A while back, I told you about how I trained for my Lavaman triathlon in just two weeks. There were a LOT of things I did to get ready, but one thing that I know really helped me was adding mushrooms to my pre-workout drink.
The mushrooms I used then were cordyceps mushrooms, but the truth is there are tons of other wild mushrooms with great health benefits. In fact, they qualify as superfoods!
You know I’m always on the lookout for new products to share with you, not just to enhance your workouts, but to improve your health. Today, I want to tell you about Four Sigmatic, a company that makes mushroom products and blends.
What is Four Sigmatic?
It’s important to know where your supplements come from, so I want to start by talking about FourSigmatic as a company.
Formed by a group of friends in Finland who originally bonded as the brewed their own chaga tea in college (more about chaga in a minute!), Four Sigmatic is dedicated to spreading the word about the health benefits of mushrooms.
They’re so dedicated that they’ve launched an online academy, which you can find here, to educate consumers about the mushrooms and other products they sell.
Together, they’ve created a series of mushroom-based products that taste great AND provide incredible health benefits.
Where does Four Sigmatic get their mushrooms?
This is an important question because, as you may know, wild mushrooms can be dangerous. Some poisonous types look similar to ‘shrooms (as Four Sigmatic calls them) that are safe to eat.
Four Sigmatic gets their mushrooms in two ways:
- They gather them in the wild; or
- They raise them on a mushroom farm that simulates the conditions mushrooms grow in naturally
They really put a lot of care into the way they source their products, and that’s something that matters to me. I care about what I put into my body – and I’m always happy when I find a company that cares as much as I do.
How are the mushrooms processed?
One of the things that impressed me the most about Four Sigmatic is the process they use to create their products. It’s pretty cool.
Their products all use dehydrated mushrooms. Here’s how they make the mushroom powders:
- They dry the mushrooms using a dual-extraction method that preserves the bioavailability of both hot water and fat-soluble compounds
- The resulting liquid goes to an evaporation tank where some of the excess liquid is removed
- In the final step, the mushroom mixture goes to a spray-dryer that removes the last liquid from the mushrooms, leaving behind only pure mushroom powder
Once the powder’s ready, it’s combined with other all-natural ingredients to create products that taste great. The final step is an intensive round of quality and safety testing that ensures that all products are up to Four Sigmatic’s standards.
What kinds of mushrooms are included?
When I tell people that I add mushrooms to my pre-workout drinks, I sometimes get weird reactions. People imagine me adding white button mushrooms to my smoothie – and although I could do that, they don’t have the same health benefits as some other mushrooms.
While some of Four Sigmatic’s products have as many as ten different kinds of mushrooms in them, most products have these four.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Lion’s mane mushrooms(1) get their name from the cascading gills that resemble (you guessed it) a lion’s mane. They’re white mushrooms with a fluffy cap, and they’re sold in many natural food stores.
The health properties of lion’s mane mushrooms support healthy brain function. Specifically, the improve creativity, focus, concentration, and memory. Adding them to your regiment is an excellent way to give your brain a boost.
You might be wondering how they support brain function. Without getting into too many technical details, lion’s mane mushrooms contain Nerve Growth Factors (NGFs) which support neurons. Their properties have been studied and the brain benefits are clear.
I told you about cordyceps mushrooms before – they’re what I used to prep for my triathlon. If you remember, they’re actually grown on the backs of caterpillars!
Cordyceps mushrooms aren’t widely available. They grow only in certain environments (over 3800 feet above sea level) and at certain times of year. But, their health benefits are amazing.
I use them because they help amp up my workout. They give me a ton of energy – and there’s been plenty of scientific research(2) to support that. They also improve immune function and can even boost sexual performance.
These mushrooms are packed with nutrients, including Vitamins B and D, amino acids, selenium, and zinc. There’s research(3) showing that they boost immunity, slow the aging process, and there’s even some reason to believe they may help fight cancer!
I find that having chaga mushrooms in my diet helps me fight off winter colds and stay healthy even when I’m exposed to viruses.
Sometimes, it’s hard for me to turn my brain off at the end of the day. That’s especially true if I’ve been on the run all day. Adding reishi mushrooms to my regimen helped me relax and get a good night’s sleep.
There’s also evidence to suggest that reishi mushrooms(5) fight inflammation, relieve allergies, and improve gut health. They’re truly a superfood!
Which products should you use?
Four Sigmatic has a ton of great mushroom products. I can’t tell you which ones you’ll get the most benefit from, but I can tell you which ones I use and give you an idea of what they have to offer.
Their mushroom products come in a variety of forms:
- Mushroom coffee
- Mushroom elixirs
- Mushroom hot cacaos
- Mushroom blends
You guys know I’m a coffee drinker. Normally I swear by my own bulletproof coffee recipe, but when I heard about mushroom coffee, I had to give it a try.
The coffee product I really like is Mushroom Coffee with Green Coffee Bean Extract. You might know that green coffee beans provide a boost of energy. This blend also contains chaga and maitake mushrooms. It’s a great way to start the day.
Four Sigmatic’s mushroom elixirs are the bomb. They’re a super-concentrated burst of mushroom that still manages to taste good. They’re perfect for adding to a pre-workout drink or smoothie.
I especially like the Cordyceps Mushroom Elixir Mix to use before a big workout. It gives me a big energy boost and improves my stamina – and it tastes great. They add licorice root, peppermint, and rose hips to improve the flavor.
I know some of you aren’t coffee drinkers, and one thing I like is that Four Sigmatics provides an option for those of you who prefer not to drink coffee. Their hot cacaos provide an alternative to coffee that tastes great.
You might know that cacao has a ton of health benefits too – it’s a powerhouse antioxidant, for starters. They have a couple of different varieties.
The one I really like at the end of the day is Mushroom Hot Cacao Mix with Reishi. It does have two grams of sugar (from coconut palm sugar), so if you’re keto you’ll want to keep that in mind. They’ve also added cinnamon and cardamom to give it a unique flavor.
Drinking a cup of this stuff is the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day and get your body and mind ready for sleep.
If you want to make sure you’re getting ALL the superfood benefits mushrooms provide, then you might want to try the 10 Mushroom Blend. It’s a super-concentrated blend you can add to juices, hot drinks, or smoothies. Here are the mushrooms it contains:
It’s also got rose hips for a burst of Vitamin C. If you’re new to the health benefits of mushrooms, this blend is a good place to start.
These four products are my favorites, but there are many more on their website. They even have automatic shipping, so if you find a blend you like, you can make sure you never run out!
The folks at Four Sigmatic have a ton of resources on their site. That’s what I like most about these products. They’re well-researched, carefully sourced, and tested to make sure that the quality is where they want it to be.
You know I don’t recommend anything to you guys unless I’m sure that it will help you. I’ve highlighted the four products I like best here, but you should check out their website for additional products.
Thanks for reading! Have you tried any of Four Sigmatic’s products? Let me know in the comments!
Drew “The Keto Guy” Manning