Cordyceps For Pre-Workout: How Does It Work?

Do you know that Cordyceps can boost your energy and athletic performance before working out? Traditional pre-workout formulas often contain artificial sweeteners, excess caffeine, and other ingredients that may not be ideal for your overall health.

Enter Cordyceps, the super shroom with a legacy of elevating athletic performance. This incredible fungus is known for its natural ability to boost physical energy production, enhance performance, and reduce fatigue, making your workout sessions more effective than ever[1]. Say goodbye to feeling drained during exercise

In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the wonders of Cordyceps as a pre-workout supplement and explore its remarkable benefits for exercise performance. Whether you’re an avid athlete or just looking to boost your fitness regimen, cordyceps may hold the key to unlocking your true potential.

How Does Cordyceps Improve Exercise Performance?

Taking Cordyceps as a pre-workout has shown a connection with the following:

  • It boosts ATP production, a crucial source of energy during exercise[2].
  • It reduces lactic acid buildup, which often occurs during intense workouts.
  • It enhances oxygen uptake and blood flow, ensuring your muscles receive essential oxygen and nutrients while you exercise.
  • Cordyceps contains bioactive compounds that play vital roles in sustaining energy levels during physical activity.

To reap these benefits, consider adding Cordyceps to your pre-workout regimen. You’ll be amazed at how this natural powerhouse can elevate your exercise performance and help you make the most out of every workout session.

1. Taking Cordyceps for Pre-Workout

We’ve learned a lot about the benefits of Cordyceps supplementation through studies on mice. But the exciting news is that there’s a growing body of human research too, which shows how taking Cordyceps as a pre-workout can enhance your exercise performance.

When you incorporate Cordyceps into your pre-workout routine, it can work wonders in three key ways to boost your exercise experience. Firstly, it improves crucial metabolic functions required during workouts, helping to reduce fatigue and increase your endurance. Secondly, it enhances blood flow, ensuring your muscles get the oxygen and nutrients they need to perform at their best. Lastly, it helps improve oxygen uptake, further optimizing your workout performance[2].

2. Increased Oxygen & Blood Flow (VO2 MAX)

The compounds found in many pre-workout formulas play a crucial role in boosting blood flow, oxygen, and nutrient transport to our hardworking muscles. Cordyceps, in particular, can be a valuable addition to achieve these benefits as they enhance the body’s ability to utilize oxygen efficiently and improve blood flow. Thanks to the beta-d-glucans present in Cordyceps, oxygen delivery is optimized at a cellular level, leading to increased stamina and aerobic capacity.

In a 2016 study involving healthy individuals who supplemented with Cordyceps Militaris for three weeks, exciting results were observed. Participants showed improvements in their VO2 max, time till exhaustion, and ventilatory threshold. VO2 max is a key indicator of your fitness level, representing the maximum amount of oxygen your muscles can use during exercise. It plays a significant role in determining how fit and capable your body is during physical activity[3].

3. Reduction of Fatigue

Managing fatigue is a crucial aspect for those who engage in regular workouts. Not only does it reduce the risk of injuries, but nobody wants to feel weighed down and fatigued during training sessions! Fortunately, Cordyceps mushroom has shown promising results in reducing muscle fatigue and supporting anaerobic performance when used before intense physical activity.

Studies conducted on mice have shown that supplementing with Cordyceps can lead to longer exercise endurance. When used as a pre-workout, Cordyceps increased the number of times mice could swim before experiencing fatigue.

During exercise, our muscles rely on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as a readily available energy source, especially during high-intensity workouts. Mice that were given Cordyceps demonstrated higher levels of ATP, which likely contributed to their ability to exercise for extended periods.

4. Improved Metabolic Functions

Cordyceps plays a vital role in improving blood flow and nutrient delivery, leading to better metabolic functions during exercise. By increasing blood flow, Cordyceps ensures that essential oxygen reaches your hardworking muscles, while also assisting in replenishing energy, like ATP, and reducing metabolic by-products such as lactic acid.

