Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the fuel that drives human existence. Whether it is a leisurely stroll to your local flea market or a grueling workout at the gym, the human body produces energy in the form of ATP to ensure your muscles can accomplish the task. However, on occasion, people may need to supplement this energy thereby necessitating the emergence of different substances through which the body can increase its ATP levels. Popularized supplements such as Creatine may be lauded in the market today, but one of the top ATP producing substances is actually a relatively different fungus known as Cordyceps Sinensis.
Although the fungus only found prominence in the last few decades, it has long been a staple in Chinese culture to rejuvenate fatigued persons and treat a variety of ailments. Its emergence in Traditional Chinese Medicine can be traced back to its point of origin in the Himalayas where grazing livestock would be seen to grow considerably stronger after consuming it.
Cordyceps Sinensis develops as a parasite on caterpillars. Upon emergence as a small spore, it is relatively harmless, but over time, the fungus essentially takes over its host’s body, mummifying and consuming the caterpillar to further its development. It then grows considerably long and can be described as an orange finger-like organism.
Medically, the fungus has been touted as a premier supplement that:
•Improves stamina and increases the body’s performance levels.
•Enhances liver function and facilitates detoxification.
•Combats respiratory ailments.
•Combats infertility while enhancing sexual performance.
•Aids in fighting the aging process.
The ATP production capabilities aligned with Cordyceps Sinensis can be substantiated by its constituent elements. Researchers deduced three substances, sterols, polysaccharides, and nucleosides, all of which have vital roles to play in the fungus’ energy generation tasks. Sterols are mainly responsible for the reduction of body cholesterol levels thereby enhancing cardiovascular function. On the other hand, polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates that work to stimulate the immune system while also providing additional energy to the body. Nucleosides are essential in the formation of DNA and RNA. Cordyceps Sinensis also dilates respiratory airways resulting in a higher oxygen capacity. Consequently, each cell is able to produce more energy for bodily functions.
When contrasted with modern day pharmaceutical supplements, Cordyceps Sinensis is regarded as a safer alternative. Its organic nature places it above chemically concocted substances when it comes to any possible side effects. Despite this, it is advisable that pregnant and lactating women do not partake in it seeing as it may affect young children. Also, persons with autoimmune diseases such as lupus or arthritis are discouraged from using the fungal extract since it may worsen their condition.
The recommended dosage of the fungal extract is highly dependent on a person’s desired targets. While some take it just to boost their stamina for day-to-day activities, fitness aficionados may require higher doses for their strenuous fitness routines. Despite these variant needs, it is recommended that each person should only take between 2 to 5 grams of Cordyceps Sinensis. Ideally, pharmaceutical companies that have churned out pills advise users on the required dosages for optimal effect.
The use of Cordyceps Sinensis has been globally accepted despite minor complaints from staunch environmentalists. In their eyes, the increased harvesting of the fungus will eventually alter the ecological balance and, after a while, result in the extinction of the species. These fears have been assuaged by the manual cultivation of the substance in areas aside from its Himalayan habitat. On top of that, other Cordyceps species such as the Cordyceps Militaris has reduced the focus on the formerly over cultivated Sinensis.
All in all, despite the numerous alternatives available for incrementing ATP production, Cordyceps Sinensis still manages to stand out. Its somewhat understated history in Traditional Chinese Medicine vouched for its efficiency and modern day trials have also revealed how beneficial it could be to the human body. It may be touted as an energy supplement, but further research has shown its numerous benefits and curative possibilities. Without any potential side effects, it begs the question, who wouldn’t want that extra jolt of energy to go through a stressful day? I know I would.