MUD\WTR Review: Healthier Than Coffee?

MUD\WTR Review: Healthier Than Coffee?


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MUD\WTR is a powdered tea brand that's marketed as a coffee alternative. Its founder claims on the MUD\WTR website to have formulated the product seeking a "more balanced approach to boosting focus and wakefulness."

But does MUD\WTR contain ingredients proven in medical studies to promote focus and wakefulness like coffee, or are these just marketing claims? Does the product have any unhealthy ingredients? How does the price-per-serving compare to coffee? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of MUD\WTR?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in MUD\WTR based on medical research to give our take on whether the product is likely to be effective, or if it's a waste of money.

We'll highlight some questionable health claims made by the brand, compare its cost to coffee, and share real, unsponsored MUD\WTR customer reviews.

Ingredient Analysis

MUD WTR ingredients list

MUD/WTR is primarily composed of four mushrooms: chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps.

Chaga was shown in a medical review to have anti-tumor effects, anti-diabetic effects and anti-inflammatory effects, but a more concentrated, extracted form was used in most of the studies. MUD/WTR includes the raw plant material.

Reishi was found in a clinical trial published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms to delay memory declines in rats. We haven't come across human trials proving the same.

Lion's mane has been clinically shown to improve some parameters of cognition by 5% as we documented in our review of another functional food product called NoonBrew.

Cordyceps was shown to improve learning and memory in a 2018 animal study.

The remaining ingredients are a blend of tea and spices including organic turmeric and organic cardamom.

Cacao and black tea powder are what provide the 30 milligrams (mg) of caffeine. The minimum threshold for caffeine to be effective as a nootropic (cognitive-enhancer) appears to be around 40 mg based on a 2016 medical review, so we consider the caffeine content in MUD\WTR slightly underdosed even for a low-caffeine formulation.

Overall we consider this to be a healthy blend given that it contains a wide variety of phytonutrients. We do not find it likely that this blend will have any specific health benefits, because we can only identify animal studies showing health benefits for the mushroom ingredients, and we consider the caffeine content slightly underdosed.

MUD\WTR is more like one of those "superfood" shakes in our opinion than it is a coffee alternative. Coffee is one of the most well-studied nootropic compounds in the world, clinically proven to increase focus, attention, physical power and energy. This is a plant powder blend that we don't believe will support any of those specific outcomes.

The good news about MUD\WTR is that it's free of any unhealthy or questionable additive ingredients.

Homemade MUD\WTR for Cheap

A YouTube creator named Lauren Nicole Jones has a video explaining how to buy the bulk ingredients for MUD\WTR and make it at home for under $1 per serving:

Other MUD\WTR Product Reviews

MUD\WTR sells more products than the original Masala Chai blend reviewed in the previous section. Here's our quick take on their other products:

Matcha Chai

  • Very similar formulation to first product, matcha inclusion is basically only difference
  • Affordably priced for a matcha product
  • No questionable additives

Gold

  • Zero caffeine
  • Higher turmeric dose than other formulations
  • Contains lucuma which is a Peruvian fruit that may have a blood pressure lowering and cholesterol lowering effect according to medical research

Rest

  • Contains valerian root extract which can support sleep quality
  • Contains passionflower which is clinically shown to increase total sleep time as documented in our Zleep reviews article

All MUD\WTR formulations are relatively similar, and contain a mushroom and spice blend. 

Gold and Rest are better options for anxious or caffeine-sensitive consumers, as they're caffeine-free.

Gold is the most anti-inflammatory option so this is the product we'd recommend to consumers considering MUD\WTR specifically for the nutritional and functional food benefits.

Rest does contain some research-backed ingredients and we consider it likely to improve sleep quality. 

Real People Try MUD\WTR

A YouTube creator named "LearnWithTravis" shared his experience after using MUD\WTR for a year:

A TikTok creator named Lauren Paige reviewed MUD\WTR in a 30 second video:

@kindergartenthoughts The real scoop is… it tastes like dirty cinnamon water… so MUD WTR is a great name for it. But you start to like it and I’m gonna keep drinking it instead of coffee. #mudwtr #mudwtrreview #mudwater #mudwaterreview #nomorecoffee #caffeineaddicts #mushrooms #mushroomhealth ♬ original sound - Lauren Paige

Is MUD\WTR Overpriced?

Since MUD\WTR is branded as a coffee alternative, we figured it would be interesting to compare the cost-per-serving to coffee.

MUD\WTR currently costs $40 for 30 servings, or $1.33 per cup. Still much less than buying a coffee at a cafe.

But making coffee at home is a vastly cheaper option.

There are many retailers on Amazon selling whole coffee beans for around $0.50 per ounce. According to a coffee roaster called Presto Coffee, one cup of coffee equates to 0.38 ounces of coffee grounds. This means that coffee costs $0.19 per cup when made at home.

MUD\WTR is a specialty product with more active ingredients, so we wouldn't consider it necessarily overpriced. But for cost-conscious consumers, making coffee at home may be a better option.

Where to Get MUD\WTR for the Best Price

MUD\WTR is only sold on the brand's official website and on Amazon, although the majority of products are not on Amazon.

Amazon is the best choice for MUD\WTR's plant-based creamer (link here) because this product cannot be purchased separately on the brand's website. But for all of the tea blends reviewed in this article, consumers will have to visit the brand's website to make a purchase.

Our Clean Coffee Alternatives

Nandaka by Pique is our top coffee alternative pick.

This product contains slow-release caffeine from black tea, cacao butter which has documented health benefits, nootropic mushrooms and phytonutrient-rich spices like cinnamon and ginger.

Pique Breakfast Black Tea Sticks is our top whole food energy pick.

Black tea consumption is "associated with rapid increases in alertness and information processing capacity" according to a clinical trial, and Pique's tea is organic and comes in convenient stick packs that can be mixed into water, so a teapot or kettle are not needed.

Bulletproof Original Decaf is our top decaffeinated (decaf) coffee pick.

Decaf coffee was shown in a 2009 clinical trial to have favorable effects on cardiovascular health, and has been clinically shown to reduce blood pressure, which is the opposite of caffeinated coffee.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients we consider to be unhealthy.

Pros and Cons of MUD\WTR

Here's our take on the pros and cons of MUD\WTR as a brand:

Pros:

  • Totally free of unhealthy additives
  • Relatively affordable
  • Many anti-inflammatory ingredients
  • Effective functional sleep formulation

Cons:

  • More of a food product than a supplement for specific health outcomes
  • Many online reviewers mention bad taste
  • Unlikely to have similar effects to coffee
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

MUD\WTR isn't really a coffee alternative in our opinion even though it's marketed that way. It's a mushroom tea.

There's nothing wrong with taking a mushroom tea on a regular basis, and doing so may provide health benefits due to the phytonutrients from all of the plant-based ingredients.

That being said, we do not believe that MUD\WTR is likely to increase focus, attention, energy, or to have any specific health outcomes like caffeine or caffeinated coffee. We're unable to identify any clinical research suggesting the ingredients in these products, at their stated doses, have any specific health or functional outcomes apart from the Rest blend which we do believe can promote better sleep.

As shown in one of the Youtube videos featured in this article, it may be possible to recreate MUD\WTR at home for a lower cost.