MUD\WTR Review: A Good Alternative to Coffee
Medically Reviewed by Natalie Olsen, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-EP
Last Updated on December 6, 2022
Our Takeaway: If you want to decrease your caffeine intake and include more mushrooms and antioxidants in your diet for general wellness, MUD\WTR may be a solid (but more expensive) choice.
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Thinking about cutting back on caffeine? Here’s one way — replace your morning coffee with a mushroom drink.
MUD\WTR, pronounced mud water, is a coffee alternative made from functional mushrooms — mushrooms that offer some potential health benefits.
MUD\WTR contains just a fraction of the caffeine of coffee but promises improvements to your energy, focus, and immune health.
MUD\WTR has some research to support its claimed benefits, mixed reviews regarding taste, and a high price tag. Still, it may be worth the cost for some people.
Keep reading this review to learn:
- The science behind the health benefits of MUD\WTR.
- Its advantages and disadvantages.
- Other essential details to help you decide whether this coffee alternative is the right choice.
MUD\WTR, referred to on its website as “your new morning ritual,” is a blend of mushrooms, spices, and chai tea. It is marketed as a coffee replacement and contains just 1/7th of the caffeine of a typical cup of coffee.
In addition, it’s also meant to serve as a stand-in to the morning ritual of making coffee, which is a vital part of many people’s mornings.
It was created in Venice, California, by founder Shane Heath after he realized coffee was making him feel unwell and jittery.
His intention was for MUD\WTR to provide all of the benefits with none of the downsides of coffee. And he wanted the experience of making the mushroom beverage to feel similar to the experience of making coffee.
The brand’s website explains that drinking MUD\WTR instead of or in addition to coffee can help improve your brain function, alertness, and immune health.
The potential health benefits of MUD\WTR come from its blend of medicinal mushrooms, along with select antioxidant-rich ingredients like cacao, turmeric, black pepper, and cinnamon.
It also contains ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, black tea, and Himalayan pink salt.
MUD\WTR is made with completely organic ingredients and is certified gluten-free.
To prepare MUD\WTR, thoroughly mix one tablespoon of its powder into a cup of hot water using a spoon, a blender, or a milk frother. Then add sweetener or creamer if you prefer.
I found that MUD\WTR was easy to mix using a milk frother. It came together in about 15 seconds. However, it didn’t stay mixed – there was some sediment at the bottom of my cup when I was finished.
In addition to the original MUD\WTR, you can also purchase MUD\WTR :rest — a caffeine-free blend containing mushrooms, spices, and ingredients like chamomile and valerian root that may help you relax and sleep better. (1, 2)
Overall, MUD\WTR’s products can help seamlessly add health-promoting natural ingredients to your regular routine.
MUD\WTR has a heavily-spiced flavor that reminds me of mocha with added pumpkin pie spice. Although it’s marketed as a coffee alternative, it doesn’t taste anything like plain coffee.
Personally, I liked the taste of MUD\WTR with a splash of half and half and a splash of liquid sweetener, but I wasn’t fond of it plain. I used allulose syrup, which doesn’t contain any sugar, but honey would be a good addition too.
It does leave sediment at the bottom of the cup unless you stir continuously as you drink it.
Many reviewers around the web say MUD\WTR tastes like an earthy chai latte. Some customers said in their reviews that they dislike the earthiness or the thick sediment left at the cup’s bottom after finishing.
Reviewers also say they prefer MUD\WTR with added sweetener or creamer. (MUD\WTR offers coconut milk creamers and sweeteners on their website.)
MUD\WTR is called a coffee alternative and is widely marketed as a way to remove coffee from your diet while offering additional health benefits.
But before you give up your favorite cup of Joe, let’s look at what the research says about the benefits and downsides of coffee to see if MUD\WTR is a better choice.
Although coffee sometimes gets a bad rap, research shows that it may provide some health benefits.
Several studies have found that drinking about 3–4 cups of caffeinated coffee per day may reduce the overall risk of death, heart disease, and cancer, as well as the risk of developing neurological problems or liver problems. (3)
Still, many people report that coffee upsets their stomachs or gives them headaches. Caffeine can also interfere with sleep, especially if you consume it later in the day.
