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Cordyceps' Potential to Enhance Your Post Workout Recovery and Reduce Fatigue
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Cordyceps' Potential to Enhance Your Post Workout Recovery and Reduce Fatigue

Seraiah Alexander
Seraiah Alexander
May 08, 2024
3 min

Could the key to faster muscle recovery lie in a fungus that hijacks the bodies of insects? Cordyceps sinensis (cordyceps) is a parasitic fungus that has been found to have several potential benefits for human health. Previous research has shown that supplementing with the fungus may help improve athletic performance by increasing energy levels, reducing inflammation, and improving overall endurance (1). Yet a more recent study suggests that cordyceps could also play a role in speeding up muscle recovery after intense exercise. Unlike synthetic supplements, cordyceps offers a natural boost, reducing the time it takes for muscles to recover and enhancing the body’s ability to rebuild muscle fibers more effectively. So whether you’re a pro athlete or fitness enthusiast, adding cordyceps to your post-workout routine could give you an edge in achieving your fitness goals.

How can cordyceps aid in muscle recovery?

After intense physical activity, our muscles undergo a natural recovery process that can sometimes lead to soreness and fatigue. When ingested, cordyceps induces a mild immune response in mammals that can aid in healing. Inflammation is a common response to muscle damage, and the anti-inflammatory properties of cordyceps can help reduce it, leading to faster recovery and less soreness (2). Cordyceps has also been found to increase the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is needed for muscle energy and recovery (3).

Now, research indicates that cordyceps may also have another trick up their sleeve when it comes to muscle recovery. A double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study found that individuals treated with cordyceps prior to exercise-induced muscle damage had significantly faster healing times than the control group. This response is thought to have occurred because of how cordyceps influence the body’s stem cells, which are responsible for muscle repair and regeneration. As cordyceps increase the activity and number of these cells, their repair process is sped up, ultimately enhancing the quality of muscle recovery. The immune response that cordyceps promotes isn’t unlike how the body naturally reacts to injury, yet cordyceps help kickstart the healing process. Plus, by promoting the activity of stem cells specialized in muscle repair, cordyceps not only accelerate the repair process but also improve the structural integrity of the muscle fibers, thereby strengthening the muscles against future stress or injury (4).

Cordyceps as part of your fitness regimen

Although the study’s findings are preliminary, there is strong evidence to support the usage of cordyceps for both overall athletic performance and muscle rehabilitation. Further studies on bigger populations will be required to determine the general efficacy of fungal supplementation before exercise, as this is the first human evidence connecting it with better muscle regeneration and stem cell dynamics. However, when taken in moderation, cordyceps is considered safe for the majority of people and could be a game-changer for those seeking to improve their post-workout healing and physical performance. Whether you’re training for a marathon, trying to beat your personal best in the gym, or simply looking to enhance your overall health and vitality, cordyceps might just be the natural boost you’ve been looking for. But as always, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure cordyceps is safe for your individual health needs before adding a new supplement into your routine.

References

  1. Dewi, Luthfia, Yu-Chieh Liao, Wei-Horng Jean, Kuo-Chin Huang, Chih-Yang Huang, Liang-Kung Chen, Andrew Nicholls, Li-Fan Lai, and Chia-Hua Kuo. 2024. “Cordyceps Sinensis Accelerates Stem Cell Recruitment to Human Skeletal Muscle after Exercise.” Food & Function 15 (8): 4010–20. https://doi.org/10.1039/D3FO03770C.
  2. Phull, Abdul-Rehman , Madiha Ahmed, and Hye-Jin Park. 2022. “Cordyceps Militaris as a Bio Functional Food Source: Pharmacological Potential, Anti-Inflammatory Actions and Related Molecular Mechanisms.” Microorganisms. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10020405.
  3. Song, Jingjing, Yingwu Wang, Meiyu Teng, Guangsheng Cai, Hongkai Xu, Hanxiao Guo, Yang Liu, Di Wang, and Lesheng Teng. 2015. “Studies on the Antifatigue Activities of Cordyceps Militaris Fruit Body Extract in Mouse Model.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/174616.
  4. Walker, Thomas B. 2006. “Does Cordyceps Sinensis Ingestion Aid Athletic Performance?” Strength & Conditioning Journal 28 (2): 21. https://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/abstract/2006/04000/does_cordyceps_sinensis_ingestion_aid_athletic.3.aspx.

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science
Seraiah Alexander

Seraiah Alexander

Content Editor

Table Of Contents

1
How can cordyceps aid in muscle recovery?
2
Cordyceps as part of your fitness regimen
3
References

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