A FOCUS ON TURMERIC
What is Turmeric, its anti-inflammatory properties and why should endurance runners be concerned about managing inflammation and oxidative stress.
Key aspects of turmeric supplementation support for runners:
- Recovery after exercise and prevention of DOMS -delayed onset muscle soreness.
- Use as an alternative to over the counter pain relief medication e.g. ibuprofen. In E53 Painkillers for Running – we discussed turmeric as a natural alternative to painkillers due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Turmeric may help reduce joint pain – for some runners consistently road running day in and out may lead to joint pain.
- Turmeric may be used as an anti-inflammatory aid to help recovery from injury.
- Turmeric is known to support exercise-induced muscle damage, which can occur following hill training, especially downhill exercise, we focus on this in E72 Eating for Hill Drills.
What is the difference between turmeric and curcumin.
How to maximise the bioavailability of turmeric so you receive maximum therapeutic value.
Ideas on how to include turmeric in your runners food plan
A simple recipe for Golden Turmeric Latte.
300ml of almond milk blended with ¼ teaspoon of powdered turmeric, ½ teaspoon of ground ginger and cinnamon with ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of black pepper. You may drink it cold or warm it gently.
Our favourite turmeric supplement is Your Zooki Turmeric.
What do we like about it?
- 1 sachet contains 750mg of curcumin (the active part of turmeric) which is a therapeutic dose in one sachet – often when you buy turmeric in capsule or tablet form you’d need to take several capsules per day to reach that amount.
- As with all of Zooki products the nutrient is wrapped in a lipo-shield which forms a protective barrier around the curcumin which helps deliver the nutrient through your digestive system so you get maximum benefit from the supplement
- It’s tasty and convenient – I consume mine straight form sachet – some of my clients add to water or as an ingredient in smoothies, yoghurt or fruit. The sachets are also easy to pack when you’re travelling
- I sachet a day is great as a foundational supplement. I sometimes increase the number of sachets if I’m recovering from an injury or illness – however do take professional advice if considering this.
If you’d like to give YOUR ZOOKI a try use our special discount code – RUNNERSHEALTHHUB20
When added at checkout, this discount code will provide you and your friends and family with 20% off the entire Zooki range, including bundles and subscriptions.
The Effects of Curcumin Supplementation on Muscle Damage, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammatory Markers in Healthy Females with Moderate Physical Activity: A Randomized, Double‐Blind, Placebo‐Controlled Clinical Trial
They defined moderate physical activity levels (defined as walking or swimming for at least 1 h per day) for 8 weeks.
65 participants were randomly assigned into two groups: curcumin (500 mg/day) and placebo (500 mg/day cornstarch) over an 8-week period.
- Participants were evaluated before and after an intervention.
Results: findings indicated that 8-week curcumin administration could significantly improve a number of important markers
- CRP – this is a marker of inflammation
- LDH – lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels – a marker of tissue damage
- MDA – malondialdehyde (MDA) – a marker of oxidative stress
- VO2 max – the maximum amount of oxygen the body can utilise during exercise. Improved VO2 maxwill mean you are using more oxygen and more likely to run faster.
Curcumin supplementation did not elicit significant changes in body composition in this study.
Modulation of Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage, Inflammation, and Oxidative Markers by Curcumin Supplementation in a Physically Active Population: A Systematic Review
This review examined 11 studies and their conclusions were:
- Curcumin reduces the subjective perception of the intensity of muscle pain.
- Curcumin is able to decrease muscle damage through the reduction of muscle CK (creatine kinase) activity and to increase muscle performance.
- Supplementation with curcumin exerts a post-exercise anti-inflammatory effect by modulating the pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8) and curcumin may have a slight antioxidant effect.
- The minimum optimal dose to achieve a positive impact would be recommended doses between 150 and 1500 mg/day, when administered before and immediately after exercise, and for 72 h after exercise.
- Oral curcumin supplementation has been shown to be effective pre and/or post physical activity.
So based on this review, it does appear that Curcumin supplementation may be a beneficial nutrient for endurance runners as part of their recovery strategy.
The risks involved with taking turmeric or curcumin when taking certain medications
If you’re taking other medications, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or nutritional therapist before adding turmeric to make sure it doesn’t interact with your medication.
Here are a few things to consider when taking turmeric:
- Turmeric is considered a uterine stimulant, so it should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Turmeric may thin your blood, so avoid it if you are taking blood thinning medication or you’re planning to undergo a surgical procedure.
- Turmeric may also interact with some anti-depressant medication so before you take it please ask your doctor, pharmacist or nutritional therapist for advice
- In some people, turmeric may cause an upset stomach, so don’t add this to your supplement plan right before race day. If you experience digestive upset, cut back on the dose or leave it out altogether. We always say don’t try anything new on race day!