I’ve worked at The Vitamin Shoppe for a little over two years now, yet despite my employee discount, my frugal nature prevents me from going on regular supplement shopping sprees. I steer my personal purchases towards the foundational health basics: a multivitamin, omega-3, probiotic, and the occasional plant protein smoothie. (I did also splurge on a Himalayan salt lamp last year. Worth. Every. Penny.)
Don’t get me wrong, though. Here at the office, I love trying out new wellness trends and products. (If I had more space in my pantry and less space in my wallet, I’d put my local store out of business!) I am delighted, willing, and able to act as Town Guinea Pig, so when my co-worker recently dropped a box of Lion’s Mane Mushroom Elixir Mix from Four Sigmatic on my desk and told me I had to try it, I didn’t hesitate. I’m not a huge mushroom fan, but I do really adore lions.
But Really, What Is This Stuff?
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Elixir Mix is much like a tea, though instead of brewing it, you mix the light brown powder with water. Not being much of a kitchen maven, I appreciated the ease of production.
Actual Lion’s Mane mushrooms are white, sphere-shaped fungi with long, shaggy spines, which is not exactly an attractive visual, but they do have loads of health benefits.
And What Is It Supposed To Do, Exactly?
Lion’s Mane ‘shrooms have become trendy as of late for their potential to boost immune health and support cognitive function. The elixir’s packaging promotes it as a product that will help you “focus.” In fact, its instructions for use say “Mix. Sip. Think.”
Just like any other social media-addicted American, I have the attention span of a mole rat, so I was eager to put the beverage to the test. I ripped open one of the individual packets, mixed it with hot water in a mug, and sipped away. (You can also mix it with cold water or into soups and smoothies.)
Not only was the earthy, warm drink delicious, but it was soothing and mind-clearing at the same time. Quite a rare combination.
To level-set, it’s not like I suddenly churned out a thesis on the moral teachings of Goethe’s Faust. I simply felt a little more aware, a little less cloudy. And minus the jitters that accompany my morning Venti coffee.
A few weeks later and I’m pretty much obsessed with my new elixir. It’s all-natural, free of caffeine and sugar, and best of all, instant. I honestly love everything about it, right down to the very medieval word “elixir.” It won’t replace my morning cup of Joe, but it’s become the perfect late afternoon pick-me-up. So much for sticking to the basics.
Lisa Chudnofsky is the Head of Content & Customer Engagement at The Vitamin Shoppe.