Curcumin supplementation has been shown to reduce inflammation and something called oxidative stress (OS) post exercise. Reducing both OS and inflammation sounds like a great idea for recovery of the muscle, however looking to abolish this may sacrifice adaptation.
When they’ve tested this with rugby players post-match, they didn’t find it helped them at all…bummer!
However, Basham et al (2019) aimed to see if they would get a different outcome after 28 days of supplementation in healthy, young non-athletes. During this time, they consumed 1.5g of curcumin daily and participated in a ‘muscle damaging protocol’ before and after the trial period.
After completion, they found that curcuming supplementation blunted muscle damage (measured via creatine kinase) and reduced perceived muscle soreness following the muscle damaging protocol.
What is super cool, is that it didn’t interfere with the natural inflammatory process…therefore you could argue that it wouldn’t hinder adaptation.
Now, there is something to be mindful of here…
The 19 participants repeated the same muscle damaging protocol pre and post the 28 day period. Therefore, it’s likely that the repeated bout effect may have interfered here…In other words, the muscle had adapted to a certain extent from the first test, and therefore the second test appeared easier or less damaging.
Either way, this is a pretty cool finding and shows that 1.5g of curcumin daily may aid with recovery and not diminish the adaptive response. That being said, if the level of muscle damage is too high, it may not have a large effect, i.e. after a rugby game.
As the research here is super new, this is definitely a to be c o n t i n u e d…
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