Are Mushrooms The Next Big Sports Food?

The inside scoop on the “functional” mushrooms popping up everywhere from drinks to energy bars and supplements.

Super ‘Shrooms

Functional mushrooms are popping up everywhere—in drinks, energy bars and supplements. These mushrooms aren’t the type you buy at the grocery store—they’re specific mushroom species that are known to have medicinal benefits (e.g., fighting disease, boosting immunity), and while they’ve been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, the Western world is just starting to take notice. Here are four mushroom-containing products that can benefit runners (don’t worry—none of them taste like mushroom!).

Om Fit, $25 For 50-Serving Bag

This organic mushroom powder contains a host of medicinal mushrooms including cordyceps, reishi, turkey tail and king trumpet, the combination of which is purported to support endurance training with a boost of natural energy and increased oxygen delivery. The taste is reminiscent of umami, so it’s best mixed with stronger-flavored foods such as guacamole, soups and sauces.

Purely Elizabeth Grain-Free Granola Bar, $2.29

Made with a mix of nuts (cashews, almonds) and seeds (pumpkin, chia, hemp), this gluten-free granola bar contains reishi extract, which has been shown to help the body respond to stress and support the immune system. The banana nut butter flavor was a hit among testers for its clean taste and crunchy, chewy texture. Each bar has 6 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein.

Four Sigmatic Chai Latte Mushroom Mix, $20 For 10 Packets

This caffeine-free chai mix is designed to heal your gut and promote full-body wellness using the calming properties of reishi and gut-healing properties of turkey tail. With just 10 ingredients, this powder has a much stronger scent than flavor, which testers liked best mixed with heated almond milk (though it can also be blended into smoothies or mixed with coconut oil).

Almeda Prasada, $55 For 30-Day Supply

This plant-based superfood powder, made with chaga and lion’s mane to aid mental clarity, is designed to heal your gut with eight strains of probiotics, anti-inflammatory ingredients and a nutrient-dense formula. The vanilla spice and cacao flavors each contain a long list of superfood ingredients, and while testers thought the powder didn’t dissolve very easily, they enjoyed the flavors.