The #1 Lion's Mane Superfood


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Is Lion’s Mane Good for Bodybuilding?

Can lion’s mane help you reach your bodybuilding goals? It appears that the answer is yes. Read on to learn how Hericium erinaceus can help you pack on more muscle. To learn more about this mushroom, check out our detailed guide to Hericium erinaceus.

Article Jumplinks:

What are the benefits of lion’s mane?

What are the negative effects of lion’s mane?

What are the lion’s mane bodybuilding benefits?

Does lion’s mane affect hormones?

What are the lion’s mane athletic performance benefits?

How can you take lion’s mane for bodybuilding?

How much lion’s mane should you take for bodybuilding?

How much lion’s mane is in Forij granola?

What Is Lion’s Mane?

The lion’s mane mushroom is an adaptogenic mushroom that’s been used in alternative medicine for centuries and is still considered one of the healthiest mushrooms on planet Earth. It mainly grows in moderate to cool climates and can be found in North America, as well as northern parts of Europe and Asia.

If you want to learn more about how lion’s mane works, check out our in-depth explanation of adaptogenic mushrooms.

Lion’s Mane Benefits

You will need more than two hands to count all the benefits lion’s mane can provide. Thanks to its antioxidant activities, this mushroom aids in overall wellbeing. It also promotes immune health and provides immune system benefits, lowers blood sugars, and may even prevent cancer.

When it comes to cognitive functioning, lion’s mane’s effects on Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment is unmatched.

If you’d like to learn more about the many benefits this mushroom can provide, our article about lion’s mane health benefits is a great place to start.

Hericium erinaceus

Lion’s Mane Side Effects

Lion's mane has no long-term side effects, and centuries of use in alternative medicine indicate that it is completely safe to consume. If you are new to adaptogens, you may experience slight gastric discomfort, bloating, or diarrhea when you first start taking lion’s mane, but these side effects should subside after a few days of use.

Lion’s Mane Bodybuilding Benefits

The benefits of lion’s mane for bodybuilding span from a boost in energy production and a greater mind-muscle connection to faster recovery times and decreased fatigue. This functional mushroom also reduces inflammation and can help you push harder during workouts thanks to its ability to support blood flow and promote blood circulation to the muscles.

Lion’s Mane and Energy

The ability to increase energy levels without causing an energy crash is a major benefit of lion’s mane for bodybuilders. In a study published in 2014, this mushroom was shown to have anti-fatigue properties, at least in animals.

After 28 days, the mice in this study that were administered Hericium erinaceus extract performed much better than their control group counterparts when it comes to exercise. These mice also showed fewer metabolic signs of fatigue, with blood lactic acid levels being significantly lower in mice that were given lion’s mane.

Lion’s Mane and Focus

Lion’s mane is the undisputed champion among adaptogens when it comes to brain function, mental focus and concentration. Hericium erinaceus has amazing memory-boosting properties, and some studies show promising results when it comes to using lion’s mane to improve cognitive function and mental clarity.

2017 study, for example, looked at the effects of lion's mane mushroom extract on memory and neuronal health. Results show that lion's mane improved recognition memory and neurotransmission in healthy mice.

If you want to learn more about the nootropic benefit of lion’s mane, read our guide to lion’s mane’s spiritual and mental enhancements.

Lion’s Mane and Inflammation

Post-workout soreness and inflammation can impede your ability to reach your full potential when exercising. If you want to reduce inflammation, lion’s mane is one of the best mushrooms to consume. According to research, this mushroom reduced inflammation through the inhibition of TLR4-JNK signaling.

As per a 2019 study, the TLR4-JNK pathway promotes inflammation. Lion's mane appears to reduce inflammation levels in adipose tissue, which is associated with obesity and is generally prone to chronic inflammation, by inhibiting TLR4-JNK signaling.

To learn more about how lion’s mane can fight inflammation, take a look at our article on the anti-inflammatory properties of Hericium erinaceus.

