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MUD\WTR Review: Pros, Cons, Effectiveness, and Safety

Written by Sharon Lehman, RDN

Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD 

Last Updated on September 22, 2021

Our Expert Rating:

3.4

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:3.4
  • Ingredient Safety:4.0
  • Value for the Price:3.0
  • Brand Transparency:3.0

MUD\WTR is an alternative to coffee that claims to energize you without jitters, anxiety, insomnia, or other side effects linked to high intakes of caffeine. While it contains antioxidant-rich ingredients that may provide some health benefits, the evidence is limited. In addition, the flavor and texture of this beverage won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

MUD\WTR Review: Pros, Cons, Effectiveness, and Safety
Photo by WellnessVerge/Sharon Lehman

Pros

  • Easy to prepare
  • Made with all-natural ingredients
  • Unlikely to cause side effects

Cons

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Not accessible at common retailers
  • Limited evidence to support some claims

What Is MUD\WTR?

MUD\WTR is a powdered coffee alternative made from powdered mushrooms, cacao, black tea, and several spices.

It contains some caffeine from the cacao and black tea, but much less than traditional coffee.

The suggested serving size of MUD\WTR is one tablespoon mixed into about 8-ounces of hot water. Sweetener and creamer can be added if desired.

MUD\WTR claims it will give you natural energy and improve focus, much like a morning cup of coffee but without any unwanted side effects, like jitteriness and anxiety, from high intakes of caffeine.

MUD\WTR also claims its ingredients are antioxidant-rich and can help support memory, mood, immune function, digestion, and the body’s response to inflammation.

The company also manufactures a powdered creamer made from coconut milk and MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil.

MUD\WTR powder
Photo by WellnessVerge/Sharon Lehman

I tried MUD\WTR, and the first thing you need to know is that the taste and texture are nothing like coffee.

Admittedly, I am not a morning person, which has turned me into a habitual coffee drinker. I enjoy 1 to 2 cups of coffee every single morning to help me wake up, feel more energized, and be ready to tackle my to-do list.

But there’s a downside to my coffee habit. The second cup of coffee often leaves me feeling noticeably dehydrated, overstimulated, unfocused, and edgy—the exact opposite of how I want to feel.

After hearing others in the wellness space rave about MUD\WTR, I had to see what the fuss was about.

Spoiler alert: MUD\WTR didn’t even come close to replacing coffee in my life.

Compared to coffee, the flavor of MUD\WTR is earthier, less bitter, spicier, with a tiny hint of natural sweetness that likely comes from cinnamon. It’s like a spiced hot chocolate mixed with chai tea.

I enjoy both hot chocolate and tea, so I liked the flavor. The texture, however, left something to be desired.

Summary: MUD\WTR is a blend of cacao, black tea, spices, and mushroom powders. One serving contains 1/7th the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.

Evaluation of Ingredients

Many of the ingredients in MUD\WTR have a long history of use in traditional medicine. However, the amount of each ingredient is not provided.

Although the ingredients are rich in antioxidants and bioactive compounds that are believed to support overall health, research on the health benefits in humans is limited.

Organic Mushroom Blend

The mushroom blend consists of chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps sourced from Om Organics, a mushroom farm located in California.

This class of mushrooms isn’t like the white button variety found at your grocery store. These are not the common type of cooking mushrooms; they are usually found in dietary supplements.

The mushrooms in MUD\WTR are considered medicinal or functional mushrooms.

Sometimes these mushrooms are called adaptogens, which are plant-based ingredients that help your body adapt to the daily stressors in life.

MUD\WTR powder in a mug
Photo by WellnessVerge/Sharon Lehman

All four varieties in MUD\WTR have a history of use in traditional and folk medicine.

They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds that exhibit antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and anti-aging qualities.

They also exhibit the ability to lower blood sugar and boost heart health.

However, most of the evidence to support these claims are test tubes or animal studies.

A systematic review of available animal studies concluded that those with impaired cognitive function might benefit from the consumption of reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps.

Both test tube and human trials indicate lion’s mane supports brain health and mood and may improve mild cognitive impairments that come with aging.

One study suggests cordyceps improves physical fitness by increasing the amount of oxygen the body uses during exercise.

