Closeup of Paul Stamets

Paul Stamets' Daily Schedule

A Day In The Life of The Mycologist

Paul Stamets is esteemed for his role as a speaker, author, and mycologist. He stands at the forefront of the fungal domain, advocating for their vital uses and cultivation. With influential books like Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save The World, and as the force behind Fungi Perfecti, LLC, his efforts have been celebrated with accolades such as the National Mycologist Award. His influence even extends to pop culture, inspiring a character in Star Trek: Discovery. Stamets' daily endeavors reflect his deep commitment to the study and promotion of mushrooms' incredible capacities. Let’s have a look at how he usually spends his day.

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3:00 a.m.

Paul Stamets holding a cup of coffee in the morning


Paul's day starts at the remarkable hour of 3:00 am, a time when the stillness of night lingers and the bustle of the day seems a world away.

In these quiet hours, he finds himself in a transitional state, a mix of consciousness and restful dreaming.

Coffee Kickstart:

As dawn approaches, Paul kick-starts his morning with a double shot of espresso, awakening his senses and preparing for the day ahead.

You can take Paul Stamets mushroom coffee — MycoBrew® Coffee, a perfect blend of Lion’s Mane and instant coffee, for an energizing start to your day.

All you have to do is add one packet to 60z of water, milk, or any other milk substitute, mix it well, and enjoy.

Paul Stamets making a smoothie of protein shake, milk, banana, blueberries, etc. using a blender in his kitchen

Paul Stamets’ Signature Smoothie Recipe

Paul loves making smoothies and incorporating Hot Defense powders in them.


Blend all the following ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

1 cup of milk

“I liked to add coconut vanilla as my favorite, almond milk as well,” says Paul.

1⁄2 cup yogurt

½ cup almond butter

Paul says, “I’m a super lover of almond butter.”

1 banana

1⁄2 cup blueberries

1 tbsp Protein powder

1⁄2 tsp Host Defense Mushrooms Lion’s Mane Mushroom Mycelium Powder

“Most important, is Lion’s Mane. It supports cognition and healthy brain functioning,” as per Paul.

1⁄2 tsp Host Defense Mushrooms Stamets 7 Mushroom Mycelium Powder

1⁄2 tsp Host Defense Mushrooms Turkey Tail Mushroom Mycelium Powder Or Chaga

Benefits Of Lion’s Mane Supplement

  • Cognitive Support and Enhancement:

Lion's Mane is believed to support brain health, potentially improving focus, memory, and cognitive function.

This is attributed to its ability to stimulate the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a protein crucial for the growth, maintenance, and survival of neurons.

  • Neuroprotective Properties:

Research suggests that Lion's Mane may offer neuroprotective benefits, potentially slowing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Its compounds can stimulate brain cell growth and strengthen brain function.

“Lion’s mane mushroom is one mushroom that I take it on a daily basis. My mother takes it on a daily basis. She’s almost 93 years of age in a few days…the lion’s mane mushrooms, I think, are extremely helpful to prevent neuropathies,” says Paul.

  • Mood Regulation and Mental Health:

Some studies indicate that Lion's Mane can have a positive impact on mood, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

This might be due to its effects on NGF levels and its potential to reduce inflammation, which is often linked to mood disorders.

  • Supports Gut Health:

Lion's Mane may also benefit the digestive system. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that could protect against and heal gastric ulcers, improve digestion, and possibly support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

  • Immune System Boost:

This mushroom is thought to enhance the immune system's function, thanks in part to its antioxidant properties and ability to modulate the immune system. This could help the body fight off viruses and bacteria more effectively.

  • Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects:

Lion's Mane contains antioxidants that combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation throughout the body, potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases and supporting overall health.

  • Supports Heart Health:

There is emerging evidence that Lion's Mane can help reduce the risk factors for heart disease by improving circulation, lowering blood lipid levels, and reducing blood glucose levels, thereby offering protective benefits for heart health.

Benefits Of Turkey Tail Mushroom

  • Immune System Support:

Turkey Tail contains polysaccharopeptides, such as polysaccharide-K (PSK) and polysaccharide-P (PSP), which are known to boost the immune system.

These compounds help stimulate the activity of immune cells and increase the production of immune-boosting cytokines.

  • Cancer Therapy Adjunct:

One of the most studied benefits of Turkey Tail is its potential use alongside cancer treatment.

