Curcumin May Take Away the Pain After You Train

Preparing for a marathon this summer? If so, findings published in the FASEB Journal on curcumin and related compounds, collectively called curcuminoids, could help you find relief from post-exercise muscle soreness. In a double-blind study, researchers randomly divided 59 moderately-trained men and women, ages 19 to 23, into three treatment groups. Every day for eight weeks, the first group received a 250 mg supplement providing 50 mg of curcuminoids; the second group received 1,000 mg of the same supplement, providing 200 mg of curcuminoids; and the third group received a placebo. All the participants then performed an intense, muscle-damaging downhill exercise. Before the exercise and throughout the 72 hours following the exercise, researchers measured indicators of inflammation and muscle damage, including the participants’ creatine kinase (a marker of muscle damage) and their perception of muscle soreness, and found that:

  • Compared with the placebo, 200 mg of curcuminoids reduced the participants’ perception of thigh muscle soreness 24 hours after the exercise.
  • The rise in creatine kinase from pre-exercise averages to post-exercise levels were lower in those receiving either dose of curcuminoids compared with placebo, suggesting they experienced less muscle fiber injury.

These findings suggest turmeric extracts containing curcuminoids might help you stay limber after you cross the finish line. Research also supports bromelain and capsaicin for post-exercise muscle recovery, and a handful of other supplements that could help before and during competitions. So, do your research to find out what’s right for your goals. Just be sure to consult your healthcare practitioner before adding any new supplements to your regimen.

Source: FASEB Journal

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