We've been talking mushrooms in my last few columns, so let's stick with this subject and talk about my favorite reason to supplement with mushrooms: energy! Here are a few of my favorite mushrooms that are known to support sustained energy levels.

CORDYCEPS: Cordyceps is an interesting mushroom. It is known as a parasitic fungus that grows on insects, especially caterpillars. Fortunately for us, though this mushroom sticks to insects in the wild, the cordyceps in supplements are now typically grown on a substrate of brown rice. These odd mushrooms are prized by endurance athletes and are considered to be very effective in supporting lung health as well as sustained energy levels.

CHAGA: Chaga is a very hard and woody mushroom that is typically found on birch trees. Its somewhat bitter taste, dark color and energetic properties make chaga great as a coffee substitute. Recently, chaga has been popping up in coffee drinks that include other superfoods. The abundance of antioxidants and chaga's energizing quality have made this mushroom a superstar in the aisles of many health food stores.

REISHI: Known more as an immune supporting mushroom, reishi can also offer its share of energizing benefits. Since reishi has a wide variety of uses, it tends to complement other mushrooms and herbs that it is combined with. For energy support, reishi is usually found in combinations with either cordyceps, chaga or both.

While these mushrooms can be great on their own, many prefer them in combination with other energizing herbs like green tea, rhodiola and ginseng. Energizing mushroom supplements can be found in capsules, powders and tinctures but are also popping up in tea, coffee and premade drinks. Give these mushrooms a try and see if they give you the boost that you're looking for.

Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsi at The Market in Huntington. He has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for over 16 years. He can be contacted at travislemonmh@gmail.com.


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