PSK, found in Turkey Tail, has been used as an adjunct to cancer therapy in some countries to improve survival rates, reduce side effects of chemotherapy, and enhance the effectiveness of certain cancer treatments.

  • Antioxidant Properties:

Turkey Tail is rich in antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful free radicals that can lead to cell damage and chronic diseases.

This oxidative stress reduction is crucial for overall health and longevity.

  • Gut Health:

Turkey Tail may contribute to a healthy gut microbiome due to its prebiotic effects, fostering the growth of beneficial bacteria. A healthy gut flora is essential for digestion, immune function, and even mental health.

  • Anti-inflammatory Effects:

The compounds in Turkey Tail have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.

Chronic inflammation is linked to various diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

  • Supports Liver Health:

Some research suggests that Turkey Tail can help protect and support liver health, potentially beneficial for those with liver damage or diseases.

6:00 a.m.

Paul Stamets doing push-ups in the morning

Paul Stamets' Morning Workoutp

On most days, his routine kicks off with an energizing session of push-ups.

Stamets completes 105 push-ups in the morning 4-5 times a week. It’s a practice he’s been dedicated to since he was 18 years old.

He goes for compression push-ups — tightens his belly and goes down two-thirds, without his nose touching the floor.

“I broke the high school pushup record when I was 14. I’ve been doing this all my life with my twin brother…I do take two days off sometimes when I’m traveling but I’m very consistent…It’s so important for young people to focus on structure. From the ages when you’re born to 40 years of age, that structure carries through. So, my core is really really strong.”

“A Harvard Medical School survey found that men with 40 pushups per day have a 90-95% reduction of heart attack.”

6:30 a.m.

Paul Stamets taking a cold shower in his bathroom in the morning

A Relaxing Shower

Following a rigorous set of push-ups that kick-starts his day with energy and discipline, Paul Stamets goes for a relaxing shower.

Benefits of Shower

Refreshes and Energizes:

A morning shower can help wake you up, leaving you feeling refreshed and energized for the day ahead.

  • Enhances Mental Clarity:

The routine of a morning shower can provide mental clarity, helping to reduce early morning grogginess.

  • Stimulates Creativity:

The relaxing nature of showering can help the mind wander freely, leading to new ideas and solutions to problems.

  • Encourages a Healthy Routine:

Incorporating a shower into your morning routine can help establish a consistent wake-up schedule, which is beneficial for your body's internal clock, or circadian rhythm.

  • Boosts Immune System:

Regular morning showers, especially when alternated between warm and cool water, can improve your immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells that help your body fight off illnesses.

If you want to take a refreshing shower in the morning, consider opting for body care products from Bath & Body Works.

7:00 a.m.

Paul Stamets holding two mushroom in his hands while working on mushroom culture

A Check On Mushroom Cultures

Paul Stamets makes it a priority to inspect his mushroom cultures each morning, ensuring they are growing healthily and as expected.

During these checks, he observes the growth patterns, health, and any signs of contamination, recording his findings meticulously.

Based on his observations, he might adjust the environment – such as humidity, temperature, or light – to optimize conditions for growth.

Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus):

Known for its potential cognitive and neurological benefits.

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor):

Utilized for its immune-supporting properties.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum):

Revered for its stress-reducing and immune-supporting benefits.

Benefits Of Reishi

  • Immune System Support:

Reishi is well-known for its ability to boost the immune system. It contains compounds like polysaccharides, triterpenoids, and peptidoglycans, which are thought to enhance immune function by increasing the activity of white blood cells, which help fight off infections and cancer.

  • Stress Reduction and Improved Sleep:

Reishi has adaptogenic properties, meaning it can help the body resist the damaging effects of stress and promote a sense of well-being.

Many people use Reishi to reduce stress and anxiety levels, as well as to improve sleep quality by acting as a natural sleep aid.

  • Antioxidant Properties:

This mushroom is a powerful antioxidant, which means it fights against oxidative stress and reduces the damage caused by free radicals in the body.

This can help protect against cellular damage, reduce inflammation, and support overall health.

  • Heart Health:

Some studies suggest that Reishi can positively affect the cardiovascular system by helping to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk factors for heart diseases.

Its triterpenes content is thought to contribute to its cholesterol-lowering and anti-hypertensive effects.

Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris):

Sought after for its energy-boosting and performance-enhancing effects.

