Lion’s mane is one of the healthiest mushrooms on the planet. It also happens to be great as a preworkout supplement. Let’s dive deep into how this fungus can boost athletic performance and muscle synthesis.
To learn more about this mushroom, take a look at our detailed lion’s mane mushroom guide.
What Are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
The lion's mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is an adaptogenic mushroom that has long been used in alternative medicine. It grows best in moderate to cool climates and can be found in North America, northern Europe, and Asia.
Check out our in-depth explanation of adaptogenic mushrooms to learn more about how lion's mane works.
Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane
Lion’s mane benefits range from immune health to the ability to alleviate inflammation and oxidation to cancer prevention and brain health maintenance.
When it comes to cognitive function, lion’s mane is hard to beat.
- Improves mental clarity
- Reduces brain fog
- Boosts memory
- Stimulates neurogenesis
- Fights depression and anxiety
For other health-related facts and studies, take a look at our guide to lion’s mane mushroom benefits.
Lion’s Mane Side Effects
There are no long-term side effects to supplementing with lion’s mane. If you're new to adaptogens, you might experience some gastric discomfort, bloating, or diarrhea when you first start taking it, but these side effects should go away after a few days of use.
What Does Lion’s Mane Do as a Pre Workout?
The lion’s mane mushroom reduces fatigue, increases energy levels, and may increase blood flow to the muscles, which is why it’s commonly used as a pre-workout supplement. This mushroom can also improve your mental focus and concentration and aid in the mind-muscle connection that’s crucial for building muscles.
Lion’s Mane Athletic Performance Benefits
There are many ways lion’s mane can improve an athlete’s performance.
The mushroom improves fat metabolism and prevents weight gain, helping athletes stay in optimal shape. It’s also a terrific natural source of energy, promotes muscle growth, and reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.
To learn more about how lion’s mane can improve athletic performance, read our article on Hericium erinaceus benefits for athletes.
Is Lion’s Mane Good for Muscle Growth?
Yes, lion's mane is one of the best natural muscle builders and is frequently used by bodybuilders.
This mushroom contains all seven essential amino acids as well as eight non-essential amino acids for muscle growth. Lion's mane also promotes muscle endurance, which will help you in your muscle-building efforts.
A 2019 animal study showed that lion's mane significantly increased muscle endurance. It did so by activating the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, a nuclear receptor found in skeletal muscles.
Does Lion’s Mane Give You Energy?
A major benefit of using lion’s mane as a pre workout is its ability to increase energy levels without causing an energy crash. In a 2014 study, this mushroom was shown to be effective at reducing fatigue, at least in animals.
When it came to exercise, the mice in this study who were given a lion’s mane extract performed significantly better than their control group counterparts after 28 days. These mice also showed fewer metabolic signs of fatigue, with blood lactic acid levels significantly lower in mice given lion's mane.
Can Lion’s Mane Reduce Inflammation?
Post-workout soreness and inflammation can make it difficult to exercise to your full potential. Lion's mane is one of the best mushrooms to reduce inflammation and recovery time. According to a recent study, this mushroom reduced inflammation by inhibiting TLR4-JNK signaling.
As per a 2019 study, the TLR4-JNK pathway promotes inflammation. By inhibiting TLR4-JNK signaling, lion's mane appears to reduce inflammation levels in adipose tissue, which is associated with obesity and is generally prone to chronic inflammation.
Check out our article on the anti-inflammatory properties of lion’s mane to learn more about how this mushroom can help you fight inflammation.
Is Lion’s Mane High in Protein?
Lion’s mane is a terrific source of plant protein. This mushroom contains, on average, 25g of protein per 100g of dry lion’s mane. Plus, lion’s mane contains seven essential and eight non-essential amino acids. These amino acids are crucial for muscle growth.
Should I Take Lion’s Mane Before or After a Workout?
If you want to increase energy levels and get ready for a good workout, take lion's mane right before you workout. However, you will benefit from this mushroom even if you take it after a workout, especially if you take it to reduce physical fatigue and inflammation.
Are You Interested in Taking Lion’s Mane Before Workouts?
If you want to start taking lion’s mane pre-workouts, you should choose the highest quality supplement on the market. And, with the risk of sounding biased, you’ll find just what you’re looking for in our functional mushroom granola.
Our granola contains a high-quality, hyperconcentrated lion’s mane extract, which contains all beneficial compounds found in this mushroom (even ones you can’t absorb by eating fresh lion’s mane).
