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Hi Guys,

Here’s some additional information about the August 2nd Seminar.

Each talk will be accompanied by a fully referenced manual, including the studies, theory and applied real world protocol information relating to the subject. The injury guide content is listed below 65 pages of content. We’ll do the same and more for immune function and the adrenal story.

I wanted to cover off the ‘money shot’ protocols the ones which really make a difference to outcomes for improved performance. Of these energy levels are critical and we’ll be kicking things off on the day by talking through fatigue, over training syndrome and altered HPA axis in active individuals. HPA axis is the hypothalamus, pituitary adrenal axis which can become disrupted when things are out of balance in the body or environment.

The death of adrenal fatigue as a concept, moving forwards to a systems based model of fatigue management, oxidative stress, immune, inflammation, mental and emotional stress, sleep, dysglycemia (poor blood glucose control).

For the injury section here’s the content we’ll be covering;

Keep posted, In a couple of days I’ll send out the immune content and then Steve Grant will also be covering the gut – which basically ties the whole system together.

Eating and Supplementing for injury

Energy and Injury

  • Summary of energy and macronutrient demands
  • Eating and Energy Meal Template: Carb Cycling
  • Protein Demands
  • Acid Load and Vegetable Intake Antioxidants
  • Vegetable Carbs for Body Comp and Healing
  • Portion Control for Injured Athlete

Eating on the Run

  • Outline
  • Salads on the Run
  • Takeaway Ideas

Recipes

  • Food Prep ideas for Rehab and Busy Lifestyles
  • Breakfast and lunches/dinners
  • A week of Healing Recipes: making a Roast into healing soups and stock-based dishes
  • Quick snacks and side dishes with a food processor

Specific Injuries: meal plans and supplement ideas

  • Limb immobilisation
  • Soft Tissue Meal Planner
  • Soft Tissue Supplements
  • Bone injury Meal Planner
  • Joints/Connective-Tissue Priorties/demands
  • Joints/Connective-Tissue Meal Planner
  • Supplements for Bone, Joint, Connective-Tissue Injury
  • Wound healing priorities
  • Post-op Menu

Micronutrients

  • Micronutrient Concerns
  • B vitamins – B for “building”!
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin C – A controversial antioxidant!
  • Vitamin C DOSING and foods
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin D
  • Minerals
  • IRON and CALCIUM
  • Betaine

Inflammation – A Double Edged sword

  • Combating Inflammation
  • Omega-3 Oils
  • Glutamine
  • Bromelaine

Endocrine Concerns – Hormonal Healing!

  • Insulin/Cortisol Ratio
  • Striking the Anabolic/catabolic balance
  • Possible Cortisol-Moderating Agents
  • Growth Hormone Strategies (GH)
  • Natural Testosterone-Boosting strategies…
  • Possible T Boosting Supplements…
  • Creatine for healing…
  • Nutrition for Circultaion and vasodilation…

Appendices

  • Soft Tissue Supplement Rationale…
  • Bone and Joint Supplement Rationale…

Location:
Central Working
Mile End Rd.
Whitechapel
London

Timings:
Register 9.00
Start 9.30
End 4.30

Resources Section

All the material is going to be recorded and added to the Practical Sports Nutrition Course that you are a member of.
The cost for the seminar early bird is £149 and it will increase to £199 in 2 weeks time.

You can order here; CLICK HERE

The information is going to be recorded and it is going to be added to the Practical Sports Nutrition Course, so if you can’t make it on the day you can still get the course for £295. The price is going to rise to £395 in a couple of weeks.

Like a lot of these events it’s sometimes the people that you meet that end up being good connections for the future as well as what you learn.

