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Meet the functional mushroom All-Star Team

An introduction to Turkey Tail

The Second Brain Booster

Turkey Tail

Meet Turkey Tail

An introduction to Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor), a functional mushroom: Why athletes should consider using Turkey Tail, its benefits for performance and recovery, when to take it, and intake guidelines.
Turkey Tail

Why Turkey Tail is your new teammate

Turkey Tail is a functional mushroom that acts as a prebiotic to support gut health. (The gut is a so-called "second brain," which refers to the enteric nervous system (ENS), helping athletes maintain mood and a healthy response to stress.) It also supports the immune function by reinforcing the more than half of the body's immune cells that exist in the digestive system. Turkey Tail has a rich history in traditional medicine, particularly in Chinese and Japanese cultures, where they have been used for centuries in teas and tonics to boost the immune system and promote overall well-being. What’s more, their concentric rings of striking colors have inspired various forms of art, from paintings to textile designs.

 

Makes us think of… Cory Sandhagen

Cory "Sandman" Sandhagen, the UFC bantamweight title contender, serves as a powerful metaphor for the benefits of Turkey Tail mushrooms. Sandhagen famously stays cool and focused, even in the intense pressure of the octagon. His remarkable combination of size, agility, and skill is matched only by his apparent resilience, able to stay at the top of his game, no matter which fighter he’s facing. And we love that Sandhagen has equal parts fierce confidence and appealing openness. His is the most tell-it-like-it-is social media account in the MMA world.

 

Benefits of Turkey Tail for Athletes

Strong Immune System

More than half of the body's immune cells reside in the gut. Turkey Tail is loaded with compounds that give the immune function a pep talk, helping give a vital boost to athletes who need to stay healthy to maintain consistent training and performance levels.

Mood and Stress Management

The body's “second brain” plays a role in managing stress. Athletes often face intense physical and mental stressors, and a well-functioning second brain can help modulate the body’s response to those stressors. The second brain also produces neurotransmitters like serotonin, which can influence mood. So a healthy gut can contribute to a positive mental state, which is essential for motivation, focus, and mental resilience.

 

When to take Turkey Tail functional mushrooms

Times when athletes can consider using Turkey Tail to help with recovery:

  • Daily, in the evening: Use Turkey Tail as a part of a daily evening routine. Consistency is key. Taking it every day can help build the strength of the immune system and manage stress over time.
  • Post-workout: Turkey Tail can help digestion and nutrient absorption, ensuring that their bodies efficiently utilize the nutrients needed for muscle repair and recovery
  • During illness or injury: When an athlete is dealing with illness or injury, Turkey Tail can help strengthen the immune system's response, facilitating a faster recovery and return to training.
  • Rest days: On rest days, athletes can continue to take Turkey Tail to support their body's natural recovery processes, including reducing inflammation, managing stress, and supporting the immune system.

Intake guidelines for functional mushrooms

Each athlete has different needs, of course. And, there is no official regulatory agency that has determined any sort of recommended daily dosage. Based on our own experience, however, reading all the research and consulting with the professional trainers, nutritionists, and athletes that we know, we have a solid point of view on it. Please use it as an input, and also work with a professional, if you can, to figure out what works best for you.

A meaningful amount

An estimated ~300 mg – 1,000 mg per functional mushroom per day.

How much is enough functional mushrooms? For us, depending on the source of the mushrooms and quality of the extraction and production methods used, a meaningful amount of functional mushrooms is at least 300 mg of one functional mushroom on any given day. If the dose is more than 300 mg, so much the better, but only up to a point. More than 1,000 mg starts to see diminishing returns, in our experience.

Enough per day

At least 2,000 mg total intake of functional mushrooms daily.

We suggest getting at least 2,000 mg of functional mushrooms daily — in whatever combination of types and formats of mushrooms that makes sense to you. You know your sport, abilities, routines, and goals better than anyone else.

For example, this could mean taking 1,000 mg of two different mushroom tinctures as a part of your daily routine. Or it could mean eating a single bar containing 500 mg of five different mushrooms.

In a regular routine

For best results, use functional mushrooms consistently over time.

While many people feel effects from functional mushrooms right away, the most significant and lasting benefits come with consistent use over time. Regular intake allows the body to accumulate and use the active compounds more effectively, leading to sustained improvements in performance and recovery. Consistent use also helps in reducing inflammation and maintaining the body’s balance.

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