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Lion's Mane vs. Cordyceps: How Do They Compare?


In the vast realm of medicinal mushrooms, two champions emerge - lion's mane and cordyceps. Each boasts unique properties believed to enhance one's health and overall well-being, but how are they different, and which might be best suited to your individual needs?

Grab a cup of tea, settle into your favorite chair, and prepare to embark on a voyage into the world of these fascinating fungi.


Key Takeaways

  • Lion's mane is an adaptogen that may help to balance hormones, boost cognitive performance, and protect against neurological degeneration.
  • Cordyceps is an adaptogen that may help reduce fatigue, improve focus and concentration, and increase testosterone levels in men.
  • Both lion's mane and cordyceps are legal supplements that can be purchased online and in health food stores.
  • It is generally recommended to take lion's mane and cordyceps every day for best results, but always consult your healthcare provider before taking any new supplement or medication.
  • Combining both lion's mane and cordyceps may be the best choice for overall health benefits. They can work together to boost cognitive performance, energy levels, sexual health, and protect against signs of aging.


What is Lion's Mane?

Lion's mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a white-to-grayish mushroom with long, shaggy spines. It's found on dead or dying hardwood trees across Asia, Europe, and North America, and is prized by cultures worldwide for its purported medicinal benefits.

This mushroom is believed to be a powerful nootropic, meaning it could potentially improve cognitive function. Specifically, lion's mane is thought to help with memory, concentration and creative workflow management.

It's also considered an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body handle physical and mental stressors more efficiently.


How Do They Work?

Lion's mane mushrooms contain compounds called beta-glucans, which have been found to act as powerful antioxidants. These substances may help protect cells from damage and boost the immune system.

They also increase levels of nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein that plays an important role in neuronal functioning and regeneration.

In addition, lion's mane has several other compounds that may help with cognitive function and brain health, including erinacines, hericerins, and hericenones. 

Erinacines and hericerins have been shown to stimulate nerve growth and regeneration, while hericenones may be beneficial for increasing focus and concentration. This is why the best drinks for focus and concentration, such as our TUNE IN, contain this mushroom as a key ingredient.


Lion's Mane Health Benefits

Lion's mane comes with a plethora of benefits, including:

Cognitive Enhancer

Lion's mane may help to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein essential for the health and function of neurons in the brain. This may translate to better memory, focus, and overall cognition.

This mushroom also helps people overcome brain fog, which is a condition characterized by difficulty concentrating, poor memory, and trouble staying focused. It does this by increasing the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, which helps to keep the mind sharp and alert. 

Immune System Booster

Lion's mane is rich in antioxidants, which can protect cells from damage and boost immunity. It achieves this by increasing the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting off infections and keeping you healthy. 

It's also been found to increase cytokine levels, an immune system protein that helps fight infection.

Mood Stabilizer

Research suggests that lion's mane may help in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. This mushroom works in conjunction with the nervous system to regulate dopamine and serotonin levels, hormones that are crucial for maintaining a healthy mental state. 

This explains why functional mushrooms increase brain function and cognitive ability.

Repair Nerve Damage

Another key benefit of lion's mane is its ability to repair nerve damage. Its high content of beta glucans can help stimulate the production of nerve growth factor, a protein that assists the development, maintenance, and regeneration of cells in the system. 

Nerve cell regrowth is essential for improving physical coordination and preventing further degeneration.

Stimulate Digestion

Lion's mane may also help in stimulating digestion. This is because it contains certain polysaccharides that have been found to increase levels of gastric acid and digestive enzymes, improving the efficiency of your digestive system. 

The mushroom also contains a number of pre-biotic compounds that can help to maintain the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut.


Lion's Mane Dosage

There's no universal dosage of lion's mane. There are several things to consider when determining the best dosage for you. These include your individual health needs, body weight, age, and any medications or supplements you may be taking.

Generally speaking, it's recommended that you take 750 mg/day for general health benefits, and up to 3000 mg/day if you're looking for more specific cognitive or nerve-repairing effects.

Make sure you split the dose throughout the day to ensure maximum absorption.

However, note that natural supplements like lion's mane should always be taken in moderation. Consult your doctor before taking any supplement, especially if you have an existing medical condition or are taking medication.


Possible Side Effects

Even though lion's mane is considered safe when taken in the right dosage, it can still cause some side effects. They include:

  • Headaches: Due to its nervous system-stimulating effects, some people may experience headaches after taking the mushroom.
  • Upset Stomach: Lion's mane can sometimes cause nausea, indigestion, and other digestive disturbances.
  • Allergies: A small number of people have reported allergic reactions to lion's mane, such as rashes or difficulty breathing. The risk is low, but it's always best to be aware.