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There are a host of foods that will support a healthy nitrate intake, as well as providing the aforementioned antioxidants and phytochemicals to support all area of health. Focusing on food is a far better “insurance policy” than a multivit, providing far more than would be imagined in a processed capsule. These ideas below from a recent AIS publication may provide a good starting point: 

We’ve covered berries… it must be time to look at cherries. They seem to be everywhere – from sports science literature to billboards to the England Rugby dressing-room! An alternative, more “natural” food based alternative to antioxidant supplements, these concentrated extracts are still antioxidant supplements in their own right. Tart Montmorency cherries have been shown to speed up recovery and sooth post-training soreness…

Howatson et al. (2009) Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running Scand J Med Sci Sports doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01005.

cherry-juice

The reason cherries have become such a phenomenon is their antioxidant amelioration of soreness, and speeding up of recovery. Howatson looked at 20 recreational marathon runners in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Participants consumed either tart cherry juice (n=10) or placebo (n=10) for 5 days before completing a marathon, continuing consumption on the day of and for 48 hours after the race. They measured markers of muscle damage (creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, muscle soreness, and isometric strength) as well as markers of inflammation (IL-6, CRP, and uric acid), as well as total antioxidant status and oxidative stress. All of these measures were evaluated before and after the race.

The runners recovered their leg-strength faster and showed significantly less inflammation after drinking tart cherry juice compared to placebo. This mirrored a greater antioxidant status in those who consumed the cherry juice (10%). However – as previously warned, these short term studies show no evidence on long term effects. Is long term adaptation impaired by quenching the body’s stress signals in the short term? The jury’s still out…

Andrea J. Braakhuis, Will G. Hopkins & Tim E. Lowe (2014) Effects of dietary antioxidants on training and performance in female runners, European Journal of Sport Science, 14:2, 160-168

Female runners at starting block kneeling on race track

A recent trial on female endurance competitors has further muddied the waters on antioxidant supplementation. Braakhuis, (2013) supplemented runners on 1g vitamin-C or a more “natural” black-currant supplement containing 300 mg anthocyanins and 15 mg Vit-C, and compared them to placebo. Final differences after 3wk training were trivial, although both the vitamin C group and blackcurrant group declined slightly.

Athletes selected a lower training volume and running-speed during training when taking antioxidants, although these findings didn’t reach a level of significance usually considered conclusive. It may be that taking a concentrate does similar things to an antioxidant capsule – if you really want to keep your food natural… just keep on food. Natural!

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A recent review has focused on the specific health benefits gained

from strawberries and has come up with some pretty sweet findings…

Arpita Basu , Angel Nguyen , Nancy M. Betts & Timothy J. Lyons (2014) Strawberry As a Functional Food: An Evidence-Based Review, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 54:6, 790-806

Strawberry1

Rather than a systematic review looking at specific categories of studies, this paper sought to give a summary of the numerous health benefits gained from strawberries in the literature. They are pretty numerous! Nutritional epidemiology shows inverse association between strawberry consumption and incidence of hypertension and the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein. Controlled feeding studies have identified the ability of strawberries to reduce inflammation, or de-regulated blood sugar and fat metabolism that arises from high fat diets.

This review highlited two large multi-centre trials that present with some pretty robust evidence. The INTERHEART study, comprising dietary patterns from 52 countries, revealed a significant inverse association between the prudent dietary pattern high in fruits and vegetables and the risk heart attack (Iqbal et al., 2008). Epidemiological studies also support the protective effects of strawberries cancer; Analyses of dietary flavonoid intakes across 3 large scale, multi-centre trials (a total of 156956 participants over 14 years from the two Nurses’ Health the Nurses’ Health Studies and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study), revealed significant cardiovascular health benefits of strawberries and blueberries, supposedly due to their anthocyanin content. Higher intakes of strawberry and blueberry anthocyanins (16–22 mg/day) were associated with a significant 8% risk reduction of hypertension.

Strawberry intake has also been associated with lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, a marker of inflammation and cardiovascular disease (Sesso et al., 2007). A decreasing trend for CVD was observed in subjects consuming higher amounts of strawberries (p = 0.06), while a borderline significant risk reduction of elevated CRP levels. Although these studies have looked at large populations, the methods used are still not amazingly reliable – no matter how well organised a study, individuals filling in a food frequency questionnaire still can’t be expected to provide you with accurate information allowing you to work out the number of milligrams of antioxidants consumed in an average week. Food diaries… food questionnaires… are fallible!

carrots

In a prospective five-year cohort study in an elderly population (n = 1271), higher consumption of fresh strawberries, categorized among green and yellow vegetables including tomatoes, dried fruits, broccoli, carrots or squash, and salads, was associated with significantly reduced cancer mortality. The authors attribute these observations to the carotenoid content of fruits and vegetables known to exert anticarcinogenic effects (Colditz et al., 1985).