Many people also experience anxiety or jitters if they consume too much caffeine. For many people, these symptoms may appear after consuming more than 400 mg of caffeine in one day (about 4 cups of coffee). (4)
Finally, coffee can also be habit-forming, which may be concerning if you don’t want to feel like you’re dependent on it to get through the day. (7)
If you experience any side effects from coffee, MUD\WTR may be a great alternative. However, coffee alone offers many health benefits, so if you tolerate it well, it’s not something that you necessarily need to remove from your diet.
Browsing customer reviews, I found that many people have used MUD\WTR to successfully eliminate coffee from their diet or cut back on how much coffee they consume.
In addition, many people, coffee drinkers included, turn to MUD\WTR for their afternoon pick-me-up because it has less caffeine but still helps them feel more alert.
The key health claims made by MUD\WTR’s brand are:
- It can help improve memory and focus
- Increase energy
- Support immunity
Overall, there are limitations to the research behind MUD/WTR’s claims. However, some small, high-quality human studies support the claims of increased memory and energy.
Below, we discuss our research of the ingredients and their role in MUD\WTR’s potential benefits for your health.
May Improve Focus and Memory
MUD\WTR contains Lion’s Mane mushroom for focus and memory.
However, although there is some evidence that Lion’s Mane improves focus and attention in animals, there’s been little human research done on the subject.
One high-quality human study tested the effects of taking 800 mg of Lion’s Mane mushroom daily for 12 weeks. Researchers noted that Lion’s Mane mushroom did improve brain function and memory and prevent cognitive decline in people over 50.
However, there were only 31 participants in the study — so it was too small to draw any firm conclusions for a larger population. This study also didn’t specifically address the effects on focus. (8)
One serving of MUD\WTR contains 562 mg of Lion’s Mane, so you would need approximately 1.5 servings daily to get the 800 mg used in the study.
Lastly, I have seen many people report improvements in their focus from taking Lion’s Mane mushroom.
There’s not much human evidence to support the use of Lion’s Mane mushroom in MUD\WTR for focus. However, one small study suggests that Lion’s Mane may help improve memory.
May Increase Energy
Cordyceps and cacao in MUD\WTR are the two key energy-boosting ingredients in the drink.
Cordyceps mushrooms may help increase your endurance and prevent fatigue. (9)
One high-quality study on 20 elderly people found that taking 333 mg of Cordyceps twice daily improved exercise performance compared to a placebo.
One serving of MUD\WTR provides 562 mg of Cordyceps, which is nearly the same amount participants in the study took in total each day.
However, this was a very small study, so it may not represent the larger population. (10)
Additionally, cacao provides small amounts of caffeine, which has stimulating properties. The black tea in MUD\WTR also contains caffeine, which may also contribute to improved alertness.
However, MUD\WTR contains only about 1/7th of the amount of caffeine in coffee — so you may not immediately feel a huge difference in energy levels after drinking it, especially if you are replacing coffee or another more significant caffeine source with it.
Finally, many reviewers from around the web have said that MUD/WTR provides them with jitter-free, natural energy.
Cordyceps in MUD\WTR may help you feel more energized and less fatigued. Likewise, the caffeine from the cacao and black tea in MUD\WTR may also have stimulating effects.
May Support Immunity
Chaga and Reishi mushrooms present in MUD\WTR were included for their immune-strengthening properties.
Unfortunately, there is no strong human evidence for using Chaga or Reishi mushrooms for immune system health. Although some animal and test-tube studies (which test the effects of a substance on a single cell or group of cells) have noted that they may have antiviral and immune-strengthening properties. (11, 12)
Additionally, MUD\WTR contains antioxidant herbs and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper. These ingredients add flavor to the brew and provide potential health benefits.
Antioxidants neutralize unstable compounds known as free radicals, which can harm cells and cause an inflammatory immune response. However, antioxidants can stabilize these compounds to prevent more oxidative damage. (13)
Many of the active ingredients in MUD\WTR contain antioxidants.
Turmeric, for example, contains curcumin — an anti-inflammatory agent that may help regulate immune health. Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which helps the body to absorb curcumin much more effectively. (14, 15)
Cinnamon is also rich in antioxidant compounds, which can help to promote cellular health. (16)
There are some promising early studies for Chaga and Reishi mushrooms in MUD\WTR for immune health, but no strong studies in humans. Turmeric and cinnamon in MUD\WTR may also provide some antioxidant and immune-regulating benefits.
