Intrigued by claims of better oxygen uptake and the ability to stave off exhaustion in endurance athletes Cordyceps in particular appeal to me. Reishi mushrooms also seem to be gathering steam on purported anti-androgenic properties. I've done some reading and looking at various studies online (which you can read by clicking here, here, here or here) and found conflicting reports on the claims. Most studies seem to be done on rats, but some have been done on cyclists or runners. I've found studies that refute claims over increased endurance and ones that support it. I've been using a steam extracted cordyceps mushroom powder in hot green tea for a couple of months now and noticed no improvement in my endurance ability. To be fair though, I'm a study of one and my training has been awful this year interrupted by the flu and kidney stone surgery. I can't ask the mushrooms to get the training in for me. For my own personal experiment I'll continue using the mushrooms through my marathon training this summer to see if I can discern any benefit.
Setting all of that aside, while buying the cordyceps powder I decided to add Drinking Chocolate to my shopping cart from Harmonic Arts. Containing a blend of five mushrooms, cacao powder and some cane sugar (even though it doesn't taste sweet) this drink has quickly become a family favourite. We blend one heaping teaspoon of the powder with a mug of hot (not boiling) nut milk (soy or almond) whisked together in a saucepan on our stovetop. For no other reason than it's taste the drink has made regular appearances in our house over the past winter. Unlike traditional hot chocolate it's not very sweet but tasty and leaves you with less of a guilty junk food feeling. The drink is of course vegan.
If you're looking to shake up your hot drink game, I'd suggest giving drinking chocolate a try. To the best of my knowledge Harmonic Arts is the only place that makes it, but you can easily order online.