The importance of Recovery
Overtraining and physical overexertion can potentially
damage muscles. Weight training, in particular, causes microscopic tears to
occur. Muscles grow and gain strength by repairing the tears over and over
again. But, while the muscles are damaged from the exercise, you might
experience swelling, pain, and poor performance. This is an inflammatory
reaction from a hard workout that usually lasts between three and five days,
making day to day activities quite challenging.
Allowing your body the time it needs to recover is crucial
to preserving and preventing muscle loss. The recovery process is the time
where the body adapts to exercise and deals with the inflammation and
replenishes itself from the workout. A common misconception in weight training
is that strength gains are made during your workout, when in fact, muscle
building and strength gains are made during restful recovery.4
Not only will taking a day-off help you continue to progress
with your fitness goals, but a quality diet and proper supplementation can help
Turmeric for Recovery
Turmeric has been evaluated in several research studies and
found to be beneficial for speeding up workout recovery.
A 2017 study in the FASEB Journal evaluated the impact of curcumin on
exercise-induced muscle damage, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Researchers
measured multiple inflammatory markers and reported muscle soreness before,
immediately after, and at set intervals after exercise. The forty nine subjects
were given either 50 mg curcuminoids (the active ingredient in turmeric), 200
mg curcuminoids, or a placebo for eight weeks. Those who received the highest
dosage reported significantly less pain and muscle damage post-workout. Both
groups that received the curcuminoids had lower inflammation markers after
Another 2017 study in the Journal
of Sports Science and Medicine evaluated the impact of a
combination supplement that contained curcumin and piperine on the
post-exercise recovery of ten professional rugby players. Subjects were given
the supplement or a placebo forty-eight hours before and after the training
session. Performance, muscle damage, and soreness were measured. Those who
received the curcumin demonstrated significantly improved exercise performance
and less muscle damage compared to the placebo group.2
Further research is needed to determine optimal dosages and
how best to take turmeric for exercise recovery. But early findings suggests
that taking a turmeric supplement may help get you back in the gym faster.
† May help reduce temporary inflammation
associated with physical overexertion.
The FASEB Journal 2017 31:1_supplement, lb766-lb766.
J Sports Sci Med. 2017;16(1):147–153.
American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and
Comparative Physiology 2007 292:6, R2168-R2173.