MUD\WTR is generally safe for most people. It is categorized as a food product, not a dietary supplement.
It’s also free of common allergens and doesn’t contain ingredients that are likely to interact with drugs.
However, if you are taking prescription medications, it may be a good idea to ask your healthcare provider before starting MUD\WTR.
Additionally, some ingredients in MUD\WTR, like cinnamon and the functional mushroom blend, may reduce blood sugar levels.
If you are sensitive to caffeine and typically avoid it, you should carefully consider how the small amount of caffeine in MUD\WTR may affect you.
If you switch suddenly from full-caffeine coffee to MUD\WTR, you may experience some symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, like a headache, until you adjust to this lower level of caffeine. (19)
Finally, people with medical conditions, people taking prescription medications, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult a healthcare provider before making MUD\WTR part of their routine.
The serving size of MUD\WTR is one tablespoon. It contains 562 mg each of Chaga, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Cordyceps mushrooms. All of the ingredients are organic and non-GMO.
One serving provides:
- Caffeine: about 14 mg
- Calories: 20
- Fat: 0.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 4 g
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Protein: less than 1 g
- Iron: 0.4 mg
- Potassium: 110 mg
If you add creamer or a sweetener that contains calories, it will increase the calorie count and change the nutrition content.
The regular price of MUD\WTR is:
- 30-serving container: $50
- 90-serving container: $125
Standard shipping is $5 per order.
If you choose the Subscribe & Save option, you get 20% off the regular price and free shipping, bringing the price down to:
- 30-serving container: $40
- 90-serving container: $100
You can cancel or reschedule Subscribe & Save shipments at any time.
Alternatively, if you’re new to MUD\WTR, you may want to consider their starter kit. The Morning Ritual Starter Kit costs $60 (or $40 if you choose Subscribe & Save, which is 33% off).
The kit comes with the following:
- A 30-day supply of MUD\WTR
- A USB-rechargeable milk frother
- Samples of MUD\WTR creamer and sweetener
MUD\WTR offers no satisfaction guarantee, and the company does not accept returns on opened products. They only accept returns of unopened products within 30 days of your purchase.
Unfortunately, the company also doesn’t offer samples, so you’ll be out at least $40 if you purchase MUD\WTR but end up disliking the product after you’ve tried it.
MUD\WTR is significantly more expensive than coffee, including most organic coffees. So if you plan to drink more than one cup of MUD\WTR daily, the monthly cost will be even higher.
MUD\WTR was one of the original mushroom drinks on the market, but there are now several powdered mushroom coffee alternatives.
Here’s how MUD\WTR compares to three of its key competitors:
- Ryze Mushroom Coffee
- Rasa Adaptogenic Coffee Alternative
- La Republica Organic Mushroom Coffee.
Ryze Mushroom Coffee
Ryze Mushroom Coffee is a powdered drink mix containing mushrooms (including Cordyceps, Reishi, and Lion’s Mane), coffee, and herbs.
It is completely organic and has about 48 mg of caffeine per cup. MUD\WTR contains no coffee, which is the key difference between these two products.
Ryze offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and is significantly less expensive than MUD\WTR.
The regular price for a 30-day supply of Ryze is $30, but a subscription is required. You can cancel or skip shipments anytime. Shipping is free.
Ryze may be a good fit if you’re interested in incorporating mushroom coffee into your routine at a more affordable price than MUD\WTR. It’s also a good choice if you want to decrease your coffee intake but not necessarily cut it out altogether.
Rasa Adaptogenic Coffee Alternative
Rasa also offers powdered mushroom drink mixes that can be used as an alternative to coffee.
Their original flavor contains a blend of 13 different organic herbs, including small amounts of Chaga and Reishi mushrooms. It’s fully organic and caffeine-free.
Rasa comes in several other flavors, including Dirty, which combines original Rasa with ground coffee.
Rasa’s original coffee alternative is $28 for a 30-day supply. You can subscribe for a 20% discount, bringing it down to $22.40.
Shipping is free with subscription orders, and you can swap products, skip shipments, or cancel anytime. Additionally, Rasa offers sampler packs and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Rasa is a great fit if you’re new to mushroom coffee and want to cycle through several different flavors during your subscription. Their sampler packs are an inexpensive way to try several different flavors, and their products are about half the price of MUD\WTR. Rasa is also caffeine-free.
