What Is Lion’s Mane? And How Does It Boost Mental and Physical Endurance?

Among the various superfoods and botanical ingredients we’ve discussed on the PurePower blog, lion’s mane could possibly be the most powerful.

Officially named Hericium erinaceus, lion’s mane gets its generic name from its dramatic presentation in the wild: large clumps of dangling spines, often white, that resemble a cross between a shower loofa and Gandalf’s beard — or a lion’s mane. The mushroom is most commonly found growing from hardwood like the American beech.

Fondly referred to as the “memory mushroom,” lion’s mane is another herb (or fungi as it is officially called) – long-used in traditional Chinese medicine for its nutritional and health benefits – that is now beginning to make waves in the athletic world.

Before we get into its potential benefits for athletes, let’s talk a little bit about what we know about lion’s mane. Studies have shown that consuming lion’s mane offers multiple health benefits, particularly to the brain, heart and gut. One study conducted in 2015 cited a long list of health-promoting properties:

antibiotic

anticarcinogenic

antidiabetic

antifatigue

antihypertensive

antihyperlipodemic

antisenescence

cardioprotective

hepatoprotective

hepatoprotective

nephroprotective

neuroprotective

Beyond these benefits, lion’s mane is considered a nootropic, because it has shown to improve anxiety, cognitive function, and depression.

You can see from the list above that many of the benefits of consuming lion’s mane could translate to improved performance and recovery for athletes. Results of a study conducted on mice showed that lion’s mane increased endurance capacity after consumption, and the more lion’s mane consumed, the higher the rate of endurance.

Another benefit for athletes could be the fungi’s ability to boost memory and recall, while at the same time increasing your ability to focus and pay attention to the task at hand.

These incredible health benefits are why we include organic lion’s mane in all of PurePower’s PowerUp and Reboot products, combining it with our full spectrum Performance HempTM, and other powerful ingredients not only to optimize your health, but also reach peak performance.

Other than through supplements, lion’s mane can also be consumed raw, cooked, dried or steeped as tea. In powder form, the herb can be added to smoothies, soups, and drinks.

For a fascinating discussion about the health properties of lion’s mane, tune into Tim Ferriss’ (@timferriss) recent podcast interview of the mushroom king, Paul Stamets (@PaulStamets), for a deeper look at fungi and its wide range of benefits for not only your own health but also the whole planet! You can find the interview here.

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