Cordyceps delivers powerful endurance boosting effects. Doses of 150-300 mg per kg of bodyweight of cordyceps given orally to rats increased the time it took for rats to become fatigued during a swimming test by 12.5%. [1]

These findings are supported by human experiments that showed Cordyceps increased lactic acid threshold by an average of 10.5% - thus enabling the exerciser to  increase the intensity and duration of exercise. Researchers concluded that supplementing with cordyceps “improves exercise performance and might contribute to wellness in healthy older subjects.” [2]

A 2007 study in Hong Kong that examined traditional Chinese Herbs found that cordyceps does indeed increase ATP production. As they noted, “enhancing mitochondrial ATP generation preserves mitochondrial structural and functional integrity, thus retarding the aging process.” [3]

Aside from boosting exercise capacity, the high beta-glucan content of cordyceps helps it reduce fatigue, boost immune system function, increase antioxidant activity, and may even increase testosterone and libido in men. [4]

In a small pilot study, cordyceps was also shown to help support optimal glucose metabolism. [5]

Finally, cordyceps has been shown to “significantly attenuate the liver and heart injuries in Chronic Kidney Disease rats.” The same mechanisms of action - reversing elevated levels of inflammatory markers - “can also be used to elucidate the mechanisms of action of other traditional Chinese medicines.” [6]

Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate, the dried leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant, contain several health promoting compounds, including saponins, polyphenols, and xanthines (caffeine and theobromine). These have been shown to increase metabolism, exhibit antioxidant properties, and support regular functioning of the body’s cells and tissues. Yerba Mate also contains 7 of the 9 essential amino acids. [7]

Theobromine is a phytochemical antioxidant (also found in real chocolate) that has been shown to boost nitric oxide and dilate blood vessels throughout the body and in the respiratory system. [8]. It has a slight stimulatory effect, about 1/10 the power of caffeine.

Together, the combination of caffeine and theobromine can provide enhanced alertness, boost mental performance, and improve sports performance by up to 5%. [9,10,11]

There are numerous anti-obesity benefits of Yerba Mate including reduced blood sugar levels, increased feelings of satiety, modulates leptin levels, and decreases adipogenesis (creation of fat cells). [12,13,14]

In fact, in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled human study, oral supplementation of Yerba Mate decreased body fat mass and percent body fat. [15]

A 2004 study concluded that the antioxidant powers of Yerba Mate are slightly higher than those of Green Tea. [16]

Yerba Mate has also been shown in several studies to reduce advanced glycation end-products or AGEs. These has serious anti-aging and longevity promise. [17,18]



  1. Koh JH. Antifatigue and antistress effect of the hot-water fraction from mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis. Biol Pharm Bull. 2003 May;26(5):691-4.
  2. 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. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2010;16(5):585-590. doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0226.
  3. Ko KM, Leung HY. Enhancement of ATP generation capacity, antioxidant activity and immunomodulatory activities by Chinese Yang and Yin tonifying herbs. Chinese Medicine. 2007;2:3. doi:10.1186/1749-8546-2-3.
  4. Lin B, Li S. Cordyceps as an Herbal Drug. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 5. Available from:
  5. Professor Paul Leonard Greenhaff (Ph.D) . Pilot Study to Investigate the Changes in Metabolic and Physiological Parameters using Cordyceps sinensis supplementation (3 grams per day) in a double blind, randomized format.
  6. Liu X. Cordyceps sinensis protects against liver and heart injuries in a rat model of chronic kidney disease: a metabolomic analysis. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2014 May;35(5):697-706. doi: 10.1038/aps.2013.186. Epub 2014 Mar 17.
  7. Heck CI. Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis): a comprehensive review on chemistry, health implications, and technological considerations. J Food Sci. 2007 Nov;72(9):R138-51.
  8. Theobromine. Phytochemicals Database.
  9. Ruxton, C. H. S. (2008), The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks. Nutrition Bulletin, 33: 15–25. doi:10.1111/j.1467-3010.2007.00665.x
  10. Nehlig A. Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic and psychostimulant effects. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 1992 May-Aug;17(2):139-70.
  11. Hodgson AB. The metabolic and performance effects of caffeine compared to coffee during endurance exercise. PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e59561. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059561. Epub 2013 Apr 3.
  12. Gambero A, Ribeiro ML. The Positive Effects of Yerba Maté (Ilex paraguariensis) in Obesity. Nutrients. 2015;7(2):730-750. doi:10.3390/nu7020730.
  13. Kang YR. Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet. Lab Anim Res. 2012 Mar;28(1):23-9. doi: 10.5625/lar.2012.28.1.23. Epub 2012 Mar 21.
  14. Arçari DP. Anti-inflammatory effects of yerba maté extract (Ilex paraguariensis) ameliorate insulin resistance in mice with high fat diet-induced obesity. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011 Mar 30;335(2):110-5. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2011.01.003.
  15. Sun-Young Kim. Anti-obesity effects of Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguariensis): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. International Society for Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR)201515:338. DOI: 10.1186/s12906-015-0859-1
  16. Chandra S. Polyphenolic compounds, antioxidant capacity, and quinone reductase activity of an aqueous extract of Ardisia compressa in comparison to mate (Ilex paraguariensis) and green (Camellia sinensis) teas. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jun 2;52(11):3583-9.
  17. Singh R. Advanced glycation end-products: a review. Diabetologia. 2001 Feb;44(2):129-46.
  18. Lunceford N. Ilex paraguariensis extracts inhibit AGE formation more efficiently than green tea. Fitoterapia. 2005 Jul;76(5):419-27.

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