Cordyceps Effects on Endurance, Stamina, and Athletic Performance
In 1993, Cordyceps was in all sports headlines when, at the Chinese National Games, nine world records – including the 10,000 metres, won by an astonishing 40 seconds – were broken by the Chinese team. It was claimed that Cordyceps improves stamina and athletic performance, reduces muscle soreness and promotes muscle building, even though it does not contain any steroids.
In 2004, the New Zealand Herald published an article about a clinical trial on the effect of Cordyceps (Connor, S. Chinese mushroom remedy found to boost fitness. New Zealand Herald, 2004). The experiment revealed that, for the 131 volunteers in the trial, there was a significant increase in aerobic fitness when participants took extracts of Cordyceps.
The study also showed that Cordyceps extract is effective in enhancing aerobic exercise capability, endurance exercise performance and exercise metabolism and alleviating fatigue in healthy humans.
The results were presented to the American Physiological Society in April, 2004. (Derivatives of a rare Chinese mushroom can improve capacity for aerobic exercise and endurance in the mid-age to elderly, sedentary humans., American Physiological Society, 2004)
Another study conducted on mice showed that taking Cordyceps for 6 weeks can improve swimming capabilities. (Mizuno, T. Medicinal effects and utilization of Cordyceps (Fr.) Link (Ascomycetes) and Isaria Fr. (Mitosporic Fungi) Chinese Caterpillar Fungi, “Tochukaso” (Review). International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 1999, 1(3), 251–261.)
In addition, Cordyceps reduces lactic acid build-up in muscles, which makes muscles sore after a workout. (Mindell, E. Dr Earl Mindell's peak performance bible. USA: Simon & Schuster Incorporation, 2001)