You may eat your fruits and veggies, guzzle water, and squeeze in a workout here and there — all super important components of a healthy lifestyle. But with all the stresses life can throw at you, the basics aren’t always enough.
That’s where adaptogenic mushrooms come in. Superfoods like Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Reishi, and many others can help you battle the effects of stress, whether physical, emotional, or environmental.
And that’s exactly why we created our Functional Mushroom Gummies. With a delicious wild raspberry flavor, they’re a supplement you’ll actually look forward to every morning.
Curious about their many benefits? Keep reading this guide, in which we’ll explain how adaptogens work, how they can help you battle stress, and why functional mushrooms are the best adaptogens you can find.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are edible plant extracts that seem to be popping up all over the place. But they’re far from the latest health fad. Adaptogens have been used for thousands of years in traditional healing traditions, like Indian Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Just as there are dozens of adaptogens, there are dozens of benefits to taking them. But they all work essentially in the same way: By helping your body manage stress. Adaptogens can support a healthy mood, focus, and performance.
You can find adaptogens in many different forms.
How Do Adaptogens Work?
In general, adaptogens work by balancing the body’s stress hormone levels. How exactly this happens is still being studied by researchers, but some solid theories aim to explain the mechanism of action of adaptogens.
According to one review, adaptogens interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This complex system of hormones, receptors, and glands is central to the body’s many stress responses.
When we consume adaptogens, their natural compounds work with the HPA axis to bring balance to the body. If there’s too much of a stress hormone, such as cortisol, adaptogens can help to lower it. On the flip side, if there isn’t enough of something, adaptogens can help to restore it.
Adaptogens can also modulate the relationship between the immune, neurological, and endocrine systems. As a result, adaptogens may also help with strengthening immune function.
If you’re less concerned with how adaptogens work and more interested in whether they’re effective, then know one thing: adaptogens are excellent for regulating the body’s stress response (or rather, responses — of which there are many).
In the next section, we’ll briefly explain the stress response.
What Is the Stress Response?
When you encounter something stressful that challenges your body’s resources, it will go through the stress response to reach balance. This roughly consists of three stages.
Here’s a breakdown of what happens during each stage:
1. The “Fight-or-Flight” Stage
When something triggers your alarm bells — such as a car driving a little too fast towards you on the highway — your body decides whether you should fight or flight.
The body quickly activates stress hormones like adrenaline, raises your heart rate, and spikes your blood sugar. This is meant to give you a quick boost of energy that can help you survive a potential threat.
If the “threat” is short-lived, your stress hormones should return to normal after it’s gone. But if you’re constantly stressed out, your body may release a constant supply of stress hormones. (Below, we’ll explain why this is so bad.)
2. The Resistance Stage
In the second stage of the stress response, the threat is gone. Your body can start to return back to normal by metabolizing excess stress hormones and excreting them through your detoxification system.
Of course, this doesn’t happen immediately, which is why it’s normal to still feel a little on-edge during this stage.
3. The Recovery Stage
During this stage, your body is trying to rest and repair. However, thanks to a significant spike in energy, you might feel a subsequent crash — aka “exhausted AF.”
Why Is Stress So Bad for You?
Above, we mentioned that stress is beneficial in small amounts. After all, if a wild animal is chasing after you, you want your pulse, breathing, and blood sugar to shoot up. This is what gives you the energy you need to fight or flight. It also doesn’t hurt for non-essential functions (e.g., reproduction) to stop working — so you can really focus on what’s important.
But what if this happens all the time? (Which, by the way, is not so uncommon in chronically stressed-out people.)
Well, this can cause significant wear and tear on the body. There are tons of negative health effects of stress, which can manifest as some of the following symptoms:
- Random aches and pains.
- Digestive issues like constipation or an impaired gut microbiome.
- Insomnia and a host of other sleeping problems.
- High blood pressure.
- Dizziness, light-headedness, and shakiness.
- Muscle tension.
- Weakened immunity.
- Increased risk for anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
- Fertility issues.
It’s even worse if you try to manage stress with unhealthy habits. However, it’s not uncommon for stressed-out people to drink too much alcohol, smoke cigarettes, overeat junk food, and engage in compulsive behaviors, like constant online shopping.
So, all in all, a little stress is beneficial. But in chronic amounts, it’s something to avoid.
How Can Adaptogen Mushroom Gummies Help With Stress?
