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How Medicinal Mushrooms Can Help Maximize Your Mileage

Mushrooms have been a staple in traditional Chinese medicine for at least 5000 years [15]. Eastern medicine uses at least 272 different species of mushrooms [13] for purposes such as treating cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, the common cold, hypertension, heart disease, infection, obesity, and many more illnesses and diseases. Those fortunate enough also used mushrooms recreationally – and not just the magical ones! While even psilocybin (active ingredient in magic ‘shrooms) can be used below pharmaceutical levels for improved cognition, several other species confer physiological benefit. A special blend of mushrooms contained in PerformElite, called Peak O2, contains 6 different types of mushrooms with known physiological benefits for athletes.

Cordyceps Militaris

mushrooms improve endurance performance

Cordyceps Militaris is the primary mushroom in the Peak O2 blend found in PerformElite. There are two popular types of cordyceps mushrooms, Sinensis and Militaris. The two are not equals, however. Cordyceps Militaris is far superior to Cordyceps Sinensis. In fact in 2007, taxonomists reclassified Sinensis into an entirely different family of mushrooms. This is to say that, as far as biologists are concerned, Sinensis is more like a second cousin of Militaris than it is a brother or sister, and their differences are pretty pronounced. First of all, Militaris contains significantly more bioactive nutrients than Sinensis [16]. The existing data on Sinensis have found no benefit to endurance [22] or high-intensity exercise [7, 24]. Militaris has demonstrated several effects that improve performance including, but not limited to, increasing vasodilation and blood flow to increase nutrient delivery and metabolite clearance, enhancing oxygen utilization, and improving metabolic efficiency [4, 9, 20, 27, 28]. A recently published study in the Journal of Dietary Supplements found Cordyceps Militaris to increase VO2Max, lactate threshold, and time to exhaustion [11]. In this study, participants were tested after 1 and 3 weeks of supplementation and compared to placebo. Even after 1 week, Cordyceps Militaris improved time to exhaustion by 28 seconds. However at 3 weeks, performance was improved by 70 seconds! This is one reason why it is suggested to use PerformElite regularly.

Ganoderma Lucidum

mushrooms improve endurance performance

Otherwise known as Reishi or the “supernatural” mushroom, Ganoderma Lucidum is one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide. Reishi mushrooms are well-known for their antioxidant activity [3]. It is so robust that it can protect DNA [19], improve mitochondrial function [3, 25], and increase ATP production [17]. Each of these points are invaluable to athletes because nothing can be achieved without DNA, the mitochondria are the sites where ATP is produced, and ATP is the body’s major energy source! If that impresses you, take a deep breath. Supplementation with a Reishi mushroom extract improved swimming time to exhaustion by an astounding 10 minutes! Even more stunning is that occurred with a simultaneous reduced reliance on muscle and liver glycogen, resulting in lower lactate levels, and increased reliance on fat as fuel [26]!

Pleurotus Eryngii

mushrooms improve endurance performance

Pleurotus Eryngii’s easy name is King Trumpet. King Trumpet mushrooms have high concentrations of the antioxidant L-ergothioneine [6]. L-ergothioneine is an interesting antioxidant, as the body does not produce any on its own. However, it still has dedicated cellular transporters, which suggests it has significant biological relevance [10]. It appears that L-ergothioneine is particularly important during periods of high stress [2], such as exercise. Have you ever become sick following a really tough workout or a few days of hard workouts? One negative aspect of exercise is it can hamper the immune system. King Trumpet can completely block the negative effects of exercise on the immune system. Supplementation with an extract of King Trumpet mushrooms prevented a 28% decrease in immune function in elite athletes [1]. This is especially important because elite athletes are going to have the greatest adaptation to exercise and be the most resistant to a compromised immunity.

Lentinula Edodes

mushrooms improve endurance performance

Otherwise known as Shiitake, this mushroom is the second most common mushroom in the world. It shares a few functions with King Trumpet as an immune booster and antioxidant. Shiitake mushrooms have also been heavily researched as an anti-cancer food [8]. While King Trumpet improves immune function, Shiitake mushrooms actually act as anti-microbial [5] and anti-viral [23], preventing illnesses at the source. Perfect for endurance athletes that are outside running in the elements and bumping shoulders with herds at the starting line!

