Cordyceps sinesis Supplement Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects


Cordyceps sinensis, a fungus used in traditional Chinese medicine, has been studied for various potential health benefits. Here are some of the key benefits supported by scientific research:

Improved Exercise Performance and Endurance

Several studies have found that cordyceps supplementation can increase aerobic capacity (VO2 max) and improve exercise performance, especially in older adults.[4] One study showed a 7% increase in VO2 max after 6 weeks of supplementation with a synthetic cordyceps strain.[4]

Anti-Diabetic Effects

Animal studies suggest cordyceps may help reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance, indicating potential benefits for diabetes management.[1] [2] However, human trials are still lacking.

Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Cancer Properties

Cordyceps contains compounds like cordycepin that have shown anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects in lab and animal studies.[1] [4] However, more research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.

Improved Heart Health

Some research indicates cordyceps may help lower cholesterol levels and improve other markers of heart health, though the evidence is still preliminary.[2] [3]

It's important to note that while cordyceps shows promise in many areas, much of the research has been conducted in animals or lab settings, and more human trials are needed to fully understand its effects and safety.[4] Additionally, dosages used in studies have varied, with 1,000-3,000 mg per day being common in human trials.[2]

If you're considering taking cordyceps supplements, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, as they may interact with certain medications or conditions.

Recommended Dosages for Cordyceps Sinesis Supplements

General Dosage Range

The typical dosage range for cordyceps supplements is 0.5 grams to 4.5 grams per day. However, there is no universally established standard dose, as it can vary depending on the specific product, intended use, and individual factors. [1] [2] [3]

Dosages Used in Research Studies

Many research studies have used the following dosage ranges:

  • 1-3 grams per day of whole cordyceps mushroom powder for general health benefits [2] [3]
  • 3-4.5 grams per day for improving exercise performance and aerobic capacity [2] [4]
  • Up to 6 grams per day has been used in some clinical studies without significant side effects [3]

Specific Dosage Recommendations

For general daily use of unextracted, full-spectrum cordyceps powder, 2 grams (2000mg) per day is a common recommended dose. [3] For cordyceps extracts or concentrated products, a lower dose of 0.5-1 gram per day may be sufficient. [2] When starting cordyceps, it's often advised to double the dose for the first 1-2 weeks to allow the body to adjust. [3]

It's crucial to note that dosages can vary significantly based on the specific product, extraction method, and individual factors like age, weight, and health status. Always follow the dosage instructions on the product label or consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking medications. [1] [2]

Potential Side Effects of Taking Cordyceps Supplements

Reported Side Effects

  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth [1]

These mild side effects are typically reported with short-term use of cordyceps supplements, and they usually resolve once the supplement is discontinued.

Severe Side Effects

No severe side effects have been definitively reported with cordyceps supplementation. However, there are some precautions and potential risks to be aware of: [1] [3] [5]

  • Allergic reactions, although extremely rare
  • Increased bleeding risk, as cordyceps may have blood-thinning effects
  • Potential interactions with diabetes medications, as cordyceps may lower blood sugar levels
  • Potential interactions with immunosuppressants, as cordyceps may stimulate the immune system


Certain groups should avoid or use caution with cordyceps supplements due to lack of safety data:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women [1] [3] [5]
  • Children [5]
  • People with cancer, diabetes, or bleeding disorders [3] [5]

It's also important to note that the long-term safety of cordyceps supplementation is not well-established, as most studies have been short-term. [1] Additionally, the quality and purity of cordyceps supplements can vary, so it's advisable to choose reputable brands and follow dosage instructions carefully. [3]

Overall, while cordyceps is generally considered safe for most adults when used short-term, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before taking it, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking medications. [1] [3] [5]