Cordyceps militaris (Cordyceps)

Cordyceps militaris (Cordyceps). Cordyceps is a species of the fungal genus widely known for its complementary and alternative uses in the study of traditional Chinese herbs and botanicals 1, 2. Cordyceps sinensis are highly valued in China as a tonic food with usage occurring for centuries 3. Cordyceps potentially reduce exercise induced oxidative stress, possibly improving one’s ability to withstand high intensity exercise 4, 5. Bioactive components of Cordyceps include: cordycepic acid, cordycepin, ergosterol (precursor to vitamin D), polysaccharides, nucleosides, and peptides 6. Studies conducted with Cordyceps militaris and a mushroom blend (PeakO2TM) determined benefits for athletic performance included improving VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption), thus delaying fatigue (increasing time to exhaustion) and improving oxygen kinetics, positively impacting aerobic exercise of high-intensity 7. Cordyceps (caterpillar fungus) has been taken for up to 2 years at a dosage of 3-12 grams per day, and as an adaptogen, is used to enhance stamina and reduce fatigue, according to the Natural Medicines database 8. Cordyceps support immune health 4, 6.

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. Kwon H-W, Shin J-H, Lim DH, Ok WJ, Nam GS, Kim MJ, Kwon H-K, et al. Antiplatelet and antithrombotic effects of cordycepin-enriched WIB-801CE from Cordyceps militaris ex vivo, in vivo, and in vitro. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2016; 16:508.
  2. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). Botanical Dietary Supplements. Updated June 24, 2011. Accessed 6/27/2019.
  3. Zhu JS, Halpern GM, Jones K The scientific rediscovery of an ancient Chinese herbal medicine: Cordyceps sinensis: part 1 [Abstract]. J Alern Complement Med 1998; 4(3), 289-303.
  4. Ko KM, Leung HY. Enhancement of ATP generation capacity, antioxidant activity and immunomodulatory activities by Chinese Yang and Yin tonifying herbs. Chin med 2007;2:3 or
  5. Hirsch KR, Smith-Ryan AE, Roelofs EJ, Trexler ET, Mock G. Cordyceps militaris improves tolerance to high-intensity exercise after acute and chronic supplementation. J Diet Suppl 2016; 14(1):42,53.
  6. Yue K, Ye M, Zhou Z, Sun W, Lin X. The genus Cordyceps: a chemical and pharmacological review. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2012; 65:474-493.
  7. Hirsch KR, Mock MG, Roelofs EJ, Trexler ET, Smith-Syran, AE. Chronic supplementation of a mushroom blend on oxygen kinetics, peak power, and time to exhaustion. (Poster Session). Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2015; 12(Suppl 1), P45.
  8. Natural Medicines database. Cordyceps. Professional monograph. Product ID No. 602. Reviewed 1/3/2019. Updated 4/9/2019. Accessed 5/7/2019. Subscription Required for Access.,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=602