Dr. Dwayne Jackson

The Vital Science Blog

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Fitness fungi: Cordyceps and Lions Mane

Maximizing physical performance requires optimizing the brain and body before training or competing. Hence why multi-ingredient pre-workout powders have become so popular in the last decade. Unfortunately, the use of stimulants and chemical/non-organic ingredients in many of these products limits their use in those who seeking naturally based organic options. 


So, what is the best organic and 100% natural pre-workout solution?



Vibe Mushrooms pharmaceutical-grade organic Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane



Described as a natural exercise mimetic, Cordyceps is reported to improve performance by increasing muscle blood flow, enhancing oxygen utilization, and acting as an antioxidant. It’s known to be very high in beta-d-glucans, contains adenosine, and contains a unique bioactive mycochemical called cordycepin. 


When used pre-workout, Cordyceps has been reported to have following performance benefits: 


  • Improved aerobic performance (VO2max and ventilatory threshold)
  • Enhanced lactate clearance 
  • Enhanced oxygen utilization in high intensity exercise
  • Delayed fatigue during intense exercise
  • Increased libido/sex-drive in women (and men)
  • Increased ATP (energy) production during exercise


Lion’s Mane:

The erinacines and hericenones from Lion’s Mane are powerful antioxidants that are small enough to cross the blood brain barrier to target and protect brain neurons from inflammation and cell death. They also enhance the synthesis and actions of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the brain to improve cognitive health. When used pre-workout, Lion’s Mane is best known for its cognitive, focus, and mood enhancing effects. 


When used pre-workout, Lion’s mane improves exercise performance and fitness by promoting: 

  • Increased focus and mental energy 
  • Optimized immune function
  • Enhanced nervous system recovery 
  • Reduced levels of metabolic by-products during exercise (e.g., blood lactic acid, urea nitrogen, and malondialdehyde)
  • Improved muscle glycogen recovery after training 
  • Decreased neuropathic pain


If you are ready to take your physical performance to the next level with Vibe’s organic pharma-grade Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane, here is how stack them:


Take 1 gram ( ½ tsp powder or 2 capsules) of Cordyceps and 1 gram ( ½ tsp powder or 2 capsules) of Lion’s Mane together, 30-60 minutes before training or competing. If you opt for the powder, add it to your pre-workout smoothie, protein shake, or coffee—you will love the flavour!  



Shashidhar, M. G., Giridhar, P., Udaya Sankar, K., and Manohar, B. (2013). Bioactive principles from Cordyceps sinensis: a potent food supplement – a review. J. Funct. Foods. 5, 1013–1030.


Li IC, Lee LY, Tzeng TT, Chen WP, Chen YP, Shiao YJ, Chen CC. Neurohealth Properties of Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Enriched with Erinacines. Behav Neurol. 2018 May 21;2018:5802634. 


Division HMS, editor. Cordyceps. The Korean Herbal Pharmacopoeia (KHP) Seoul, Korea: Korea Food and Drug Administration; 2002. p. 59.


Kumar R, Negi PS, Singh B, Ilavazhagan G, Bhargava K, Sethy NK. Cordyceps sinensis promotes exercise endurance capacity of rats by activating skeletal muscle metabolic regulators. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011;136(1):260–266.


Hirsch KR, Smith-Ryan AE, Roelofs EJ, Trexler ET, Mock MG. Cordyceps militaris Improves Tolerance to High-Intensity Exercise After Acute and Chronic Supplementation. J Diet Suppl. 2017 Jan 2;14(1):42-53. 


Chen S, Li Z, Krochmal R, Abrazado M, Kim W, Cooper CB. Effect of Cs-4®(Cordyceps sinensis) on exercise performance in healthy older subjects: A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2010;16(5):585–590.


Ko KM, Leung HY. Enhancement of ATP generation capacity, antioxidant activity and immunomodulatory activities by Chinese Yang and Yin tonifying herbs. Chin Med. 2007;2:3.


Zhu JS, Halpern GM, Jones K. The scientific rediscovery of an ancient Chinese herbal medicine: Cordyceps sinensis: part I. J Altern Complement Med. 1998b;4(3):289–303.


Chen S, Li Z, Krochmal R, Abrazado M, Kim W, Cooper CB. Effect of Cs-4 (Cordyceps sinensis) on exercise performance in healthy older subjects: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 May;16(5):585-90. 


Zhu JS, Halpern GM, Jones K. The scientific rediscovery of a precious ancient Chinese herbal regimen: Cordyceps sinensis: part II. J Altern Complement Med. 1998a;4(4):429–457.


Nicodemus K, Hagan R, Zhu J, Baker C. Supplementation with Cordyceps Cs-4 fermentation product promotes fat metabolism during prolonged exercise. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2001;33:164.


Yi X, Xi-zhen H, Jia-shi Z. Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial and assessment of fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis (Cs-4) in enhancing aerobic capacity and respiratory function of the healthy elderly volunteers. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2004;10(3):187–192.


Wan F, Guo Y, Deng X. Sex hormone-like effects of JinShuiBao capsule: Pharmacological and clinical studies. Chinese Trad Pat Med. 1988;9:29-31.


Yang WZ, Deng Xa, Hu W. Treatment of sexual hypofunction with Cordyceps sinensis. Jiangxi Zhongyiyao. 1985;5:46-7.

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