Magic mushrooms have been in the news a lot recently. Emergent research has revealed that they could assist in treating various mental health conditions. Furthermore, they appear to be safer than many conventional medications, with a low risk of side effects.

There is also a growing trend toward microdosing mushrooms, whereby individuals regularly take doses so small that they do not cause psychedelic effects. Anecdotal reports suggest that the practice can improve mood, focus, creativity, and energy.

This has led many athletes to wonder how magic mushrooms could benefit them and whether they are prohibited in sports.

Magic Mushrooms Effects and Benefits

Magic mushrooms contain the psychoactive compound psilocybin. The body converts it to psilocin which interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain. When psilocin binds to these receptors in high enough doses, it causes significant alterations in mood, perception, and sensation.

Many people enjoy these psychedelic effects and say they have found an increased sense of awareness or spirituality after taking magic mushrooms. Therefore, many consider them a beneficial self-development tool.  

There is also evidence that psilocybin could benefit various mental health conditions, including:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Tobacco use disorder
  • Alcohol use disorder

Furthermore, some proponents claim that taking regular “microdoses” of magic mushrooms helps to enhance mood, focus, creativity, energy, and more. The practice has grown in popularity over the last decade and involves taking small amounts of mushrooms several times weekly.

Could magic mushrooms enhance athletic performance when taken in this fashion?

Do Magic Mushrooms Enhance Athletic Performance?

The purported benefits of microdosing have led some athletes to question whether magic mushrooms could be used as a performance-enhancing drug.

There is currently no research specifically on microdosing mushrooms in sports. However, a 2019 study on microdosing highlighted some potential benefits. The research showed that regular microdosers primarily reported benefits in the following domains:

  • Mood: increased happiness, well-being, peace, calm, and reduced depressive symptoms.
  • Focus: improved focus and concentration, awareness, mindfulness, engagement, and attentiveness.
  • Creativity: shifting perspectives, divergent thinking, curiosity, and openness.
  • Energy: improved energy, alertness, wakefulness, and stimulation.
  • Self-efficacy: increased motivation, ambition, productivity, confidence, sense of agency, and self-care. 

Many of the above could directly or indirectly influence sports performance, making magic mushrooms an exciting option for athletes. 

Magic Mushrooms Legality

The positive press surrounding psilocybin’s benefits has left many people keen to try magic mushrooms for themselves. Unfortunately, though, psilocybin is still a Schedule I Controlled Substance. This means that the DEA considers it to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse.

This situation could change in the near future as the benefits of magic mushrooms become more widely recognized. There is already a trend toward decriminalization in some cities, and Oregon has gone a step further, legalizing psilocybin for personal use, starting in 2023.  

Although it is technically illegal, there are many online resources about how to grow magic mushrooms and where to find them. It is also possible to purchase spores legally in most American states. The caveat is that they can only be used for microscopy study and not germinated.

The laws surrounding magic mushrooms are changing all the time. We recommend that individuals check online regularly to stay up-to-date with the rules in their area.

Psilocybin mushrooms in man's hand isolated on black background. Psychedelic magic trip. Dried edible mushrooms Golden Teacher. Medical usage. Microdosing concept.

Are Magic Mushrooms Prohibited for Athletes?

Due to their illegal status, many assume that magic mushrooms are prohibited for athletes. However, this is not necessarily the case.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes a list each year of its prohibited substances. They range from anabolic agents and hormone regulators to stimulants and narcotics. Psilocybin and magic mushrooms are not included in the list.

Moreover, in 2021, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released the following statement:

“Psilocybin is not currently prohibited as a performance enhancing drug by WADA. However, some sports may have rules against the use of psilocybin or other psychoactive compounds for health or safety reasons. Because of the effects on attention and perception, use of any hallucinogen in sport poses serious safety risks.”

So, while magic mushrooms are not prohibited for athletes in general, checking the rules about specific sports is worthwhile. And while the effects of microdosing are likely too subtle to pose any significant health and safety risks, there is still a genuine risk of getting caught out and possibly facing legal action. 

Image Source: (Licensed)


Related Categories: Health, Reviews