuffed and am just off to order some more!
I am going to write up a second post on cordyceps which will outline how I used it and the results I have got. Get some, it’s very good!