Four Sigmatic is a brand of mushroom-based beverage blends. The company was born in Finland and now operates from the US. Their beverage blends are highly regarded in the biohacker community and are endorsed by influencers such as Tim Ferris, Ben Greenfield and Emily Schromm.
What are functional mushrooms
Mushrooms have been used for their nutritional and medicinal properties for centuries in several cultures (1, 2, 3). Thus, many mushrooms can be considered “functional”.
Nutrients in mushrooms
- carbohydrates, mainly polysaccharides (i.e. many sugars) which act as dietary fibre and prebiotics (i.e. food for gut bacteria), etc. (3, 4)
- amino acids (3, 4)
- polyunsaturated fatty acids (3)
- other molecules such as ascorbic acid, carotenoids, tocopherols (3), triterpenoids, nucleosides, phenolics, and flavonoids (4)
- vitamin D, especially mushrooms that have been irradiated with UV-B and UV-C light
Benefits of mushrooms
There is evidence that mushrooms do or may have the following benefits:
- antioxidant (1, 2, 3, 4), antimicrobial (1, 3, 4), anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties (3, 4)
- help relieve fatigue in the muscular system, body antioxidant system, cardiovascular system, hormone system, and immune system (4)
- protect the intestinal mucous membranes, support the immune system and help regulate blood lipids (3)
It’s important to note that most experiments have been carried out in animal models (4) and that not all mushrooms have the composition or properties.
Four Sigmatic beverages
The sample pack that I bought contains the following beverages:
|Reishi||Sleep & stress||Reishi mushroom dual-extract (1,500 mg), rose hips, tulsi, field mint|
|Chaga||Antioxidant properties||Chaga mushroom dual extract (Inonotus obliquus, 30% polysaccharides, 2% triterpenes) (50%), Siberian gingseng (750mg), mint, rose hip|
|Cordyceps||Energy & performance||Cordyceps mushroom dual extract (Ohiocordyceps sinensis, 40% polysaccharides) (50%), mint, rose hip, gingseng (200mg), liquorice root, sweetener (steviol glycosides)|
|Lion’s mane||Brain & nervous system||Dual-extracted lion’s mane mushroom (1500mg), field mint, rose hips (300 mg), rhodiola (200 mg), stevia (50mg)|
|Mushroom coffee mix with lion’s mane & chaga||Productivity||Instant coffee powder, lion’s mane dual-extract, wildcrafted chaga dual-extract, wildcrafted rhodiola root extract|
|Mushroom coffee mix with cordyceps & chaga||Performance||Organic arabica coffee, organic cordyceps mushroom (150 mg), wildcrafted Siberian chaga mushroom (350 mg), organic eleuthero extract (100 mg)|
|Mushroom hot cacao mix with reishi||Relax||Cacao powder, coconut palm sugar, reishi dual-extract, cinnamon powder, cardamom extract, Reb A (stevia extract)|
|Mushroom hot cacao mix with cordyceps||Energize||Organic cacao powder, organic coconut palm sugar, organic cordyceps extract, organic chili extract|
I like the taste of all of the beverages taken with hot water. The mushroom coffee tastes like regular instant coffee to me; having said that, I have a pretty good tolerance to bitter flavours. A friend of mine tried the coffee with water but had to add milk to make it palatable.
The hot chocolates do contain sugar (coconut sugar is sugar), so they’re belong in the treat category for me. They are pretty good with hot water or unsweetened almond milk and, optionally, collagen peptides.
I have bought a few boxes of Four Sigmatic products but I don’t take them consistently. Having said that, I must admit I have not felt any sort of supernatural powers after using them. However, I don’t discard the possibility of these products having beneficial effects on health, potentially upon regular consumption.
To find more about Four Sigmatic and their products and/or to shop online, visit the links below:
- Pennerman KK et al. Health Effects of Small Volatile Compounds from East Asian Medicinal Mushrooms. Mycobiology. 2015 Mar;43(1):9-13.
- Sánchez C. Reactive oxygen species and antioxidant properties from mushrooms. Synth Syst Biotechnol. 2016 Dec 24;2(1):13-22.
- Muszyńska B et al. Anti-inflammatory properties of edible mushrooms: A review. Food Chem. 2018 Mar 15;243:373-381.
- Geng P et al. Antifatigue Functions and Mechanisms of
Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:9648496.