The following table, taken from the above review, summarises the reasons behind strawberries benefits: they’re low in sugar, yet high in antioxidants and micronutrients, giving them a massive “nutrient density”

Nitrates – more than just Beetroot

The first part of this newsletter looked at the health effects of various diets and postulated what nutrients may have been involved. This part of the newsletter goes the other way, using a specific nutrient (nitrate) to explain the benefits of known healthy diets.

NO is a very important chemical in our bodies with functions ranging from relaxing blood-pressure regulation to regulating platelet aggregation and providing some immune support. It is now known that dietary intakes of nitrates and nitrates can enhance some of known functions of NO, even in healthy people. This is in marked contrast to previous work that showed cxorrelations with nitrates and cancer. However, these studies correlated nitrates with cancer in the context of diets high in processed meats. Subsequent work has shown plant based source to be safe, and suggested that processed meat itself was the cause of correlation rather than nitrates per se.

Recent studies on beetroot juice have demonstrated that chronic (3-15 d) and acute (single dose prior to exercise) ingestion of high-nitrate vegetable is associated with a consistent enhancement of exercise economy (reduced oxygen cost of exercise). By enhancing mitochondrial function, beetroot juice (and nitrates) may help us get fitter. However, these effects become less in fitter populations where mitochondrial function is closer to optimal.

So… what should the average person on the street do to address their nitrate intake and keep their blood vessels and muscles firing on all cylinders?  Food; first and foremost.

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Some interesting ideas germinating from the literature…

Nelson (2013) Germinated grains: a superior whole grain functional food? Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 91: 429–441 (2013) dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjpp-2012-0351

What all of the reviewed evidence so far has concluded is that a varied, colourful diet rich in plant nutrients provides a chemists’ cupboard of nutritional medicines. But, can we do anything to improve this further? If we’re not just focusing on macronutrients, but are looking at the nitty-gritty nutrients, then should we go even further than eating veggies, and ensure we’re eating organic and sprouted foods?  A recent review has looked in a bit more depth at why germination may be good for us and tabulated the benefits of sprouted grains.

Health effect Process Effect Grains
Antioxidant activity Germination Increased Amaranth (Alvarez-Jubete et al. 2010)Rice (Donkor et al. 2012; Imam et al. 2012) Rye and sorghum (Donkor et al. 2012)
Folate Germination Increased generally over time Wheat (Calzuola et al. 2004; Alvarez-Jubete
Phytates Germination Decreased (Phytates may prevent mineral absorption) Finger millet (Hemalatha et al. 2007)Rice (Imam et al. 2012)

This review looked at purported health benefits of germinated grains in animals and humans, and highlighted inflammation, blood glucose disposal, reduced oxidative stress and fat metabolism as possible areas of action. One randomised, crossover study reviewed on overweight and obese males also reported improved blood glucose responses following sprouted grain bread consumption. Sprouted grain, sourdough, and white bread were compared against 3 h glucose and insulin (after eating) Whilst matching for total carbohydrate content (Mofidi et al. 2012). The glycaemic response to sprouted grain bread was reduced only for the sprouted breads – however, this may have been simply to do with the lower glycemic indices of the breads rather than any effects from micronutrient absorption or provision.

To summarise the benefits of sprouted foods:

  • The most reliable health benefits would be on: blood sugar disposal, fat metabolism and oxidative stress
    • This is particularly relevant to the overweight or those with TII diabetes
    • The most prevelant sources of beneficial effects are currently:
    • Sprouted oats and germinated brown rice

Vegetable based diets: Summary for health and wellbeing

vegetables_basket

  • Make sure all your food is high quality – all of the “blue zones” eat simple, locally sourced, natural foods
  • Base every meal on vegetables
  • Aim to go veggie as much as possible, emphasising beans and pulses as the prodominant sources of protein
  • Meat should be lean and as natural as possible (unprocessed)
  • Go for unrefined carbohydrates from vegetable sources for the majority of your energy intake; grains don’t show any adverse health effects, but take the example of the “blue zones” and eat less refined sugar and fewer overall calories compared to your energy-expenditure; Earn your carbs! 

