Reishi and Cordyceps extracts reduce tiredness and fatigue

Have you tried everything to improve your sports performance? Every day we hear about new ingredients that can increase resistance, provide novel proteins, or essential amino acids and other nutrients so you can give 100% in races, competitions, etc., but how effective are they really? Is there proof that they live up to their promise?


People running

Proven effects with Reishi and Cordyceps

Unlike many other products, Reishi and Cordyceps extracts have shown that they can increase energy production and reduce recovery periods after extreme exertion.

This is reflected in a study conducted by the University of Pavia (Italy) which concluded that the ongoing intake of pure extracts of these species of medicinal mushrooms can:

  • increase the production of metabolic energy (ATP)
  • increase muscle power
  • reduce muscle recovery time
  • enhance the elimination of lactic acid

Testosterone and cortisol balance

This research was carried out over three months with a group of cyclists who participated in a number of long-distance tests. During this period two relevant biomarkers of physical exertion were analysed: testosterone and cortisol balance.

Testosterone is a virilizing hormone, but it is not exclusive to the male sex. It is essential for the sexual health of both men and women and it has very important anabolic effects:

  • increasing muscle mass and strength
  • increasing bone density
  • stimulating bone development

Cortisol, on the other hand, is a hormone that increases in response to stressors. It is the main catabolic hormone which:

  • reduces protein synthesis
  • increases cellular degradation
  • inhibits the immune response

Overtraining Risk

The testosterone / cortisol ratio (T / C) is considered an index of anabolic activity: 

  • a decrease in the level of testosterone and increase in the ratio of cortisol indicates a tendency to catabolism (reduction of protein synthesis, increase in protein degradation, and inhibition of the immune response)
  • an increase in testosterone and the concomitant decrease in cortisol indicates a tendency to anabolism (increase in muscle mass and strength, increase in bone density, and stimulation of bone development)

As workload intensifies during exertion, a certain decrease in the T / C ratio reflects an adequate and effective training rate. However, if this decrease is greater than 30% – with respect to the initial values – it is considered an indicator of overtraining risk.

Cordyceps “has an important stimulating effect”

cyclists improve sport performance

Results after Reishi and Cordyceps intake

Over the course of three months, participants in this study took 3 capsules of pure Cordyceps extract (Mico Cord) and 2 capsules of pure Reishi extract, Ganoderma lucidum (Mico Rei) daily.

Analytics carried out before and after races, as well as comparison with results from the control group showed that supplementation with Cordyceps sinensis and Ganoderma lucidum modulated and reduced overtraining syndrome (OTS), and was also shown to be a safe complementary treatment.

Testosterone levels (anabolic effects) were increased before and after a race after taking mushroom extracts. In addition, compared to the control group, after three months of supplementation, the risk of overtraining syndrome decreased by almost 9%.

Applications in other sports

According to this study, athletic overtraining (OTS) affects 65% of athletes at the apex of their professional careers. In this syndrome there is an imbalance between stress due to workload and the athlete’s ability to recover; considered OTS if the athlete is not able to recover from extreme physical exertion after 72 hours.

The conclusions of this study raise a new hypothesis that taking mushroom extracts could play an important role in improving training and recovery in athletes who have intense training programs.


This research conducted by the University of Pavia demonstrates that pure extracts of Reishi and Cordyceps can increase athletes’ recovery capacity after intense exertion for improved sporting performance.


  • Paola Rossi et al. (2014) Improving Training Condition Assessment in Endurance Cyclists: Effects of Ganoderma lucidum and Ophiocordyceps sinensis Dietary Supplementation.Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2014, Article ID 979613, 11 pages. LINK

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