What is Cordyceps?

Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) is a kind of mushroom that grows wild in China and other parts of Asia. It's been used as a medicinal herb for centuries, prized for its purported ability to boost energy, improve respiratory health, and even increase libido.

But cordyceps isn't just an ancient remedy—it's also become incredibly popular over the last few years. This is largely due to its purported ability to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and even improve endurance and athletic performance.


How Do They Work?

Cordyceps are made up of a complex network of compounds, including polysaccharides, peptidoglycans, and cordycepin.

Polysaccharides, or carbohydrates, are important for boosting the body’s immune system and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. They also possess antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Peptidoglycans are a type of sugar molecule that helps to nourish cells, while cordycepin is an alkaloid compound that has been found to have antioxidant, anti-aging, and antifungal benefits.

Additionally, cordyceps contain a hefty dose of B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. This combination helps to increase energy levels and mental alertness, as well as improve the body’s ability to absorb oxygen. This is why people are using mushrooms to supercharge their creativity.

All these compounds work together to create a powerhouse of health benefits. From boosting the immune system and promoting cellular repair to improving mental clarity and aiding in oxygen absorption, cordyceps have been proven time and again to be one of the most powerful fungi available.


Health Benefits of Cordyceps

Cordyceps come with a plethora of benefits, including:


Free radicals, such as oxidative stress, damage DNA and accelerate aging. These free radicals cause inflammation and, over time, lead to chronic diseases.

Cordyceps may help fight the effects of aging by scavenging free radicals from our bodies and helping reduce oxidative stress. In turn, this can help protect against cell damage and slow down signs of aging.

Immune Support

The active compounds in cordyceps have been found to help support a healthy immune system. It can help stimulate the production of important immune cells that fight off infections, viruses, and other intruders in our bodies.

The immune-boosting properties of cordyceps can also help reduce inflammation, making it a great choice for people who suffer from chronic pain and inflammation.

Energy Boost

Cordyceps is known to boost energy levels and improve endurance in athletes. It’s been found that the active compounds in cordyceps can increase oxygen uptake and increase energy production in cells.

This can help athletes improve their performance, increase oxygen in the muscles, and reduce fatigue.

Cardiovascular Support

Cordyceps have been found to help promote healthy cardiovascular function. It can help reduce cholesterol, improve circulation, and lower blood pressure. This can lead to better heart health.

The active compounds in cordyceps may also help prevent the formation of blood clots. These clots can cause blockages in the arteries and increase the risk of heart attack. So, cordyceps is a great choice if you’re looking for a natural way to improve your heart health.

Increased Libido

Cordyceps may help increase libido in both men and women. Studies have shown that cordyceps can help improve arousal, sexual satisfaction, and overall quality of life for those suffering from a low sex drive.

It’s believed the active compounds in cordyceps help boost testosterone levels, which can then lead to increased libido. Cordyceps are a great choice for those looking for a natural way to increase their sex drive and overall sexual performance.


Cordyceps may help reduce inflammation in the body. This is due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce swelling and pain associated with chronic diseases.

Boost Mental Performance

Cordyceps can help improve mental performance. Studies have shown that consuming cordyceps can boost energy levels and reduce fatigue, allowing users to focus better on their tasks. 

It's also been found to increase the speed at which our brain processes information, making it easier to learn new things or recall facts quickly. This is why most drinks that help you focus contain cordyceps as an ingredient.


Cordyceps Dosage

The dosage of cordyceps varies depending on the reason it is being used. 

According to research, the most common cordyceps dosage used in human trials falls within the range of 1,000-3,000 milligrams per day, either in one single dose or multiple doses with meals. In studies focused on athletic performance, doses of up to one gram have been used. 

To achieve the benefits of cordyceps, it is important to adhere to the recommended dosage. Speak to your healthcare provider for professional advice and guidance with cordyceps dosage.

Understanding how much cordyceps is right for you is important, as taking too much can be dangerous. This is why speaking with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement is important.


Possible Side Effects

Just like other medicinal mushrooms, cordyceps can have side effects. They include:

  • Gastrointestinal issues: These issues include diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. They're caused by the polysaccharides in cordyceps, which can be hard to digest.
  • Allergic reactions: These reactions may include rash or itching. This is due to the proteins and peptides present in cordyceps that could trigger an allergic reaction.
  • Headaches: This is a common side effect of cordyceps, likely due to its energizing properties. You can reduce the risk of headaches by consuming cordyceps in smaller doses.
  • Confusion: Confusion is another possible side effect of cordyceps because it can be very stimulating. This means that taking too much can cause sleep disturbances and mental confusion.
  • Increased heart rate: Cordyceps can increase heart rate due to its stimulant effects. Taking it in high doses can lead to an increased risk of cardiac issues or arrhythmia. If you have a heart condition, speak with your doctor before taking cordyceps.