Fruity antioxidants

So far, the evidence is pointing us towards plant-derived antioxidants to maximise health benefits from functional foods. Colour seems to be key, a variety of hues belying a variety of antioxidants. These health effects may be attributed to the synergistic effects of nutrients and phytochemicals, explaining why the most promising evidence continues to emerge from dietary epidemiological studies rather than single-ingredient trials – good foods work together! Berries and cherries are such sources of superfoods, crammed full of antioxidants.

ff3

Rich sources of phytochemicals (ellagic acid, anthocyanins, quercetin, and catechin) and vitamins (ascorbic acid and folic acid), berries are highly ranked among dietary sources of polyphenols and antioxidant capacity. Mechanistic studies have elucidated specific biochemical pathways that might confer these protective effects of strawberries: upregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity, downregulation of NF-kB activity and subsequent inflammation, or inhibitions of carbohydrate digestive enzymes.

 

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A recent study reviewed  the effects of multiple types of “functional food” on inflammation and cardiovascular health. 

Magrone, (2011) Functional foods and nutraceuticals as therapeutic tools for the treatment of diet-related diseases; Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 91: 387–396 (2013) dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjpp-2012-0307

This (non systematic) review deliberately focused on foods, rather than supplements, and assessed those ingredients with the strongest claims to health benefits mostly in human trials. The authors discussed polyphenol-rich functional foods and nutraceuticals’ effects on postprandial inflammation, obesity, and ageing. Like much of the evidence reviewed in this newsletter, the conclusion reached was that combining a number of antioxidants with a healthy diet is the most effective option for health.

The most reliably enhanced health parameter was inflammation, a risk factor rather than an actual disease, whilst correlational evidence was provided for diets rich in vegetable antioxidants helping reduce the risk of cancer. However, reviewing evidence on “ageing” is difficult to do systematically due to the variety of degenerative processes that can be attributed to old age. As a result, many studies on microflora and gut health were included with varied relevance.

In concludion, the most effective studies combined multiple dietary sources of phyto-nutrients. Polyphenols were consumed from blueberries, strawberries, grape-seed, plum and pineapple, as well as health benefits consistently being reported in studies involving olive oil and walnuts.

berries

This review underlines the fact that health can be improved by a smorgasboard of functional foods, although no water-tight correlations with disease or health-outcomes were shown. My stand-out functional foods from this review would have to be red wine and berries – after all, good nutrition should recognised the passion and enjoyment that we feel towards food!

This evidence on general health parameters led me to look a bit more closely at cardiovascular disease and obesity; specifically defined conditions that influence most of today’s illnesses.  Once more, I ran back into the path of polyunsaturates and polyphenols – plant nutrients and good-fats seem to be behind most functional foods…

Healthy diets based on vegetables and good-fats: More than just fats…

April’s newsletter focused on fats. However, nutrition isn’t the study of single nutrients, and many of the health benefits attributed to fats were obtained from eating balanced diets that also contained a variety of other antioxidants, phyto-nutrients and vitamins. If we take a look back over these studies we can see that it was more than just fat mediating medicinal effects.

Lasa (2014), Comparative effect of two Mediterranean diets versus a low-fat diet on glycaemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes; European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1–6

2013-mediterranean-food-pyramid

The PREDIMED trial, and numerous other studies looking at the Mediterranean diet are often used as a case for consuming “good fats”, being high in oleic acid (olive oil). However fats were only part of the picture. Lasa looked at the effect of dietary counselling towards achieving a “Mediterranean diet” on 191 overweight, diabetic participants at risk of CHD (77 men and 114 women, aged 60–80) who were also randomised to receive extra virgin olive oil or nuts. This diet is based on providing about 45% Kcal from carbohydrate, 20% from protein and 30% from fat, with an emphasis on olive oil and nuts. Fruit and veg and natural oils are emphasised. These were compared with patients consuming a low fat diet.

After 1 year, both Mediterranean diet groups, but not in the low-fat diet group, showed a significant reduction in body weight. However, after 3 years, higher antioxidant capacities in the blood were also significantly associated with weight reductions among subjects allocated to the virgin olive oil group, as well as higher levels of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) in the blood. In addition, waist circumference decreased and insulin sensitivity improved – two good improvements in CVD health-markers.

