Remember the scene in the movie Alien when the creature bursts out of the dude’s chest? Cordyceps does that to ants and caterpillars. In one Planet Earth episode, an HD camera zooms in on a drunken-looking ant, disoriented, showing early symptoms of infection. The fungus commands the zombie ant to walk up a tree stem, cling to a branch, and die. Then, a long slender stem erupts from the ant's f*cking head! As the fungus ascends toward the heavens, David Attenborough’s soothing voice narrates, “It can take three weeks to grow, when finished, the deadly spores will burst from its tip, then any ant in the vicinity will be in serious risk of death.”
Cordyceps grows from death to create and support life. It might be an alien life-form, but the fungus boosts athletic performance, testosterone production, and combats several types of cancer.
Cordyceps was first discovered in the high Himalayas by yak shepherds in the Mykot tribe. The shepherds noticed that in the springtime, as the yaks feasted on cordyceps, they would begin rutting in a mad sexual frenzy. The shepherds wanted a piece of that mojo, so they experimented with eating the fungus and found it to be remarkably energizing. Although our theory lacks evidence, we like to imagine that the shepherds then used yak skin to fashion skintight leather chaps and thrust their hips in unison as an innovative strategy to corral the herd.
In recent years, western medicine has taken notice of cordyceps. In one study, researchers tested 30 healthy older adults to determine their VO2 max on a stationary bike. Your VO2 max is a measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during intense exercise. (V stands for volume, and O2 stands for oxygen). For the non-scientists, your VO2 max is the moment you curse the wind and begin to whimper. Participants in the study received either 3 grams per day of a synthetic strain of cordyceps called CS-4 or a placebo pill for six weeks. By the end of the study, VO2 max had increased by 7 percent in participants who had taken CS-4, while participants given the placebo pill showed no change. Another study showed that Cordyceps delayed fatigue in mice by 12.5 percent.
Cordyceps increases the body’s production of the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which delivers energy to your sexy ass. ATP is produced within mitochondria which generates over 90 percent of the fuel that you use on a daily basis. Cordyceps delivers it’s performance boosting results by increasing mitochondrial production of ATP.
Several studies have also found that cordyceps increase antioxidants in older mice, improving memory and sexual function. The fungus can stimulate MA-10 cells to produce progesterone, as well as boost testosterone, resulting in increased sperm formation and hip thrusts in mice.
Finally, cordyceps has been shown to combat cancer and serve as an effective supplement to chemotherapy. In test-tube studies, cordyceps has been shown to inhibit the growth of many types of human cancer cells, including lung, colon, skin and liver cancers.With the range of benefits from athletic to sexual, (they’re arguably in the same bucket,) cordyceps are an integral part of the MUD\WTR elixir. Drink enough, and you might start wearing Yak skin leather chaps.