Lion’s Mane and Hormones

Lion’s mane appears to stabilize hormone production thanks to the ability of Hericium erinaceus to promote neurogenesis.

Compounds found in the fruiting bodies of this mushroom aids in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) production in the brain, according to a recent study. BDNFs and NGFs regulate the production of hypothalamic hormones.

As testosterone production starts in the hypothalamus, lion’s mane is considered one of the best natural testosterone boosters. Higher testosterone levels can do wonders for muscle development, and lion’s mane is a great alternative to steroids and other, potentially dangerous, testosterone boosters.

Lion's mane for bodybuilding

Is Lion’s Mane Good for Athletes?

Yes, lion’s mane is an incredible addition to any athlete's diet. This mushroom can help you feel more energized, help you build muscles, and even aid in fat loss and weight management.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of this mushroom on athletic performance, check out our article about the benefits of the lion’s mane mushroom for athletes.

Does Lion’s Mane Help Build Muscle?

Yes, lion’s mane is one of the best natural muscle builders. This mushroom contains all seven essential amino acids and eight non-essential amino acids, which are crucial for muscle gain. Plus, lion’s mane increases muscle endurance, which will certainly aid you in your muscle building endeavors.

2019 study examined the effects of Hericium erinaceus on muscle endurance in mice. Results show that lion’s mane significantly increased muscle endurance by activating the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, a nuclear receptor present in skeletal muscles.

Does Lion’s Mane Improve Fat Metabolism?

Lion’s mane can be a great addition to your diet if you want to prevent weight gain. According to research, lion’s mane improves fat metabolism and aids in weight loss. As a result, Hericium erinaceus is a great mushroom to consume if you need to lose weight for a competition or to better show off muscles you've worked hard on.

2013 animal study examined the effect of Hericium erinaceus on body fat metabolism. Results show that lion's mane extract improves fat metabolism, which can be beneficial for endurance athletes. And, if you want to maintain your current weight, lion's mane can be an excellent tool, as well.

Are You Interested in Taking Lion’s Mane for Bodybuilding?

Adding lion’s mane to your diet can help you reach your bodybuilding goals. Give one of our lion’s mane recipes a try if you want to experiment with fresh mushrooms. And, if you don’t like the taste of mushrooms or want a higher dosage of lion’s mane than fresh mushrooms can provide, opt for a product infused with lion’s mane, such as our functional granola.

Vegan, gluten-free, macro-friendly, and delicious, our mushroom granola is all you need to reap the benefits of lion’s mane. One serving contains the ideal daily dose of high-quality, hyperconcentrated lion’s mane extract. What more could you want in a delicious bowl of cereal that you'll look forward to eating every morning?

Forij superfood granola

Lion’s Mane Dosage for Bodybuilding

The ideal lion's mane dosage varies depending on the bodybuilder. If you're new to adaptogenic mushrooms, we recommend starting with 750-1000 mg per day and gradually increasing the dosage to avoid digestive discomfort.

How Much Lion’s Mane Is in Forij Granola?

Forij granola uses a high-quality lion's mane mushroom extract made from whole medicinal mushrooms. Our dual extraction method extracts both water-soluble beta-glucans as well as alcohol-soluble triterpenes. Our decoction process breaks down indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to get much more of these compounds out than ordinary processes do.

One serving of our granola provides 250 mg of hyperconcentrated lion's mane extract, which is eight times more concentrated than a regular lion’s mane mushroom supplement. Therefore, you get as much potency as you would if you were taking a 2000 mg lion’s mane mushroom powder, all in one bowl of granola.

FAQ on Lion’s Mane and Bodybuilding

Should I take lion’s mane before or after I workout?

If you want to boost energy levels, the best time to take lion’s mane is right before you workout. However, you will reap the benefits of this mushroom even if you take it after a workout, especially if you’re taking it to reduce fatigue and relieve inflammation.

Is lion’s mane high in protein?

Yes, lion’s mane is a great source of plant protein. On average, 100g or dry lion’s mane mushrooms contain about 20-25g of protein.