This study showed enhance weight-loss as well as improved markers of cardiovascular disease from the Mediterranean diet going hand-in-hand with antioxidant status, suggesting that it’s more than just olive oil keeping those Mediterraneans healthy. Further evidence for the holistic nature of Mediterranean diets came from Mente’s 2009 meta-analysis. He found no relationships with specific fatty acids, just dietary interventions that included “high intakes of vegetables and nuts with cheese, milk and lean meats”.

SACKS, et al. (2001); EFFECTS ON BLOOD PRESSURE OF REDUCED DIETARY SODIUM AND THE DIETARY APPROACHES TO STOP HYPERTENSION (DASH) DIET; N Engl J Med, Vol. 344, No. 1

DASHFoodPyramid

Sacks studied the impact of the DASH diet on 422 adults at risk of cardiovasscular disease with high blood pressure. The DASH diet is based on the world’s healthiest diets (where people live longest with less disease) such as thoxse of Mediterraneans and Okinawans,  emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods. Dash also includes whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts; and contains less red meat, sweets, and sugary drinks than the current “Western diet”.

This is the interesting bit – this trial not only matched the calorie content of the interventioan and control diets, but they were both very similar in terms of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. The DASH provided 2100 Kcal (99g protein, 275g carbohydrate, 63g fat;  of which 15g saturated) whilst the calorie-matched Western-style control provided 80g protein, 269g carbohydrate, 77g fat ,  of which 25g saturated. As well as higer levels of unsaturated fatty acids, intakes of fruits and vegetables were deliberately increased, meaning this diet really didn’t differ in macronutrients; only in levels of of micronutrients and varying qualities of fats…

Participants ate both diets, each with 3 different sodium levels, for 30 day interventions (6 x 30 days =180 days total) in random order in a crossover design. The DASH diet was associated with a improved blood pressure at each sodium level; and the difference was greater with high sodium levels than with low ones.

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This month’s newsletter was inspired by a recent study on cruciferous vegetables that added to the swathes of existing literature that demonstrates health benefits from vegetables and antioxidants. It’s such a shame that so much of this evidence is dismissed as boring. Okay – we all know that eating vegetables is good for us, but far from future study on this topic being irrelevant, emerging reports are spreading new light on the complex mechanisms involved and the plethora of possible benefits. I love poring through evidence on phytates, polyphenols and epigalle-catechins, all now supplements in their own right that are spilling forth from natural foods. As technology and science progresses, we are getting more information on the different areas of our biology that these nutrients support, and a more detailed understanding of how exactly they do their job.

Contents

  • Eat your greens: Veggies and Good fats
    • Cruciferous vegetables (micronutrients, polyphenols and glutathione)
    • Healthy diets based on vegetables and good-fats: reanalysis of well known diets
    • From whole grains to sprouted grains
    • Colourful antioxidants: Polyphenols in fruits, roots and berries
    • Green Tea –recent evidence
    • Recent findings on Spices

Yu Jiang et al., 2014. Cruciferous Vegetable Intake Is Inversely Correlated with Circulating Levels of Proinflammatory Markers in Women; JOURNAL OF THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS May 2014 Volume 114 Number 5

Kohl 009

This study looked at the dietary intake of 1,005 middle-aged Chinese women, specifically their intake of cruciferous vegetables (cabbagey brassicas like cabbages, Brussels’ sprouts and broccoli) in relation to markers of inflammation.  Whilst previous studies have unearthed associations between crucifers and cardiovascular health, inflammatory cytokines are particularly related to diseases like arthersclerosis, whilst inflammation may contribute to a host of chronic diseases. The authors evaluated associations between vegetable intake and inflammatory health by administering by a food frequency questionnaire alongside testing for inflammatory markers and signals of oxidative stress .

Circulating concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a), interlukin-1b (IL-1b), and IL-6 were lower among women with higher intakes of cruciferous vegetables, theoretically putting them at lower risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Those females in the highest grouping for vegetable intake had significantly lower levels of inflammation than those in the lowest group. However, as always with correlational studies, we have to be extremely careful interpreting these results. Those women consuming a more greens were also more physically active. Although there were no other significant differences between the groups, it appears these women also may have smoked less than their veggie-dodging counterparts – we cannot discount other diffreenes between our groups.