More trials involving human participants are needed to understand the health benefits of these mushrooms better.

Summary: MUD\WTR contains a blend of chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps mushrooms. They are believed to exhibit numerous health benefits, but more high-quality research in humans is needed.

Organic Cacao

Cacao is the main ingredient in dark chocolate. It’s rich in antioxidants, flavanols, and polyphenols, which are credited with decreasing inflammation and preventing disease.

Cacao contains some caffeine and theobromine – a stimulant thought to behave like caffeine in the brain.

The findings on theobromine are mixed: some studies have found it has no significant effect on mood or focus.

The flavanol content of cacao is linked to improved cognitive function.

Preparation of MUD\WTR
Photo by WellnessVerge/Sharon Lehman

The antioxidant content of cacao prevents the breakdown of tryptophan, which may benefit mood since tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter.

Summary: Cacao, which is used to make chocolate, provides flavor and is a good source of plant-based antioxidants, flavanols, and polyphenols that benefit overall health.

Organic Spice Blend

The spice blend in MUD\WTR is inspired by chai tea and contains cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, and cloves.

These spices are loaded with antioxidants, have been used in traditional medicine for many years, and regular consumption can benefit health in several ways.

Research has found cinnamon helps improve fasting blood glucose in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Cloves also appear to have an anti-diabetic effect and may help promote normal blood sugar levels.

Prepared MUD\WTR in a mug
Photo by WellnessVerge/Sharon Lehman

Turmeric contains curcumin which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It’s often used to improve symptoms of joint pain and support the immune system.

A systematic review of human studies concluded that turmeric and curcumin supplementation doesn’t reduce levels of inflammatory markers in individuals with diagnosed chronic inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.

Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties and can ease digestive troubles.

Summary: MUD\WTR contains cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, and cloves. This blend adds flavor and is a good source of antioxidants that may support immune system function.

Black Tea

Black tea contains caffeine, which can help energize and improve mental focus. However, its caffeine content is less than coffee.

Tea also contains polyphenols, antioxidants that help boost immunity and protect against aging, inflammation, and chronic illness.

Summary: Black tea provides a small amount of caffeine to MUD\WTR. Tea is a good source of antioxidants that may protect against aging, inflammation, and chronic illness.

Verdict on Claimed Benefits

Below is our summary of the available evidence for the claimed benefits of MUD\WTR based on the available research:

  • EnergizesStrong Evidence
  • Good source of antioxidantsStrong Evidence
  • Improves focusModerate Evidence
  • Supports cognitive functionModerate Evidence
  • Supports immune functionModerate Evidence

Cacao and black tea in MUD\WTR contain caffeine, but less than the amount found in coffee. Hence, it’s likely that these ingredients will provide a boost of energy and focus without jitters or other stimulant-related side effects.

These ingredients are also good sources of antioxidants, as are cinnamon and turmeric. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods helps support immune function and overall health.

The mushroom varieties found in MUD\WTR have limited evidence to support their health claims.

Although they have a long history of medicinal use, most research is limited to test tube and lab animal studies, with more research involving humans needed to back up any health benefits.

There’s also very little research looking into the amount of mushroom powder needed to be consumed for health benefits.

While it’s likely the compounds found in these mushrooms can benefit health, I can’t say for sure that they will energize, improve focus, or support cognitive and immune function for all individuals.

Side Effects and Safety

There are no significant safety concerns for most healthy people. The ingredients are considered generally safe with very few side effects.

However, it’s still a good idea to check in with a healthcare provider before trying this product, especially if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying health issue.

Although this product contains less caffeine than other caffeinated drinks, like coffee and some teas, this may still be enough to avoid for individuals who are very sensitive to caffeine or experience caffeine-induced migraine headaches.

The blood sugar lowering effect is one of the reported health benefits of medicinal mushrooms and cinnamon.

If this product has the potential to lower blood sugar levels, individuals with type 2 diabetes need to be aware it may interfere with diabetes medications and lead to hypoglycemia. 

MUD\WTR is certified organic by the USDA and labeled non-GMO.

Summary: MUD\WTR is unlikely to cause side effects in most individuals.

Dosage and Preparation

There’s no recommended dosage for how much MUD\WTR to consume daily. 