Lion's Mane vs. Cordyceps: What Do They Have in Common?

Now that you have some background information on what lion's mane and cordyceps are, let's review how they compare.

They're Both Medicinal Mushrooms

Both lion's mane and cordyceps are medicinal mushrooms, meaning they offer many health benefits. They both have a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, and modern science is beginning to understand why they can be so beneficial.

They Share Some Similar Benefits

One of the most obvious similarities between these two mushrooms is their potential health benefits. Both are considered to be adaptogenic mushrooms – meaning they can help the body adapt to and cope with stress. 

Additionally, both mushrooms may boost energy levels, improve brain functioning, and reduce inflammation in the body. These mushrooms may also help boost the immune system and protect against diseases.

They're High in Nutrients

In addition to having potential health benefits, both lion's mane and cordyceps are considered “superfoods” due to their high content of essential vitamins and minerals. 

For instance, lion's mane contains Vitamins B2, D, and C as well as copper, potassium, and zinc – while cordyceps is packed with magnesium, iron, and amino acids.

The nutritional value of both mushrooms makes them a great addition to any diet. Their low-calorie content means that they can be added to meals without affecting your daily caloric intake.

They Have Side Effects

Both lion's mane and cordyceps may cause mild side effects when consumed in large amounts. The most common side effects include stomach upset, nausea, headaches, and dizziness.

If you're worried about potential side effects, it's best to talk to your doctor before taking either supplement.


Lion's Mane vs. Cordyceps: Key Differences

Below are some of the key differences between lion's mane and cordyceps:


There's a major difference in taste between lion's mane and cordyceps. 

Lion's mane has a mild, sweet flavor that can be described as having notes of seafood or nuts. On the other hand, cordyceps has an earthy taste with hints of bitterness.

The taste of either mushroom may be more or less pronounced depending on how it's prepared.


Lion's mane is primarily used for its nutritional and medicinal properties. It's been known to have beneficial effects on the brain, with studies showing that it can help improve memory and focus. 

In addition, lion's mane has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make it a popular choice in dietary supplements.

On the other hand, cordyceps is most commonly used for its anti-aging and energizing effects. It's said to boost energy levels, improve endurance and stamina, and reduce fatigue.

Cordyceps is also widely used as a dietary supplement due to its immune-boosting properties.


The effects of lion's mane and cordyceps can be quite different. Lion's mane is known to have a calming effect on the body, while cordyceps is known to provide an energy boost.

In addition, lion's mane is thought to improve cognitive functioning, whereas cordyceps may provide more of a physical benefit.


Can You Take Them Together?

Stacking lion’s mane and cordyceps isn’t something that is often discussed, but it could be an option for you if you want to get the best of both worlds. The two mushrooms have many overlapping benefits, so if you decide to take them together, you may be able to experience their combined effects.

However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking herbal supplements and let them know your doses. You should also make sure that the doses of lion's mane and cordyceps don’t exceed the recommended amounts, as taking too much of either could lead to unwanted side effects.

Lastly, if you’re taking medications or have any pre-existing medical conditions, it’s best to avoid stacking lion’s mane and cordyceps until you have talked to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits.

If you're looking for a natural and effective way to boost your productivity and focus, look no further than our TUNE IN powdered drink! With a powerful blend of lion's mane and cordyceps, alongside other nootropics and adaptogens, this drink is a game-changer for anyone looking to stay on top of their game.

Not only does TUNE IN provide a convenient way to consume these powerful ingredients, but it also comes in two delicious flavors - Pink Lemonade and Tropical Punch - that are sure to please your taste buds. 

Whether you're a student looking to ace your exams or a busy professional trying to juggle multiple tasks, TUNE IN is the perfect way to give your brain and body the support they need to perform at their best.


Stacking Mushrooms: Benefits of Taking Lion's Mane vs. Cordyceps Together

Below are some of the benefits of taking lion's mane and cordyceps together:

Boosts Your Immune System

When you combine lion's mane and cordyceps, you can experience a boost to your immune system. The two mushrooms work together to stimulate the activity of white blood cells, which are crucial for fighting off infections.

Adaptogenic Benefits

Adaptogens are substances that help your body adapt to physical and mental stress. Taking lion's mane and cordyceps together can provide a number of adaptogenic benefits, including increased energy, improved mood, better sleep, and enhanced focus.

Pre-Workout Energy Boost

If you need an energy boost before your workout, then taking lion's mane and cordyceps together can be beneficial. The combination of the two mushrooms can provide long-lasting energy that will help you get through your workouts with ease.

