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Reducing post-exercise inflammation

Dr Michael Gregor does a great video on using ginger to reduce muscle pain. Now this should also be taken with a grain of salt as there are times when ginger is not potent enough. There are times when taking anti-inflammatory drugs are a better approach. With that being said, I would add ginger for post-exercise recovery as a preventative agent. We often drink electrolyte drinks post-exercise, so adding anti-inflammatory herbal remedies such as ginger and turmeric are event better. Because inflammation is a byproduct of exercise, turmeric and ginger can enhance athletic performance by reducing inflammation. Other benefits of ginger include reducing severity of the following symptoms that inhibit the ability to exercise: · Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis · Menstrual cramps · Stomach Pain · Headache · Respiratory problems

Turmeric has a compound called circumin that reduces inflammation. Circumin is used in many supplements and pain relieving creams for joint pain. Applied topically, circumin-based creams often give immediate relief. Orally, 1 gram per day of circumin is recommended for most people, and 3.6g grams of circumin is recommended per day for therapeutic effects, such as injuries and chronic conditions. A safe upper limit is 12 grams per day. The evidence is unclear whether athletes can tolerate a higher dosage, so it is best that athletes do not consume more than the upper limit. People have reported to notice improvements in 1-3 months of daily consumption.

Circumin’s role in reducing inflammation also lowers severity of many chronic diseases · Heart disease · Epilepsy · Allergies · Cancer · Alzheimer’s disease · Bronchitis

Now reducing severity of ailments does not mean ginger or turmeric should take the place of drugs in severe situations. They are not a cure for any of these conditions.

Turmeric can increase the effect of blood thinners. It can also increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if taken with other medications that lower blood sugar.These side effects do not mean one should avoid turmeric and ginger. It just means to talk to your doctor before taking them if you have certain conditions and/or you are taking prescription drugs. It is also the reason why I recommend small doses like a quarter teaspoon of each with a glass of water but it will prove to be worth your while! With all the scientific information, athletes may wonder how to include these anti-inflammatory herbs in the diet in a way that is simple. Chewing on ginger and turmeric certainly doesn’t sound appealing. And what about the strong taste? In terms of simplicity, the easiest thing to do is to get ginger and turmeric in powder form, which is easy to find at a grocery store. Another option is to get the roots themselves and put them in a blender with water, but then you have to strain the solids. An athlete can just stir a quarter teaspoon of each in a glass of water. With all of the benefits of ginger, there are side effects if taken with certain medications. For example, ginger slows down blood-clotting, so if already taking medications for that, it can increase the effect. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and therapies are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, supplement or IV therapy program.

If you are looking for a creamy beverage, here is a latte recipe with turmeric and ginger. If you like desserts, here is a cake with turmeric and ginger.


Bertil Sjödin, Yiva Hellsten Westing, Fred S. Apple. Biochemical Mechanisms for Oxygen Free Radical Formation During Exercise. Sports Medicine. 1990;10(4).

Bharat B. Aggarwal, Kuzhuvelil B. Harikumar. Potential Therapeutic Effects of Curcumen, the Anti-Inflammatory Agent, Against Neurodegenerative, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Metabolic, Autoimmune and Neoplastic Diseases. Int J Biochem Cell Biology. 2009;41(1).

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