The preparation recommendation for MUD\WTR is to add one tablespoon of the product to a mug, top with hot water, and stir well. Adding creamer and sweetener, as some do with coffee, is optional.

There are recipes for smoothies, chia pudding, granola, and more variations of MUD\WTR beverages on the brand’s website.

Personally, I found a tablespoon of the product was difficult to dissolve completely in hot water.

Whether I used a spoon or a handheld frother, my drinks had a gritty texture, and I always had a sludgy mud-like residue left on the bottom of my mug, which made me feel like I was wasting the product.

MUD\WTR residue
Photo by WellnessVerge/Sharon Lehman

Cost and Where to Buy

MUD\WTR is available only from the brand’s website. It comes in a 30-serving (one month) or 90-serving (three months) supply.

A 30-serving tin of MUD\WTR is priced at $50 plus the cost of shipping.

Each serving costs roughly $1.66, which is less than grabbing a beverage from your local barista but more than making your cup of coffee at home.

If you buy it on auto-ship, it is discounted to $40 with free shipping—a 20% savings. That brings that cost per serving down to $1.33.

A 90-serving bag is available for $125 or $100 on auto-ship.

There are also boxes containing 15 sachets of MUD\WTR, which may be ideal for keeping stashed in your desk at work, for $30 or $24 on auto-ship.

I chose to have the month’s supply sent on auto-shipment for the added discount. I appreciated the option of receiving a shipment every 30, 60, or 90 days instead of being locked into a monthly subscription.

I provided my mobile phone number and received text messages when my product was delivered and before my second shipment was sent with the option to make changes.

I wasn’t finished my first tin yet, so I was able to delay my second shipment with a simple text message.

After receiving two tins of MUD\WTR, I decided to cancel my subscription. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do this over text and was instructed to email or update my order online, which was enough.

MUD/WTR isn’t backed by a money-back guarantee, and only unopened products can be returned for a refund.

Summary: MUD\WTR is pricey, with a 30-serving tin selling for $50 and a 90-serving bag for $125. Discounts are available with subscription plans, but there is no money-back guarantee.

How MUD\WTR Compares to Alternatives

Technically, you can purchase the ingredients in MUD\WTR individually to make your beverage concoctions, but you’ll lose the convenience of having everything pre-mixed.

Plus, MUD\WTR contains a specific ratio of tea, cacao, spices, and mushroom powder to create a unique flavor.

If you’re just interested in the health benefits of medicinal or functional mushrooms, like those found in MUD\WTR, you can find chaga, reishi, cordyceps, lion’s mane, maitake, shiitake, and turkey tail mushrooms in powdered or tablet form.

Mushroom powders can be added to any beverage, like coffee, tea, or smoothies, and tablets can be taken as a daily supplement.

If you’re looking for an energizing coffee with functional ingredients, mushroom coffee may be a good alternative.

Mushroom coffee is regular ground coffee combined with one or more varieties of mushroom powder. It’s brewed in the same fashion as regular coffee.

Four Sigmatic makes several functional mushroom products, including mushroom coffee.

Their Ground Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane is made from organic Arabica dark roast coffee beans, lion’s mane, and chaga.

One bag contains 16 servings and costs $20, or $1.25 per serving. This is slightly less expensive than MUD\WTR, which costs $1.33 per serving if you sign up for a subscription.

The Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee contains 250 milligrams each of lion’s mane and chaga mushroom powders per serving.

Compared to Four Sigmatic, MUD\WTR doesn’t indicate the total amount of mushroom powder it contains, nor the quantity of each variety of mushroom, so you don’t really know what you’re paying for.

Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee contains more caffeine than MUD\WTR. It’s estimated to have about 150 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce beverage brewed with four tablespoons of mushroom coffee.

Four Sigmatic claims the caffeine content is tempered by the mushroom powders, meaning you’ll experience a boost of energy without stimulant-related side effects caused by plain coffee.

I’ve tried Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee and liked it. Not surprisingly, it tastes more like coffee than MUD\WTR.

As for benefit, I didn’t notice enough of a bump in energy or focus while drinking MUD\WTR to keep drinking it.

While I liked the taste, I still found myself craving the flavor and caffeine content of a regular cup of coffee each morning.

