Reishi for Athletic Performance

by Dr. Eric Karchmer, PhD, MD (China), LAc |

Reishi for Athletic Performance

Reishi, also known as Lingzhi in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is a type of mushroom used for immune system support, anti-inflammatory effects, adaptogenic properties, and  longevity-promoting effects. Many athletes, coaches, and trainers also rely on Reishi for post workout support and replenishment, helping the body naturally re-balance after intense activity.  

Said one acupuncturist as to why she recommends it to some of her patients who have an active lifestyle, "I often recommend Reishi for athletes because it has been shown to support oxygen utilization and improve endurance. Reishi's 'adaptogenic properties' can also help the body better adapt to physical stress, aiding in recovery and reducing the risk of injury." 

With the release of Pure Reishi, a DAO Classic's formula, we've outlined five reasons it might be a fit as part of your athletic (and wellness) toolkit. 

5 Ways to Use Reishi for Athletic Performance
Immune System Support

Like in most health and wellness modalities, a strong immune system is considered essential for overall health and vitality. But from a Chinese Medicine perspective, Reishi is believed to "tonify the Qi" and "nourish the blood", which can help strengthen the immune system and prevent illness.

This is particularly important for athletes, who are more susceptible to illness due to their intense training schedules. By supporting the immune system, Pure Reishi can help athletes stay healthy and perform at their best.

Reishi Dao Labs

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, inflammation is seen as a sign of "blocked Qi and blood stagnation".  Reishi has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation and improve the flow of Qi and blood in the body.

This can lead to better recovery time after workouts and improved athletic performance overall. By reducing inflammation, Pure Reishi can also help prevent injuries and improve overall joint health.

Increased Endurance

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, the concept of Qi is central to the body's ability to produce energy and stamina. Reishi has been shown to improve oxygen utilization in the body, which can lead to increased endurance and better performance during endurance events such as running, cycling, and swimming. By improving the body's ability to produce energy and stamina, reishi can help athletes perform at their best for longer periods of time.

Stress Reduction

In TCM, stress is seen as a blockage of Qi and a disruption of the body's natural flow of energy. Reishi has been shown to have adaptogenic properties, meaning it can help the body adapt to stress and promote relaxation. This can be especially beneficial for athletes who experience high levels of stress during training and competitions. By reducing stress, reishi can help athletes feel more focused and calm during competitions.

Improved Sleep

In TCM, the concept of Yin and Yang is central to the body's balance and harmony. Yin represents the body's cooling and restorative energy, while Yang represents its active and energizing energy. Reishi has been shown to nourish the Yin and calm the mind, which can improve sleep quality and duration. This can help athletes feel more rested and energized for their training and competitions. By improving sleep, reishi can also help athletes recover faster and reduce the risk of injury.

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Care Consideration: Just a reminder that the above information is not a substitute for medical care and is not a substitute for medical advice or recommendations  from a healthcare provider.  This information is not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease.  That said, we encourage you to connect with an Acupuncturist in your community to learn more about this and other Traditional Chinese Medicine options.  If you’ve got questions about Chinese herbal medicine or getting started with an Acupuncturist, feel free to connect with us on

Dr. Eric Karchmer is a practicing Chinese medical doctor, medical anthropologist, and co-founder and Chief Doctor of Chinese Medicine for DAO Labs. From 1995-2000, Eric studied at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and today is both a licensed acupuncturist and professor at Appalachian State University. Eric can be reached at

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