I Tried Putting Mushrooms in my Coffee, so You Don’t Have to
For a while now, I have been skipping breakfast, and I’m having a cup of bulletproof coffee instead.
For those who don’t know, bulletproof coffee is a black coffee with two tablespoons of grass-fed butter and two tablespoons of MCT oil (a source of fat extracted from coconut oil.) This seemingly absurd beverage actually tastes great, and it’s supposed to provide clean, and long-lasting energy, as well as deep focus and excellent mental clarity.
To be honest, it works great for me. I started drinking it when I was following a ketogenic diet, but it’s a habit I kept even when I was off of it. It makes me feel a lot more energized than a classic breakfast. It’s easier and quicker to make. It requires fewer clean-ups, and, as I said, it tastes fantastic.
Because of my interest in health and diet, I’ve been recently spammed with ads on Facebook and Instagram about these new caffeine-free drinks that are supposed to give you an even better and longer boost than coffee.
I was ignoring them at first. I love my bulletproof coffee, after all. But I got curious after a while. That’s when I discovered that the emphasis was put on one ingredient: mushrooms, lion’s mane, to be exact. I had to try it.
Lion’s Mane is Pricey
At first, I tried buying a mushroom coffee mix. But I got quickly discouraged because of the price. I drink a lot of coffee, and I prefer making a cup of coffee at home that doesn’t cost me as much as getting it in a fancy coffee shop.
Then, after looking for a while, I found some lion’s mane powder that you can simply put in your coffee. That seemed like the best option, and the price seemed acceptable (around $0.40 a serving.)
I was very excited to try it. I read reviews about the product, all five stars. People were recommending drinking it with butter to make it even more bioavailable. That’s great since that’s precisely what I planned on doing.
From reading about the lion’s mane, I knew what to expect. People were describing a significantly improved focus, fewer jitters from the coffee itself, and no caffeine crash after a few hours. Some were complaining about the earthy flavor the powder had, but I wasn’t worried that much.
As soon as the powder was delivered to my door, I made myself a cup of bulletproof coffee in which I added 2 grams of mushroom powder (as recommended.)
I have to say, the powder smells quite bad. So naturally, I got quite nervous about mixing it with my coffee. The taste, however, was excellent. The frothy texture of the bulletproof coffee, with the fats in it, and the earthy flavor all combine into an earthier version of a hot-chocolate. Hot chocolate made with almond milk, maybe? In any case, the taste was far better than the smell.
The texture of the coffee was noticeably more powdery than a regular cup, even though I blended all the ingredients with almost boiling hot coffee. It’s not that bothering at first, but the end of the cup can become very sludgy. I’d recommend swirling your coffee before every sip, to prevent that sludge from happening.
The bulletproof plus lion’s mane coffee is excellent, and it’s a nice change in flavor.
However, I tried putting the mushroom powder in a regular pour-over, and I found the flavor very bitter and the texture very sandy. It definitely wasn’t pleasant, and I would highly recommend that you blend it with either butter and MCT oil, or some sort of creamer.
Did Lion’s Mane Make Me Limitless?
These mushrooms are supposed to boost your focus, and some even claim that it’s been backed up by science. So it’s probably true, right?
I haven’t experienced any significant improvements. I haven’t felt great the past few mornings, and drinking this bulletproof plus mushroom coffee helped me get my day going. But isn’t that supposed to be the point of coffee?
Was my focus actually improved? How do you measure focus?
I’m sure it didn’t hurt my focus, and maybe it gave me the extra boost I needed in these hard mornings.
The one thing that I did notice was the absence of caffeine-crash after a few hours. That was very pleasant as I usually tend to go for a second coffee after three or four hours (just a black coffee, not a bulletproof.) After having lion’s mane, the need for this second cup is not here at all.
I believe most of the effect of the lion’s mane is a placebo. There’s some sort of excitement trying out something new, something weird that not everyone knows about. It makes you feel like you know a secret substance that others don’t. That it’s going to give you an unfair advantage. And of course, lion’s mane, with its mystical sounding name, and the fact that it’s a mushroom, falls into this category. I’m sure it doesn’t harm, but how efficient is it?
Lion’s mane or mushroom coffee aren’t magic pills. They won’t make you Limitless. I had some this morning, and I didn’t start writing intensively for hours like Bradley Cooper in the movie. I struggled, as usual, but I know that I won’t crash in a couple of hours. Which is great, but far from the nootropic effect that these brands and marketers are trying to sell you.
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