Ginger is a strong, aromatic spice that is part of health trends to help support good digestion and anti-inflammation, such as drinking ginger tea, ginger drinks or eating natural ginger.
To eat or drink some ginger combined with turmeric and curcumin can provide great anti-inflammation support for runners and athletes.
Ginger has been traditionally known as a substance that soothes the intestinal tract, and recently, ginger has been found to have good anti-inflammatory benefits.
Ginger is also a good source of phytonutrients, compounds produced naturally in plants.
Ginger does contain phytochemicals, which are found in both fresh and dried versions.
Benefits of Ginger
1. Ginger may help with wear and tear on knees.
In one study, done on people with osteoarthritis, it was found that fresh ginger may help to lower pain and disability from arthritis.
Since this is a condition of wear and tear, runners may find that ginger can help reduce knee pain, and it is safer than taking non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications.
2. It might help improve digestion in general.
Runners can deal with some gut issues, from diarrhea to constipation, which can impact our training.
Ginger has been shown to help to improve gastric motility, which basically means it can help with the movement of food from our mouth to the large intestine. This one is important for runners because a healthy digestive system can help improve performance.
3. It may help treat migraines.
Ginger was shown to help reduce migraine pain as much as prescription medicine. Headaches are a pain for everyone, especially if they get in our way of training.
4. Ginger can help reduce nausea.
Ginger has antiemetic properties that can increase gastric emptying (food emptying from the stomach to the small intestine). Basically, ginger works to improve the general health of our digestive tract, which could help alleviate nausea.
5. Ginger may reduce inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory compounds found in ginger, may be helpful for recovery after long runs when inflammatory chemicals settle in.
How Much Ginger Should We Eat?
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To get the full benefits of ginger, we don’t need very much.
In general, the average recommendation is about 1-2 grams of real ginger per day to help relieve nausea. There are ginger capsules available, but before adding any kind of ginger supplement, we should try to consume natural ginger, or powder.
One flavourful ingredient to add to fresh juices and smoothies is ginger. It will provide some nice fresh taste, and it will calm our stomach when we are stressed or anxious, and it helps ease nausea and morning sickness. We should appreciate the benefits of ginger for running and recovery.
Ginger has a multitude of healing powers. These powers have been proclaimed for thousands of years in alternative medicine and many have been confirmed recently by modern studies.
Runners should appreciate the benefits of consuming ginger:
Relieve muscle soreness
Consuming approximately 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger may help DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). In terms of digestion, it’s just a fact that all runners are concerned at some point with how their bowels are functioning, and ginger helps with constipation and diarrhea.
And while moderate daily exercise boosts our immune system, an intense long run or speedwork temporarily compromise it. While running long-distance or pushing our speed, we might be feeling under the weather. When consuming carbohydrates for recovery, adding anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger and turmeric can actually make our immune system stronger even during those long-distance runs or hard workouts.
How To Enjoy
Fresh ginger can be found in our grocery shops. We can typically only use 6-12mm piece each time, or more if we use in a juice, so even a small piece will last a good amount of time in the refrigerator. When using, we should peel the outer layer and grate into a fry pan if using ginger to cook a savoury dish. Or we can place a chunk in a blender or juicer for a different version. Alternatively, we can add ginger spice to our dishes or enjoy ginger chews for energy.
Ginger, or ginger root, is a spice we should use to add a nice flavour to our dishes. Ginger has also been used as a traditional medicine for years. Some studies showed good traditional health benefits of ginger for runners and athletes.
Other Health Benefits of Ginger For Runners And Athletes
1. Helps With Nausea and Dizziness
One of the main traditional uses for ginger is to calm a bad stomach. Studies have shown that ginger can help release nausea and dizziness.
Some runners or athletes experience nausea or dizziness either during or after a long run or intense training session. Eating some crystallized ginger chews either before, or after the run or training session, may help settle our stomach and relieve dizziness and inflammation. We can try eating 1 gram of crystallized ginger chews, which is easier to eat than fresh ginger before or after our training session to see if it helps. The recommendation is to try it first before or during a run or training, because we should not want to consume anything new or different on race day.
2. Relieves Muscle Soreness
A study showed that ginger may help reduce muscle soreness. Taking 2 grams of fresh ginger, about 1 1/2 teaspoons, per day may help us have less delayed onset muscle soreness. We can also use crystallized ginger chews if we prefer. If we're going into an intense long-distance run or training session, we should take 2 grams of ginger per day for at least a week and see if we feel less muscle soreness.
3. Remedies Loss of Appetite
Some runners or athletes lose their appetite after workouts and races. Eating for recovery is a critical component in allowing our body to repair, recover, and get ready for our next workout. Ginger as one remedy for a poor appetite. If we lose our appetite after a run, workout or race, having a cup of ginger tea may help us regain our appetite.
4. Keeps Things Moving
Ginger may help keep our digestive tract in working order. Taking 1-2 grams of ginger per day, may help us avoid constipation and diarrhea. Many runners or athletes deal with digestive issues before a race. A little ginger may go a long way in helping us have a better race. Again, this is something we should try before a race.
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Consume Some Nice Ginger, Appreciate Some Great Health Benefits, Feel Better And Enjoy Some Great Runs!