Cordyceps is a parasitic fungi that takes over the bodies of several insects. Apparently, it might also have the potential to boost testosterone. On this review, I’ll let you in on some information on what this fungi is and I’ll even add in a few research to give you a little bit more detail. Are you ready? Let’s go.
WHY TEST BOOSTER SUPPLEMENTS USE CORDYCEPS
Cordyceps is a genus of fungus that are mainly parasitic to insects and arthropods. Some species are so brutal that they even parasite other fungi. I could personally discuss how Cordyceps invades the bodies of its hosts and turn them into mindless zombies but you know what? The nerd in me is telling me that the videos are so much more dramatic so let’s watch one together.
To me personally, what’s so eerie about Cordyceps is that it’s been used for centuries because of its medicinal value. I mean, a parasite?! medicine?! why??
I’m not shi**ing you, bro. Apparently, Cordyceps is known for its ability to fight stress and the effects of aging. It might have also been used for simple respiratory conditions such as cough and colds and some other more complicated ones like liver disease.
For testosterone though, the research that surrounds Cordyceps is limited and the ones that seem to study its use are pretty weak and even contradicting. If anything, what these researches do show is that Cordyceps might have some untapped potential. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
STUDIES ON CORDYCEPS SUGGEST:
Regulate testosterone/cortisol ratio and protect against oxidative stress
As this research states, “a decrease of more than 30% in the testosterone/cortisol ratio” after an exercise (in this case, it would be cycling) is considered a risk factor for nonfunctional overreaching (NFO) or overtraining syndrome (OTS).
As such, the researchers studied how Cordyceps Sinensis and Ganoderma lucidum supplements can help endurance athletes. This research measured testosterone/cortisol ratio and oxidative stress immediately before and after each exercise for comparison.
The entire research went on for 3 months and at the end of it, the researchers found that “after 3 months of supplementation, the testosterone/cortisol ratio changed in a statistically significant manner… and increased scavenger capacity of free radicals“.
In simple English, what those results basically meant was that Cordyceps Sinensis (plus Ganoderma lucidum) protected the athletes from NFO, OTS, and oxidative stress by regulating the testosterone to cortisol ratio and fighting against toxic free radicals.
No effect on exercise and testosterone
You might be thinking, “Wait. Didn’t the last research show that Cordyceps positively influenced testosterone and exercise?” Yes, it did but there are a few key limitations to both of these studies. I’ll discuss them later but now, let me give you a summary of this next research.
This next one is aimed to study the effects of Cordyceps Sinensis supplementation and resistance training in young adult males. These men were differentiated into two groups of either Cordyceps Sinensis supplementation or placebo. Both groups underwent the same intensity exercise for 8 weeks.
Of course, measurements were taken including the men’s 1 RM bench press, leg press, and seated rowing as well as body composition, plasma testosterone levels, serum concentrations of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, aspartate transaminoferase, and alanine transaminoferase.
According to the research, Cordyceps Sinensis supplementation did not have any significant influence on these measured parameters. This led the researchers to conclude that “CS supplementation for eight weeks neither appear to possess a significant ergogenic value nor affect testosterone level of resistance-trained young male adults“.
It is important to note that both the researchers I referenced to have key limitations. One such limitation is the few number of subjects enrolled in both studies. Furthermore, there’s a huge difference in physiology when it comes to endurance exercises such as cycling (first study) and anaerobic exercises such as heavy resistance training (second study).
The first research also combined Cordyceps Sinensis with another supplement and that could’ve greatly impacted the results of the experiment.
Improve sperm quality and production
This last research investigated the spermatogenic effects of Cordyceps Militaris on male rats. The researchers divided the rats into three groups receiving different diets.
- Regular diet (control group)
- diet supplemented with 1% Cordyceps Militaris
- diet supplemented with 5% Cordyceps Militaris
The rats were on their respective diets for 6 weeks. Sperm was collected in intervals for these 6 weeks for analysis. The research yielded the following results:
- No significant difference in body weight between the 3 groups
- Serum cordycepin was significantly higher in the 5% group at the 6th week
- Both Cordyceps Militaris groups had significantly increased sperm production
- 1% = 53% increase
- 5% = 37% increase
- Both Cordyceps Militaris groups had significantly increased sperm motility
- 1% = 31%
- 5% = 19%
- Increased serum testosterone and estriadol (E2) for both Cordyceps Militaris groups
- No significant difference in FSH, LH, and prolactin between the 3 groups
As you can see from these results, Cordyceps Militaris improved sperm quality and testosterone. However, what’s interesting here is that the lower concentration (1%) actually displayed better results. This tells me that Cordycepys might work better if given at low doses.
How Do I Take CORDYCEPS?
If you paid attention to the research, there are different kinds of Cordyceps but the kind that has the most bioactive compound cordycepin is Sinensis so I suggest you look for this. If you can find one where it’s standardized to about 10% of cordycepin then that’s better.
Cordyceps Sinensis is also the most popular form of this fungi but Militaris and Kyushuensis also have cordycepin so they may be used interchangeably.
Also, there still isn’t an established dose for Cordyceps when it comes to boosting testosterone so I can’t really give you exact an exact number(s). As the researches I referenced to have showed though, lower dosages seem to work better. Maybe start with 1000 mg and feel your way from there.
Honestly, research on Cordyceps is weak. The first two human studies that I referenced to had key limitations while the last one was a rat research so it may/may not translate to humans.
What these researches have shown me though, is that Cordyceps is more of a hormone regulator than an actual testosterone booster. See, the three studies showed different results when it came to hormones. The first one showed improvements in testosterone while the second one did not. On the 3rd research, it showed improvements in testosterone again but this time with a consequent increase in estriadol.
With these contradicting results, I can’t really say that I’d depend my testosterone largely on Cordyceps but it does show potential. Until better research comes though, the potential of Cordyceps remains just hypothetical and theoretical. If anything new and better comes, I’ll be sure to update this post.