Nutrition

Functional Coffee—What Is It and Should You Buy Into the Hype?

Hack your morning brew.

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Coffee is one of those beverages that’s either getting canceled or a thumbs up from the health community. It’s a permanent cast member in work-from-home TikToks. And thank goodness we’re clear of the, “I’m switching to Green tea” phase that no one stuck with. Sure, caffeine may make you jittery or have to lunge towards the bathroom in a rush, but for better or worse, no one’s putting down their cup(s) of Morning Joe. That’s where functional coffee comes in.

Our Experience

Hone Health is a team of health-obsessed journalists, editors, fitness junkies, medical reviewers, and product testers. Most of us here love coffee and drink it throughout the day to, well, write these articles. We were skeptical about functional coffee after the MCT Bulletproof boom, but the category has really grown. From mushrooms to added vitamins, we dove into the world of functional coffee, plugged into coffee cult forums, and let the brew community speak on the brands that won space in their favorite mugs.

CAFFEINE

What Is Functional Coffee?

Functional coffee is a hack-inspired name for coffee that’s infused with additional ingredients, like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, or other compounds that offer health benefits.

These “functional” ingredients vary from brand to brand but can include superfoods, MCT oil, mushrooms, or herbs. The idea behind functional coffee is to turn down the harsh effects of caffeine and optimize your coffee routine to support your wellness goals, such as increasing energy levels, cognitive function, metabolism, or overall health.

Why Drink Functional Coffee Instead of Regular Coffee?

There are two main motivating factors to switching to functional coffee: you LOVE regular coffee, but it just doesn’t work well for you (think sleep disturbances, anxiety, or that dreaded afternoon crash). Or you want to incorporate more vitamins and minerals into your daily wellness routine but can never seem to build a new habit that sticks. Functional coffee can help you create a new habit by working within an existing one. Let’s find you a brew that tastes as great as it makes you feel.

The Best Functional Coffees on the Market

Four Sigmatic

Why?: Four Sigmatic is at the forefront of introducing the health community to the benefits of wild-crafted mushrooms. So, it’s no surprise that their functional coffee is enhanced with a range of mushrooms.

Caffeine per serving: 75-190 mg / 12 oz

Four Sigmatic functional coffee is a mix of organic ground coffee beans (sourced mindfully from small farms) enhanced with mushrooms, like lion’s mane, chaga, or turkey tail. From gut health to focus, they have a variety of brews aimed at different health goals. Users tote a taste “free from mushrooms.” Meaning you may not even notice you’re drinking a brew that’s been enhanced with our fungi friends. This may be a great option if you love coffee but need to tailor the experience a bit.

Wunderground Mushroom Coffees

Why?: Adaptogens such as Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Chaga, and Cordyceps

Caffeine per serving: 90 mg / 8 oz

Wunderground has a few great functional coffee blends that offer scientifically backed neuro-regenerative properties alongside performance-enhancing compounds like Lion’s Mane or Chaga mushroom. Unlike other functional coffee brands, Wunderground offers a whole-bean option that’s craft-roasted using its patented infusion process. All of its coffee is premium Arabica coffee mixed with adaptogens to stay focused, clear, and ready for the day.

Zend Functional Coffees

What else?: Each brew has a unique mix of adaptogenic herbs, antioxidants, and vitamins,

Caffeine per serving: Half-caff to dark roast

Zend is a mindful and simplistic coffee brand that combines single-origin ground coffee with functional ingredients like vitamin C, turmeric, hyaluronic acid, and L-theanine. Choose from carefully crafted recovery, beauty, harmony, or serenity blends that mix plant-based herbs and vitamins to help with joint health, inflammation, digestion, and more. When shopping, be aware that they have a line on non-functional coffee, too.

Rarebird Paraxanthine Coffee

Why?: Px (paraxanthine), a caffeine metabolite that works a little differently

Caffeine per serving: None

Rarebird coffee is definitely rare. Instead of caffeine, their single-origin Colombian coffee contains paraxanthine—a naturally occurring caffeine metabolite. Px is produced in the body when the liver metabolizes caffeine but is less likely than caffeine to cause negative side effects like jitters, so says the award-winning brand. While Rarebird Px coffee is still a nervous system stimulant, sippers say it’s without the anxiety.

Original Rasa Herb Coffee

Why?: Adaptogens are at the heart of this functional blend.

Caffeine per serving: 0mg

While Rasa is made with zero coffee beans, its mouthfeel and taste are similar to coffee’s thanks to the rich blend of mushrooms like Chicory. Rasa’s functional “coffee” totes a 13-herb blend, including six adaptogens and two mushrooms, that provides a stream of reliable energy all day long. It’s USDA-certified organic, Whole 30 approved, and users say the difference in taste profile from regular coffee was worth it for the sense of calm it produced.

Bulletproof Enhanced Coffee

Why?: Loads of additional vitamins, mushrooms, and more

Caffeine per serving: 100mg

The brand that started it all! Bulletproof started a line of coffee well beyond the original MCT “fat bomb” coffee that shook the health world into a Keto diet. Instead of “functional” they refer to their blends as “enhanced coffee” which include mushrooms, vitamins, prebiotics, herbs, and more.

La Natura Beauty Coffee

Why?: Various vitamins and minerals

Caffeine per serving: n/a

For all you pod people out there, La Natura brings functional coffee to a Nespresso near you. With organic fair trade coffee at its core, choose between their three functional blends: beauty, energy and immunity to amp your vitamins. The “functional” aspects of La Natura range from B-12 to echinacea– helpful vitamins and minerals that support the respective function of each blend. Their pods are also compostable and biodegradable.

Laird Perform Ground Mushroom Coffee

Why?: Mushrooms, also known as adaptogens.

Caffeine per serving: 100 mg

Functional mushrooms are mindfully blended into Laird’s hand-picked Peruvian coffee blends. They offer a few functional blends that range from “defend” to “focus” and also a few coffees without the added adaptogens. All functional blends are pre-ground, USDA organically certified, and meet even the pickiest coffee drinker’s standards in taste.