Hericium Erinaceus

mushrooms improve endurance performance

The Lion’s Mane mushroom. It actually looks like a Lion’s mane! The ancient Greeks and Romans used to eat lion hearts for courage – this is kind of the same thing. Kind of. Lion’s mane is a supplement that primarily improves functioning of the nervous system. One phytochemical found in Lion’s Mane mushrooms, amycenone, is a nootropic [12]. Nootropics are a class of supplements that improve cognitive function. This is a wide range of categories including reaction time, processing speed, memory, and more. Stimulating the release of nerve growth factor is another function of Lion’s Mane [18], and that means greater protection of nerves from damage (such as with injury, even smaller ones), improvement of motor skills, and perhaps recovery from injury.

Trametes Versicolor

mushrooms improve endurance performance

Or more simply, Turkey Tail. Despite looking like a stability ball, turkeys can actually get going pretty fast at 25 mph, so any crazy Roman magic is welcome here too. This mushroom gets the name Versicolor due to varying color patterns. The most common of which looks just like a turkey tail. The mushroom contains two active carbohydrate components, called polysaccharide Kurcha and polysaccharide-protein complex. These two nutrients increase white blood cell and immunoglobulin count [21] and reduce levels of inflammatory cytokines [14].

Ready to feel how the mushrooms found in the Peak O2 blend  In PerformElite can help you dominate your next workout or race?  Crush the link below:

 

 

 References:

