The King of Training Boosters
Two weeks ago I said that Cordyceps is deadly for ants and other insects. For humans, it’s quite the opposite. It’s a very healthy food. What kills insects pushes humans to a new physical level. Cordyceps can really ease so many different ailments and boost performance in so many different ways.
Cordyceps can actually be poisonous, however, but fortunately only in very large amounts—perhaps several hundred grams per day for months. No known toxicity is caused by Cordyceps.
Natural all-in-one sport food
Whether you are a professional or recreational athlete, Cordyceps may really impact your training regime. The faster, harder, and stronger you exercise, the greater the benefit that you will receive. It is an athlete’s best friend, as it boosts your performance, increases your recovery time, and isn’t on WADA’s prohibited list.
Cordyceps under scrutinity
As someone who believes in science, I have two examples of scientific proof to back up my claims.
The Mouse Swim Test—Increased energy
Two groups of mice are used in this test. One group receives a standard diet, while the other receives the same diet and also a test compound. After a period of time, both groups are put into a container filled with water. Escape is impossible. This forces the mice to swim until they are exhausted. Time to exhaustion is measured for both groups and compared with each other. If the group receiving the test compound swims longer than the group on just the standard diet, it has been determined that they have increased energy output and decreased fatigue when compared with the control group.
When a test of this nature was conducted using Cordyceps as a test compound, results always showed that Cordyceps greatly increases the time to exhaustion in mice when compared with the control groups.
Bicycle test for healthy elderly volunteer
In this study, healthy elderly volunteers, with an average age of 65, were tested to determine the output performance and oxygen capacity of subjects while exercising on a stationary bicycle for six weeks. One group consumed Cordyceps, while others consumed a placebo. The results showed that the group consuming Cordyceps had a significant increase in energy output and oxygen capacity over the other group after six weeks.
Cordyceps can improve VO2 max by 9-15%.
Cordyceps in the Orient
As a person who believes that science doesn’t know everything, I’ve also gathered some data about the historical use of Cordyceps.
People in Tibet and Nepal, i.e., those who have been living at high altitudes and using Cordyceps for thousands of years, claim that it gives them extra energy and offsets the symptoms of altitude sickness.
Two famous events that brought attention to Cordyceps in the West were the Chinese National Games in 1993 and the Stuttgart World Championship the same year. In the Chinese National Games, the women’s track and field team broke nine world records, led by 王軍霞 (Wang JunXia), who broke the world record in the 10,000 meter race with a time of 29:31.78, making her the first woman to break the magical 30:00.00 mark. In Stuttgart, the same team won 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 1 bronze medal in three distances (1,500m, 3,000m, and 10,000m). The team’s coach said that Cordyceps was the secret of their success, although many believe that performance-enhancing drugs had been used. We will probably never know what really happened, but we do know that an increasing amount of scientific research shows that Cordyceps really can boost performance in sports.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Cordyceps is used for such ailments as:
- respiration and lung-related diseases
- renal (kidney and surrounding areas) diseases
- liver diseases
- cardiovascular diseases
- hyposexuality (lack or absence of sexual desire)
- hyperlipidemia (excessive amount of fat and fatty substances in the blood)
Cordyceps is also used with cancer therapies (chemotherapy, radiation treatment, etc.) in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.
Have you been using Cordyceps? If so, what differences have you noticed in your performance?