Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Mushroom extract PeakO2 makes athletes fitter

No, this study into the performance-enhancing effect of the combined mushroom extract PeakO2 isn't perfect. But the human study, published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, nevertheless provokes curiosity. Recreational athletes who took 4 grams of PeakO2 every day for 3 weeks became fitter on all fronts.

PeakO2 has been developed and patented by Disruptive Nutrition. That company also sponsored the research we're talking about. PeakO2 is marketed by Compound Solutions. [] Since its introduction in 2016 PeakO2 pops up in one after another sports supplement.

PeakO2 is a mixture of 6 mushroom extracts, which are probably all familiar to the generally well-informed readers of this website: Cordyceps militaris, Gandoderma lucidum, Pleurotus eryngii, Lentinula edodes, Hericium erinaceus and Trametes versicolor.

Mushroom extract PeakO2 makes athletes fitter

Mushroom extract PeakO2 makes athletes fitter

The researchers, who were affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, divided 28 recreational athletes aged 18-35 into two groups. The subjects trained at least three times a week.

One group took a placebo for a week, the other group PeakO2. The subjects in that group took 3 times a day 1.3 grams of extract - in total 4 grams of extract.

Before and after the supplementation period the subjects had to cycle, and the researchers determined their endurance.

After this one week period 10 subjects continued using the supplement [or the placebo] for another 2 weeks, and were tested again after that period. And yes, you are absolutely right: 10 test persons is not much...

After a week of supplementation, little happened. But in the group of subjects who took the supplement [or the placebo] for 3 weeks, things were different.

In this small group PeakO2 improved the body's ability to absorb oxygen [VO2max; the main determinant of the endurance capacity], the ventilatory threshold [VT; the point during exercise at which breathing becomes faster], and the time to exhaustion [TTE].

Mushroom extract PeakO2 makes athletes fitter

"In conclusion, one week of supplementation with a Cordyceps militaris containing mushroom blend had minimal benefits to high intensity aerobic and anaerobic exercise", the researchers wrote. "Greater benefits may be elicited with longer supplementation, with potential improvements in oxygen consumption, ventilatory threshold, [and] time to exhaustion [...] at a dosage of 4 g/d."

"Future studies should aim to establish dosage for maximal ergogenic benefits."

J Diet Suppl. 2016 Jul 13:1-13. [Epub ahead of print].

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