A new study supports the supplementation of curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric it yellow color, as a means to reduce pain related to exercise and to boost exercise performance.
17 men were recruited to participate in a double blind randomized-controlled crossover trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or a 5 gram daily dose of curcumin to be taken orally for 2 days before and 3 days after being given performance tests. A washout period of two weeks followed and then the participants crossed over to the other group. Dosage levels were calculated based on extrapolations made from animal studies.
1 or 2 days after exercise the curcumin group saw moderate to large reductions in pain during exercises that included squat jumps, gluteal stretches and single-leg squats. A small increase in single-leg jump performance of 15% was seen in the curcumin supplement group.
The science of curcumin/turmeric’s benefit for enhancing brain, muscle, joint and cardiovascular systems has been growing. This new study suggests a new benefit for curcumin/turmeric in the area of sports nutrition. More studies are needed to support these conclusions.
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