The positive impact of Cordyceps on exercise performance is supported by compelling human studies. Cordyceps not only reduces the point at which lactic acid is produced but also accelerates its clearance, resulting in significant overall performance improvements during high-intensity workouts.

In just three weeks of Cordyceps supplementation, participants in one study showcased enhanced performance in high-intensity exercise tests, alongside improvements in markers of cardiorespiratory fitness like VO2max and Ventilatory Threshold. Marathon runners, after 12 weeks of Cordyceps supplementation, experienced lower heart rates and better overall performance[4].

Cordyceps for Pre-Workout: Dosage and Timing

Regards to the best time to take Cordyceps, many people prefer taking it in the morning to get an energizing boost, while others incorporate it into their pre-workout routines for enhanced exercise performance.

For optimal athletic support, take Cordyceps 1 hour to 30 minutes before workouts. Easily add ½ to 1 teaspoon to your pre-workout shakes or energizing smoothies (you can try our Top 5 Tastiest Cordyceps Recipes). If you don’t mind the taste, mix it with warm water and drink it straight up.

With Cordyceps’ ability to boost energy and reduce fatigue, it’s an ideal addition to elevate your workouts. Keep in mind that consistency is key for the best results, as studies indicate its benefits with regular, long-term use. Be patient, as there’s no magic solution.

Feel free to try different ways of consuming Cordyceps and find what works best for you. Remember, it’s always essential to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

What is Cordyceps?

Cordyceps is a unique and captivating mushroom that belongs to the genus Cordyceps. These fungi have a parasitic nature and primarily inhabit insects like caterpillars. They come in more than 400 varieties, each offering powerful health benefits. The use of medicinal mushrooms, including Cordyceps, has been well-documented in Eastern medicine for over 2,000 years. 

The cordyceps mushroom derives its name from the Latin words “cord” and “ceps,” meaning “club” and “head,” respectively, due to its club-shaped fruiting body. Its natural habitat is the high-altitude regions of the Himalayas, Tibet, and certain areas of China. Thankfully, today, cordyceps is cultivated and widely available in various forms, making it accessible to fitness enthusiasts worldwide.

However, the most common and commercially available species are Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis. They are often hailed as exotic medicinal mushrooms, with a long history of use in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine.

For centuries, Cordyceps has been relied upon to improve sex drive, enhance physical strength, combat fatigue, and even treat kidney disease and various other illnesses.

Other Benefits of Cordyceps

Other Benefits of CordycepsDescription
Boosted exercise performanceIncreases ATP production, improving oxygen utilization
Anti-aging propertiesBelieved to promote vitality and have anti-aging effects[5]
Potential anti-tumor effectsContains compounds that may combat cancer cells
Improved heart healthHelps prevent arrhythmias, lowers triglycerides & LDL
Management of type 2 diabetesMay aid in lowering blood sugar levels

It’s important to emphasize that while cordyceps shows promise in these areas, more research is required to fully comprehend its benefits and how it works. As with any supplement, consulting a healthcare professional before incorporating cordyceps into your routine is recommended.

What Does the Research Say?

Cordyceps closed up

Research on Cordyceps for pre-workout shows promising results in enhancing exercise performance, endurance, and stamina. Cordyceps is believed to increase ATP production, vital for supplying energy to muscles, and improving oxygen utilization during exercise. 

Studies indicate improved exercise performance and overall wellness in older adults with Cordyceps sinensis supplementation. Another study found increased VO2 max in participants taking the synthetic strain CS-4, while the placebo group showed no change. Cordyceps may also reduce inflammation, further benefiting exercise performance. 

However, more research is needed to understand how Cordyceps affects exercise performance in different scenarios, as current evidence suggests it may not be effective for trained athletes.

Safety and Side Effects

Cordyceps is considered safe for healthy individuals when taken within the recommended dosage. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications.

The majority of users report minimal to no side effects when using cordyceps. Nonetheless, some individuals may experience mild digestive discomfort or allergies. If you notice any adverse reactions, it’s best to discontinue use and seek medical advice.

