What Is Mushroom Coffee? Here’s Why You Should Try It Now

Looking for a healthy, plant-based coffee alternative or trying to kick your caffeine addiction? Try mushroom coffee—we promise it doesn't taste like it sounds!
Photo: Four Sigmatic
Move over matcha—mushrooms are taking over as the ultimate alternative to coffee.

Mushroom coffee and teas are officially a thing. Much like acai bowls and avocado toast, the health food trend promises some pretty impressive health benefits, but, we have to admit it lacks the same appeal. So what's the deal with this new take on your morning cup of coffee? We share all the must-know info below.

First, let's get one thing out of the way. There's nothing wrong with sipping java on the regular. While the everything-in-moderation rule definitely applies, studies have even proven that it can have health benefits, including a longer life. So why all the hype about this coffee-esque beverage? It's about its ability to fight adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue

Looking for a healthy, plant-based coffee alternative or trying to kick your caffeine addiction? Try mushroom coffee—we promise it doesn't taste like it sounds!

Image via Four Sigmatic

Adrenal fatigue is a chronic condition that stems from elevated levels of cortisol in the body, which can overtax the body's adrenal glands. Cortisol is essential for regulating immune function and insulin release, but it is also plays a hand in helping the body recover after a physically, mentally or emotionally stressful event. In these situations, cortisol activates a fight-or-flight response, which is associated with things like lower sensitivity to pain or heightened energy.

But in a culture where maxed out is the status quo, cortisol production is often in overdrive. The result? An excess of stress hormones in the bloodstream that can lead to everything from suppressed thyroid function to weakened immunity and anxiety. Activating the body's relaxation response is key to switching off heightened cortisol production. Activities such as exercise, meditation, breathing exercises and journaling can help manage stress and bring cortisol levels down to a balanced, healthy level and so can the introduction of adaptogens into your diet.

Adaptogens

Derived from herbs and roots, adaptogens are organic compounds that can support the body in the management of ongoing stress. They particularly target the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA), a key player in the body's stress-system. In a nutshell, adaptogens control the body's response to stressors, capping cortisol production, and ultimately alleviating associated problems such as irritability, exhaustion and etc.— all without the typical side effects of traditional pharmaceuticals. Sounds good, right?

Which brings us back to mushrooms. Much like turmeric, ginseng and maca, mushrooms are adaptogens. Pair that with their other health-boosting benefits—including anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants and brain-fog-fighting powers (not to mention polysaccharides, which can inhibit the growth of cancerous cells) and you have a pretty powerful tool for both combatting adrenal fatigue and enhancing health overall.

Mushroom Coffee and Tea

Stress itself isn't the only thing that will kicked your body's production of cortisol into high gear—caffeine causes your body to make cortisol too. Reducing caffeine consumption or finding a replacement for your morning cup(s) of joe is a pretty good strategy for kicking adrenal fatigue to the curb — which is why things like mushroom coffee and tea are on the rise.

While not entirely devoid of caffeine, mushroom coffee provides adrenal support and eliminates things like post-espresso jitters and crashes, plus the alkaline nature of the mushrooms means no stomach burn. Mushroom tonics, on the other hand, are totally caffeine free—ideal if you're looking to nix coffee altogether but still want a caffeine-esque boost.

Taste is, however, a major consideration here and for those who aren't fans of mushrooms, the idea of mushroom coffee might be incredibly off-putting. We hear you. Luckily, the buzzy beverage doesn't actually taste like mushrooms, but rather an earthy, mellow blend of coffee and tea. It comes in powder form in either a tea bag or instant coffee-like pouch, which is then added to hot water.

Intrigued by the idea? Four Sigmatic and Moon Juice offer a variety of different products that allow you to get your mushroom fix.