Today we are talking about one of our favorite morning drinks…COFFEE!

Danny Walsh:

Danny Walsh is an outdoors person, recreational athlete, and entrepreneur out of Boulder, CO. When he was diagnosed with a stress-related auto-immune disease in his last year of college, he turned down the offer for a desk job and instead took to building trails so that he could move his body all days. During this time, he learned to forage and brew chaga tea. He couldn’t stop thinking about how good chaga, a medicinal mushroom, made him feel – soothed, relaxed, calm. Focusing on continually managing his stress, he started incorporating these Adaptagenic mushrooms into his morning routine for daily stress and immune support, and eventually putting them in his coffee. When he looked to see what was out there for mushroom coffee, there wasn’t a single product that tasted like coffee without compromise. Soon after, Peak State was born to help people upgrade their morning routine with high quality coffee with the added health benefits for immune support, stress support, and cognitive health. Today, Peak State’s is the world’s first whole bean functional coffee, infused using their patent pending process for daily wellness and to keep you functioning at your Peak State. When Danny is not working on Peak State, he’s climbing, skiing, spending time with his partner, or trail running with his dog Tuckerman.

What is your WHY?

My why is helping all to connect to a more natural state. Nature Heals. We’ve lost our way. We must return to eating real, nutrient-dense foods, moving our bodies, connecting with our breath, getting enough sleep, spending time in nature, and doing what makes us feel alive.


What is Peak State Coffee?

If you’re like me, coffee is the first part of your morning, which makes it the perfect vehicle for other nutrients too. Peak State has introduced coffee with adaptogens to boost performance, immunity, brain health, and sustained energy throughout the day. Keto Friendly of course, and the coffee is LOW ACID, which is huge if you have a sensitive stomach to acidity in coffee. They test it with a pH meter. Get 20% off your first order at (I’ll put the discount on the show notes) or just enter code LOWCARBATHLETE at

We chat about…

How do you get the mushrooms into the coffee?
How is your coffee low acid too?
What are you doing for sustainability?

Try out Peak State Coffee:  Use code THELOWCARBATHLETE for 20% off your first online order at will automatically take 20% off, or enter code LOWCARBATHLETE at checkout

Uses of All Mecidinal Mushrooms

Uses of Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

  • For brain health and nerve health (neuroprotective abilities)
    • Study in intoxicated mice that were able to better overcome induced neurological dysfunction when taking lion’s mane vs, placebo group, demonstrating its suggestive neuroprotective benefits against neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers
    • Increases synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor in vitro and in vivo, which helps neurons regenerate and repair
    • Terry Wahl, MD with Multiple Sclerosis who has been surviving the condition for decades takes Lion’s Mane for “its neuro-protecitve and neuro-regenerative prioerties and credits it to her health despite the disease”
  • For memory and cognitive function
    • In one study, patients with MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) took 3 grams of Lion’s mane per day over 16 weeks. Lion’s mane significantly improved performance on a cognitive test. After it was over cognitive performance declined again (when treatment period ended) , proving of increased cognitive function but also implying the need for continued supplementation
    • Other studies reference increased cognitive function


Uses of Chaga (Inonotus Obluquus) 

  • For immunomodulation, gut health, anti-inflammation, cellular restoration
    • Proof of immunomodulation (immune support
    • Chaga contains terpenoids, polyphenols, beta glucans, very antioxidant rich, Some evidence suggest chaga may have anti-oxidant potential for the liver. 
    • In one study, they found chaga reduces gut inflammation and activates the immune system, suggesting it may be a helpful immune supporter possible a great use case when used in conjunction with chemotherapy as some trials have already proven

Uses of Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor)

  • For immune support and cellular health
    • One very impressive study involved taking turkey tail mushroom in conjunction with chemotherapy on a breast cancer patient, and turkey tail helped the tumor to be more effectively targeted by chemotherapy, isolated, and treated, while also supporting the immune system to reverse the immunosuppression of chemotherpy

Uses of Reishi (Ganoderma lingzhi)

  • For stress
    • Adaptogens reduce stress hormones, one theory is that they do this work by influencing the hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which orchestrates the stress response and also plays a significant role in immune regulation, digestion, metabolism and mood. Another theory is increasing the antioxidant content of the mitochondria
    • The most adaptogenic of them all, reishi is consumed for immunity, stress-balance, longevity, and even sleep, studies show it inhibits histamine release, PROMOTES gut health (prebiotic)
  • For sleep
    • One study showed that reishi promotes sleep through a gut microbiota-dependent and serotonin-associated pathway in mice.
  • For gut health and immune health (immune-gut connection)
    • One comprehensive review on mushrooms and gut health revealed this is the most proven claim of all of them for reishi