La Republica Organic Mushroom Coffee
La Republica Organic Mushroom Coffee is a coffee blend made from organic coffee and several organic mushroom extracts: Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Cordyceps, Maitake, Shiitake, and Turkey Tail.
The original version contains 75–85 mg of caffeine per serving, but they also make a decaf version.
La Republica’s mushroom coffee (including decaf) costs $24 for a 30-day supply, but you can subscribe to save an extra 20%. Shipping is $3.99, or free on orders over $35.
You can also make a bulk purchase of 12 containers to bring the price below $17 per 30-day supply.
La Republica offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.
La Republica Organic Mushroom Coffee offers a higher caffeine amount per serving, a larger variety of mushrooms, and a significantly lower price than MUD/WTR. It may be a good fit for you if you’re looking for these things.
Quick Comparison Table
|MUD\WTR||Ryze||Rasa||La Republica Mushroom Coffee|
|Price||$50 for a 30-day supply||$30 for a 30-day supply||$28 for a 30-day supply||$24 for a 30-day supply|
|Shipping||$5||Free||$5 or free over $75||$3.99 or free over $35|
|Subscription Details||Optional; offers 20%–33% off plus free shipping||Required||Optional; offers 20% off plus free shipping||Optional; offers 20% off|
|Caffeine Per Serving||14 mg||48 mg||0 mg||75–85 mg|
MUD\WTR, La Republica, and Ryze contain a larger variety of mushrooms in their blends than Rasa. All four brands are organic, but La Republica, Ryze, and Rasa are significantly less expensive than MUD\WTR and offer a money-back guarantee that MUD\WTR lacks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is in MUD\WTR?
MUD\WTR contains four different mushrooms (Chaga, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Cordyceps), along with cacao, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, black tea, and Himalayan pink salt. All ingredients are organic.
Does MUD\WTR have any benefits?
MUD\WTR may help improve your focus and memory, give you an energy boost, and help optimize your immune health. However, there is limited research on humans to support these claims.
It is much lower in caffeine than coffee, so it may also be an alternative if you’re trying to break your caffeine dependency.
Does MUD\WTR have caffeine?
Yes, but only about 1/7th of the caffeine in a cup of coffee, or about 14 mg per serving.
Can you drink MUD\WTR every day?
Yes, it is intended to replace your morning cup of Joe, so you can drink it every day. Consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about MUD\WTR and your health.
How to make MUD\WTR?
You can make MUD\WTR by mixing one tablespoon of the powdered mix into a cup of hot water using a milk frother, blender, or spoon. Most people prefer to add sweetener and creamer as well.
Does MUD\WTR taste good?
MUD\WTR tastes like an earthy, spiced mocha. It has mixed reviews on its taste. Some reviewers like the masala chai taste, while others dislike it.
How can I make my MUD\WTR taste better?
Adding a creamer or sweetener of your choice can help to significantly improve the taste of MUD\WTR. You can purchase MUD\WTR coconut-based creamer and coconut sugar on their website or use your own preferred cream and sweetener.
The Recipes page on the MUD/WTR website features recipes for drinks, smoothies, and even foods made using the powder.
What is the nutritional value of MUD\WTR?
One serving of MUD\WTR contains:
- Caffeine: about 14 mg
- Calories: 20
- Fat: 0.5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 4 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Protein: less than 1 gram
- Iron: 0.4 mg
- Potassium: 110 mg
MUD\WTR offers a low-caffeine, organic alternative to coffee that may provide some health benefits from the blend of mushrooms and spices it contains.
Specifically, some evidence supports the benefits of MUD\WTR’s ingredients on energy levels. However, more long-term research is needed to confirm the positive effects of MUD\WTR’s ingredients on focus and memory.
Still, many reviewers say that MUD\WTR does seem to help with their focus and energy levels.
Customer reviews of MUD\WTR’s taste were mixed. Some consumers enjoyed it, while others said they didn’t.
Taste is a personal preference. It’s always best for you to try MUD\WTR yourself to see how you like its taste.
MUD\WTR may be an excellent choice to try if:
- You’re interested in consuming less caffeine.
- You want a completely organic product that contains health-promoting mushrooms and spices.
- You are not concerned with its price.
At WellnessVerge, we only use primary references for our articles, including peer reviewed medical journals or well-respected academic institutions.
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