Creatine’s Little-Known “Creepy” Cofactor…
By Dinnin Freeman
In this article, we’ll get into what both these supplements are, and how they can subtly, but substantially increase your baseline energy. In many ways, this is both better to use than the regular use of stimulants, and can also pair well with them if you still feel the need for a glass of bulletproof coffee, or my favorite, a tall glass of green tea. This combination, especially when combined with other methods of increasing energy, gives your brain and body genuine energy to get the job done, regardless of what that job may be.
But before we get into all of that, for the uninitiated, what is Cordyceps, and isn’t creatine just for bodybuilders, gym bros, and jocks? Ophiocordyceps sinensis or Cordyceps sinensis to its friends is both a parasite and a fungus. It infects insects such as caterpillars. It then mummifies them and grows a fruiting body from their corpse. Not exactly something most people would think to eat on purpose.
Creatine, on the other hand, is far tamer, what comes in the bottle, is a chemical made in a lab, it’s naturally found in meats, and exists in your brain and muscles already. It is tasteless and very cheap. It was first isolated in 1832 and by 1912 Harvard University discovered that we can store a lot more of it in our cells than we normally do.
The Science Behind Cordyceps
Cordyceps have been proven to be effective at increasing ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the body’s source of cellular energy. This is demonstrated in numerous studies such as Effects of the mycelial extract of cultured Cordyceps sinensis on in vivo hepatic energy metabolism and blood flow in dietary hypoferric anaemic mice and Pharmacological basis of ‘Yin-nourishing’ and ‘Yang-invigorating’ actions of Cordyceps, a Chinese tonifying herb. It has also been shown to increase testosterone in this 2014 Italian study done on endurance cyclists and in this study, the effect was first discovered in mice. Since Cordyceps has been shown to increase testosterone we may conclude that it is likely to increase confidence, energy, recovery, and also reduce stress, as these effects of testosterone have been well documented over the years. As far as improving mental abilities, this study showed positive effects on learning and memory in mice that were given Cordyceps and looks promising.
In addition to improving your mental and physical abilities, it also has many medicinal uses. This 2011 Indian study looks into the possible application of Cordyceps in medicine. And this Hong Kong University paper looks at its positive effects on our immune systems and preventing age-related diseases.
The Science Behind Creatine
Creatine supplementation, on the other hand, has been shown through more studies than I care to count, to aid in our body’s ability to reuse ATP. As it turns out, our brains are notorious for consuming around 20% of our daily energy. Thus in addition to increasing physical energy and stamina, there is enough supportive evidence to conclude that this synergistic stack will also increase mental energy.
In a very well-written article titled Surprising Creatine Benefits: How it Improves Energy, IQ, Healing, DNA Function, Aging, & More! by Adam Sinicki the Bioneer. He wrote:
Studies suggest that creatine can increase intelligence, reasoning, working memory, and more (reference)! Creatine has even been shown to be effective at improving IQ scores (study).
Creatine was demonstrated as protective against a wide number of age-related neurological diseases, helping to stave off the onset of Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s among other conditions (study). Yet more creatine benefits for the elderly, then!
Surprising Creatine Benefits: How it Improves Energy, IQ, Healing, DNA Function, Aging, & More! …
Creatine (a-methyl guanidine-acetic acid) is a supplement that is largely believed to be free from side effects (…
According to this South African study, creatine was found to encourage the body to raise levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which is an androgen more biologically active than testosterone. Since we likely would have gotten a lot more creatine in our diets in our evolutionary history, this likely acts to regain balance hormonally speaking. This shared link between regulating normal testosterone levels is further evidence of a positive synergy and may play a role in combating the fact that modern men’s testosterone keeps getting lower each year.
Also in this 2017 animal study, it was shown that creatine may even reduce sleep need, at least in rats.
Historic Evidence for Cordyceps
First gaining popularity for medicinal use in China, around 2,000 years ago, it was discovered by herders living in the Himalayas. One day, they noticed that the livestock that ate the fungus became more and more “strong and stout.” As a result, they began feeding it to their animals intentionally to increase milk production, reproductive capacity, and overall health. It wasn’t long then before curiosity led them to begin taking it themselves. Traditionally it’s been used to improve the lungs, kidneys, erectile dysfunction, and far more.
