9 ways ginger can help improve your fitness efforts

Not a lot of people think of ginger when it comes to supplements, but I truly believe that it’s a bit of an unsung hero.  It has several key benefits that will help anyone that is looking to improve their body.

Here are 9 of the top benefits of consuming ginger:

Reduces muscle soreness.  A study from the University of Georgia in 2010 demonstrated that test subjects that took 2g of ginger daily for 11 days showed reduced muscle soreness from weight training. I take my ginger in 2 doses, each dose being 2 ginger capsules, each capsule is 550mg. They’re cheap … usually around $8 per 100 capsules.

Increases calorie burning. A 2012 study published in Metabolism showed that eating or supplementing with ginger can increase the thermic effect of food. Here’s a quote for you “due to the increase in the thermic effect of food observed in this study, the use of ginger may have relevance for weight management. Moreover, effects may be increased with daily consumption.”

In a slightly older study, The International Journal of Obesity (October 1992) reported that ginger burns calories and thus aids weight loss.

Those are the two benefits that are most exciting to most fitness people.  However, I think that it’s important to point these out, too:

Great for your joints. Researchers have discovered that the anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger come from the ‘gingerols’. According to a study published in the November 2003 issue of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, consuming ginger on a regular basis may help in relieving the discomfort and swelling associated with joint pain.

Lowers cholesterol levels. Multiple studies have confirmed the fact that ginger is as effective as aspirin to help clear plaque build-up in arteries. Ginger has been found to strengthen the cardiac muscle and lower serum cholesterol levels.

Increases testosterone levels in men. A 2012 study of 75 men, ages 19 to 40,  showed that after 3 months of taking ginger, there was a significant increase in serum LH, FSH & testosterone.

May reduce the risk of prostate cancer. This one was an animal study (mice), but I feel that it’s worth mentioning, since prostate cancer is the 2nd most common form of cancer in American men. In a 2012 study, ginger extract was shown to have significant effects of inhibiting – and even killing – prostate cancer cells. This alone is worth taking ginger every day, in my opinion.

 

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Helps with digestion, especially protein. Ginger is rich in zingibain, a protein digestive enzyme. Taking ginger before a large protein meal is a trick that has been used by bodybuilders for years.

Protects against stomach ulcers. Ginger protects against the bacteria Helicobacter pylori and is also effective against the growth of many bacteria including E Coli, and Salmonella. As an added bonus, ginger also helps the growth of the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus. 

Helps with motion sickness. Studies as far back as 1982 support this one. The Lancet wrote that “The powdered rhizome of Zingiber officinale has been found to be more effective than dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) in reducing motion sickness in individuals highly susceptible to this malady.” 

Additionally, ginger contains high amounts of iron and calcium. Its major constituents – gingerol and paradol also pack a bunch of nutritional goodness. Gingerol is a powerful antioxidant – clearing up the free radicals that can do  harm within the body – and it is anti-inflammatory.

So many benefits from such an easy-to-find, cheap supplement.  Here’s a link to the brand that I personally use. Not pushing it on you … just making it easy for those who want to add it to their supplement stack. Of course, if you do buy it from the link above, I will get a small commission. Just being honest with you.

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