It's 1993 at the World Track & Field Championships in Germany and China’s Olympic women’s running team have just broken 3 world records in the space of one event. All of the signs pointed towards performance enhancing drugs, bur after numerous doping test came back clean, people were left scratching their heads. The only thing that had changed, the coach said, was that all of the athletes had been regularly using Cordyceps.
With its distinct orange, match-stick like appearance, Cordyceps is instantly recognisable in the fungi kingdom. Typically found growing in the forests of Eastern Asia, it has been consumed for medicinal purposes for centuries. However, its only when athletes began testing cordyceps in their training, that its performance-boosting benefits were revealed.
So, how does it do it?
Increased ATP production
Cordyceps contains bioactive compounds that can enhance the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP provides the energy necessary for cellular functions and is crucial for powering muscle contractions, among other processes. By supporting ATP production, cordyceps can help cells meet their energy demands more efficiently, leading to increased overall energy levels in the body.
Efficient oxygen utilisation
Cordyceps has been found to improve the efficiency of oxygen utilization in the body. During physical activity, oxygen is crucial for aerobic energy production. By optimising the uptake and utilisation of oxygen in cells, cordyceps can enhance the aerobic capacity of tissues and the energy-generating capacity of cells, allowing for better energy production during exercise. This enhanced blood flow is especially beneficial during aerobic activity, as it can promote increased endurance and a reduced perception of fatigue.
What are the other benefits of Cordyceps?