If you start your day with a cup of coffee (or, ahem, four), you’re not alone.
After water, caffeinated drinks (tea and coffee) are the most widely consumed beverages in the world. Caffeine can deliver a number of benefits including alertness, focus, and energy. But it’s more than that: for millions, coffee is ritualistic, that reliable morning routine that readies us for reality. But what if your coffee could do even more? What if it could be an ally in creating an even healthier you? For Four Sigmatic, that’s precisely the pivot they think those morning cuppas need: coffee infused with powerful immune- and energy-boosting mushrooms. You don’t have to give up your routine at all. But you can hack the heck out of it.
First things first: not all mushrooms are the same.
The Fungi Kingdom is massive, home to at least six times as many species as all plants on Earth, says Four Sigmatic’s Registered Herbalist and mushroom expert, Danielle Ryan Broida.
Functional mushrooms have been in use throughout human history, valued for a number of health benefits including stress and immune support, as well as improving energy levels and longevity, says Broida. “These are a group of mushrooms that are among the oldest natural remedies on Earth.”
Adding the benefits of some of these mushrooms to coffee seemed an easy way for Four Sigmatic to help people get healthier. “Many functional mushrooms are known as tonics and best results are seen when taken long-term,” says Broida.
Coffee and mushrooms are both naturally bitter, so the flavors mesh well together, making coffee an easy delivery method.
“We know that it is hard to get people to start new habits that must be kept up daily,” Broida says, “so we look at what daily habits people are already doing and add functional mushrooms and adaptogens into these routines.”
Ready to upgrade your morning routine?
Here are 5 reasons why mushrooms belong in your coffee.
1. There’s a natural synergy between coffee and mushrooms
We drink coffee for alertness and focus, but that caffeine buzz can also bring jitters and an afternoon crash, says Broida. Four Sigmatic adds the adaptogen, mushroom lion’s mane, to help with both sides of caffeine consumption—it enhances coffee’s natural lift and focus-bringing properties, and it can help to soften some of those unwanted side effects.
2. They’re packed with stress adaptors
The three key mushrooms Four Sigmatic focuses on are chaga, lion’s mane, and reishi. They’re all considered adaptogens because they help the body adapt to stress. That can mean different things for different bodies, which is what makes these fungi so revered. Think of them like your coffee also becomes your very wise BFF, the one who you turn to when things go wrong because they give you that pep talk you need to keep going.
“In our modern world, almost all of us are constantly dealing with some layer of stress, says Broida. “Understanding the physiology of stress helps us recognize that when we are stressed, the other critical systems in our body stop working optimally, as we are in survival mode so all our energy is focused on acute reactions.”
3. You can get an immune boost
Supercharging your immune system is not a guaranteed defense against illness, but it doesn’t hurt. Chaga and reishi mushrooms are considered powerful immune enhancers, as they’re packed with antioxidants. But reducing stress is also key to immune function. “High stress suppresses the immune system,” says Broida. Regulating stress levels daily can help keep the immune system functioning at an optimal level.
4. You can up improve your skin health
Looking for an easy glow-up? Eager to skip that 19-step skincare routine you’ve been tethered to? Adding Four Sigmatic to your morning routine may bring the help you need. The antioxidants in chaga and reishi have been shown to improve skin health. And just like reducing stress helps boost immunity, it can help deliver more balanced skin, too. The company also makes “edible skincare.” Broida says that’s because Four Sigmatic believes that what you put on your skin should be “as clean, if not cleaner,” than what goes into the body. The Superfood Face Mask not only purifies the skin externally, but can be consumed as a chocolatey-tonic internally.
5. Yes, you'll even sleep better
As we age, our sleep patterns can change. Certainly that happens when we have children. It’s also likely when we’re under a lot of stress (see: children). The cycle ebbs between a rough night, extra coffee just to get through the day, which leads to another caffeinated night of unrest, and so on.
Balancing stress levels through the adaptogenic properties in reishi, chaga, and lion’s mane could be the key to a better night’s sleep. “Adaptogens help us deal with our stress response in a way that isn't sedating or puts us to sleep, but many can be taken in the morning or throughout the day to keep our stress managed and the rest of our vitality high so we can look and feel our best,” Broida says.
Because Four Sigmatic’s mushroom coffee can help give you the energy you need to power through your day without having to drink more coffee just to make it through, this reduces your caffeine intake that makes for a better night’s sleep on its own. But while the mushrooms aren’t a sleep aid in the traditional sense, they do help bring balance and reduce stress levels, so that your body is ready to sleep at night. That means that if you can fall asleep without taking a pill, you’ll wake feeling less groggy, and thus need less caffeine to feel normal.
Are you ready to give Four Sigmatic a try? Click here for more info.
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Jill Ettinger is an LA-based writer and editor focused on vegan and cruelty-free living.