Genius Mushrooms Review 2024 • Better Than Host Defense?

Last Updated Feb 15, 2024

Medicinal mushrooms are becoming increasingly popular in the West. It seems that every supplement company now has its own blend(s). The Genius Brand is no exception. With over a decade of mycology experience under my belt and personal research with most medicinal mushrooms, I feel more than qualified to deliver an unbiased Genius Mushrooms review.

Do Genius Mushrooms work? My belief is that when a company releases a wide range of supplements like Genius has, there will inevitably be hits and misses.

In my review, you’ll learn if Genius Mushrooms are the real deal or if there are better options. We’ll explore Genius Mushrooms vs Host Defense by Fungi Perfecti, current Genius Mushrooms Reviews, side effects, and as always, my two cents.

Genius Mushrooms Review

Supplement Active Ingredients
Genius Mushrooms
  • Organic Cordeyceps militaris and sinensis [Mycelium] (500 mg)
  • Organic Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) [Fruit Body] (500 mg)
  • Organic Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) [Fruit Body] (500 mg)
Host Defense MycoBotanicals Brain
  • Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) mycelium (300 mg)
  • Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum/resinaceum) mycelium (150 mg)
  • Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris) mycelium (50 mg)
  • Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) whole plant aqueous extract (250 mg)
  • Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) aerial parts hydroethanolic extract (130 mg)
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) leaf hydroethanolic extract (120 mg)

Genius Mushrooms vs Host Defense

There are two comparable supplements by Host Defense to Genius Mushrooms: Their Lion's Mane supplement and the MycoBotanicals Brain supplement that's a closer match.

Below I list several key considerations to make before you decide which one is better for you:

  • Both supplements contain mushrooms grown in the USA, which is a good and bad thing. One of the things China does make that’s superior is mushrooms. The Chinese have thousands of years of growing experience, and the best wild-grown medicinal mushrooms come from Asia.
  • Notice that Host Defense mushroom ingredients are all “mycelium.” Mycelium is the vegetative form of fungus from which the mushroom fruiting bodies sprout and get their nutrients while they grow. Fruiting bodies contain more beneficial active compounds, and I like to see that Genius’ Reishi and Lion’s Mane are both fruiting bodies.
  • Genius Mushrooms is a more complete dose of mushrooms, yet still small in my opinion. The Cordyceps dosage I take that works best is 1.5 – 2.5 grams. The Host Defense dosages look small across the board to me.
  • Lion’s Mane is the most prized mushroom for cognitive function, and it’s included in the Genius Consciousness blend as a primary ingredient, which I like. Again, the Host Defense dosage appears small, yet the Host Defense Lion’s Mane supplement contains a larger dosage at 1 gram.
  • You may or may not prefer Host Defense Lion’s Mane over Genius Mushrooms. The results I found are mixed. One of the drawbacks is the higher price tag for the Host Defense Lion’s Mane. The Brain blend is similarly priced to Genius Mushrooms.
  • The Brain supplement contains several nootropic herbs, including Bacopa and Gotu Kola. Gota Kola is one of my personal favorite herbal nootropics for enhanced memory function.
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Who Wins?

Paul Stamets, the man behind Host Defense, is one of the leading mycologists in the world and certainly knows more about mushrooms than Genius. However, a lot of people question his product line because he uses mycelium in all his blends, not fruiting bodies.

One problem I have with both supplements is the lower levels of Beta-D-Glucans compared to Real Mushrooms supplements, which rank #1 on my list of best mushroom supplements.

Host Defense and Genius contain roughly the same number of polysaccharides, yet Genius does show Beta-D-Glucan %.

Despite Paul Stamets' experience, I think Genius Mushrooms is better than Host Defense Brain.

Although, you may prefer Host Defense Lion's Mane over Genius Mushrooms. It's impossible to know for sure without trying both.

Bottom line, Genius Mushrooms and Host Defense Lion's Mane are your best bets for achieving cognitive benefits from mushrooms.

Genius Mushrooms Reviews

Now, let's get back to the main question: Do Genius Mushrooms work?

I know the ingredients are good. Cordyceps is my favorite supplement of all time, and that won't be changing anytime soon. The biggest drawback I see in Genius is the small dose and the fact that the cordyceps is mycelium, not fruiting bodies.

After investigating current Genius Mushrooms reviews, here's what I concluded:

The Bad

  • You may feel tired after taking Genius Mushrooms. I’ve personally taken cordyceps for close to a decade, and it makes me sleepy after I take it. I prefer to take it before bed or a long nap for best results. This is one of the drawbacks to Genius Mushrooms; since it’s a blend, you’re unable to take each mushroom separately.
  • You might notice zero effects.
  • You may experience side effects that I go over in the following section.