What does lion’s mane do for men?

Lion’s mane can be quite beneficial for men due to the effects it can have on DHT production. Hericium erinaceus appears to stabilize DHT levels. This adaptogenic mushroom won’t increase DHT production in men that already have high levels of this hormone, but may do so for people with low DHT.

Which mushroom is best for bodybuilding?

The standout mushroom species for bodybuilding is Hericium erinaceus, as it provides benefits for both mind and body. Cordyceps mushrooms are also known for their energy-boosting properties, which is why they’re often used for bodybuilding.

Can I take lion’s mane everyday?

Yes, taking lion's mane every day is not only completely safe, but it will also allow you to reap the most benefits from this mushroom. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to incorporate lion's mane into your wellness regimen, such as lion's mane powder or extract. Alternatively, choose food infused with the fungus (such as mushroom coffee or Forij granola).

How quickly does lion’s mane work?

That is dependent on why you are taking the mushroom. You may notice the short-term effects of lion's mane after only a few days. Within the first two weeks of taking lion's mane extracts, you should feel less anxious and more energized. To reap the long-term benefits of lion's mane, however, you should take it consistently for at least a few months.

When should you not take lion’s mane?

Lion’s mane is generally safe for most people, but it does have some contraindications. You should be cautious when taking lion’s mane, or any other adaptogenic mushroom, if you are prone to allergies or allergic to mold, yeast, or other fungi.

Lion’s mane can also interact with some medications, such as antidiabetics, so you should consult with a doctor before taking Hericium erinaceus if you are taking medication this mushroom can interact with.

Is lion’s mane good for pre-workout?

Yes, lion’s mane is one of the best adaptogens to take before a workout. This mushroom provides amino acids such as beta-alanine and leucine, which aid in muscle development, and it’s also rich in antioxidants, which reduce muscle damage.

Lion's mane mushroom powder can be mixed into a pre-workout supplement, and lion's mane pre-workouts are a popular choice among athletes. However, because caffeine in pre-workout can interfere with lion's mane absorption, we recommend taking lion's mane about 15 minutes before taking pre-workout.

Can I mix protein powder with lion’s mane powder?

Yes, you can mix lion’s mane powder with a protein powder meal replacement. However, you may find the taste of lion’s mane in your protein shake to be overwhelming.

Plus, since most protein powders are made with whey protein isolate, they are not vegan or suited for people with lactose allergies. If you are looking for a vegan sports nutrition alternative, try making protein bars with our lion’s mane infused granola.

Does lion’s mane improve gut health?

Yes, lion’s mane improves gut health and digestion. A 2013 study examined gastroprotective effects of lion’s mane in rats. The results show that Hericium erinaceus protected the rats’ gut from gastric mucosal injury caused by ethanol.


  1. Liu, J. (2014). Anti-fatigue Activities of Polysaccharides Extracted From Hericium Erinaceus.
  2. Brandalise, F. (2017). Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice. PubMed Central (PMC).
  3. Mori, K. (2015). The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lion’s Mane Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) in a Coculture System of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and RAW264 Macrophages.International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms,17(7), 609–618.
  4. Li, W (2019). TLR4 promotes liver inflammation by activating the JNK pathway- PubMed. (2019, September 1). PubMed.
  5. Lai, P. L. (2013). Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia.International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms,15(6), 539–554.
  6. Komiya, Y. (2019). Increase in muscle endurance in mice by dietary Yamabushitake mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) possibly via activation of PPAR δ.Animal Science Journal,90(6), 781–789.
  7. Choi, W. S. (2013). Hypolipidaemic Effect of Hericium erinaceum Grown in Artemisia capillaris on Obese Rats. PubMed Central (PMC).
  8. Wong, J. Y. (2013). Gastroprotective Effects of Lion’s Mane MushroomHericium erinaceus(Bull.:Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats.Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,2013, 1-9.

Forij FDA Disclaimer

This article was written strictly for informational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and should not be used for medicinal purposes.

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Meet Parker Olson, Founder of Forij.