When you think about it, energy is perhaps the most valuable commodity on the planet. Humans go to extremes to make certain that they have an excess of it on hand, whether it’s to fuel their economies, their vehicles, or themselves. Just consider what you’ll do to make sure you have your morning coffee or your pre-workout energy booster—and what you’ll be able to achieve once you’ve consumed them.

cordyceps

But while our complex modern lives run on energy, the sources of that energy are often things that are ancient and elemental-think wind, sun, coal, or oil. Fitness supplement manufacturers also tend look backward, to ancient healing traditions, to find the next great performance booster. One such discovery is the cordyceps fungus.

Cordyceps has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, despite being extremely difficult to harvest. After all, it is normally found on the surface of high-altitude caterpillars, leading to its nickname of the “caterpillar fungus.”

For most of the 20th century, it was a highly prized, expensive, and elusive nutraceutical. However, after a couple of high-profile success stories and the development of an effective way to produce Cordyceps in the laboratory, it has been earning fans around the world.

Here are a few compelling reasons that athletes of all types should consider supplementing with this potent fungus.