To date, the medical recognition of cordyceps mushrooms spans fifteen hundred years already. It originated from the Shepherds in Tibetan mountains that discovered the use of the mushroom to cure problems with organ functions, immune system and on well-being and general strength of people. The positive effects were first noticed on the cattle that were being tended in the mountains of Tibet. Since then, it has been used and studied extensively.
Cordyceps is a natural, non-stimulating energy-boosting herb, which contributes to deep, restful sleep. It will give performance athletes the energy boost needed to train hard and compete, while also promoting recovery. Cordyceps boosts energy in two ways: first, increasing oxygen supply and second, boosting adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels.
The Importance of Oxygen
Oxygen is a vitally necessary element for almost all forms of life on Earth. Oxygen is used by every cell in your body. Your lungs take in oxygen, which enriches the blood, which is pumped throughout your entire body by your heart. If a part of your body is deprived of oxygen, even for a short time, the cells begin to die and the tissues will cease to function. In this sense, lung health is of vital importance and affects every other system of the body.
Based on research, aids lung function, thereby easing breathing and increasing oxygen capacity. This supports Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)’s claim that cordyceps is a lung tonic that sustains respiratory system function. Chinese medical practitioners have regarded cordyceps as a protector of respiratory health for centuries. This is attributed to its ability to support the effective use of oxygen in the body. Cordyceps Mushroom is a highly sought after tonic for anyone with respiratory problems, including asthma, fatigue from low oxygen, and sleep issues. Cordyceps is a particularly helpful herb for runners, yogis, and other athletes who need strong lungs and oxygen-rich blood.
The Importance of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)
Every single cell in your body contains a cellular structure known as mitochondria. Mitochondria are known as the “power house” of your cells. They are in charge of transforming food nutrients into energy that your cells use. Mitochondria process and change these nutrients into a chemical known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Just like your car needs fuel to run, your cells need ATP to function. If your ATP levels get too low, your cells function inefficiently and can even stop functioning completely.
The more ATP the mitochondria generate, the larger your energy reserve is and the more efficiently your body functions. On the other hand, if the mitochondria are unable to create enough ATP to support your body’s energy requirements, then you will incur energy shortage which will eventually cause major health problems and can potentially lead your body to break down.
Cellular energy not only allows your cells to function normally, affecting your ability to run, perform physical activities, and complete daily tasks. Cellular energy also affects your heart function and that of other organs, your circulatory and respiratory systems, your ability to manage stress, cope with an illness, and can impact decision-making. In other words, your cellular energy is what enables you to function as a human being.
ATP is only produced based on your body’s demand, so you don’t keep an extra supply of ATP stored inside. At any given time, your body contains only around 100 grams of ATP as compared to an active cell’s requirement of over 2 million ATP molecules every second. That’s why you must continuously refill your ATP supply. If your body suddenly stopped producing ATP, even for four seconds, you would die. ATP is that critical.
Physical stress, emotional stress, oxidative stress, damage to your mitochondria, body toxins and normal wear and tear of your cells can all diminish your mitochondria’s ability to produce and thereby deplete your body’s ATP supply and ultimately cause energy shortage.
Cordyceps’ Role in Replenishing Energy
Cordyceps acts a powerful antioxidant that fights against oxidative cell and mitochondria damage. If your mitochondria are healthy, they will be capable of generating more ATP. Sufficient ATP for your cells equals sufficient energy available for your body. Likewise, cordyceps boosts your oxygen capacity enabling you to have two key elements for real cellular energy – ATP and an available oxygen supply.
Cordyceps is well-known health supplement among all kinds of endurance athletes like runners, cyclists, triathletes, swimmers, mountain climbers, etc. for its energy, endurance and oxygen capacity boosting effects. Several years ago, Chinese athletic teams were searching for performance-boosting dietary supplements and with their joint efforts with Chinese herbalists, discovered cordyceps. Due to its amazing effects, the Track and Field News reported: “They (the Chinese) appear to have come up with the greatest quantum leap in human performance in history.”
In the 1993 National Games in Beijing, China and the World Games at Stuttgart, Germany, six new Chinese women runners from Liaoning province under the “Ma’s Army” team broke world records in the track and field events 17 times with nine records of these events being completely surpassed:
- Qu Junxia broke the 1,500-meter world record by 2 seconds
- Wang Junxia broke the 3,000 meter world record by 10 seconds and 10,000-meter world record by 42 seconds
- In the 3,000-meter race, five of these Chinese athletes broke the 9-year old world record. One was just 17 years old.
These stunning athletic performances raised a suspicion that these runners were taking steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs to which their coach, Ma Zuren vehemently denied. They underwent drug tests which showed negative results so the International Amateur Athletic Federation had to ratify the existing world records. Ma said that their secret was not drugs but a drink containing a large dose of Cordyceps mixed with other herbs that gave them that perfect blend.
Cordyceps’ Role in Energy, Endurance and Athletic Performance
The components of cordyceps enable the lungs to open and fill it with a huge supply of oxygen, leading to greater stamina and endurance.
Its actions include:
- Respiratory function improvement and relief from asthma and bronchitis
- 40% increase in cellular oxygen absorption
- Fatigue reduction due to an increase in oxygen supply and cellular energy production in the mitochondria, the body cell’s energy factory.
- Relief from the discomfort caused by tired legs due to increase in blood circulation, enabling the blood vessel’s smooth muscles to relax and expand.
- Boost stamina and endurance through the decrease in muscle soreness and thereby promote better oxygen use and speed up recovery period.
- Enhance the glucose-processing enzyme levels in the liver enabling greater amounts of glucose to be available to the muscles.
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