How to Incorporate Cordyceps into Your Pre-Workout Routine

Incorporating cordyceps into your pre-workout routine is a simple and effective process. Here are some practical tips to get you started:

  • Supplement Form: Capsules or powdered cordyceps can be easily incorporated into your daily supplement routine. Take the recommended dosage before your workout for optimal results.
  • Cordyceps Gummies: For a tasty and convenient option, try cordyceps gummies. This is a delightful way to enjoy the benefits of cordyceps while on the go.
  • Smoothies and Drinks: Blend cordyceps powder into your pre-workout smoothies or shakes for a nutritious and energizing boost.
  • Cordyceps Coffee: If you’re a coffee lover, explore the option of cordyceps coffee for a delightful and invigorating start to your day.
  • Cordyceps Tea: Consider trying cordyceps tea as another excellent choice to enjoy its benefits in a warm and soothing beverage.

Powder Boost Cordyceps Smoothie Recipe for Pre-Workout

Here’s a powder boost smoothie recipe that we highly recommend. You can incorporate cordyceps powder or tincture into any of your favorite protein shakes or smoothies for an added boost.

Cordyceps Protein Power Shake

Cordyceps Protein Power Shake


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (whey or plant-based)
  • 1 teaspoon cordyceps mushroom powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional for sweetness)
  • Ice cubes (optional)


  1. In a blender, combine the ripe banana, almond milk, protein powder, cordyceps mushroom powder, almond butter, and sweetener (if desired).
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add ice cubes for a refreshing touch.
  4. Pour into a glass and enjoy as a nourishing pre-workout fuel.


Should I Take Cordyceps Before Or After a Workout?

Taking Cordyceps before a workout is commonly recommended. Its potential energy-boosting properties may enhance performance during exercise. However, individual responses vary, so some people might prefer taking it after for post-workout recovery. Experiment to find what works best for your energy needs and workout routine.

Does Cordyceps Help With Gym Performance?

Cordyceps may help improve gym performance for some people. It’s believed to enhance endurance, oxygen utilization, and energy levels. However, results can vary, and they might not have the same effects on everyone. Consult with a healthcare professional before using Cordyceps for performance enhancement, especially if you have underlying health concerns.

Is Cordyceps Good For Building Muscle?

Cordyceps may indirectly support muscle building by potentially enhancing exercise endurance and performance. However, it’s not a direct muscle-building supplement like protein. It can complement a workout regimen but shouldn’t be solely relied upon for muscle growth. Individual results vary, so it’s wise to consult with a fitness professional.

Do Pro Athletes Take Cordyceps?

Yes, some pro athletes take Cordyceps. Its potential benefits in boosting energy, endurance, and oxygen utilization during exercise may appeal to athletes looking for a natural performance enhancer. However, its use varies among athletes, and not all choose to take it. It’s essential to note that individual responses to supplements can differ, so some athletes may find it more effective than others.

Final Thoughts: Does It Really Work?

While the exact impact of cordyceps on athletic performance is still uncertain, it is widely acknowledged for its positive effects on overall health and well-being. Feel free to give cordyceps a shot – there’s no harm in trying. You might discover its benefits for yourself, and if not, you can stop taking it anytime. There’s nothing to lose. As always, consult your doctor if you have any concerns about taking cordyceps or adding it to your routine. Your health is important, and your doctor can provide personalized advice.


1. Mechanism of Cordyceps sinensis and its Extracts in the Treatment of Diabetic Kidney Disease: A Review. retrieved from

2. Effects of the Mycelial Extract of Cultured Cordyceps Sinensis on In Vivo Hepatic Energy Metabolism in the Mouse. retrieved from

3. The potential application of Cordyceps in metabolic-related disorders. retrieved from

4. Cordyceps militaris improves tolerance to high intensity exercise after acute and chronic supplementation. Retrieved from

5. Nanoencapsulated Cordyceps Extract Enhances Collagen Synthesis and Skin Cell Regeneration through Antioxidation and Autophagy. Retrieved from