Plus, they may even improve your performance by increasing stamina and endurance.

Improves Concentration and Cognitive Functions

Lion's mane and cordyceps can help improve your concentration and cognitive functions, such as memory recall, decision-making skills, and problem-solving. Taking both mushrooms together may reduce stress and anxiety, which makes it easier to focus on tasks.


Choosing Which One is the Best for You

Both lion's mane and cordyceps are popular medicinal mushrooms with a range of potential health benefits. But how do you know which one is the best for your lifestyle and individual needs? 

Here are a few tips to help you decide.

Look at Your Needs

The best way to decide between lion's mane and cordyceps is to take a close look at your needs. What kind of health benefits are you looking for? Are there specific goals you want to reach with the help of these mushrooms? Knowing what effects you’re hoping for can help narrow down your choice.

Analyze Their Benefits

Once you’ve identified your health goals, you can look at the benefits of each mushroom. Lion's mane is known for its potential to improve cognitive function and enhance brain health.

On the other hand, cordyceps has been used in traditional medicine for centuries as an energy booster and immune system enhancer.

Consider Your Lifestyle

When deciding which mushroom is best for you, also consider your lifestyle. Do you lead an active, sporty lifestyle and need something to give you a boost? Or do you need something that will help keep your mind sharp? Your lifestyle can play a big role in what mushroom would best suit your needs.

Use Them Both

There's no better way to get the most out of mushrooms than by using them both. Lion's mane and cordyceps can complement each other, giving you a range of benefits that reach all areas of your well-being.

So why not try them both and see what they can do for you? Get our TUNE IN drink now and try them for yourself!


Final Thoughts

It is clear that both lion's mane and cordyceps offer different benefits, each with its own unique properties. Lion's mane is great for helping to support cognitive health, while cordyceps has many antioxidant properties that can aid overall well-being. 

Ultimately, deciding which mushroom supplement is right for you depends on your individual needs and goals. Whether you choose lion's mane or cordyceps, both supplements have the potential to support mental clarity and focus, offer immune system defense, and provide overall positive health benefits. 

It is important to be mindful of your specific needs when choosing a mushroom supplement, as each one offers beneficial effects in its own right. Experimenting with different combinations may also be helpful in finding the supplement that works best for you!


Lion's Mane vs. Cordyceps: Frequently Asked Questions 

What Does Lion's Mane Do to Hormones?

Lion's mane is an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body cope with mental and physical stress. It has been studied for its potential to help balance hormones in both men and women by regulating cortisol levels. 

What Does Lion's Mane Do to the Brain?

Lion's mane has been studied for its potential to boost cognitive performance, memory, and creativity. It acts as a nootropic, aiding in healing damaged neurons and improving communication between them.

Who Should Not Take Lion's Mane?

Lion's mane is generally considered safe for most adults. However, those with pre-existing medical conditions should consult their doctor before taking it. It should also be avoided by pregnant or nursing women.

Who Should Not Take Cordyceps?

Just like lion's mane, it is generally considered safe for most adults. However, as with any supplement, pregnant or nursing women should avoid taking cordyceps. People with autoimmune diseases and certain blood disorders should also seek medical advice before using this supplement.

Do Cordyceps Work Immediately?

Cordyceps is a supplement that can take some time before you begin to notice its effects. Generally, it will start working over the course of several weeks, with peak benefits seen after about two months of regular use.

How Does Cordyceps Make You Feel?

Cordyceps is an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body cope with physical and mental stress. It may help reduce feelings of fatigue and boost energy levels while also helping to improve focus and concentration.

Are Lion's Mane and Cordyceps Legal?

Yes, both lion's mane and cordyceps are legal. They can be purchased online and in health food stores without a prescription.

Should You Take Lion's Mane or Cordyceps Every Day?

It is generally recommended to take lion's mane and cordyceps every day for best results. However, you should always consult your healthcare provider before taking any new supplement or medication.

What Mushroom is Best for Brain Health?

Both lion's mane and cordyceps are excellent choices for brain health. They are both adaptogens that have been studied for their potential to boost cognitive performance, memory, and creativity.

Does Lion's Mane Increase Dopamine?

Studies have suggested that lion's mane can increase dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter involved in motivation, pleasure, and learning. Higher levels of this chemical are linked to improved cognitive performance and better moods.

Does Cordyceps Increase Testosterone?

Cordyceps may help to increase testosterone levels in men. This can lead to increased energy, muscle strength, and stamina. Cordyceps has also been studied for its potential to improve sexual health in men by increasing libido and fertility.

What Mushroom is Best for Anti-Aging?

Cordyceps has been studied for its potential to combat the signs of aging. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against free radical damage, which can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, and other age-related issues.

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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.

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