There are plenty of ways to reduce stress. You can meditate, do some yoga, or cuddle with a puppy. But we prefer the easiest and most delicious way possible — our Functional Mushroom Gummies.
Here are five ways they can help your body manage stressors:
1. Increase Calm & Relaxation
Some functional mushrooms, such as Reishi, are excellent for balancing the body’s stress response. Reishi is known to balance stress hormones like cortisol, which can help with reducing physical tension. And when your body feels calmer, your mind can follow.
Functional mushrooms can also help with the particular symptoms of stress. For instance, Reishi has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to improve sleep. Since sleep deprivation raises stress levels, getting some extra shuteye can certainly help with finding some extra relaxation.
2. Improve Mental Clarity
When your body senses a threat, its main goal is to get you to survive. For this reason, high-order functions — like creative thinking — go out the window. It’s no wonder that chronically stressed-out people report so much brain fog.
Functional mushrooms can step in here and promote mental clarity where it matters.
This happens, first and foremost, because adaptogenic mushrooms reduce stress. When you’re less on edge, your mind can calm down and allow you to concentrate on things that don’t involve your immediate survival.
Some functional mushrooms can support mental clarity in other ways. For instance, Lion’s Mane is known for helping the brain release nerve growth factor (NGF).
NGF is an important neurochemical that can make it easier for your brain cells to communicate with one another. The result? Faster processing speed, more reliable memory, and an easier time learning new things. All the things that we collectively refer to as “mental clarity.”
3. Support Healthy Blood Sugar
A spike in blood sugar goes hand-in-hand with the stress response. After all, sugar is a major source of energy that can help the body either fight or flee from a perceived threat.
But when it comes to chronic stress, blood sugar levels can stay high for way too long. This is linked to increased inflammation, which is terrible for all aspects of your health.
By reducing stress hormone levels, functional mushrooms can help to prevent extreme blood sugar spikes.
In addition, some functional mushrooms can feed healthy gut bacteria that are part of healthy digestion. For instance, Shiitake mushrooms contain polysaccharides, which are healthy carbs that feed “good” gut bacteria. And when your gut bacteria are happy, they do lots of nice things for your health!
4. Help With Muscle Recovery
Stress isn’t only emotional. Anytime you engage in intense physical activity like going to the gym, you’re also putting your body under physical stress.
Physical stress is super important for your health. After all, by challenging your body, you can grow stronger muscles, improve your heart health, and stimulate your detoxification systems.
But it’s just as important to recover after strenuous workouts. Recovery involves eating a nutritious diet, getting plenty of sleep, and not stressing out too much.
Stress may be to blame if you are sore for days after your workouts.
Well, not to worry, because functional mushrooms are here to help.
Some fungi superstars, such as Cordyceps, are known for promoting oxygen uptake in the body. And the more oxygen your muscles get, the quicker they can recover.
So, if stress interferes with your recovery time, functional mushrooms can help speed up the healing process.
5. May Support a Healthy Heart
By this point, it should be clear that stress affects the entire body. And your heart is no exception. After all, if your blood pressure is constantly high, you can experience damage to the blood vessels that make up the heart.
While more research is needed to support this claim, it’s possible that functional mushrooms can support a healthy heart.
For instance, by balancing stress hormones, Reishi may help to support healthy blood pressure. Other mushrooms, like Cordyceps, can help the heart to use energy more efficiently, taking some pressure off the work it must do to keep you healthy.
While adaptogenic mushrooms certainly can’t replace medication, they can be part of a healthy heart routine — especially if huge amounts of stress are involved.
Bet You Can’t Have Just One
By this point, it’s pretty clear that chronic stress is pretty damn terrible for your body. It can wreck everything from your digestion to your fertility and mental health. So, it’s something we prefer to avoid.
Fortunately, functional mushrooms can help your body manage the many stressors it encounters through the day — so you can adapt to even the most intense situations.
Our Functional Mushroom Gummies are made from a blend of 10 functional mushroom extracts with clinically proven benefits.
Each gummy comes with 2,500 milligrams of fruiting body extract — the highest on the market. And each bag comes with 30 daily servings, so you’re set for a whole month.
Thanks to our use of pectin — instead of gelatin — our gummies are 100% vegan.
Like a multivitamin, they’re recommended to be taken once per day. But with their delicious wild raspberry flavor, we bet you can’t have just one!