The Good

  • There’s a strong chance that you’ll experience greater mental clarity and focus once you start taking this blend. Keep in mind, it may take a bit longer to feel the effects than other Genius nootropic blends that kick in right away.
  • If combined with a mild stimulant such as coffee or green tea, Genius Mushrooms are an effective pre-workout supplement that’ll boost endurance & focus in the gym.
  • Expect a steady flow of subtle energy that’s enough, but not overpowering.
  • Brain fog sufferers are excellent candidates for Genius Mushrooms.
  • Genius Mushrooms may induce feelings of calm that aid concentration.
  • People with taxing jobs or studies may find the brain fuel they need in a bottle of Genius Mushrooms.
  • The addition of reishi provides immune support.
  • Feelings of well-being and a positive mood are two benefits of cordyceps and Lion’s Mane.

Overall, Genius Mushrooms are one of the Genius Brand's top supplements. The more I learn about the Genius Brand and its products, the more I like what I see.

It's obvious that Genius puts the time into sourcing top-notch ingredients, plus the required research to formulate an effective supplement.

Side Effects

As with most all-natural supplements, people do experience side effects. From personal experience with mushrooms, side effects are seldom, if ever.

Here are the reported Genius Mushrooms side effects I found during my analysis:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Worsening of Anxiety and Depression
  • Burping
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive Issues
  • Bloating

I do want to note that inferior cordyceps causes burping, bloating, and headaches. It makes me wonder if the quality of the cordyceps in this supplement is 100% consistent. Something worth noting before you buy.

My Genius Mushrooms Review

Now it's time for my Genius Mushrooms Review. When I first landed on this supplement, I assumed that I'd be underwhelmed. Especially, since Genius Mushrooms didn't claim a spot on my Top 10 list.

However, after reviewing the product more deeply and investigating user reports, I have to say that Genius Mushrooms surprised me a bit.

Is it the best shroom supplement? No, I don't think so. Does it work? Yes, but I don't think for everyone.

My Dislikes

  • As I mentioned already, the dosages of each ingredient are too small for my liking. I’ve experimented with cordyceps dosages for over 5 years, and 500 mg won’t get the job done for me. The funny thing about cordyceps is taking too little or too much doesn’t work. A 1.5 – 2.5-gram dosage of either cordyceps militaris or sinensis treats me the best. The 500 mg dose is the reason I believe some Genius Mushrooms users aren’t feeling anything.
  • The cordyceps is mycelium, not fruiting bodies. Cordyceps fruiting bodies don’t grow in the US. The best cordyceps comes from Asia.
  • Because of reishi’s wild popularity, there are questions surrounding the quality of reishi and its impact on liver health (*) when taken long-term. I prefer to take reishi away from other mushrooms and supplements to better control the quality and how long I take it.
  • I prefer to cycle cordyceps because I build up a tolerance rather quickly if I take it daily.

My Likes

  • If you’re someone who prefers multi-ingredient supplements for the sake of convenience, Genius did put together a powerful combination of the best performance-enhancing mushrooms on the market. The blend will boost both mental and physical prowess, as well as the immune system.
  • The price is fair, competitive, and more affordable than Host Defense.
  • The positive reports for this supplement are second to none.
  • Non-GMO, organic, and grown in the USA

My Overall Score: 8/10

Are there better alternatives?

Before I wrap up this review article, I do want to share several mushroom supplements that I like a lot. I prefer to take my supplements separately to control the dose and cycle them to avoid building up tolerances.

The top mushroom company I've come across this year is Real Mushrooms.

Bottom Line

After reading through the Genius Mushrooms reviews and inspecting this supplement myself, I'm confident that it's better than most mushroom supplements currently on the market.

If you're someone who prefers to take US-grown mushrooms, Genius Mushrooms are certainly more affordable than most of Paul Stamets' Host Defense blends.

Since mushroom supplements are my favorite of all supplements, I personally prefer to buy from mushroom-centric companies. If I didn't like the Genius Brand, I'd be more reluctant to recommend Genius Mushrooms since Genius doesn't specialize in mycology.

From what I've seen, Genius doesn't include inferior-quality ingredients in any of its supplements, and that's one of the main reasons I trust the Genius Brand enough to include it on my site.

What did you think of my Genius Mushrooms Review? What's your experience with this supplement?