Uses of Maitake (Grifola frondosa)

  • For anti-diabetic and blood sugar regulation
    • May offer steady glycemic balance in people with diabetes
    • A ton of animal and in vitro evidence, one study in mice helped blood sugar levels fall below diabetic levels 
    • One study in humans involved 2 volunteers who demonstrated improved glycemic control and antidiabetic effects

Uses of Cordyceps 

  • For performance, energy support. 
    • For exercise performance
      • In one study, Adults on erg machines taking 4g/day had improved Vo2 max & anaerobic threshold & aerobic capacity, and time to fatigue, also suggesting that consistent chronic supplementation may drive greater results
    • For anti-fatigue
      • In another study mice could swim longer without fatiguing because it lowers lactic acid levels in blood, presumably if you don’t get that feeling you could go longer
    • For overcoming jet lag
      • Fascinating research on cordyceps for anti-jet lag benefits /“body clock” reset

Why combine mushrooms and coffee – what are the benefits?

  • People often have powder and pill fatigue, but coffee is an indulgence, a healthy one
  • Compliance. Have you ever forgotten your morning supplement or vitamin? If you are coffee drinker, you probably never forget your coffee
  • Medicinal mushroom studies in suggest chronic supplementation is best for achieving the positive health effects, so since coffee has better compliance than pills or powder, having mushrooms in coffee is a perfect way to never miss your daily supleme


More In Depth Information:


Cordyceps (Cordyceps Sinensis) aka The “ENERGY” One

  • Cordyceps sinensis can help one’s oxygen intake, which can increase one brain and body function. Because of its immunity potential, it is conidered by some as adaptognic.
  • According to Martin Powell, a recognized authority on medicinal mushrooms, Cordyceps apparently increases one’s oxygen intake, which can increase one’s brain function as well as help in exercise (more so running than biking). Following are some of the references:”Experimental evidence based on polysaccharide extracts indicates that O. sinensis is also able to improve brain function and antioxidative enzyme activity (superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase), which, together with its beneficial effect on cardiovascular function, makes it an excellent supplement for the elderly” (loc 1365).
  • “A 1996 study on long distance runners reported a significant improvement in 71% of participants and O. sinensis and C. militaris as well as the cordyceps anamorphs Cs-4 and Cs-HK1, have been shown to increase endurance in animal models. Studies on sedentary humans also show a significant increase in energy output and oxygen capacity16-20. However, three studies failed to demonstrate any effect on performance in competitive cyclists or other professional athletes and it has been suggested that this may be because such athletes are already operating at or close to their maximum aerobic capacity”
    He lists other benefits less related to the focus of products (loc. 1413).
    Powel, M. (2014). Medicinal Mushrooms: A Clinical Guide (2nd Kindle ed.). Mycology Press.
  • “It is sometimes considered an adaptogen due to its immune boosting properties.” Kuphal, G. (2014). Adaptogens. Retrieved 10 12, 2021, from U.S. Veterans Administration:
  • According to “Effect of Cs-4…”: “After receiving Cs-4 for 12 weeks, the metabolic threshold (above which lactate accumulates) increased by 10.5% from 0.83 ± 0.06 to 0.93 ± 0.08 L/min (p < 0.02) and the ventilatory threshold (above which unbuffered H+ stimulates ventilation) increased by 8.5% from 1.25 ± 0.11 to 1.36 ± 0.15 L/min. Significant changes in metabolic or ventilatory threshold were not seen for the subjects in the placebo group after 12 weeks, and there were no changes in V̇o2 max in either group.” Conclusion “This pilot study suggests that supplementation with Cs-4 (Cordyceps sinensis) improves exercise performance and might contribute to wellness in healthy older subjects.”
    Study Design “double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospective trial”
    Chen S, Li Z, Krochmal R, Abrazado M, Kim W, Cooper CB. Effect of Cs-4 (Cordyceps sinensis) on exercise performance in healthy older subjects: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 May;16(5):585-90. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0226. PMID: 20804368; PMCID: PMC3110835.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) AKA CALM/CHILL/IMMUNITY 

Reishi provides anti-inflammatory and anti-oxident benefits, works as a probiotic, and helps boost immunity.

