We frequently get asked whether it’s best to take lion’s mane mushrooms in the morning or during later hours of the day.
While it is safe to take lion’s mane at any time of day, we strongly recommend taking it in the morning with your breakfast. We’ll get into the details of why this is so.
What are Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
The lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is an adaptogenic mushroom that’s been used for millennia in traditional Chinese medicine. Thanks to its many benefits, this mushroom species is still widely popular and considered one of the healthiest fungi you can include in your diet.
Lion’s Mane Benefits
Research on the health benefits of lion’s mane indicates this fungus may promote neurogenesis through the production of nerve growth factor proteins, and hence repair brain cells. It appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood sugar levels, provide anti-inflammatory effects, as well as improve cognitive functioning and brain health.
Some of the beneficial effects of lion’s mane include:
- reduces symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders
- reduces inflammation and oxidation
- improves overall neuronal health and brain function through hippocampal neurogenesis
- lowers blood sugars and aids in diabetes treatment
- promotes neurite outgrowth by stimulating nerve growth factors
- alleviates symptoms of sleep disorders
- improves mental clarity and protects against memory loss in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
- encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells, and has the potential to fight cancer
- improves digestive health and prevents stomach ulcers
- provides antioxidant activity and improves immune function
- has neuroprotective properties and reduces nerve damage in nervous system injuries and neurodegenerative autoimmune disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease
Lion’s Mane Spiritual Benefits
Lion's mane mushrooms appear to have a plethora of spiritual benefits. These mushrooms enhance focus and memory, aid depression and anxiety relief, and alleviate brain fog. Shaolin monks in ancient China used the lion's mane mushroom in daily practice to improve their concentration. They believed it increased their "Qi," a mystical, energetic life force.
Lion’s Mane Side Effects
There are no long-term side effects of lion’s mane, and centuries of use in alternative medicine suggest that this mushroom is completely safe to consume. However, you should be cautious of taking medicinal mushrooms, including Hericium erinaceus, if you are on blood thinners.
Since this mushroom helps prevent blood clots, lion’s mane could interact with medication that has the same effect (such as Aspirin, Heparin, and Warfarin) and slow down coagulation and wound healing. Thus, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before you start taking lion’s mane if you take anticoagulants.
What’s the Best Time to Take Lion’s Mane?
Mornings and early afternoons are the best times to take lion’s mane supplementation. This adaptogenic mushroom can have a stimulating effect on the brain and improve focus and memory, so it can be beneficial to take it before you start your work day.
Should Lion’s Mane Be Taken at Night?
While you can take lion's mane before bed, it may make you feel restless and unable to fall asleep. Therefore, opt for an earlier time of day to take lion’s mane if you want to reap the many benefits of this mushroom without sacrificing a night of restful sleep.
Should You Take Lion’s Mane on an Empty Stomach?
It’s completely safe to take lion’s mane on an empty stomach, but it may cause digestive issues if you’re not used to adaptogens. If you’re taking lion’s mane mushroom capsules, it’s best to take them right before your breakfast.
When it comes to mushroom powders, add them to your morning smoothies to get the effects of lion’s mane without the digestive problems. Or, go with a breakfast food fortified with Hericium erinaceus, such as Forij mushroom granola.
Are You Interested in Taking Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
If you want to incorporate Hericium erinaceus into your morning routine, you can do so with our healthy mushroom granola.
Our granola contains a hyperconcentrated lion’s mane mushroom extract, as well as extracts of other beneficial fungi: cordyceps and chaga mushrooms.
The granola is vegan, gluten-free, packed with nutrients, and delicious. What more could you want in a morning bowl of cereal?
Lion’s Mane FAQ
How much lion’s mane extract 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.
Can I take lion’s mane everyday?
Yes, not only is it completely safe to take lion’s mane every day, doing so will allow you to reap the most benefits of this mushroom. Luckily, there are many ways to include lion’s mane into your wellness routine, such as a lion’s mane powder or extract. Or, opt for food infused with the fungus (such as mushroom coffee or Forij granola).
What is the optimal lion’s mane dosage for depression?
Scientific evidence suggests that bioactive compounds found in the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceus may alleviate symptoms of depressive disorders. However, there is no perfect lion’s mane supplements dosage that will absolutely alleviate anxiety and depression in everyone.
While some people report taking 750-1000 mg daily, others take up to a couple of spoonfuls of lion’s mane mushroom powder (around 5000 mg) to feel the calming effect of Hericium erinaceus.
Does lion’s mane make you sleepy?
Lion’s mane won’t make you sleepy, but this mushroom may improve sleep disorders with long-term use, especially if they are related to mental health issues.
For example, according to a 2019 study, compounds found in the fruiting body of Hericium erinaceus improved sleep disorders in patients affected by overweight or obesity.
After taking lion’s mane for 8 weeks, participants reported improved mood (lower levels of depression and anxiety), and improved sleep quality.
Does lion’s mane work instantly?
That depends on what you’re taking the mushroom for. You can notice the short-term effects of lion’s mane after just a few days. You’ll likely feel less anxious and more energized within the first two weeks of taking lion’s mane extracts. However, to reap the long-term benefits of this fungus, you should be taking it consistently for at least a few months.
Does lion’s mane affect hormones?
Many adaptogenic mushrooms, including lion’s mane, can affect hormones by maintaining homeostasis in the body. For instance, Hericium erinaceus may aid in the production of testosterone through the beneficial effects it has on the brain.
Is lion’s mane a stimulant?
Lion’s mane is not a stimulant, but it can have stimulating effects on the brain. This functional mushroom appears to improve mental functions, provide a natural energy boost, and may even reduce symptoms of ADHD. However, unlike coffee and other stimulants, it doesn’t cause jitters or a midday crash in energy.
Can you take lion’s mane with reishi mushrooms?
Yes, you can take lion’s mane mushrooms with any other type of functional mushroom, including the reishi mushroom, turkey tail, and cordyceps. When it comes to adaptogenic mushrooms, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. Therefore, the benefits of reishi can only be improved upon by taking them with lion’s mane mushrooms and vice versa.
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 FDA advisory board, and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment information.