Plus, the granola is vegan, gluten-free, made with healthy ingredients, and delicious. What more could you want from a pre workout meal that will help you reach your full potential at the gym?
Lion’s Mane Pre Workout Dosage
The optimal lion’s mane pre workout dosage varies from person to person. If you are new to adaptogenic mushrooms, start with a dosage of 750-1000 mg per day and increase the dosage gradually until you are satisfied with the results.
Check out our lion’s mane mushroom dosage guide to learn more about Hericium erinaceus dosages for various ailments and overall health maintenance.
How Much Lion’s Mane Is in Forij Granola?
Forij granola uses high-quality lion's mane extracts 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 powder. 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 in Pre Workout
When should you not take lion’s mane?
Most people are safe to use this functional mushroom, but lion’s mane does have some contraindications. If you have a history of allergies or are allergic to mold, yeast, or other fungi, you should be careful when taking lion's mane or any other adaptogenic mushroom.
Lion's mane can also interact with some medications, such as diabetes medications. If you are taking medications lion’s mane may interact with, you should consult with your doctor before taking Hericium erinaceus.
Can you take lion’s mane with caffeine?
Yes, lion's mane mushrooms can be combined with caffeine. Because these mushrooms do not contain caffeine, you are not at risk of over-caffeinating and becoming anxious or jittery. On the contrary, lion's mane may mitigate some of these negative effects (for instance, lion’s mane mushrooms may alleviate migraines, a common side effect of caffeine consumption).
Does lion’s mane affect hormones?
Lion's mane appears to stabilize hormone production due to Hericium erinaceus' ability to promote neurogenesis.
According to a recent study, compounds found in the fruiting bodies of this mushroom aid in the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) in the brain. BDNFs and NGFs regulate hypothalamic hormone production.
Multiple hormones start their production process in the hypothalamus, including testosterone. The effects of this mushroom on hypothalamic testosterone production makes lion's mane one of the best natural testosterone boosters because testosterone production begins in the hypothalamus. Increased testosterone levels can help with muscle development.
What mushroom is best for pre workout?
The best mushrooms for pre workout are lion’s mane, reishi, and cordyceps mushrooms. Each of these mushrooms is a staple in workout supplements, and for good reason.
They contain essential and non-essential amino acids such as beta alanine and leucine, which aid in muscle development. These mushrooms can also boost energy levels, which is why they are the perfect addition to any nootropic pre-workout formula.
What does lion’s mane do for men?
Because of lion’s mane’s effects on DHT production, this mushroom is one of the best natural testosterone boosters and can be quite beneficial for men.
Lion’s mane seems to stabilize DHT levels. This adaptogenic mushroom will not increase DHT production in men who already have high levels of this hormone, but it may do so in people who have low DHT levels.
What is the optimal lion’s mane dosage for anxiety?
Start with 250-750 mg of lion's mane extract per day if you're taking Hericium erinaceus for anxiety. You can gradually increase the dosage to 1000 mg, and even 2000 mg per day. To avoid digestive issues, it's best to start small and work your way up, especially if you've never taken adaptogenic dietary supplementation before.
What is the ideal lion’s mane dosage for neuropathy?
Lion's mane mushrooms may help with neuropathic pain. Take 500-1000 mg of this functional mushroom 1-3 times per day. The precise dosage will vary from person to person, so you should experiment until you find the ideal dosage for you.
Can I mix lion’s mane powder with whey protein isolate?
Yes,you can combine lion's mane powder with whey protein isolate. However, you might find the flavor of lion's mane in your protein shake to be too strong.
Plus, because whey protein is derived from milk, it is not vegan or suitable for people with lactose allergies. If you're looking for a vegan sports nutrition alternative, try making protein bars with our lion's mane infused granola.
Is lion’s mane good for digestive health?
Lion’s mane mushroom improves gut health and can be incredibly beneficial for digestion. In 2013, researchers investigated the gastroprotective effects of lion's mane in rats. The findings show that lion’s mane protected the rats' gut from ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage.
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1111/asj.13199
- Liu, J. (2014). Anti-fatigue activities of polysaccharides extracted from Hericium erinaceus. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 9(2), 483–487. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2014.2139
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i7.10
- Li, W. (2019) TLR4 promotes liver inflammation by activating the JNK pathway - PubMed. (2019, September 1). PubMed. https://doi.org/10.26355/eurrev_201909_18889
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i6.30
- Wong, J. Y. (2013). Gastroprotective Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/492976
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.