  • According to Martin Powel, a recognized authority on medicinal mushrooms, reishi has been observed inhibiting histamine release, and acts as both an antiinflammatory and an antioxidant (loc. 1631).
    It also has been observed in support of recovery from cancer (esp. breast and prostate), allergies, liver disease, hypertension, insomnia/anxiety (loc. 1640 and following). “Together with Cordyceps sinensis, G. lucidum has the most extensive range of indications and combines well with it in treatment of lung and liver conditions, as well as to provide all-round adaptogenic support” (loc. 1699—note that reishi and Cordyceps are combined in Harmony oatmeal).
    Powel, M. (2014). Medicinal Mushrooms: A Clinical Guide (2nd Kindle ed.). Mycology Press.
  • Evidence suggests it aids gut microbiota. “The recent advancement in research has shown the link between gut microbiota and treatment of various ailments. The constituents of the G. lucidum make it one of the important prebiotics used to increase the bacterial flora. In particular it is rich in polysaccharides, terpenoids, and total phenols. The prebiotic action of G. lucidum should be due to the presence of several polysaccharides; a recent study has isolated the high and intermediate polysaccharides and shown to be responsible for its prebiotic action.” Jayachandran, M., Xiao, J., & Xu, B. (2017). A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(9), 1934.
  • “Reishi mushroom has been used for immune boosting effects, for treatment of upper respiratory viral infections, and for reducing stress. Anecdotal evidence suggests it may be beneficial for the treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia in those who don’t respond to conventional treatment.” Kuphal, G. (2014). Adaptogens. Retrieved 10 12, 2021, from U.S. Veterans Administration:


Chaga has potential anti-oxident benefit, and assists in working against viral infections and psoriasis.

  • According to Martin Powel, a recognized authority on medicinal mushrooms, chaga has benefits for those recovering from cancer, viral infections, psoriasis (loc. 2111). Powel, M. (2014). Medicinal Mushrooms: A Clinical Guide (2nd Kindle ed.). Mycology Press.
  • Some evidence suggests it may have anti-oxidant potential for the liver. Jayachandran, M., Xiao, J., & Xu, B. (2017). A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(9), 1934.

Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor). AKA IMMUNITY


Lion’s Mane has been shown helpful in stimulating nerve growth and in the treatments of many diseases.

  • According to Martin Power, a recognized authority on medical mushrooms, Lion’s Mane is known for “its ability to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF)” (loc. 1958). In addition, it may help in the treatments of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, MRSA, anxiety—”Main Therapeutic Application – Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, MS, nerve damage, menopausal syndrome” (loc. 2015). Powel, M. (2014). Medicinal Mushrooms: A Clinical Guide (2nd Kindle ed.). Mycology Press.
  • According to “Improving effects of…”:”At weeks 8, 12 and 16 of the trial, the Yamabushitake group showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group. The Yamabushitake group’s scores increased with the duration of intake, but at week 4 after the termination of the 16 weeks intake, the scores decreased significantly. Laboratory tests showed no adverse effect of Yamabushitake. The results obtained in this study suggest that Yamabushitake is effective in improving mild cognitive impairment.”
    Study Design
    “double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial”
    Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, Azumi Y, Tuchida T. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):367-72. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2634. PMID: 18844328.
  • According to “Reduction of depression…”:
    “Herein, we investigated the clinical effects of H. erinaceus on menopause, depression, sleep quality and indefinite complaints, using the Kupperman Menopausal Index (KMI), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and the Indefinite Complaints Index (ICI). Thirty females were randomly assigned to either the H. erinaceus (HE) group or the placebo group and took HE cookies or placebo cookies for 4 weeks. Each of the CES-D and the ICI score after the HE intake was significantly lower than that before. In two terms of the ICI, ‘insentive’ and ‘palpitatio’, each of the mean score of the HE group was significantly lower than the placebo group. ‘Concentration’, ‘irritating’ and ‘anxious’ tended to be lower than the placebo group. Our results show that HE intake has the possibility to reduce depression and anxiety and these results suggest a different mechanism from NGF-enhancing action of H. erinaceus.”
    Study Design
    “Thirty females were randomly assigned to either the H. erinaceus (HE) group or the placebo group and took HE cookies or placebo cookies for 4 weeks”
    Nagano M, Shimizu K, Kondo R, Hayashi C, Sato D, Kitagawa K, Ohnuki K. Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomed Res. 2010 Aug;31(4):231-7. doi: 10.2220/biomedres.31.231. PMID: 20834180.


Acidity in Coffee

  • Factors that affect acidity 
    • Shade grown vs conventional sun grown coffee, roast level, origin
    • Mushrooms are alkalizing