This pretty much tells us what we already knew – that eating vegetables is a healthy lifestyle choice! But why brassicas in particular? This got me thinking about the virtual chemistry kit in our kitchens and specific nutrients in different veggies. Cruciferous vegetables are high in iron and magnesium, but also higher than other veg in omega-3 and polyphenol antioxidants. Interestingly, cruciferous vegetables are also high in sulferous amino acids that help support tha body’s own natural antioxidant systems, namely glutathione peroxidase…

 

Eating to support glutathione…

…supports your body’s own antioxidant system, rather than excessively mopping up all oxidative stressors, which would throw your body out of balance.  Whilst supplementation with high-cycsteine proteins which raised glutathione levels after three months improved muscular power and muscular endurance in athletes (Lands, Grey et al. 1999), eating the following foods provides peroxidise precursors: 

Whey

1382518996-19692400

Foods which contain high levels of sulphur−containing amino acids help to maintain optimal glutathione levels. Lands (1999) improved muscular endurance following administering athletes a high cysteine whey-derived supplement to support glutathione metabolism 

Eggs 

organic-eggs-label

Eggs are also extremely high in sulphurous aminos, while other foods that may help support glutathione metabolism include garlic, broccoli, avocado and spinach.

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One of the biggest players in culinary gastronomy has been ginger, with a large number of animal studies demonstrating a benefit of the antioxidant gingerol on muscular recovery.

ginger-health-benefits-uses

Rani (2011) Inhibitory potential of ginger extracts against enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes, inflammation and induced oxidative stress International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition; 62(2): 106–110

In the current study, ginger extracts were screened to determine the variations in phenolic-linked active constituents. The potential of these extracts to inhibit key enzymes relevant to type 2 diabetes and inflammation was studied. Phenolic compounds—namely, gingerols and shoagols—were isolated and tested for their effects on three key enzymes in diabetes: a-Glucosidase, a-amylase, cyclooxygenase. Whilst cyclooxygenase is responsible for producing inflammatory mediators, glucosidases and amylases break down carbohydrates into sugar.

Slower function has translated into better glycemic control in diabetics. This trial revealed an inhibitory effect on glucosidase and amylase in lab-test assays, that shows a potential for treating diabetics. However, these extracts with hexane, ethyl acetate, solvents (in a test tube) are not how ginger is normally eaten – and these results fall far short of demonstrating a genuine benefit for health and disease prevention. Combined with the epidemiological evidence on spices and animal studies however, it seems like gingerol may be pretty hot stuff for recovery…

Mashhadi et al (2013) Effect of Ginger and Cinnamon Intake on Oxidative Stress and Exercise Performance and Body Composition in Iranian Female Athletes; International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 5th Iranian International Sports Medicine Congress, Vol 4, Feb Supplement 1

Moving on from characterising the active ingredients in ginger, this trial looked at the benefits of consuming a ginger or a cinnamon  capsule (3g ginger, cinnamon, placebo) in sixty female  taekwondo players (13-25 yr). Oxidative stress was quantified by looking at malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, aqs well as assessing exercise-performance, and body-composition throughout a 6 week Parallel trial. However, in these hard-working, fit athletes, spices seemed to have no effect. This reflects similar findings where athletes training at high intensity often see less effect from antioxidants.

There still may some scope for spicing up your recovery, however…

Black, C. D., Herring, M. P., Hurley, D. J., & O’Connor, P. J. (2010). Ginger (< i> Zingiber officinale</i>) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise. The Journal of Pain, 11(9), 894-903.                 

This trial used a similar dose (2g dried ginger extract – 4% gingerol) to demonstrate a beneficial effect on pain and recovery in 28 active individuals. 13 males and 15 females (23yr, 69Kg) were tested in recovery from exercise for VO2, range-of-movement, pain and swelling.  In a crossover design, participants took part in eccentric exercise on day 1, then taking Ginger or placebo on days 2 and 3 respectively, before being tested for recovery and performance. Those who took ginger on day 1 had placebo on day two and visa versa, meaning that there was a non-random order of this trial.

This explains why only the subset who had ginger on day 2 (only 24hr after) had reduced levels of pain during recovery. Those who took placebo on day 2 and ginger on day felt no benefits. So – for muscle tearing “eccentric exercise” (e.g. plyometrics and body-weight-circuits… that means YOU, cross-fit enthusiasts!), hit spiced recovery meal as soon as possible after training.

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