With Four Sigmatic’s mushroom coffee, I felt like I got the best of both worlds. It gave me the energy boost I was used to, but I also felt more mellow without any sense of jitters or over-stimulation I feel after a couple of cups of regular coffee.

Individual taste preference and bio-individuality come into play here. This was my experience, but you may feel differently.

Summary: Mushroom coffee, which is a blend of ground coffee and mushroom powders, may cost slightly less or about the same as MUD\WTR. However, it’s a good option for individuals who still want the taste of coffee and more caffeine that MUD\WTR contains.

Frequently Asked Questions About MUD\WTR

  • What is in MUD\WTR?

    MUD\WTR is made from a blend of powdered mushrooms (chaga, reishi, cordyceps, and Lion’s mane), cacao, black tea, and several spices (cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, and cloves).

  • What are the benefits of MUD\WTR?

    The ingredients in MUD\WTR are good sources of antioxidants that can improve overall health and boost immune system function. It contains less caffeine than coffee, so it won’t cause stimulant-related side effects in most individuals. The caffeine it does contain, along with the adaptogenic mushroom powders, supposedly provides subtle, sustained energy and focus throughout the day.

  • Does MUD\WTR taste like coffee?

    No, it tastes nothing like coffee. It has notes of chocolate, tea, and spices similar to a chai beverage. There are also earthy notes from the mushroom powders.

  • Does MUD\WTR contain caffeine?

    Yes, it contains some caffeine from cacao and tea. One serving of MUD\WTR has approximately 1/7th the amount of caffeine in a cup of regular coffee. MUD\WTR doesn’t provide the exact amount of caffeine in a serving, but a cup of coffee has around 100 milligrams of caffeine so a serving of MUD\WTR contains probably around 15 milligrams of caffeine.

  • How do you make MUD\WTR?

    The standard preparation recommendation is to add 1 tablespoon of MUD\WTR powder to a mug and top with hot water. The powder must be vigorously stirred or blended with a handheld frother to dissolve.

  • How do you make MUD\WTR taste better?

    MUD\WTR recommends adding a sweetener and creamer of choice.

  • Is MUD\WTR a subscription?

    MUD\WTR is available by subscription with options to auto-ship every 30, 60, or 90 days, but you can also purchase a single package. The product is discounted if you sign up for a subscription.

  • Can you return MUD\WTR?

    Unopened packages only may be returned for a refund. If you try it and don’t like it, you're out of luck.

  • Is MUD\WTR sold in stores?

    No. At this time, MUD\WTR is only available from the brand’s website.

  • Can I drink MUD\WTR twice a day?

    Yes, you can drink more than one serving of MUD\WTR in a day. Because it contains 1/7th the amount of caffeine as a standard cup of coffee, having more than one serving in a 24-hour period is unlikely to cause stimulant related side effects.

  • Can you drink MUD\WTR while pregnant?

    Some pregnant and lactating women drink MUD\WTR. Before you try it, speak with your healthcare provider.

The Bottom Line

A serving of MUD\WTR contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee, making it a good option for anyone who experiences adverse side effects from consuming too much caffeine.

It may also be a good option for individuals who don’t like the flavor of coffee but still want to start their day with a warm drink.

Consuming functional foods like medicinal mushrooms have been used for hundreds of years for good health.

Although evidence in humans is limited, mushrooms may help improve cognitive function and provide a boost of energy.

A Word from Our RD

Many people around the world, myself included, rely on coffee to jumpstart productivity and focus each day.

There are no significant downsides to coffee unless you drink too much. I see no compelling reason to switch to a product like MUD\WTR unless you are extremely sensitive to caffeine.

It’s a personal choice whether to consume caffeine or not, but coffee is a great way to start the day, in my opinion.

While I liked the taste of MUD\WTR, it just wasn’t a suitable replacement for coffee for me. 

If you’re caffeine sensitive, trying to cut back on the amount of coffee you drink, or want to sip on something warm later in the day that won’t keep you up at night, I’d recommend switching to tea or trying a coffee alternative like MUD\WTR.

Remember, no beverage is a replacement for good old-fashioned water.

Staying well-hydrated is also essential for maintaining energy levels, optimizing digestion, and supporting overall health and immunity.

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