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Best Time to Take Lion’s Mane


Have you heard about the many benefits of lion's mane mushroom before? If so, you probably already know that it has been found to help improve memory and concentration and help protect the brain.

But did you also know that it is even better when taken at a particular time (or times)?

That's right—recent studies have shown that taking lion's mane mushroom at certain parts of the day could give your body and brain an extra boost. Read on to discover the best time to take lion’s mane.


Key Takeaways

  • Lion's mane mushroom has been found to improve memory, concentration, and cognitive function. It promotes neuron growth and myelination, enhancing brain cell communication.
  • Studies have shown that lion's mane can be beneficial for senior citizens with mild cognitive impairment, improving learning, memory, and overall cognitive performance.
  • The best time to take lion's mane depends on the desired effect: for memory enhancement, it is recommended to take it before breakfast and lunch; for mood improvement, bedtime is suggested; for digestive health benefits, consistency in taking one serving per day, preferably with the evening meal, is recommended.
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What is Lion’s Mane?

The lion’s mane fungus (Hericium Erinaceus) is an edible and medicinal mushroom that grows on hardwood trees and is named after its lion-like look. Long spines, appearance on hardwoods, and a white to off-white tint distinguish it.

Long considered a choice edible in many Asian countries, lion’s mane has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine for supporting overall wellness. Modern research has supported these claims and shown that it may assist in supporting cognitive function and digestion and even have potential as an anti-inflammatory.

The most important compound found in the lion's mane is the protein Hericenone B. This protein promotes neuron growth and myelination, which helps your brain cells communicate more effectively with each other.

This means that consuming lion's mane could help improve memory, cognition, concentration, and even mood — all elements that can help you sleep more deeply at night.


Lion's Mane Mushroom Brain Benefits

Boosts Memory and Concentration

In Japan, lion's mane is considered a cognitive enhancer and has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years. And modern science hasn't stopped looking into its effects on the brain. 

In a 2009 study, researchers found that lion's mane mushrooms helped boost memory and concentration in mice. Researchers concluded that it was because of lion's mane mushrooms' effect on nerve growth factor (NGF), which plays an important role in the development of nervous tissue. 

In another study conducted by the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan, rats were fed an extract from lion's mane mushrooms over five weeks. The researchers found that the rats demonstrated increased numbers of nerve fibers in their brains.

In addition, studies have shown that lion's mane can help senior citizens who may be suffering from mild cognitive impairment — a precursor to dementia. One study showed improved performance on learning and memory tests after just four weeks of taking 1 gram of lion's mane supplement per day. 


How Does Lion's Mane Affect the Brain?

Recently, scientists have been studying lion's mane for its health benefits, including improving brain function and stimulating the immune system. You can find lion's mane in supplement and powder form in health food stores.

Lion’s mane mushroom contains two groups of compounds, hericenones and erinacines, that may be responsible for many of its bioactive effects on your body and brain. These compounds are not found in other mushrooms or foods, making lion's mane unique among medicinal foods.

Hericenones are responsible for the mushroom’s flavor and aroma. They also exhibit anticancer properties in laboratory studies.

Erinacines are known to stimulate nerve growth factors (NGF). NGF is a protein that plays an important role in the survival of neurons. It also supports myelination, which is the process by which our nervous system acquires an insulating sheath.

This sheath helps our nervous system to communicate more efficiently throughout the body and can help improve memory and overall brain function.

Apart from boosting brain health lion's mane contains other benefits such as

  • Boosting the immune system: Lion's mane mushrooms have two types of polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates that can help improve the immune system. 
  • Fighting Inflammation: Lions' mane contains beta-glucans, which have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation in the body by activating immune cells.
  • Help with stomach ulcers and other digestive problems.
  • Help with weight loss and obesity.
  • It may help with men's reproductive health.
  • May be a useful supplement pre workout.

How Lion's Mane Works

Lion’s mane contains two bioactive compounds that increase NGF; polysaccharides and hericenones. Polysaccharides are responsible for the majority of benefits associated with lion's mane.

They can be extracted from the mushroom after cooking or boiling the mushroom directly into the water. Hericenones are only found in raw mushrooms and are responsible for increasing NGF. It is important to eat lion's mane raw.

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How Much Lion's Mane Should I Take?

Most people start at 500 mg lion's mane a day, others go 1.5 grams per day. However, if you are taking lion's mane for the first time, it is best to start with a smaller dose and see how your body reacts.

If you are sensitive to supplements in general, consider starting with 250 mg and working your way up. Also, some people report that a lion's mane gives them a “tingly feeling” in the mouth and throat.

This is temporary and harmless, but if you have allergies or are sensitive to supplements generally, this might be something you want to consider when deciding how much lion's mane to take.

These recommendations assume you are taking an extract that contains at least 30% polysaccharides (the important active ingredients). If your extract has less than 30% polysaccharides, consider taking more than the recommended amount above.


What is the Best Time to Take Lion's Mane?

The best time of day to take lion's mane depends on what you're taking it for:

For Memory

    Take lion's mane approximately 30 minutes before breakfast and lunch. Morning and afternoon snacks may also be beneficial. This way, you'll have a steady supply of mushrooms throughout the day.

    For Mood

      In this case, you should take your dosage at bedtime. You can also try taking it in the morning or at lunchtime, depending on what feels suitable for your body. Note that if you're taking lion's mane for mood, it may take up to six weeks before you notice an improvement in symptoms.

      For Digestive Health

      Lion's mane helps repair damage to the gut lining and restore normal motility if taken daily for months (think of it as a probiotic). It may also help heal ulcers in the stomach or small intestine caused by H pylori bacteria. Consistency is key here, so we recommend taking one serving per day, ideally with your evening meal.

      The best time to take lion’s mane will depend on each individual’s routine. However, taking it at least 30 minutes before a meal in the morning or afternoon can help you make the most of it. 

      You can take lion’s mane with water or tea and add it to smoothies, soups, salads, and other recipes. It works the same as cordyceps.

      When is the Best Time to Take Lion's Mane Mushroom During Workout?

      Lion’s mane mushroom is an adaptogen — a natural substance that helps your body better cope with stress. It balances hormones in your brain, including cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine.

      Lion’s mane also appears to have anti-inflammatory effects that may help promote recovery after workouts and even enhance your performance pre-workout.

      Many studies show that the best time to take lion’s mane mushroom is right before your workout. In fact, some studies show taking it after and even during your workout will be effective as well.

      This is because the lion’s mane mushroom has been shown to boost energy levels. It can give you the extra energy you need to get through them when taken before workouts. It can also increase muscle building and recovery by boosting protein synthesis and reducing inflammation, which is why many people take it after a workout.

      Should You Take Lion’s Mane Before Bed?

      If you're someone who can't ever seem to get enough sleep, you know that a good night's rest is essential for surviving the day ahead. You've likely tried everything: from taking melatonin and getting rid of your phone to drinking a ton of water before bed.

      If you haven't tried lion's mane yet, you'll miss out on a powerful natural supplement that could help you sleep better.

      For those looking to get the most out of their sleep, it is recommended that you take a minimum of 300mg per day. The more you take, the better your sleep will be. The more you take, the better you will feel the following day. The more you take, the more energy you will have throughout the day.

      VYU Blog Disclaimer

      The information provided on the VYU blog is intended solely for informational and entertainment purposes. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

      Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

      For more information, check out our FAQs and contact page.

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