It also has been used by athletes. Notably by the Chinese women’s distance running team that entered the Olympics in 1993. It was at that competition the team broke 3 world records and a standout player, Wang Junxia — won more records 2 months later at the National Games in China. This naturally led to rumors of steroid use. After the competitors were tested and found to be clean, their coach at the time, Ma Junren, revealed the secret to his team’s success — Cordyceps Sinensis.
Side Effects and Safety
According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition creatine is both safe and effective, and that athletes that don’t take it are at greater risk of head injuries and concussions.
International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine…
Creatine is one of the most popular nutritional ergogenic aids for athletes. Studies have consistently shown that…
From SideEffects.com regarding the potential side effects of Cordyceps
Cordyceps is deemed safe, given that it is for short-term use. Some users may experience minor side effects, such as nausea, stomach ache, dry mouth, or diarrhea. Symptoms are usually resolved once the medication is stopped. Others have described a persistent metallic taste after the use of cordyceps, which could take longer to solve.
Despite it being relatively safe, the case of the herbal medication is inadequately understood and might cause difficulties in some users. In case you are hypersensitive to yeast or molds, you would likely be sensitive to cordyceps and should stay away from them.
Individuals who are taking medication such as Wellbutrin for diabetes should avoid cordyceps. This is because the combined use could result in an excessive drop in blood sugar levels of also called hypoglycemia.
Those with bleeding conditions or who consume anticoagulants or anti-clotting drugs might need to stay away from cordyceps. Taking these together can increase the risk of easy bruising or bleeding.
This is also applicable if you are slated to have surgery. You will need to halt off, taking cordyceps for a minimum of two weeks in advance to avoid excessive bleeding.
A little fact is known about the prolonged safety of consuming cordyceps. Although the supplements are believed to be safe, there are still apprehensions about the overall safety of imported Chinese medications.
As a result of research, cordyceps of any kind should not be applied in pregnant women, children, or nursing mothers.
[JR: Lucas Aoun, Ergogenic Biohacker used Cordyceps for 3-years straight and praises its full-spectrum Nootropic benefits but stresses the importance of moderation and cycling]
Lucas Aoun, Ergogenic Biohacker reveals which "Nootropic" breaks brains... - Limitless Mindset
By Jonathan Roseland I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic…
My Personal Experience
Insofar as my personal experience goes, I’ve been experimenting with this combination on and off for about a year, and only have good things to say. The effects are cumulative and subtle in my experience, but I’ve found that my baseline motivation and energy have improved substantially while taking this stack. I have more energy to draw on, can focus for even longer, and can push through barriers of study and cognitive training that would have taken longer to achieve. I also recover from physical training better and run into fewer injuries. Overall my experience has lined up well with the bulk of studies done on these two supplements and as such, I am glad to have them in my arsenal.
It should be noted that you need to be careful with which Cordyceps supplement that you take.
Many brands use the mycelium and grain the fruiting bodies are grown on, and as such generally cheaper products are of notably inferior quality, sometimes to the point of being entirely ineffective. Though recently you can get good Cordyceps reasonably priced. I have personally been taking Cordyceps-M Peak Performance by Real Mushrooms. To be clear they haven’t sponsored me and are as of yet, unaffiliated with my work. I recommend their product as it is 3rd party lab-verified for quality and doesn’t use any grain starch or mycelium. It’s scientifically verified for active compounds, and my personal experience with them has always been very positive.
Real Mushrooms Cordyceps Peak Performance Supplement for Energy, Stamina, Endurance (120ct)…
Real Mushrooms mushroom blend supplements and energy supplement are committed to providing you with the best possible…
As far as creatine goes, quality control is rarely an issue and honestly, any product will suffice. Though I would recommend Creatine Monohydrate as it is the version with the most testing demonstrating effectiveness.
BulkSupplements.com Creatine Monohydrate (Micronized) - Creatine Powder - Weight Gainer for Women …
Creatine Monohydrate powder is taken from the compound Creatine, which is essential in the process of sending energy…
Hopefully in this post, I will have sufficiently demonstrated that Cordyceps and Creatine are a highly synergistic combination that deserves their place in any serious Biohacker’s arsenal. That they are both safe and likely effective at improving energy, and overall health, in most circumstances, and while currently overlooked by the majority of even well-informed biohackers, will give you that much-needed advantage when it comes to productivity and energy. Either way, it’s worked wonders for me and just maybe it will work for you too.