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Why people are drinking mushrooms

Perhaps you’ve heard an advertisement on one of your favorite podcasts, or seen an influencer on Instagram sipping their morning mushroom coffee. Whether it’s a fleeting trend or here to stay, more and more people are seeking the health benefits of mushrooms through beverages.

Mushroom coffee has been growing in popularity for years and is now even sold at Walmart. Lifeway Foods, the leading U.S. supplier of kefir and fermented probiotic products, announced this month that it’s releasing a new line of adaptogenic (aka herbal pharmaceutical) mushroom oat milk beverages.

Mushrooms have long been harvested in Finland and China for their medicinal properties. When they are used for beverages, they are typically dehydrated, made into an extract, and blended into coffee or other drinks.

Proponents claim mushroom beverages have the potential to boost immune function, reduce inflammation, and support energy levels throughout the day.

“Mushrooms, in general, have some really great benefits,” nutritionist Ryanne Lachmann told the Cleveland Clinic. “A big one tends to be reducing inflammation. Mushrooms also contain antioxidants, which can help support the immune system.”

But both Lachmann and the medical information website Healthline caution that there are few well-designed clinical trials on mushrooms using human subjects. Lachman suggests that until more credible studies are completed it might be better to incorporate mushrooms into your diet the old-fashioned way, through meals instead of beverages. 

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