Benefits of Cordyceps

  • Enhanced Physical Performance:

Cordyceps is widely reputed for its ability to boost energy and improve stamina. It is believed to increase the body's production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essential for delivering energy to the muscles.

This makes it a popular supplement among athletes and those looking to enhance their physical performance and endurance.

  • Supports Respiratory Health:

Cordyceps has been traditionally used to support respiratory health and improve oxygen utilization.

This makes it beneficial for activities at high altitudes and may help with conditions such as asthma and chronic bronchitis by improving airflow to the lungs.

  • Immune System Booster:

Cordyceps contains polysaccharides and other bioactive compounds that have immunomodulating properties.

These components can help strengthen the immune system by stimulating the activity of immune cells such as macrophages and natural killer cells, potentially protecting the body against various pathogens and diseases.

  • Antioxidant Properties and Anti-Aging:

Cordyceps possesses antioxidant properties, which help combat oxidative stress and may contribute to reducing cellular damage associated with aging.

The antioxidant action can also support overall health and longevity, protecting against chronic diseases and improving life quality.

Agarikon (Laricifomes officinalis):

Studied for its historical medicinal use and its potential for providing immune support. As per Paul, “It is the longest-living mushroom in the world.”

Benefits Of Agarikon

  • Immune System Support:

Agarikon is renowned for its potential to bolster the immune system. It contains compounds that may help the body fend off viral and bacterial infections.

Research suggests that Agarikon can have an antiviral effect against influenza viruses, smallpox, and other pathogens.

  • Anti-inflammatory Properties:

This fungus is believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties, making it potentially beneficial in reducing inflammation and alleviating symptoms associated with inflammatory diseases.

This can be crucial for overall health, as chronic inflammation is linked to many serious conditions.

  • Respiratory Health Benefits:

Agarikon has a long history of being used to support respiratory health.

It's thought to aid in the treatment of various respiratory conditions, including tuberculosis, by acting as an expectorant and helping to clear the lungs of mucus.

  • Antioxidant Effects:

Like many medicinal mushrooms, Agarikon is believed to contain antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress in the body.

These antioxidants can neutralize free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases and supporting cellular health.

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus):

Known for its antioxidant properties and immune support.

Maitake (Grifola frondosa):

Appreciated for its immune-enhancing effects and culinary qualities.

Till 3:00 p.m.

Paul Stamets working on his laptop while sitting on a chair in his room

Post-Culture Work

Paul Stamets starts by checking and responding to emails.

Part of his morning is dedicated to research—diving into the latest mycological studies, writing, going through Google Scholar articles, etc.

Stamets often engages in activities aimed at promoting the benefits of mushrooms, whether that's through social media, interviews, or planning for upcoming presentations and talks.

After 3:00 p.m.

Paul Stamets relaxing in his garden while listening to music via headphones

Post-Work Relaxation Routine

Dummy As per Paul; “In the afternoon, I go out into the woods. At three o’clock every day, that’s my cut-off. I try not to have anything scheduled from three o’clock on so I can mountain bike, or work in the garden or the woods.”

His best thoughts come during this time. He simply writes 3 to 4 words or a short sentence in his iPhone Notes app to capture those ideas to look at them the next morning.


He loves listening to Neil Young or Grateful Dead.

Two bottle of supplements as well as other capsules scattered on a table

Paul Stamets' Supplements

Some supplements recommended by Paul Stamets are;

Benefits Of Chaga

  • Boosts the Immune System:

Chaga is rich in beta-glucans, compounds that have been found to help boost the immune system.

These substances can enhance the body's ability to produce white blood cells, which are crucial for fighting off harmful bacteria and viruses.

  • Potent Antioxidant Properties:

Chaga mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants, which help combat oxidative stress and may reduce inflammation throughout the body.

By scavenging harmful free radicals, the antioxidants in Chaga can help protect cellular components from damage and mitigate the risk of several chronic diseases.

  • Supports Cardiovascular Health:

Some research suggests that Chaga can have a positive effect on heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

These effects contribute to reduced risk of heart disease, though more in-depth studies are needed to confirm these findings.

  • May Have Anti-Cancer Effects:

Preliminary studies indicate that Chaga might possess anti-cancer properties, potentially inhibiting the growth and proliferation of cancer cells.

The anti-cancer effects of Chaga are thought to be related to its high content of antioxidants and other bioactive compounds, though more research is required to fully understand this potential benefit.

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