  1. Bobovcak M, Kuniakova R, Gabriz J, Majtan J: Effect of Pleuran (beta-glucan from Pleurotus ostreatus) supplementation on cellular immune response after intensive exercise in elite athletes. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2010, 35:755-762.
  2. Cheah IK, Tang RM, Yew TS, Lim KH, Halliwell B: Administration of Pure Ergothioneine to Healthy Human Subjects: Uptake, Metabolism, and Effects on Biomarkers of Oxidative Damage and Inflammation. Antioxid Redox Signal 2017, 26:193-206.
  3. Cherian E, Sudheesh NP, Janardhanan KK, Patani G: Free-radical scavenging and mitochondrial antioxidant activities of Reishi-Ganoderma lucidum (Curt: Fr) P. Karst and Arogyapacha-Trichopus zeylanicus Gaertn extracts. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol 2009, 20:289-307.
  4. Chiou WF, Chang PC, Chou CJ, Chen CF: Protein constituent contributes to the hypotensive and vasorelaxant activities of Cordyceps sinensis. Life Sci 2000, 66:1369-1376.
  5. Ciric L, Tymon A, Zaura E, Lingstrom P, Stauder M, Papetti A, Signoretto C, Pratten J, Wilson M, Spratt D: In vitro assessment of shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) extract for its antigingivitis activity. J Biomed Biotechnol 2011, 2011:507908.
  6. Dubost NJ, Beelman RB, Peterson D, Royse DJ: Identification and quantification of ergothioneine in cultivated mushrooms by liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 2006, 8.
  7. Earnest CP, Morss GM, Wyatt F, Jordan AN, Colson S, Church TS, Fitzgerald Y, Autrey L, Jurca R, Lucia A: Effects of a commercial herbal-based formula on exercise performance in cyclists. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2004, 36:504-509.
  8. Fang N, Li Q, Yu S, Zhang J, He L, Ronis MJ, Badger TM: Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by an ethyl acetate fraction from shiitake mushrooms. J Altern Complement Med 2006, 12:125-132.
  9. Feng M, Zhou Q, Feng G, Shuai J: Vascular dilation by fermented mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis in anesthetized dogs. J Chinese Materia Medica 1987, 12:745-749.
  10. Grundemann D: The ergothioneine transporter controls and indicates ergothioneine activity--a review. Prev Med 2012, 54 Suppl:S71-74.
  11. Hirsch KR, Smith-Ryan AE, Roelofs EJ, Trexler ET, Mock MG: Cordyceps militaris Improves Tolerance to High-Intensity Exercise After Acute and Chronic Supplementation. J Diet Suppl 2016:1-13.
  12. Inanaga K: Amycenone, a nootropic found in Hericium erinaceum. Personalized Medicine Universe 2012, 1:13-17.
  13. Jianzhe Y, Xiaolan M: Icons of medicinal fungi from China. In Book Icons of medicinal fungi from China (Editor ed.^eds.). City; 1987.
  14. Kato M, Hirose K, Hakozaki M, Ohno M, Saito Y, Izutani R, Noguchi J, Hori Y, Okumoto S, Kuroda D, et al.: Induction of gene expression for immunomodulating cytokines in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in response to orally administered PSK, an immunomodulating protein-bound polysaccharide. Cancer Immunol Immunother 1995, 40:152-156.
  15. Kidd PM: The use of mushroom glucans and proteoglycans in cancer treatment. Altern Med Rev 2000, 5:4-27.
  16. Kim H, Yun J: A comparative study on the production of exopolysaccharides between two entomopathogenic fungi Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis in submerged mycelial cultures. Journal of Applied Microbiology 2005, 99:728-738.
  17. Ko KM, Leung HY: Enhancement of ATP generation capacity, antioxidant activity and immunomodulatory activities by Chinese Yang and Yin tonifying herbs. Chin Med 2007, 2:3.
  18. Lai PL, Naidu M, Sabaratnam V, Wong KH, David RP, Kuppusamy UR, Abdullah N, Malek SN: Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. Int J Med Mushrooms 2013, 15:539-554.
  19. Lee JM, Kwon H, Jeong H, Lee JW, Lee SY, Baek SJ, Surh YJ: Inhibition of lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage by Ganoderma lucidum. Phytother Res 2001, 15:245-249.
  20. Lou Y, Liao X, Lu Y: Cardiovascular pharmacological studies of ethanol extracts of Cordyceps mycelia and Cordyceps fermentation solution. Chinese Traditional and Herbal Drugs 1986, 17:17-21.
  21. Ooi VE, Liu F: Immunomodulation and anti-cancer activity of polysaccharide-protein complexes. Curr Med Chem 2000, 7:715-729.
  22. Parcell AC, Smith JM, Schulthies SS, Myrer JW, Fellingham G: Cordyceps Sinensis (CordyMax Cs-4) supplementation does not improve endurance exercise performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2004, 14:236-242.
  23. Razumov IA, Kazachinskaia EI, Puchkova LI, Kosogorova TA, Gorbunova IA, Loktev VB, Tepliakova TV: [Protective activity of aqueous extracts from higher mushrooms against Herpes simplex virus type-2 on albino mice model]. Antibiot Khimioter 2013, 58:8-12.
  24. Smith AE, Fukuda DH, Kendall KL, Stout JR: The effects of a pre-workout supplement containing caffeine, creatine, and amino acids during three weeks of high-intensity exercise on aerobic and anaerobic performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2010, 7:10.
  25. Sudheesh NP, Ajith TA, Janardhanan KK: Ganoderma lucidum (Fr.) P. Karst enhances activities of heart mitochondrial enzymes and respiratory chain complexes in the aged rat. Biogerontology 2009, 10:627-636.
  26. Yang B-K, Jeong S-C, Park J-B, Cho S-P, Lee H-J, Das S, Yun J-W, Lim W-J, Song C-H: Swimming endurance capacity of mice after administration of exo-polymer produced from submerged mycelial culture of Ganoderma lucidum. Journal of microbiology and biotechnology 2001, 11:902-905.
  27. Zhu JS, Halpern GM, Jones K: The scientific rediscovery of a precious ancient Chinese herbal regimen: Cordyceps sinensis: part II. J Altern Complement Med 1998, 4:429-457.
  28. Zhu JS, Halpern GM, Jones K: The scientific rediscovery of an ancient Chinese herbal medicine: Cordyceps sinensis: part I. J Altern Complement Med 1998, 4:289-303.

 



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