Morning for conscious people is “matcha” and “smoothies” rather than coffee. And…
The shift away from coffee in the U.S. started mainly among conscious people. In an effort to shift the morning coffee habit to a healthier one, a new genre of coffee, mushroom coffee, and gummies for improving concentration have become so popular that they are selling out.
Originally, some people shifted their morning beverages to matcha, which has less caffeine than coffee and is said to have antioxidant properties, and smoothies, which provide an efficient source of vegetables and fruits that are often lacking, but now mushroom coffee is emerging as a new genre.
What is “Mushroom Coffee”?
Mushroom coffee” is a blend of coffee with mushrooms and medicinal herbs with medicinal properties called adaptogens. Adaptogens include reishi mushrooms, cordyceps sinensis, and chaga, all of which are familiar in Japan as herbal medicines.
While specialty coffee shops in Los Angeles have captured the hearts of enthusiastic fans, many have voiced concerns about excessive caffeine intake from coffee, upset stomachs, and the development of caffeine tolerance through regular consumption.
The major advantage of mushroom coffee is that it provides the health benefits of adaptogens while retaining the benefits of coffee. Many mushroom coffees claim to increase daytime energy and immunity, have anti-stress effects, and are anti-inflammatory.
In addition, replacing coffee with mushroom coffee can help sustain energy and reduce daily coffee intake. The disadvantages of coffee can be reduced, and the reduced caffeine intake, among other things, leads to better sleep and improved performance during the day, which is another reason for its popularity.
Drinks just like coffee and improves performance during the day!
The author, who lives in Los Angeles, started seeing mushroom coffee in the market around 2015. The brand that has been a pioneer is Four Sigmatic. When it was first launched, it was only a product that was mixed with hot water and milk like instant coffee, but recently it has been selling a regular coffee type as well.
It looks just like regular coffee ground from coffee beans, and the brewing process is exactly the same as drip coffee. Since the active ingredients of adaptogens have already been mixed into the ground coffee beans, the health benefits of adaptogens can be obtained simply by brewing coffee with a coffee dripper as usual. It can also be made in a coffee maker or French press.
The author tried “Think,” a regular coffee type containing the brand’s “Lion’s Mane (Yamabushitake). The coffee has a nice aroma, a robust taste, and no bitterness at all from the medicinal ingredients in the formula. Personally, I tend to lose energy and concentration after lunch with regular coffee, but when I drank this mushroom coffee, I felt that my energy was sustained.
Following the success of this brand, many mushroom coffee brands have now followed suit, including those for the younger generation and those with less caffeine and more adaptogenic active ingredients. Of course, mushroom coffee is not a drug-induced mushroom, so it can be ordered from Japan or brought back as a souvenir when visiting the US.
A coffee substitute? Focus Gummies” are selling out at many stores.
Many coffee users drink coffee for the purpose of “improving concentration. One product that is gaining support from these people is “Focus Gummies,” which contain ginseng and vitamins.
Sold by supplement manufacturer OLLY, they have been viewed hundreds of millions of times by people posting their effectiveness on TikTok, and at one point became so popular that they sold out all over the United States. It has received high reviews from all walks of life, from people who work early in the morning or work long hours, to students before a test or housewives busy with housework, saying “I get more done” and “I can concentrate! and “I can concentrate!
Ginseng, Alpha GPC, and B vitamins are the main ingredients, and the label states that it “helps you think faster and focus on your tasks. Ginseng is described as “getting you in the zone” and helps you focus and think faster and concentrate on tasks.
Alpha GPC is described as brain nourishment and is said to improve learning ability. The B vitamins are necessary for brain signaling. The advantage is that it is caffeine-free, so it can be eaten by children as well as when they want to concentrate in the evening.
Because they are gummies, they do not require water or other liquids, and they can be kept at one’s desk for easy consumption when one loses concentration. When I tried them, I found that I was able to work more efficiently for an hour or two after eating them. However, since the supplement contains a lot of sugar, it is not certain whether the active ingredients are effective.
Other brands of supplements containing adaptogens under the theme of “Focus” are also being marketed, and this is also a new genre of supplements. It is likely that more and more products with natural ingredients and fewer disadvantages will appear in the future.
Calculated at 135 yen to the dollar.
Interview and text by Yoko Hirota： Yoko Hirota
Yoko Hirota is a health editorial writer and health coach, born in 1980 in Niigata Prefecture. After working in the editorial department of a health magazine, she moved to the U.S. in 2015 and became a freelance writer. She currently lives in Los Angeles and writes for Japanese media on topics such as health, beauty, and diet. She also provides individual diet coaching online as a health coach.